Guideone Mutual Ins. Co. v. Seielstad

Filing 13

ORDER signed by District Judge Troy L. Nunley on 7/5/2017 DENYING 5 Motion to Stay Arbitration Proceedings without prejudice. (Donati, J)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 12 GUIDEONE MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY, Plaintiff, 13 ORDER v. 14 15 No. 2:16-cv-00752-TLN-AC CHARLES SEIELSTAD, Defendant. 16 17 18 This matter is before the Court pursuant to Plaintiff GuideOne Mutual Insurance 19 Company’s (“Plaintiff”) Motion for Stay of Arbitration Proceedings. (ECF No. 5.) Defendant 20 Charles Seielstad (“Defendant”) opposes the motion. (ECF No. 6.) Plaintiff filed a reply. (ECF 21 No. 7.) The Court has carefully considered the arguments raised by the parties. For the reasons 22 set forth below, Plaintiff’s motion is DENIED. 23 I. 24 This is a lawsuit seeking declaratory relief about the legal effect of a worker’s INTRODUCTION 25 compensation settlement on an insurer’s obligation to pay additional funds to that injured worker 26 pursuant to a separate uninsured motorist policy.1 Plaintiff — the insurer — acknowledges that 27 28 1 The factual and procedural background is not materially in dispute as it relates to the instant motion. 1 1 Defendant — the insured — timely demanded uninsured motorist arbitration proceedings (the 2 “UM Arbitration”) with Plaintiff pursuant to that uninsured motorist policy. (Compl., ECF No. 1 3 at ¶ 12; ECF No. 5-1 at 2.) It is not disputed that the parties have agreed to arbitrate. The 4 question is when the UM Arbitration will go forward. Plaintiff has filed the instant motion to stay 5 the UM Arbitration pending the resolution of this action. (ECF No. 5-1 at 4–5.) 6 II. ANALYSIS 7 Plaintiff contends this Court has authority to stay the UM Arbitration pending the outcome 8 of this action pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure § 1281.2. (ECF No. 5-1 at 4–5.) 9 However, by its text, § 1281.2 does not apply to the circumstances of this case. Consequently, 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 the motion must be denied. Section 1281.2 provides in relevant part: On petition of a party to an arbitration agreement alleging the existence of a written agreement to arbitrate a controversy and that a party thereto refuses to arbitrate such controversy, the court shall order the petitioner and the respondent to arbitrate the controversy .... If the court determines that there are other issues between the petitioner and the respondent which are not subject to arbitration and which are the subject of a pending action or special proceeding between the petitioner and the respondent and that a determination of such issues may make the arbitration unnecessary, the court may delay its order to arbitrate until the determination of such other issues or until such earlier time as the court specifies. If the court determines that a party to the arbitration is also a party to litigation in a pending court action or special proceeding with a third party . . . ., the court . . . may order arbitration among the parties who have agreed to arbitration and stay the pending court action or special proceeding pending the outcome of the arbitration proceeding; or . . . may stay arbitration pending the outcome of the court action or special proceeding. 23 Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 1281.2 (emphasis added). 24 Plaintiff has not identified any relevant “third party” so the final paragraph of the above- 25 quoted paragraphs does not apply. Consequently, § 1281.2 is not implicated unless the motion 26 comes within the meaning of the second of the above-quoted paragraphs. It does not. Neither the 27 Plaintiff nor Defendant refuses to arbitrate. Plaintiff has not petitioned this Court for an order to 28 compel arbitration. For these two reasons it is clear Plaintiff is not a “petitioner” within the 2 1 meaning of this section. Moreover, the second of the above-quoted paragraphs says nothing 2 about enjoining a proceeding the Court has not been asked to order in the first place. It speaks 3 only of a court delaying its own order to compel arbitration — which Plaintiff does not seek here. 4 III. 5 For the reasons discussed above, Plaintiff’s Motion for Stay of Arbitration Proceedings is 6 7 8 CONCLUSION hereby DENIED without prejudice. IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: July 5, 2017 9 10 Troy L. Nunley United States District Judge 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3

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