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Snyder v. Cach, LLC

United States District Court, D. Hawaii

November 16, 2016

MARIA SNYDER, Plaintiff,
v.
CACH, LLC; MANDARICH LAW GROUP, LLP; DAVID N. MATSUMIYA; TREVOR OZAWA, Defendants.

          ORDER GRANTING, IN PART, DEFENDANT CACH, LLC'S MOTION TO COMPEL ARBITRATION AND DISMISS CLAIMS (ECF No. 21) and STAYING PROCEEDINGS PENDING ARBITRATION

          Helen Gillmor United States District Judge.

         Plaintiff Maria Snyder filed a Complaint against Defendants CACH, LLC, Mandarich Law Group, LLP, David N. Matsumiya, and Trevor Ozawa. Plaintiff's Complaint alleges that the Defendants violated the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Hawaii State Unfair or Deceptive Acts or Practices Act in their attempts to collect a debt from Plaintiff.

         Defendant CACH, LLC filed a Motion to Compel Arbitration and Dismiss the Claims against all Defendants. Defendant CACH, LLC asserts that Plaintiff's debt arose from her use of a credit card issued to her by Maryland National Bank, N.A. in October 2005 and transferred to CACH, LLC in March 2010.

         Defendant CACH, LLC asserts that Plaintiff's credit card account was opened pursuant to a credit card agreement that contained an arbitration provision. Defendant CACH, LLC argues that the threshold issue of arbitrability is required to be determined by an arbitrator pursuant to the arbitration provision in Plaintiff's credit card agreement.

         Defendant CACH, LLC's Motion to Compel Arbitration and Dismiss Claims (ECF No. 21) is GRANTED, IN PART.

         Proceedings are STAYED pending the arbitrator's ruling on the threshold question of arbitrability.

         PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         On April 14, 2016, Plaintiff Maria Snyder filed a Complaint against Defendants CACH, LLC, Mandarich Law Group, LLP, David N. Matsumiya, and Trevor Ozawa. (Complaint, ECF No. 1).

         On July 5, 2016, Defendant CACH, LLC filed DEFENDANT CACH'S MOTION TO COMPEL ARBITRATION AND DISMISS CLAIMS. (ECF No. 21).

         On July 21, 2016, Plaintiff filed PLAINTIFF'S RESPONSE IN OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO COMPEL ARBITRATION AND DISMISS CLAIMS. (ECF No. 26).

         On August 4, 2016, Defendant CACH, LLC filed its REPLY BRIEF IN SUPPORT OF MOTION TO COMPEL ARBITRATION AND DISMISS CLAIMS. (ECF No. 28).

         On September 20, 2016, Plaintiff filed PLAINTIFF'S NOTICE OF FILING SUPPLEMENTAL AUTHORITY IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFF'S RESPONSE IN OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT CACH'S MOTION TO COMPEL ARBITRATION AND DISMISS CLAIMS. (ECF No. 31).

         On September 23, 2016, Defendant CACH, LLC filed CACH, LLC'S RESPONSE TO PLAINTIFF'S NOTICE OF SUPPLEMENTAL AUTHORITY IN REGARDS TO CACH, LLC'S MOTION TO COMPEL ARBITRATION AND DISMISS CLAIMS. (ECF No. 32).

         On October 18, 2016, the Court issued a Minute Order requesting additional briefing from the Parties. (ECF No. 33).

         On October 26, 2016, Defendant CACH, LLC filed DEFENDANTS' SUPPLEMENTAL BRIEF IN SUPPORT OF MOTION TO COMPEL ARBITRATION AND DISMISS CLAIMS RE: ROSS V. BANK OF AMERICA AND CHOICE OF LAW. (ECF No. 34).

         On November 2, 2016, Plaintiff filed PLAINTIFF'S SUPPLEMENTAL RESPONSE IN OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO COMPEL ARBITRATION AND DISMISS CLAIMS IN RE: ROSS V. BANK OF AMERICA AND CHOICE OF LAW. (ECF No. 35).

         On November 10, 2016, the Court held a hearing on DEFENDANT CACH, LLC'S MOTION TO COMPEL ARBITRATION AND DISMISS CLAIMS. (ECF No. 38).

         BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff Maria Snyder asserts that in October 2005 she opened a credit card account with Maryland National Bank, N.A. In 2006, the account was transferred to Bank of America, N.A. (USA), also known as FIA Card Services, Inc. (“Bank of America”). (Complaint at ¶¶ 10-11, ECF No. 1).

         Plaintiff alleges that in March 2009, Bank of America reported to Equifax that Plaintiff had a delinquent credit card balance in the amount of $8, 064. (Complaint at ¶ 19, ECF No. 1; Equifax Credit Report attached as Ex. 1 to Complaint, ECF No. 1-1).

         On February 23, 2010, Bank of America entered into a settlement in a federal class-action lawsuit in Ross v. Bank of America, N.A. (USA), MDL No. 1409, Civ. No. 07-7116 (S.D. N.Y. 2010). Plaintiff claims that pursuant to the settlement agreement, Bank of America agreed that it would not enforce the arbitration provisions set forth in certain credit card agreements, including hers.

         According to Defendant CACH, LLC, the Ross settlement is not applicable to Plaintiff because Plaintiff's credit card account was transferred from Bank of America to Defendant CACH, LLC before the Ross settlement was finalized. (See Affidavit of Sale and Certification of Debt attached as Ex. B to Def.'s Motion, ECF No. 21-2).

         On April 15, 2015, Defendant CACH, LLC, with the assistance of Defendant Attorney David N. Matsumiya and Defendant Mandarich Law Group, filed a lawsuit in the District Court of the First Circuit, State of Hawaii. (Complaint at ¶¶ 20-28, ECF No. 1; State Court Complaint in CACH, LLC v. Snyder, filed on April 15, 2015, attached as Ex. 2 to Pla.'s Complaint, ECF No. ...


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