United States District Court, S.D. California
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO COMPEL
ARBITRATION AND STAY PROCEEDINGS
JEFFREY T. MILLER United States District Judge.
Charter Communications, Inc., Charter Communications Holding
Company, LLC, Time Warner Cable Inc., and Time Warner Cable
Information Services (California), LLC (collectively,
“Defendants” or “Charter”) move the
court, pursuant to the Federal Arbitration Act
(“FAA”), 9 U.S.C. § 1 et seq., to
compel arbitration and stay proceedings in this matter. (Doc.
No. 6.) Plaintiff opposes the motion. The court finds the
matter appropriate for decision without oral argument
pursuant to Local Rule 7.1(d)(1) and, for the following
reasons, grants Defendants' motion.
operate one of the nation's largest cable companies.
(Doc. No. 1-3 at 7, ¶ 11.) Plaintiff has subscribed to
Defendants' television, internet, and voice services for
approximately two years. (Id. at 30, ¶ 74.)
When Plaintiff switched to Defendants' services, he
entered into a subscriber agreement (“the
first page of the Agreement states, in capitalized text:
“THIS AGREEMENT CONTAINS A BINDING ‘ARBITRATION
CLAUSE, ' WHICH SAYS THAT YOU AND [DEFENDANTS] AGREE TO
RESOLVE CERTAIN DISPUTES THROUGH ARBITRATION . . . YOU HAVE
THE RIGHT TO OPT OUT OF THESE PORTIONS OF THE
AGREEMENT.” (Id. at 42.)
section 15, entitled “Unless you Opt Out, You are
Agreeing to Resolve Certain Disputes Through Arbitration,
” the Agreement states, “Only claims for money
damages may be submitted to arbitration; claims for
injunctive orders or similar relief must be brought in a
court (other than claims relating to whether arbitration is
appropriate, which will be decided by an arbitrator, not a
court). You may not combine a claim that is subject to
arbitration under this Agreement with a claim that is not
eligible for arbitration under this Agreement.”
(Id. at 52 (emphasis in original).)
did not opt out.
November 9, 2016, Plaintiff filed a complaint in San Diego
Superior Court alleging that Defendants unlawfully charge
California customers a surcharge of $8.75 per customer per
month. The complaint contains five causes of action: (1)
breach of contract; (2) for declaratory and injunctive
relief; (3) violation of California's unfair competition
law, Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17200 et seq.;
(4) violation of California's false advertising law, Cal.
Bus. & Prof. Code § 17500 et seq.; and (5)
violation of California's Consumers Legal Remedies Act,
Cal. Civ. Code § 1750 et seq. Plaintiff seeks
preliminary and permanent injunctions against the misconduct
alleged, declaratory relief, attorneys' fees, costs, and
all other further relief the court deems necessary, just, and
proper. (Doc. No. 1-3 at 39.)
he did not style his complaint as a class action, Plaintiff
asserts that he “brought the lawsuit to put an end to
Charter's unlawful actions, not only for his benefit but
also for the benefit of millions of California consumers whom
Charter continues to target with this illegal and fraudulent
scheme.” (Id. at 6, ¶ 7.) Based on that
allegation, Defendants removed the action to this court under
the Class Action Fairness Act (“CAFA”).
(See Doc. No. 1). One week later, on February 24, 2017,
Defendants filed the motion now before the court.
applies to arbitration provisions found in written agreements
that evidence a transaction involving commerce. 9 U.S.C.
§ 2. An agreement to arbitrate is “valid,
irrevocable, and enforceable, save upon such grounds as exist
at law or in equity for the revocation of any
contract.” Id. Federal policy favors
arbitration, and arbitration agreements may not be placed in
a disfavored position relative to other contracts. See
Ingle v. Circuit City Stores, Inc., 328 F.3d 1165, 1170
(9th Cir. 2003).
court must grant a motion to compel arbitration if a valid
agreement to arbitrate exists and the dispute at issue falls
within the scope of that agreement. See Chiron Corp. v.
Ortho Diagnostic Sys., Inc., 207 F.3d 1126, 1130 (9th
Cir. 2000). “[T]he language of the contract . . .
defines the scope of disputes subject to arbitration,
E.E.O.C. v. Waffle House, Inc., 534 U.S. 279, 289
(2002), and “any doubts concerning the scope of
arbitrable issues should be resolved in favor of arbitration,
” Moses H. Cone Mem'l Hosp. v. Mercury Constr.
Corp., 460 U.S. 1, 24-25 (1983).
court refers the matter to arbitration, it must then stay the
proceedings pending the outcome of ...