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Hallam v. Southaven R.V. Center, Inc.

United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, Oxford Division

September 25, 2019

ROBERT G. HALLAM, and ALAINE G. HALLAM, Individuals PLAINTIFFS
v.
SOUTHAVEN R.V. CENTER, INC., a Mississippi Profit Corporation; and REV RECREATION GROUP, INC., a Foreign Profit Corporation DEFENDANTS

          ORDER

          DEBRA M. BROWN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Before the Court is “Defendant Southaven R.V. Center, Inc.’s Motion to Stay Action and Compel Plaintiffs to Submit Their Claims to Binding Arbitration.” Doc. #7.

         I

         Procedural History

         On September 7, 2018, Robert and Alaine Hallam filed a three-count complaint against Southaven R.V. Center, Inc. (“Southaven RV”), and REV Recreation Group, Inc. (“REV”), in the County Court of DeSoto County, Mississippi. Doc. #2 at 1. In their complaint, the Hallams allege that they purchased a used motor home from Southaven RV and that, within the warranty period, they discovered defects in the motor home which REV, the manufacturer, failed to repair. Id. at 1–3. Counts I and II of the complaint assert that REV breached the factory warranty and violated the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, 15 U.S.C. § 2301, et seq. Id. at 4–5, 5–6. Count III seeks revocation of the Hallams’ acceptance of the motor home and the return of the purchase price from Southaven RV. Id. at 6–7.

         REV, asserting federal question jurisdiction, removed the Hallams’ state court action to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi on October 18, 2018. Doc. #1. Southaven RV consented to and joined in the removal. Doc. #3 at 1. On October 25, 2018, REV filed a motion to dismiss or, alternatively, for summary judgment regarding the claims alleged against it. Doc. #5. REV’s motion to dismiss has been fully briefed.[1] Docs. ##10–12.

         On November 5, 2018, Southaven RV filed a “Motion to Stay Action and Compel Plaintiffs to Submit Their Claims to Binding Arbitration” regarding the claims brought against it. Doc. #7.

         Two days later, United States Magistrate Judge Roy Percy stayed all discovery and disclosure requirements pending a ruling on the motion to compel arbitration. Doc. #9. Neither REV nor the Hallams responded to Southaven RV’s motion to compel arbitration.

         II

         Discussion

         Section 2 of the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) provides:

A written provision in … a contract evidencing a transaction involving commerce to settle by arbitration a controversy thereafter arising out of such contract or transaction … shall be valid, irrevocable, and enforceable, save upon such grounds as exist at law or in equity for the revocation of any contract.

9 U.S.C. § 2 (2019). This provision “requires courts to enforce covered arbitration agreements according to their terms.” Lamps Plus, Inc. v. Varela, 139 S.Ct. 1407, 1412 (2019). However, “a court may order arbitration of a particular dispute only where the court is satisfied that the parties agreed to arbitrate that dispute, ” Papalote Creek II, L.L.C. v. Lower Co. River Auth., 918 F.3d 450, 454 (5th Cir. 2019) (emphasis omitted); and where “legal constraints external to the parties’ agreement [do not] foreclose[] the arbitration of those claims, ” Tittle v. Enron Corp., 463 F.3d 410, 418 (5th Cir. 2006) (quoting Mitsubishi Motors Corp. v. Solar Chrysler-Plymouth, Inc., 473 U.S. 614, 628 (1985)).

         A. ...


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