UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
July 24, 2009
JOE DANGTRAN, INDIVIDUALLY AND DBA SUBWAY STORE #34690, PLAINTIFF,
DOCTORS ASSOCIATES INC., DEFENDANTS.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Morrison C. England, Jr. United States District Judge
Through the present motion, Defendant Doctors Associates Inc. ("Doctors") seek an order staying the present action pending resolution of related arbitration proceedings instituted in Connecticut.
On April 13, 2009, Plaintiff Dangtran filed a lawsuit against Doctors stemming from Doctors' termination of Plaintiff's franchise to operate a Subway sandwich business in Stockton, California. Causes of action for unfair business practices, interference with prospective economic advantage, and intentional infliction of emotional distress were alleged.
Although instituted in the Superior Court of the State of California in and for the County of San Joaquin, Doctors removed the action to this Court, citing diversity of citizenship, on May 20, 2009. Two days later, on May 22, 2009, Doctors also filed Petition to Compel Arbitration in the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut in order to force Plaintiff to submit his grievances to arbitration, as required by Plaintiff's October 26, 2005 written franchise agreement with Doctors.*fn1 The franchise agreement also provided that arbitration proceedings take place in Connecticut.
Plaintiff has not opposed the instant motion to stay this lawsuit pending resolution of the Connecticut arbitration proceedings. Since case law provides that petitions to compel arbitration should be brought in the district court where the case is to be arbitrated (see, e.g., Doctor's Assoc., Inc. v. Stuart, 85 F.3d 975, 983 (2d Cir. 1996), it would promote judicial efficiency not to have two parallel actions proceeding forward at the same time in different courts, particularly since arbitration, if mandated, may well resolve or narrow the issues that are the subject of the present action.
Since good cause exists to stay this action pending completion of arbitration proceedings in Connecticut, and given Plaintiff's non-opposition to the requested stay, Doctor's Motion to Stay is GRANTED.*fn2 The parties are directed to notify this Court of the completion of said proceedings within twenty (20) days after they have been concluded.
IT IS SO ORDERED.