Smith v. Liberty Health & Rehab of Indianola, LLC et al
ORDER denying 6 Motion to Compel. Signed by District Judge Debra M. Brown on 9/4/15. (th)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF MISSISSIPPI
LIBERTY HEALTH & REHAB OF
INDIANOLA, LLC, ET AL.
This wrongful death action is brought by Plaintiff Tanya Smith on behalf of the estate of
her father, Charles Smith, against Defendant Liberty Health & Rehab of Indianola, LLC
(“Liberty Health”), and unnamed employees of Liberty Health. Doc. #2 at 1. At the time of his
death, Charles Smith was a resident at Liberty Health. Plaintiff alleges that her father died as a
result of negligent care administered at Liberty Health. Id.
Pursuant to the Federal Arbitration Act, Liberty Health moves to “enforce the Binding
Arbitration Agreement entered into and signed by Charles Smith on or about May 25, 2011.”
Doc. #6 at 1. In support of its motion, Liberty Health offers several affidavits and a copy of the
Binding Arbitration Agreement. Doc. #6 to #6-6. Smith filed a response, along with a copy of
the Binding Arbitration Agreement, and an opinion of the United States Court of Appeals for the
Tenth Circuit. Doc. #12 to #12-2. Liberty Health also filed a reply in support of its motion to
enforce the arbitration agreement. Doc. #15.
Under the Federal Arbitration Act, “[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 (emphasis
added). The Binding Arbitration Agreement offered in this matter provides:
[T]he Undersigned and Facility acknowledge and agree that the parties have
entered into an Admissions Agreement. The Undersigned and the Facility further
acknowledge that the Admissions Agreement evidences a transaction involving
interstate commerce ….
Doc. #6-1 at ¶ 1 (emphases added). Neither party has submitted the Admissions Agreement that
purportedly implicates the Federal Arbitration Act.
The acknowledgment contained in the
Binding Arbitration Agreement does not evince a transaction involving interstate commerce. See
GGNSC Louisville Hillcreek, LLC v. Warner, No. 3:13-CV-752-H, 2013 WL 6796421, at *8
n.13 (W.D. Ky. Dec. 19, 2013) (“The parties cannot by agreement make an act not in interstate
commerce into one that is in interstate commerce.”). In other words, the documents currently
before the Court do not demonstrate that the Federal Arbitration Act is applicable in this case.
Moreover, neither Liberty Health’s motion nor Smith’s response complies with the
Court’s Local Rules. Local Rule 7(b)(4) requires that “[a]t the time [a] motion is served, other
than motions or applications that may be heard ex parte or those involving necessitous or urgent
matters, counsel for movant must file a memorandum brief in support of the motion.” L.U. Civ.
R. 7(b)(4) (emphasis added).
Similarly, a responding party “must … file a response and
memorandum brief in support of the response.” Id. (emphasis added and punctuation removed).
The rule cautions that “[f]ailure to timely submit the required motion documents may result in
the denial of the motion.” Id. “This rule reflects the policy that complete briefing is especially
important when the party asserting the law has the burden of proof.” C.W.P. v. Brown, 56 F.
Supp. 3d 834, 839 (N.D. Miss. 2014) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). Both
parties failed to submit a supporting memorandum brief.
For these reasons, at this time, the motion  to enforce the arbitration agreement is
DENIED without prejudice. Liberty Health shall have 21 days to re-urge its motion. In doing
so, Liberty Health should include the Binding Arbitration Agreement executed on or about May
25, 2011, along with the Admissions Agreement referenced therein.
SO ORDERED, this 4th day of September, 2015.
/s/ Debra M. Brown
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?