United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
CATHERINE D. PERRY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Marlyn Young proceeds in this removed action pro se,
alleging that defendants CitiFinancial Service LLC and
Lowe's Home Centers LLC violated the Fair Credit
Reporting Act (FCRA), 15 U.S.C. §§ 1681, et
seq.; the Credit CARD Act, Pub. L. No. 111-24, 123 Stat.
1734 (2009); and the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act
(MMPA), Mo. Rev. Stat. §§ 407.010, et
seq., by maintaining and reporting improper information
in his credit accounts. I previously dismissed Young's
claims against Lowe's with prejudice on the
representation that the matter was settled between those
parties. In the interests of justice, I will grant
Young's request to reinstate his claims against this
defendant. Additionally, based on the contract between Young
and CitiFinancial, I will grant CitiFinancial's motion to
compel arbitration and stay Young's claims against
CitiFinancial, pending arbitration.
removal of this action from state court in July 2016,
Lowe's informed the Court that the claims brought by
Young against Lowe's had been settled. On July 26, I
granted Lowe's request to pass the matter for settlement
and gave the parties sixty days to file dismissal papers. I
cautioned that I would dismiss the claims with prejudice if
the parties did not timely dismiss the claims under the terms
of my Order. Sixty days passed and nothing was filed. On
September 27, I dismissed Young's claims against
Lowe's with prejudice under the terms of my earlier
that same day - September 27 - Young sought to reinstate
Lowe's as a defendant in this action, claiming that he
and Lowe's did not reach a settlement on his claims,
despite their efforts. In a later filing, Young argued that
Lowe's acted prematurely in filing a notice of settlement
with the Court, given that negotiations between the parties
never resulted in a settlement. In response, Lowe's
argues that a settlement was in fact reached but that,
regardless, Young should not have waited until after the
dismissal deadline to approach the Court with his assertions.
Lowe's also argues that Young's attempt to reinstate
Lowe's as a defendant is procedurally improper.
Young's pro se status, I will consider his
request to reinstate Lowe's as a motion brought under
Rule 60(b), Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, for relief from
a final order of dismissal. This type of relief is
appropriate where a case has been dismissed based upon the
parties' mistaken belief they have agreed to a
settlement. See MIF Realty L.P. v. Rochester
Assocs., 92 F.3d 752, 756-57 (8th Cir. 1996); see
also 4:20 Commc'ns, Inc. v. Paradigm Co., 336 F.3d
775, 779 (8th Cir. 2003). Such are the circumstances here.
the information before the Court, it appears that either
Lowe's had a mistaken belief that a settlement agreement
was reached, or a settlement was reached and Young later
refused to go along with it. Young has consistently denied in
his court filings that the case was settled, and the file
shows that he never himself represented to the Court that the
case was settled. In the circumstances, I find relief from a
judgment of dismissal to be appropriate under Rule 60(b)(6).
MIF Realty L.P., 92 F.3d at 756-57. This is
especially true since the merits of the claims have never
been considered and nothing before the Court shows that any
of Lowe's substantial rights will be prejudiced by
allowing the claims to proceed. Id. at 755. Nothing
in this Order prevents Lowe's from filing a motion to
enforce a settlement, if it believes that is appropriate.
I will grant Young's request to reinstate his claims
against defendant Lowe's in this action, and will set a
deadline for Lowe's to respond to the complaint.
seeks to compel arbitration of the claims that Young brings
against it, averring that the relevant arbitration clause
incorporated into its contract with Young requires this
result. I agree.
is a strong federal policy favoring arbitration. Faber v.
Menard, Inc., 367 F.3d 1048, 1052 (8th Cir. 2004). In
light of this policy, “arbitration agreements are to be
enforced unless a party can show that it will not be able to
vindicate its rights in the arbitral forum.”
Id. (citing Green Tree Fin. Corp. v.
Randolph, 531 U.S. 79, 90-92 (2000)).
the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA), a claim is arbitrable if
1) the agreement for arbitration was validly made; and 2) if
the arbitration agreement applies to the dispute at hand,
i.e., whether the dispute falls within the scope of
the arbitration agreement. MedCam, Inc. v. MCNC, 414
F.3d 972, 974 (8th Cir. 2005); Iappini v. Silverleaf
Resorts, Inc., 116 F.Supp.3d 932, 936 (E.D. Mo. 2015).
Also, if the claim is a statutory one, it must not be one
which the legislative body enacting it intended to be
precluded from arbitration. See Gilmer v. Interstate
Johnson Lane Corp., 500 U.S. 20, 26 (1991). Here, all
criteria for arbitration are satisfied.
determining the validity of an arbitration agreement, the
burden is on the party opposing arbitration to proffer
evidence demonstrating that it is invalid. Gilmer,
500 U.S. at 26. Where a party fails to challenge an
arbitration provision specifically, I must treat it as valid
and enforce it. See Rent-A-Ctr., W., Inc. v.
Jackson, 561 U.S. 63, 72 (2010); see also Granite
Rock Co. v. Int'l Bhd. of Teamsters, 561 U.S. 287,
301 (2010). Young has not responded to CitiFinancial's
motion to compel arbitration and so has not presented any
evidence that the agreement was invalidly made. Nor does a
review of the agreement show anything on its face that would
render it invalid.
addition, the nature of the dispute falls within the
arbitration agreement. In his Note and Security Agreement
(“Note”) with Citifinancial, Young agreed that
the terms of a separately executed arbitration agreement were
incorporated into the terms of the Note. (ECF #10-1.) Under
that arbitration ...