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Farrell v. Road Ready Used Cars, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

April 23, 2018

BIANCA FARRELL Plaintiff,
v.
ROAD READY USED CARS, INC., et al, Defendants.

          RULING RE: MOTION TO DISMISS AND PETITION TO COMPEL ARBITRATION (DOC. NO. 15) & MOTION FOR MORE DEFINITE STATEMENT (DOC. NO. 32)

          Janet C. Hall United States District Judge

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Plaintiff Bianca Farrell (“Farrell”) brings this action against Road Ready Used Cars, Inc. (“Road Ready”); Ronald Saracino (“Saracino”), the president of Road Ready; and Seasons Federal Credit Union (“Seasons”) for alleged violations of the Truth in Lending Act (“TILA”), the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (“CTUPA”), the Connecticut Creditor's Collection Practices Act (“CCPA”), statutory theft, misrepresentation, conversion, unjust enrichment, breach of warranty, breach of contract, and breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealing. See Compl. at ¶ 1.

         Road Ready and Saracino (“the Road Ready defendants”) have moved to dismiss the Complaint pursuant to Federal Rule 12(b)(6) and to compel arbitration of all claims asserted against the Road Ready defendants pursuant to sections four and six of title nine of the United States Code. (Doc. No. 15). Seasons has moved for a more definite or separate statement of Farrell's claims against Seasons. (Doc. No. 32). For the reasons that follow, the Road Ready defendant's Motion to Dismiss and Petition to Compel Arbitration is granted in part and denied in part and Season's Motion for a More Definite Statement is denied.

         II. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         On October 16, 2017, Farrell attempted to purchase a used 2013 Honda Accord (“the vehicle”) from Road Ready pursuant to a Purchase Order, Invoice, and Retail Installment Contract, for a retail price of $12, 990 plus taxes. See Compl. at ¶ 7. Despite denying Farrell credit, Road Ready accepted $6, 500 from Farrell and sold the Retail Installment Contract to Seasons. See id. at ¶¶ 8-10. Seasons then opened a loan account for Farrell even though she had not appeared at Seasons or requested an account. See id. at ¶ 11.

         Farrell alleges that the itemization of the amount financed was false, resulting in a false annual percentage rate. See id. at ¶ 13. First, the purchase price included $199 for VIN Etch even though Road Ready's cost was minimal or non-existent for the product. See id. at ¶ 14. Second, the purchase price included a tire warranty for $499, but Road Ready had not paid for or placed the coverage as of December 1, 2017. See id. at ¶ 15. Road Ready had represented that the tire warranty was free and nonnegotiable. See id. at ¶ 18. In addition, the tire warranty falsely identified the lienholder as Wells Fargo and was void because it did not contain any checked boxes that showed which coverage was included. See id. at ¶¶ 16-17.

         Third, the purchase price included $199 for paint and interior protections, but the paint was defective and Road Ready did not provide a contract showing coverage for the protection. See id. at ¶ 19. Fourth, the purchase price included $595 for rust proofing and undercoating, even though Road Ready did not rust proof or undercoat the vehicle. See id. at ¶ 20. Fifth, the purchase price included a Service Contract for $2, 495, but Road Ready had not placed or paid for the coverage as of December 1, 2017, the Service Contract falsely identified the lienhold as Wells Fargo and disclosed the purchase price as $2, 995, and the contract was void because no boxes were checked to show which coverage was included. See id. at ¶¶ 21-23. Sixth, the purchase price included $498 for a Dealer Conveyance Fee even though, as an electronic conveyance, the cost to Road Ready was minimal and the fee far exceeded Road Ready's reasonable costs for processing documentation and performing services related to the closing of the sale. See id. at ¶¶ 24-25. Finally, the vehicle was subject to an open recall at the time of the sale, and the vehicle had undisclosed front end damage. See id. at ¶¶ 26-27.

         III. LEGAL STANDARDS

         A. Rule 12(b)(6)

         When deciding a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), the court must determine whether a plaintiff has stated a legally cognizable claim by making allegations that, if true, would show that the plaintiff is entitled to relief. See Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 557 (2007) (interpreting Rule 12(b)(6), in accordance with Rule 8(a)(2), to require allegations with “enough heft to ‘sho[w] that the pleader is entitled to relief” (alteration in original)). The court takes all factual allegations in the complaint as true and draws all reasonable inferences in the plaintiff's favor. See Crawford v. Cuomo, 796 F.3d 252, 256 (2d Cir. 2015). However, the principle that a court must accept a complaint's allegations as true is inapplicable to “[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555).

         To survive a motion pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), “a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'” Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). “A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged. The plausibility standard is not akin to a ‘probability requirement, ' but it asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully.” Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556).

         B. Rules 12(e) and 10(b)

Federal Rule 12(e) of Civil Procedure provides:
A party may move for a more definite statement of a pleading to which a responsive pleading is allowed but which is so vague or ambiguous that the party cannot reasonably prepare a response. The motion must be made before filing a responsive pleading and ...

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