United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Norfolk Division
DARRYL R. GREEN, Plaintiff,
KLINE CHEVROLET SALES CORPORATION, doing business as PRIORITY CHEVROLET Defendant.
OPINION AND ORDER
S. DAVIS CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on a motion to compel arbitration
filed by defendant Kline Chevrolet Sales Corporation, doing
business as Priority Chevrolet ("Defendant" or
"Priority"). ECF No. 11. For the reasons set forth
below, the motion is GRANTED.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY 
operates a Chevrolet dealership in Chesapeake, Virginia.
Compl., ECF No. 1 ¶¶ 2-3. On February 24, 2018,
Plaintiff Darryl R. Green ("Plaintiff" or
"Green") visited Defendant's dealership to have
his vehicle, a 2014 Chevrolet Silverado, serviced.
Id. ¶ 6. One of Defendant's salesmen
approached Plaintiff at the dealership and persuaded
Plaintiff to trade in his 2014 vehicle for a new 2018
Chevrolet Silverado. Id. ¶¶ 8-14.
Defendant, through the salesman, represented to Plaintiff
that if he transferred ownership of the 2014 vehicle to
Defendant, it would pay off the remaining balance Plaintiff
owed on the 2014 vehicle. Id. ¶¶ 10-11.
Further, Defendant represented to Plaintiff that Defendant
would assist Plaintiff in obtaining financing for the new
truck, and then informed Plaintiff that he had received
credit approval from two banks including Port Alliance,
Plaintiff's prior lender. Id. ¶¶
reliance on these representations, Plaintiff "signed
multiple documents" as part of the purchase.
Id. ¶¶ 12-13. Among the documents signed,
is a "Buyer's Order." The Buyer's Order
contains the following clauses ("arbitration
AGREEMENT TO ARBITRATE DISPUTES:
Purchaser(s) and Dealer agree that if any Dispute (as defined
below) arises, the Dispute will be resolved by binding
arbitration by a single arbitrator under the applicable rules
of the alternative dispute resolution agency named here, with
that arbitrator rendering a written decision with separate
findings of fact and conclusions of law. An award by the
arbitrator shall be final and binding on all parties to the
proceeding. The arbitrator shall apply the substantive law of
the Commonwealth of Virginia and the arbitration shall take
place in the locality in which Dealer is located. All
arbitration costs and expenses shall be borne as determined
by the arbitrator. Judgment on an award must be entered by
either party in the highest local, state, or federal court,
or before any administrative body. If any portion of this
agreement is found to be unenforceable, the remainder of the
agreement shall remain effective. The Arbitration Agreement
will survive payment of Purchaser(s)' obligations in
connection with this transaction and any termination,
cancellation or performance of the transaction between
Purchaser(s) and Dealer.
DISPUTE DEFINED: A Dispute is any question
as to whether something must be arbitrated, as well as any
allegation concerning a violation of state or federal statute
that may be the subject of binding arbitration, any purely
monetary claim greater than $1, 000.00 in the aggregate . . .
provided, however, that your failure to provide consideration
to be paid by you ... as well as our right to retake
possession of the vehicle pursuant to this Buyer's Order
shall not be considered a dispute and shall not be subject to
ECF No. 13 at 3.
then drove off in the new truck with the understanding that
he had received financing and successfully purchased the 2018
truck. ECF No. 1 at ¶ 14. A few days later, Defendant
contacted Plaintiff and asked Plaintiff to return to its
dealership to execute a new financing agreement because Port
Alliance had not actually approved financing; Plaintiff then
returned to the dealership. Id. ¶¶ 15-16.
Thereafter, Defendant represented to Plaintiff that he had
been approved for financing by both Wells Fargo and GM
Financial. Id. ¶ 15.
April 27, 2018, Defendant again contacted Plaintiff and
advised him that it had failed to obtain financing for
Plaintiff, despite its prior representations. Id.
¶ 17. Defendant advised Plaintiff that he would have to
return the 2018 truck, which Plaintiff did. Id.
¶¶ 17-18. Plaintiff then asked for his 2014 vehicle
back; however, Defendant notified Plaintiff that it had
already sold the vehicle. Id. ¶ 18. Defendant
provided Plaintiff with a used "loaner" vehicle to
use while it "worked on solving" the sale of
Plaintiff's 2014 vehicle. Id. ¶ 23. On
October 22, 2018, Plaintiff was involved in a minor car
accident while driving the loaner vehicle. Id.
¶ 28. Virginia State Police responded to the accident,
ran the license plate of the loaner vehicle and advised
Plaintiff that Defendant had reported the loaner vehicle as
stolen. Id. ¶ 29. Police then handcuffed
Plaintiff and placed him in the back of a police vehicle
while police investigated whether the loaner vehicle was in
fact stolen. Id. First, Defendant's finance
manager, Brandon Jackson, acknowledged what had happened and
advised police that Defendant did not wish to press charges.
Id. ¶ 30. Subsequently, Defendant's
Director of Finance, John Mason, told police that Plaintiff
was working with a former employee of Defendant in a scheme
to illegally obtain the loaner car. Id. Ultimately,
Plaintiff was released without charges. Id. ¶
later returned the loaner vehicle to Defendant although he
has not received his 2014 vehicle back or the 2018 truck he
sought to purchase. Id. Plaintiff also contacted
Port Alliance regarding the matter and was informed that,
despite Defendant's representations, Port Alliance had no
records of any credit application or other communication from
Defendant to it regarding Plaintiff's financing
application. Id. ¶ 25.
March 18, 2019, Plaintiff filed the Complaint in this Court.
ECF No. 1. The Complaint alleges two counts: (1) Defendant
violated the Truth in Lending Act by failing to comply with
the disclosure requirements of 15 U.S.C. §§ 226.17
and 226.18, and (2) Defendant violated the Fair Credit
Reporting Act by taking an adverse action against Plaintiff
without notice as required by 15 U.S.C. § 1681(m). On
May 15, 2019, Defendant filed the instant motion to compel
arbitration. ECF No. 11. The motion and accompanying
memorandum argue that Plaintiff is bound by the arbitration
provision and may not bring the instant lawsuit. ECF No. 12.
On May 29, 2019, the Plaintiff filed a response. ECF No. 15.
On June 4, 2019, Defendant filed a reply, ECF No. 16, and on
June 10, 2019, the parties filed a joint request for a
hearing, ECF No. 17. Having been fully briefed, the pending
motion is ripe for review. The Court has reviewed the
parties' submissions and concludes that a hearing is not
necessary. Local Civil Rule 7(J); Fed.R.Civ.P. 78.
Fourth Circuit's recent opinion in Novic v. Credit
One Bank, Nat'l Ass'n, 757 Fed.Appx. 263, 265-66
(4th Cir. 2019) and this Court's opinion in Lovelady
v. Five Star Quality Care-VA, LLC, No.
4:18CV18, 2018 WL 3580768, at *7 (E.D. Va. July 25, 2018) set
forth the standard for a motion to compel arbitration.
parties' agreement, which includes the arbitration
provision, is a contract. The Federal Arbitration Act, 9
U.S.C. § 1 et seg. ("FAA") reflects
Congress' intent that courts treat arbitration agreements
the same as any other contract and requires federal courts to
"rigorously enforce arbitration agreements according to
their terms." Am. Exp. Co. v. Italian Colors
Rest., 570 U.S. 228, 233 (2013). Federal policy favors
arbitration of disputes, and thus "[a]greements to
arbitrate are construed according to the ordinary rules of
contract interpretation, as augmented by a federal policy
requiring that all ambiguities be resolved in favor of
arbitration." Choice Hotels Int'l, Inc. v. BSR
Tropicana Resort, Inc., 252 F.3d 707, 710 (4th Cir.
2001) (citation omitted).
must compel arbitration if the moving party proves "(1)
the existence of a dispute between the parties, (2) a written
agreement that includes an arbitration provision which
purports to cover the dispute, (3) the relationship of the
transaction, which is evidenced by the agreement, to
interstate or foreign commerce, and (4) the failure ... to
arbitrate the dispute." Adkins v. Labor Ready,
Inc., 303 F.3d 496, 500-01 (4th Cir. 2002). "The
party seeking to compel arbitration bears the burden of
establishing the existence of an arbitration provision that
purports to cover the dispute." Scales v. SSC
Winston-Salem Operating, Co., LLC, No. 1:17CV539, 2017
WL 4467278, at *2 (M.D. N.C. Oct. 5, 2017) (internal
quotation marks and citation omitted). "If the party
makes this evidentiary showing, the party opposing
arbitration must ...