United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Eastern Division
CMH HOMES, INC. and SOUTHERN ENERGY HOMES, INC. PLAINTIFFS
RICHARD DOUGLAS PYKE and CHRISTINE ROMANO PYKE DEFENDANTS
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
STARRETT UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on the Motion to Dismiss for Lack
of Subject Matter Jurisdiction and Improper Venue or, in the
Alternative, to Transfer Venue ("Motion to
Dismiss")  filed by Defendants Richard Douglas Pyke
and Christine Romano Pyke. After reviewing the submissions of
the parties, the record, and the applicable law, the Court
finds that this motion is not well taken and should be
action is centered around the purchase of a manufactured home
by Defendants Richard Douglas Pyke and Christine Romano Pyke
(collectively "Defendants") from Plaintiffs CMH
Homes, Inc., and Southern Energy Homes, Inc. (collectively
"Plaintiffs"). The home was purchased by Plaintiffs
in April 2016. One of the agreements signed by parties at the
time of purchase was a Binding Dispute Resolution Agreement.
Shortly after purchase, Defendants contacted Plaintiffs
concerning the condition of the home after delivery.
Subsequently, on May 19, 2017, Plaintiffs filed their
Petition  seeking for an order compelling arbitration,
pursuant to § 4 of the Federal Arbitration Act
("FAA"), 9 U.S.C. § 4. Defendants now bring
challenges to the ripeness of this suit and to venue.
argue that the Petition  is due to be dismissed under
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) because it is not
yet ripe. As ripeness is a jurisdictional issue, the Court
must address this argument first. See Choice Inc. of Tex.
v. Greenstein, 691 F.3d 710, 714 (5th Cir. 2012).
contend that the issue of arbitration is not ripe for
judicial adjudication because no other proceeding is pending
against Plaintiffs. In response, Plaintiffs argue that
ripeness is decided by the issues in the underlying dispute
that they seek to have arbitrated. Both sides cite multiple
out-of-circuit authorities in support of their arguments;
however, the Court need not consider any of them as the
Supreme Court and the Fifth Circuit have already definitively
answered this question.
Under the Supreme Court's decision in Vaden v.
Discover Bank, 556 U.S. 49, 129 S.Ct. 1262, 173 L.Ed.2d
206 (2009), we must . . . "look through" the
petition to compel arbitration in order to determine whether
the underlying dispute presents a sufficiently ripe
controversy to establish federal jurisdiction. At issue in
Vaden, as in this case, was § 4 of the FAA,
which "provides for United States district court
enforcement of arbitration agreements."
Lower Colorado River Auth. v. Papalote Creek II,
L.L.C, 858 F.3d 916, 922 (5th Cir. 2017) (quoting
Vaden, 556 U.S. at 58, 129 S.Ct. 1262). Because this
case is brought under § 4 of the FAA, just like
Vaden and Lower Colorado, to decide if the
case is ripe for adjudication, the Court looks at the
underlying dispute, not the issue of arbitration.
make no argument that the underlying dispute is not ripe for
adjudication. Nor does the Court believe a genuine dispute
exists as the ripeness of the underlying dispute. "The
key considerations [for ripeness] are the fitness of the
issues for judicial review and the hardship to the parties of
withholding court consideration. A case is generally ripe if
any remaining questions are purely legal ones; conversely, a
case is not ripe if further factual development is
required." New Orleans Pub. Serv., Inc. v. Council
of City of New Orleans, 833 F.2d 583, 586-87 (5th Cir.
1987) (internal citations and quotations omitted). The
dispute Plaintiffs seek to have arbitrated is centered around
the purchase of a manufactured home and the accompanying
warranties and agreements. That transaction has been
completed, and the home was subsequently delivered to
Defendants. The dispute concerns the condition of the home
and Plaintiffs' obligations to Defendants stemming from
the agreements made at the time of purchase. No further
factual development is needed, and the issues of whether
Plaintiffs breached the agreements and warranties are fit for
judicial review. Nothing about the underlying dispute leads
the Court to believe that there is no actual controversy so
as to make it not ripe for adjudication.
Motion to Dismiss  will therefore be
denied as to the issue of ripeness.
argue that venue in the Eastern Division of the Southern
District of Mississippi is improper and that the case should
be dismissed pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure