ITT Educational Services, Inc. v. Webster
ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFFS' MOTION TO COMPEL ARBITRATION AND ENJOIN DEFENDANT'S PROSECUTION OF STATE COURT ACTION. Signed on 2/9/16 by District Judge Ortrie D. Smith. (Matthes, Renea)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE
WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
ITT EDUCATIONAL SERVICES, INC., )
and CARRIE WILKE,
Case No. 4:16-MC-9005-ODS
ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFFS’ MOTION TO COMPEL ARBITRATION
AND ENJOIN DEFENDANT’S PROSECUTION OF STATE COURT ACTION
Plaintiffs ITT Educational Services, Inc. and Carrie Wilke initiated this matter with
a motion to compel arbitration and enjoin a lawsuit filed by Lisa Webster that is currently
pending in the Circuit Court of Jackson County, Missouri. Doc. #1. Plaintiffs did not
institute a civil action and did not remove the pending state court matter to this Court.
The relief sought by Plaintiffs must be denied.
First, unlike one of the cases cited by Plaintiffs, this matter was not removed to
this Court.1 The state court matter remains pending. The Federal Arbitration Act
(“FAA”), which is the basis for Plaintiffs’ motion, does not authorize this Court to direct
state courts how to handle their own proceedings.
Second, the Anti-Injunction Act bars this Court from enjoining a state court in this
particular circumstance. The Anti-Injunction Act provides the following:
A court of the United States may not grant an injunction to stay
proceedings in a State court except as expressly authorized by Act of
Congress, or where necessary in aid of its jurisdiction, or to protect or
effectuate its judgments.
28 U.S.C. § 2283; see also Vendo Co. v. Lektro-Vend Corp., 433 U.S. 623, 630 (1977).
“[T]he Act is an absolute prohibition against any injunction of any state-court
Novelo v. ITT Technical Institute, Case No. 4:11-CV-951-DW, was removed to this
Court from the Circuit Court of Jackson County, Missouri. Contemporaneous with the
Notice of Removal, Defendants filed a motion to compel arbitration.
proceedings, unless the injunction falls within one of the three specifically defined
exceptions in the Act.” Vendo, 433 U.S. at 630. Plaintiffs failed to set forth any legal
basis that would permit this Court to enjoin the state court.
For these reasons, Plaintiffs’ motion is denied. Plaintiffs’ request for attorneys’
fees associated with filing this matter is also denied.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
/s/ Ortrie D. Smith
ORTRIE D. SMITH, SENIOR JUDGE
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DATE: February 9, 2016
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