United States District Court, S.D. Alabama, Southern Division
F. MOORER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
October 31, 2019, Defendants filed a Motion to Compel
Arbitration and Stay or Dismiss Proceedings and an
Alternative Motion to Dismiss. Docs. 10 and 11. In
response, Plaintiff filed a Notice of Cosent to
Arbitration and Motion to Stay on December 9, 2019. Doc.
their initial motion, Defendants (1) move the Court to compel
Plaintiff to submit to arbitration of his claims; (2) move
the Court to dismiss Plaintiff's claims without prejudice
in light of the arbitration; and (3) alternatively, move the
Court to stay the proceedings pending the outcome of
arbitration. Doc. 10. In their Alternative Motion to
Dismiss, Defendants argue that, if the Court denies their
motion to compel arbitration, Plaintiff's claims should
nonetheless be dismissed under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). Doc.
response, Plaintiff indicates that he consents to submitting
his claims to arbitration and moves the Court to stay the
proceedings pending the outcome of arbitration. Doc. 14.
initial matter, Plaintiff indicates in his response that he
has agreed to submit the case to arbitration. Consequently,
Defendants' motion to compel arbitration (Doc. 10) shall
be granted as unopposed. Similarly, the parties'
agreement to submit to arbitration renders Defendants'
alternative motion to dismiss (Doc. 11) at least momentarily
the only issue before the Court is whether to dismiss the
proceedings in light of arbitration, as Defendants urge, or
to stay the proceedings pending arbitration, as Plaintiff
requests. Defendants argue that dismissal is warranted where,
as here, all the issues raised by Plaintiff must be submitted
Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) provides that the
federal courts “shall on application of one of the
parties stay” a proceeding where any issue in that
proceeding is referable to arbitration. 9 U.S.C. § 3;
see also Caley v. Gulfstream Aerospace Corp., 428
F.3d 1359, 1369 (11th Cir. 2005) (“[T]he FAA's
enforcement sections require a court to stay a proceeding
where the issue in the proceeding ‘is referable to
arbitration under an agreement in writing for such
arbitration… .'”) (emphasis in original);
Bender v. A.G. Edwards & Sons, Inc., 971 F.2d
698, 699 (11th Cir. 1992) (“The district court properly
found that the state law claims were subject to arbitration,
but erred in dismissing the claims rather than staying them.
Upon finding that a claim is subject to an arbitration
agreement, the court should order that the action be stayed
Defendants cite to three cases to support their proposition
that the case should be dismissed rather than stayed, they
provide no binding precedent indicating such. In the only
Eleventh Circuit decision cited by Defendants,
Caley, the Circuit Court affirmed a district court
decision compelling arbitration and dismissing the case, but
the issue of whether the case should have been stayed rather
than dismissed was not raised on appeal. To the extent the
other cases cited by Defendants-Alford v Dean Witter
Reynolds, Inc., 975 F.2d 1161, 1164 (5th Cir. 1992) and
MortgageAmerica, Inc., v. Davis, No.
2:13-cv-177-TMP, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 45144 *5-6 (N.D. Ala.
March 29, 2013)-support Defendants' argument, those
decisions are not binding on this Court. Moreover, dismissal
appears to be, if anything, a discretionary alternative to
the stay otherwise mandated by the FAA. The Court finds no
reason to distinguish this case from Eleventh Circuit
precedent on this issue.
it is ORDERED as follows:
(1) The Motion to Compel (Doc. 10) is
(2) The Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 10) is
DENIED. The parties' motions to stay
(Docs. 10, 14) are GRANTED.
(3) This case is STAYED pending the outcome
of arbitration. The Clerk of Court is
DIRECTED to place this case on the
administratively closed docket.
(4) The parties shall file a joint notice with the Court
within seven (7) days of the completion of arbitration.
(5) Defendants' Alternative Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 11)
is DENIED WITHOUT PREJUDICE, with leave to
refile if ...