United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Southern Division
PAMELA A. VEGAS PLAINTIFF
CMH HOMES, INC., a Tennessee Corporation d/b/a Clayton Homes Gulfport, et al. DEFENDANTS
GRANTING IN PART AS UNOPPOSED AND DENYING IN PART WITHOUT
PREJUDICE DEFENDANTS'  MOTION TO COMPEL
MEDIATION/ARBITRATION AND FOR STAY, AND STAYING AND
ADMINISTRATIVELY CLOSING CASE FOR STATISTICAL PURPOSES
PENDING COMPLETION OF MEDIATION
SULEYMAN OZERDEN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
THE COURT is the Motion  to Compel Mediation/Arbitration
and for Stay filed by Defendant CMH Homes, Inc., a Tennessee
corporation d/b/a Clayton Homes Gulfport (“CMH
Homes”), in which Defendant Precision Movers, Inc., a
Mississippi corporation (“Precision Movers”), has
joined , . Plaintiff Pamela A. Vegas
(“Plaintiff” or “Ms. Vegas”) has
filed a Response  to the Motion , and CMH Homes has
filed a Rebuttal  in which Precision Movers has joined
. Having considered the Motion , the related
pleadings, the record, and relevant legal authority, the
Court is of the opinion that Defendants' Motion 
should be granted in part and denied in part without
prejudice as premature.
extent Defendants seek to compel mediation and stay this case
pending completion of said mediation, their request will be
granted as unopposed. Defendants' request to compel
binding arbitration is premature at this time and will be
denied without prejudice. The Court will stay this case and
administratively close it for statistical purposes. Within 30
days of the conclusion of the mediation, the parties are
directed to provide the Court with a status update, and at
that time any party may move to reopen the case and place it
back on the active docket, if necessary.
11, 2013, Plaintiff and her former husband, Blain Vegas
(“Mr. Vegas”), entered into a contract with CMH
to purchase a manufactured home. See Compl. [1-2] at
9; see also Sales Agreement [1-2] at 19. According
to the Complaint, after Plaintiff selected the site for the
manufactured home, CMH and Precision Movers “both
checked said site to determine if same was suitable for the
location and set up of the subject manufacture [sic] home
purchased by Vegas” and “required Vegas to
undertake some initial site preparations . . . .”
Compl. [1-2] at 10. After Ms. Vegas did so, she claims that
CMH and Precision Movers inspected the site and informed her
that it was suitable for placement of the manufactured home.
Id. According to Plaintiff, Precision Movers placed
a dirt pad on the site, delivered the manufactured home, and
put in the foundation pads on which the home sits.
connection with the purchase of their manufactured home, Mr.
and Ms. Vegas executed certain agreements with CMH, including
a Retailer Closing Agreement, a Sales Agreement, and a
Binding Dispute Resolution Agreement (“BDRA”).
See id.; see also Retailer Closing
Agreement [7-2] at 1-4; Sales Agreement [7-3] at 1-2; BDRA
[7-4] at 1-4. The BDRA reads in relevant part as follows:
[t]he Parties (defined below) agree to resolve all disputes
pursuant to the terms of this Binding Dispute Resolution
Agreement (the “Agreement”). The parties are
defined as the buyer (whether one or more) who signs below
(referred to hereinafter as “Buyer”) and CMH
Homes, Inc., its subsidiary(s) (e.g., CMH of KY, Inc.), and
their/its agents, assignees, successors in interest, and
employees (collectively referred to as “Seller”).
Buyer and Seller agree that this Agreement also applies to
and governs the rights of intended beneficiaries of this
Agreement, who include the following additional Parties: . .
. contractors, including, without limitation, contractors
involved in delivery and set-up of Buyer's Home . . . .
A. Scope of Agreement: This Agreement applies to all
preexisting, present, or future disputes, claims, or
controversies, grievances, and causes of action against
Seller, including, but not limited to, common law claims,
contract and warranty claims, tort claims, statutory claims,
administrative law claims, and any other matter in question,
not otherwise excepted here, arising out of or relating to
(i) the modular or manufactured home(s) purchased, sold,
owned, occupied and/or delivered in any transaction with
Buyer or Beneficiaries (the “Home”) . . . .
B. Exclusion for Consumer Credit Transactions Secured by
a Dwelling: Notwithstanding anything herein to the
contrary, nothing in this Agreement shall be construed to
require mandatory mediation or binding arbitration of any
disputes arising out of any contract or any other agreement
for a consumer credit transaction secured by a dwelling.
Disputes arising out of any contract or any other agreement
for a consumer credit transaction secured by a dwelling are
specifically excluded from the definition of
“Claim” or “Claims.”
C. Agreement to Mediate: All Claims that cannot be
settled through direct discussions and negotiation shall be
submitted first to mediation with a mutually agreeable
mediator (“Mediation”). If the parties cannot
agree on a mediator within a reasonable time, then the
Mediation shall be administered by the American Arbitration
Association (“AAA”) under its Home Construction
Arbitration Rules and Mediation Procedures in effect at the
time Mediation is requested (the “Rules”) . . . .
In the event the Parties are not successful in resolving
their dispute in mediation, then the Parties agree to submit
their Claims to binding arbitration. Mediation of Claims is a
mandatory condition precedent to arbitration or a court
proceeding. An agreement to resolve the Claims in mediation
shall be enforceable in any court having jurisdiction
D. Agreement to Arbitrate: The parties agree to
mandatory, binding arbitration (“Arbitration”) of
all Claims that are ...