United States District Court, D. Connecticut
RULING AND ORDER ON MOTION TO COMPEL ARBITRATION AND
STAY ALL PROCEEDINGS
A. BOLDEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
April 23, 2018, Defendant Credit Acceptance Corporation
(“Credit Acceptance” or “CA”) filed a
motion to compel arbitration and stay all proceedings in this
action. Motion to Compel Arbitration, dated Apr. 23, 2018
(“CA Mot.”), ECF No. 20. Ruth Rowe and Horace
Rowe (“Plaintiffs”) have failed to file any
opposition to the motion for over seven months, and have not
responded to an Order to Show Cause directing any such
response to be filed by November 6, 2018.
explained below, because Mr. and Ms. Rowe's failure to
respond may be deemed sufficient cause to grant the motion,
and because the motion and pleadings do not provide any basis
for the Court to otherwise deny the motion, Credit
Acceptance's motion to compel arbitration and stay all
proceeding is GRANTED.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
original transaction that gave rise to this litigation is not
in dispute. On September 24, 2016, Ruth Rowe and her son
Horace Rowe (“Plaintiffs”), both residents of
Bridgeport, Connecticut, entered into a Retail Installment
Contract to purchase a used 2007 BMW 3-series automobile from
Affordable Motors, Inc. (“Affordable Motors”), a
Connecticut corporation that operates an automobile
dealership in Bridgeport, Connecticut. See
Complaint, dated Sept. 23, 2017 (“Compl.”), ECF
No. 1, ¶¶ 2, 3, 9, 14-19; Memorandum of Law in
Support of CA Mot., dated Apr. 23, 2018 (“CA
Mem.”), annexed to CA Mot., ECF No. 20-1, at 2-3.
Credit Acceptance, a Michigan corporation, “was the
assignee of the contract and, under its terms, subject to all
claims and defenses that Plaintiffs could assert against
Affordable Motors up to the amounts paid.” Compl.
¶¶ 4, 25.
Rowes, however, allege, inter alia, that Affordable
Motors charged them a higher price than was advertised,
attempted to deliver a different BMW 3-series than the one
they had purchased, and-when the Rowes would not accept the
different vehicle-refused to refund the Rowes' deposit
and down payment. Id. ¶¶ 20-24, 26-35.
They further allege that after this, they contacted Credit
Acceptance, which stated it would investigate the matter.
Id. ¶ 36. The Rowes allege, however, that
Credit Acceptance subsequently claimed the Rowes had violated
the contract, “repossessed” and sold the
undelivered car, and began pursuing a $2, 271.62 deficiency
payment, plus fees, costs, and interest, against the Rowes.
Id. ¶¶ 37-43. The Rowes allege that Credit
Acceptance's actions have negatively affected their
credit rating, which they allege caused Mr. Rowe to be denied
student loans necessary to afford his college education.
Id. ¶¶ 44-45.
September 23, 2017, the Rowes sued Affordable Motors and
Credit Acceptance (“Defendants”), alleging that
Defendants' actions violated, inter alia,
express warranties to the Rowes, the Truth in Lending Act, 15
U.S.C. § 2301 et seq., the Connecticut Unfair
Trade Practices Act (“CUTPA”), Conn. Gen. Stat.
§ 42-110a et seq., and the Connecticut
Creditors Protection Act, Conn. Gen. Stat. § 36a-645
et seq. Id. ¶¶ 46-89. The Rowes seek
“actual damages, statutory damages, common law punitive
damages, statutory punitive damages, an order rescinding the
sale, attorney's fees and costs.” Id. at
significant period of delay, Affordable Motors and Credit
Acceptance were served on February 26, 2018 and March 8,
2018, respectively. See Summons Returned Executed,
filed Mar. 2, 2018, ECF No. 10; Summons Returned Executed,
filed Mar. 8, 2018, ECF No. 11. Defendants subsequently moved
for and were granted three extensions of time to answer,
move, or otherwise respond to the Complaint. See
Orders, dated Mar. 21, 2018, Mar. 27, 2018, and Apr. 22,
April 23, 2018, Credit Acceptance filed a motion to compel
arbitration and stay all proceedings in this action under
Sections 2 through 4 of the Federal Arbitration Act
(“FAA”). CA Mot. Credit Acceptance asserts that
Affordable Motors assigned all “right, title and
interest, including its security interest, in and to the
Contract and the Vehicle, ” to Credit Acceptance. CA
Mem. at 2.
Acceptance alleges that Plaintiffs agreed to be bound by an
arbitration clause contained in the Retail Installment
Contract. That provision states that either party (including
Credit Acceptance) “may require any Dispute to be
arbitrated and may do so before or after a lawsuit has been
started over the Dispute or with respect to other Disputes or
counterclaims brought later in the lawsuit.”
See Retail Installment Contract, dated Sept. 24,
2016 (“Contract”), annexed as Ex. A to Mem., ECF
No. 20-2, at 4-5.
Acceptance therefore contends that “since the parties
have unequivocally agreed that, after invocation by one of
the parties, whether before or after a lawsuit has been
started . . . any and all Disputes arising out of or in any
way related to the Contract should be resolved by binding
arbitration pursuant to the rules and procedures of either
[the American Arbitration Association] or JAMS, this Court
should compel arbitration and stay this action pending
arbitration.” CA Mem. at 5.
than six months have passed since Credit Acceptance moved to
compel arbitration, and no opposition has been filed. Based
on the lack of activity on the docket, Plaintiffs have ...