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Klein v. Delbert Services Corporation

United States District Court, N.D. California

April 1, 2015

CHARLES KLEIN, Plaintiff,
v.
DELBERT SERVICES CORPORATION, Defendant.

ORDER RE: MOTION TO COMPEL ARBITRATION RE: DKT. No. 7

MARIA-ELENA JAMES, Magistrate Judge.

INTRODUCTION

Plaintiff Charles Klein brings this action under the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("FDCPA"), 15 U.S.C. §§ 1692-1692p, and California's Rosenthal Act, Cal. Civ. Code §§ 1788-1788.32, alleging unlawful debt collection practices by Defendant Delbert Services Corporation ("Delbert"). Pending before the Court is Delbert's Motion to Compel Arbitration and to Dismiss or Stay Action. Dkt. No. 7. Klein has filed an Opposition (Dkt. No. 14) and Delbert filed a Reply (Dkt. No. 19). The Court finds this matter suitable for disposition without oral argument and VACATES the April 30, 2015 hearing. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 78(b); Civil L.R. 7-1(b). Having considered the parties' positions, relevant legal authority, and the record in this case, the Court GRANTS Delbert's Motion for the reasons set forth below.

BACKGROUND

Around January 2012, Klein obtained a personal loan from CashCall, Inc. Compl. ¶ 7, Dkt. No. 1; Meeks Decl. ¶ 6, Dkt. No. 7-2. At the time he submitted his online loan application, Klein was provided with a document titled CashCall, Inc. Promissory Note and Disclosure Statement, dated January 11, 2012 (the "Note"). Meeks Decl. ¶ 7; Ex. A.[1] In order to execute the Note and receive his loan proceeds, Klein was required to check several boxes during the online application process. Id. ¶ 8. The first box that Klein checked represented confirmation of the following:

YOU CERTIFY THAT YOU HAVE READ AND UNDERSTAND THIS ARBITRATION PROVISION AND AGREE TO BE BOUND TO ITS TERMS.

Id. ¶¶ 7-8; Ex. A at 5.

Under the heading "Arbitration Provision, " the Note sets out the agreement to arbitrate all disputes. Id. ¶ 7; Ex. A at 3-5. In particular, the Note provides that "all disputes... against [CashCall] and/or related third parties shall be resolved by binding arbitration...." Id., Ex. A at 4. According to the Note, the term "dispute" includes "all claims based upon a violation of any state or federal... statute, " and all claims asserted against Klein. Id. at 3-4. The Note specifies that it applies to claims against "related third parties" and defines "related third parties" as agents of CashCall. Id. at 4.

The Note specifies that Klein acknowledges and agrees that by entering into the arbitration provision:

YOU ARE GIVING UP YOUR RIGHT TO HAVE A TRIAL BY JURY TO RESOLVE ANY DISPUTE ALLEGED AGAINST U.S. OR RELATED THIRD PARTIES; [AND]
YOU ARE GIVING UP YOUR RIGHT TO HAVE A COURT, OTHER THAN A SMALL CLAIMS TRIBUNAL, RESOLVE ANY DISPUTE ALLEGED AGAINST U.S. OR RELATED THIRD PARTIES.

Id. (emphasis in original).

The Note provides for arbitration before either the American Arbitration Association or JAMS (or as otherwise agreed by the parties), and that the arbitration hearing will be conducted in the county of Klein's residence. Id. at 4-5. Under the Note, CashCall, upon request, will pay Klein's portion of the arbitration expenses, including the filing, administrative, hearing, and arbitrator's fees. Id. at 4.

The Note provided Klein with the right to opt out of the arbitration agreement. Id. at 5 ("OPT-OUT PROCESS"). Specifically, Klein had 60 days after January 11, 2012, to opt out of arbitration entirely by notifying CashCall of his ...


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