United States District Court, D. Maryland
PINEVIEW EXTENDED CARE CENTER, INC. D/B/A FUTURECARE PINEVIEW Petitioner,
ESAU ADE, Respondent.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Xinis United States District Judge.
before the Court is a Petition to Compel Arbitration filed by
Pineview Extended Care Center, Inc., d/b/a FutureCare
Pineview (“Pineview”), along with a separate
Motion to Stay Companion Litigation. ECF Nos. 1 and 8.
Respondent Esau Ade, through his personal representative
Julius Ade (“Ade”), has moved to dismiss the
Petition. ECF No. 6. For the reasons below, the Court DENIES
the Motion to Dismiss, GRANTS the Petition to Compel
Arbitration, and DENIES the Motion to Stay.
Ade, as representative of Esau Ade, initiated a medical
malpractice action in Maryland's Health Care Alternative
Dispute Resolution Office (“HCADRO”) against
Pineview, alleging that Pineview was negligent in its
care of Esau Ade. See ECF No. 1-2 at 2-5. Pineview
moved this Court to compel arbitration pursuant to the
Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”), 9 U.S.C. §
4, based on the written agreement executed between Pineview
and Julius Ade on behalf of Esau Ade. See ECF No. 1
¶¶ 3, 20; ECF No. 1-4. In relevant part, the
parties agreed that “any and all disputes that may
arise from the care that [Esau Ade] receive[s] from
[Pineview]” will be “submitted to binding
arbitration for resolution.” ECF No. 1-4 at 2.
Motion to Dismiss
Court first addresses Ade's Motion to Dismiss because it
centers on this Court's jurisdiction to review the
Petition. Ade contends that Pineview has failed to
“prove” sufficiently that Ade is a citizen of the
District of Columbia. Notably, Ade does not demonstrate, or
even argue, that he is not a citizen of the District
of Columbia. Rather, Ade asserts that the Petition must be
dismissed because Pineview has generated no proof that Ade is
domiciled in the District of Columbia. ECF No. 6 ¶ 7.
Ade is incorrect.
pleading stage, the Court accepts the facts pleaded with
regard to citizenship as true, and need not look behind the
pleading unless the party challenging citizenship marshals
evidence in support of his position. See Hertz Corp. v.
Friend, 559 U.S. 77, 96-97 (2010) (“When
challenged on allegations of jurisdictional facts, the
parties must support their allegations by competent
proof.”); Sligh v. Doe, 596 F.2d 1169, 1171
(4th Cir. 1979) (if defendant had offered testimony to rebut
finding of Virginia citizenship, there may have been a basis
to question diversity jurisdiction, but no such testimony was
offered); cf. Axel Johnson, Inc. v. Carroll Carolina Oil
Co., Inc., 145 F.3d 660, 663 (4th Cir. 1998)
(allegations of mere residence, rather than allegations of
citizenship or domicile, insufficient to give rise to
diversity jurisdiction). Pineview has alleged adequately that
Ade is a citizen of the District of Columbia. See
ECF No. 1 ¶ 6. Ade's bare averment regarding
Pineview's lack of proof does not warrant dismissal. ECF
No. 6 is DENIED.
Petition to Compel
Court next considers Pineview's Petition to Compel
Arbitration pursuant to the FAA. The FAA provides:
A party aggrieved by the alleged failure, neglect, or refusal
of another to arbitrate under a written agreement for
arbitration may petition any United States district court
which, save for such agreement, would have jurisdiction . . .
in a civil action . . . of the subject matter of a suit
arising out of the controversy between the parties, for an
order directing that such arbitration proceed in the manner
provided for in such agreement.
9 U.S.C. § 4. As addressed above, the parties are
citizens of different states, and Pineview properly alleges
that the amount in controversy is in excess of $75,
Accordingly, diversity jurisdiction is satisfied. It is also
undisputed that the agreement between Pineview and Ade
includes an agreement to arbitrate “any disputes that
may arise from the care” Pineview provided to
“Any dispute” certainly includes the claims
currently pending before the HCADRO. This Court, therefore,
properly may compel arbitration under the FAA. ECF No. 1 is
Motion to Stay
also requests that this Court stay the HCADRO action pursuant
to the stay provision of the Maryland Uniform Arbitration Act
(“MUAA”), Md. Code Ann., Cts. & Jud. ...