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Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. The Best Service Co. Inc.

California Court of Appeals, Second District, Fifth Division

December 17, 2014

WELLS FARGO BANK, N.A., Plaintiff and Respondent,
v.
THE BEST SERVICE CO., INC., Defendant and Appellant.

APPEAL from an order of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County, No. BC522081 Terry A. Green, Judge.

Page 651

COUNSEL

Law Offices of Clark Garen, Clark Garen and Rachel Zwernemann, for Defendant and Appellant.

Carroll, Burdick & McDonough, Daniel H. Wu, Nathaniel K. Fisher and Molly K. Madden, for Plaintiff and Respondent.

OPINION

TURNER, P. J.

I. INTRODUCTION

Defendant, The Best Service Co., Inc., appeals from a December 20, 2013 order denying its motion to stay the action pending arbitration. Defendant did not concurrently file a petition to compel arbitration. We dismiss the appeal

Page 652

because the trial court’s denial of the stay motion unaccompanied by any motion or petition to compel arbitration or a pending arbitration is not an appealable order.

II. BACKGROUND

On September 20, 2013, plaintiff, Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., filed a declaratory and injunctive relief complaint. On September 30, 2013, defendant sent plaintiff a demand for mediation and arbitration pursuant to a dispute resolution provision in a February 27, 2008 servicing agreement between the parties. On October 9, 2013, plaintiff rejected defendant’s mediation and arbitration demand. On October 24, 2013, defendant moved to stay the action pending compliance with the arbitration demand. No petition or motion to compel arbitration was filed. No petition to compel compliance with the mediation provision of the parties’ servicing agreement was filed. In its reply, defendant stressed the stay motion was not a petition to compel arbitration. Defendant argued: “[Plaintiff] seeks to mis-characterize this [m]otion as a [m]otion to [c]ompel [a]rbitration. This [m]otion is not a [m]otion to [c]ompel [a]rbitration. [Defendant] has never asked this [c]ourt to [c]ompel [a]rbitration. All [defendant] has asked this [c]ourt to do is issue a stay of the within civil case until the parties have completed mediation followed by arbitration in accordance with the contractual terms.”

III. DISCUSSION

The right to appeal is statutory. (Dana Point Safe Harbor Collective v. Superior Court (2010) 51 Cal.4th 1, 5 [118 Cal.Rptr.3d 571, 243 P.3d 575]; Mt. San Jacinto Community College Dist. v. Superior Court (2007) 40 Cal.4th 648, 665 [54 Cal.Rptr.3d 752, 151 P.3d 1166].) The parties agree the relevant provisions concerning an appeal are those found in the California Arbitration Act. (Code Civ. Proc., §§ 1294, 1294.2.)[1] Recognizing this, defendant argues the order denying the stay of proceedings motion pending arbitration is an appealable order under sections 1294 and 1294.2. Section 1294, subdivision (a) provides in part: “An aggrieved party may appeal from: [¶] (a) An order dismissing or denying a petition to compel arbitration.” Section 1294.2 provides in part, “Upon an ...


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