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Richardson v. Bart's Car Store, Inc.

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division

December 15, 2014

MARK A. RICHARDSON, Plaintiff,
v.
BART'S CAR STORE, INC., COMMUNITYWIDE FEDERAL CREDIT UNION, Defendants. COMMUNITYWIDE FEDERAL CREDIT UNION, Cross Claimant,
v.
BART'S CAR STORE, INC., Cross Defendant.

ORDER ON DEFENDANT BART'S CAR STORE, INC.'S MOTION TO COMPEL ARBITRATION AND STAY PROCEEDINGS

SARAH EVANS BARKER, District Judge.

This matter comes before us on Defendant Bart's Car Store, Inc.'s Motion to Compel Arbitration and Stay Proceedings [Dkt. No. 33]. The Motion was fully briefed by the parties; however, on November 5, 2014, Plaintiff sought leave to file a surreply [Dkt. No. 51] to which Defendant objected. For the reasons set forth below, Defendant's Motion to Compel Arbitration and Stay Proceedings [Dkt. No. 33] is DENIED WITHOUT PREJUDICE. Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to File Surrpely [Dkt. No. 51] is GRANTED.[1]

Factual and Procedural Background

Plaintiff Mark Richardson purchased a yellow 2006 Dodge Charger from Bart's Car Store, Inc. on August 1, 2012. Mr. Richardson and Bart's Car Store entered into a contract, a copy of which is attached as Exhibit A to Defendant's Motion to Compel Arbitration. [Dkt. No. 33-1.] After purchasing the Dodge Charger, Mr. Richardson learned that prior to his purchase the vehicle had been stolen, the Vehicle Identification Number ("VIN") changed, and the odometer did not represent the vehicle's actual mileage. After contacting the Indiana State Police, the vehicle was impounded. Mr. Richardson no longer possesses the vehicle.

On May 7, 2014, Mr. Richardson filed a Complaint against Bart's Car Store and Communitywide Federal Credit Union (the assignee of the retail installment contract between Mr. Richardson and Bart's Car Store[2]). Mr. Richardson asserts claims against Bart's Car Store pursuant to:

• Motor Vehicle Information and Cost Savings Act (49 U.S.C. § 32701)
• Indiana Crime Victim's Relief Act (Ind. Code § 34-24-3-1)
• Fraud
• Constructive Fraud
• Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act - Breach of Express Warranty
• Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act - Breach of Implied Warranty

[ See Dkt. No. 1.]

Defendant Bart's Car Store moved to compel arbitration and stay the litigation. Defendant's motion is based on an arbitration provision in the contract between Mr. Richardson and Bart's Car Store. That agreement provides, in part:

Buyer and Seller agree that in the event either party defaults in the performance of the obligations of such party under the purchase agreement, or in the event there is a dispute between buyer and seller with respect to their obligations arising out of the purchase and sale of the automobile(s) - automobile meaning any type of land motor vehicle, that does not exceed the sum of $45, ...

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