Phox v. AD Astra Recovery Services, Inc.
ORDER (1) GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS OR STAY PROCEEDINGS AND COMPEL ARBITRATION, (2) COMPELLING ARBITRATION, AND (3) DISMISSING MATTER. Signed on 9/6/17 by District Judge Ortrie D. Smith. (Order mailed to Plaintiff.) (Matthes Mitra, Renea)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE
WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
) Case No. 17-00533-CV-W-ODS
AD ASTRA RECOVERY SERVICES, INC., )
ORDER (1) GRANTING DEFENDANT’S MOTION
TO DISMISS OR STAY PROCEEDINGS AND COMPEL ARBITRATION,
(2) COMPELLING ARBITRATION, AND (3) DISMISSING MATTER
Plaintiff, proceeding pro se, alleges Defendant violated the Fair Credit Reporting
Act and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Doc. #4. Defendant has moved to
dismiss or stay proceedings and compel arbitration. Doc. #7. Plaintiff, in responding to
Defendant’s motion, “agrees to an arbitration.” Doc. #13. With the parties’ agreement,
the Court grants the motion to compel arbitration.
The Court must now decide whether this matter should be dismissed or stayed.
Defendant argues dismissal is appropriate because all issues raised in Plaintiff’s
Complaint must be submitted to arbitration, and the claims will be disposed via
arbitration. Doc. #8, at 11-13. It appears Plaintiff seeks to stay the matter. Doc. #13
(stating she is “wanting to support the stay in the proceeding…). The Federal
Arbitration Act “generally requires a federal district court to stay an action pending an
arbitration.” Green v. SuperShuttle Int’l, Inc., 653 F.3d 766, 769 (8th Cir. 2011) (citing 9
U.S.C. § 3). There is, however, a judicially created exception to this general rule.
“[D]istrict courts may, in their discretion, dismiss an action rather than stay it where it is
clear the entire controversy between the parties will be resolved by arbitration.” Id. at
769-70 (citation omitted); see also SPBR Holdings, Inc. v. KWAL-Howells, Inc., No. 13CV-0543-FJG, 2013 WL 6795923, at *6-7 (W.D. Mo. Dec. 23, 2013) (dismissing the
matter because all claims raised by the plaintiff fell within the arbitration clause).
Here, the parties’ arbitration agreement states all claims “will be arbitrated
instead of litigated in court.” Doc. #8-1, at 6. Claims are defined as “any claim, dispute
or controversy” between the parties “that arises from or relates in any way to this
Agreement or any services you request or we provide under this Agreement.” Doc. #81, at 5. Particularly relevant to this matter, the definition of claims encompasses “claims
based on any…statute.” Id. The claims in this lawsuit – based upon two federal
statutes – clearly arise out of the parties’ agreement and/or the services provided from
Defendant to Plaintiff. Accordingly, the entire controversy between the parties will be
resolved in arbitration. Thus, dismissal is appropriate.
For the foregoing reasons, Defendant’s motion is granted. The Court compels
the parties to arbitrate the claims filed herein in accordance with the terms of the parties’
arbitration agreement, and the Court hereby dismisses this matter. The dismissal of this
matter shall not preclude the parties from later seeking to confirm, vacate, or modify the
arbitrator’s award pursuant to the Federal Arbitration Act.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
/s/ Ortrie D. Smith
ORTRIE D. SMITH, SENIOR JUDGE
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DATE: September 6, 2017
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