United States District Court, D. Maryland
CAROL J. TACCINO, et al., Plaintiffs,
FORD MOTOR CO., et al., Defendants.
L. Russell, III United States District Judge
MATTER is before the Court on twelve motions: (1) Defendant
OneMain Financial Group, LLC's
(“OneMain”) Motion to Compel Arbitration or, in the
Alternative, Dismiss Plaintiffs' Complaint (ECF No. 37);
(2) Defendant Mariner Finance, LLC's (“Mariner
Finance”) Motion to Compel Arbitration or, in the
Alternative, Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 26); (3) Defendant
Ford Motor Co.'s (“Ford Motor”) Motion to
Dismiss Plaintiffs' Complaint (ECF No. 13); (4) Defendant
BB&T Corp.'s (“BB&T”) Motion to Dismiss
(ECF No. 29); (5) Defendant Diehl's Ford Sales,
Inc.'s (“Diehl's”) Motion to Dismiss the
Complaint (ECF No. 10); (6) Defendant Chessie F.C.U.'s
(“Chessie”) Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 30); (7)
Defendant Northwest Bancshares, Inc.'s (“Northwest
Bancshares”) Motion to Dismiss the Complaint (ECF No.
23); (8) Defendant WEPCO F.C.U.'s (“WEPCO”)
Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 31); (9) Plaintiffs Carol J.
Taccino (“Ms. Taccino”) and William A.
Taccino's (“Mr. Taccino”) (collectively,
“the Taccinos”) “Motion for Sanctions and
Plaintiff[s'] Motion to Join United States of America as
Co-Plaintiff” (ECF No. 43); (10) the Taccinos'
Motion to Join the United States of America as Co-Plaintiff
(ECF No. 44); (11) the Taccinos' Motion for Order of
Default or, in the Alternative, Order to Compel (ECF No. 45);
and (12) the Taccinos' Motion for Order of Default or, in
the Alternative, Motion to Compel (ECF No. 48). This case
arises from Ms. Taccino's September 16, 2016 response to
a Diehl's advertisement for a new Ford Explorer. The
Motions are ripe for disposition, and no hearing is
necessary. See Local Rule 105.6 (D.Md. 2018). For
the reasons outlined below, the Court will grant
OneMain's Motion, Mariner Finance's Motion, Ford
Motor's Motion, Diehl's Motion, BB&T's
Motion, Chessie's Motion, Northwest Bancshares'
Motion, and WEPCO's Motion. The Court will deny the
September 16, 2016, Ms. Taccino responded to a Diehl's
newspaper advertisement for a new Ford Explorer. (Compl. at
2, ECF No. 1). The advertisement promised the buyer $2,
000.00 in “Ford bonus cash, ” and promised any
buyers who were active or retired members of the military a
$750.00 “service appreciation from Ford.”
(Id. at 2). Acting on behalf of his wife, Mr.
Taccino gave Ms. Taccino's social security number and
income information to a Diehl's employee to “get
the transaction started.” (Id.). Several days
later, Diehl's informed the Taccinos that Ms.
Taccino's loan application had been denied. (Id.
at 3). The Diehl's representative told the Taccinos that
he had “even tried other local banks on her behalf,
without success.” (Id.).
the next few weeks in September and October 2016, Ms. Taccino
received loan denials from Ford Motor Credit, WEPCO, Chessie,
and BB&T Corp. (Id. at 3-4). Capital One Auto
Finance sent a letter stating that they had
extended a loan offer, but that it had expired. (Id.
at 4). OneMain and Mariner Finance granted Ms. Taccino loans.
(Id. at 5). Northwest Bank sent Ms. Taccino a letter
“welcoming her to Northwest Bank, ” and
indicating that one of her preexisting loans had been
transferred to them. (Id.).
Complaint also contains facts related to Ms. Taccino's
June 10, 2010 arrest for trespassing on Chessie's
property. (Id. at 7-8). Ms. Taccino went to
Chessie's main office to get information regarding a
credit card company's garnishment of wages from her
account. (Id. at 8). Chessie refused to provide the
information Taccino requested, and she was ultimately
arrested and charged with trespassing. (Id.).
March 29, 2018, the Taccinos, proceeding pro se, sued
Defendants alleging: (1) “violation of federal laws
regarding fraud”; (2) “violation of state laws
regarding fraud”; (3) “violation of federal laws
and regulations regarding banking”; (4)
“violation of state laws and regulations regarding
banking”; (5) breach of contract; predatory lending;
(6) discrimination; violation of the Truth in Lending Act
(“TILA”), 15 U.S.C. §§ 1601 et
seq. (2018); (7) violation of the Fair Credit Reporting
Act (the “FCRA”), 15 U.S.C. § 1681b (2018);
(8) violation of the Fifth and Sixth Amendments to the U.S.
Constitution; and (9) violation of 28 C.F.R. § 50.15
(2018). (Compl. at 1, 6-11). The Court construes
the Taccinos' Fifth and Sixth Amendment claims as being
brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The Taccinos seek
monetary damages. (Id. at 11-13).
15, 2018 Diehl's filed a Motion to Dismiss the Complaint.
(ECF No. 10). The Taccinos filed an Opposition on July 3,
3018. (ECF No. 28). On July 20, 2018, Diehl's filed a
Reply (ECF No. 40).
19, 2018, Ford Motor filed a Motion to Dismiss
Plaintiffs' Complaint. (ECF No. 13). On July 6, 2018, the
Taccinos filed an Opposition. (ECF No. 32). Ford Motor filed
a Reply on July 23, 2018. (ECF No. 42).
26, 2018 Northwest Bancshares filed a Motion to Dismiss the
Complaint. (ECF No. 23). The Taccinos filed an Opposition on
July 13, 2018. (ECF No. 36). On July 19, 2019, Northwest
Bancshares filed a Reply. (ECF No. 39).
3, 2018, Mariner Finance filed a Motion to Compel Arbitration
or, in the Alternative, Motion to Dismiss. (ECF No. 26). The
Taccinos filed an Opposition on July 20, 2018. (ECF No. 41).
Mariner Finance filed a Reply on August 3, 2018. (ECF No.
5, 2018, BB&T filed a Motion to Dismiss. (ECF No. 29). On
July 27, 2018, the Taccinos filed an Opposition and Motion
for Order of Default or, in the Alternative, Order to Compel.
(ECF No. 45). BB&T filed a Reply on August 13, 2018. (ECF
5, 2018, Chessie filed a Motion to Dismiss the Complaint (ECF
No. 30). The Taccinos filed an Opposition and a Motion to
Join on July 27, 2018. (ECF No. 44). On August 10, 2018,
Chessie filed a Reply. (ECF No. 49).
5, 2018, WEPCO filed a Motion to Dismiss the Complaint. (ECF
No. 31). On July 27, 2018, the Taccinos filed an Opposition
and Motion for Sanctions and Plaintiff[s'] Motion to Join
United States of America as Co-Plaintiff. (ECF No. 43). WEPCO
filed a Reply on August 10, 2018. (ECF No. 50).
16, 2018, OneMain filed a Motion to Compel Arbitration or, in
the Alternative, Dismiss Plaintiffs' Complaint. (ECF No.
37). The Taccinos filed an Opposition on August 3, 2018. (ECF
No. 47). OneMain filed a Reply on August 16, 2018. (ECF No.
August 3, 2018, the Taccinos filed a Motion for Order of
Default or, in the Alternative, Motion to Compel. (ECF No.
48). To date, the Court has no record that any of Defendants
filed an Opposition.
Motions to Compel Arbitration
Standard of Review
standard of review on a motion to compel arbitration under
the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) is
“akin to the burden on summary judgment.”
Novic v. Midland Funding, LLC, 271 F.Supp.3d 778,
782 (D.Md. 2017) (quoting Galloway v. Santander Consumer
USA, Inc., 819 F.3d 79, 85 (4th Cir. 2016) (internal
quotation omitted)). In reviewing a motion for summary
judgment, the Court views the facts in a light most favorable
to the nonmovant, drawing all justifiable inferences in that
party's favor. Ricci v. DeStefano, 557 U.S. 557,
586 (2009); Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477
U.S. 242, 255 (1986) (citing Adickes v. S.H. Kress &
Co., 398 U.S. 144, 158-59 (1970)). Summary judgment is
proper when the movant demonstrates, through
“particular parts of materials in the record, including
depositions, documents, electronically stored information,
affidavits or declarations, stipulations . . . admissions,
interrogatory answers, or other materials, ” that
“there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact
and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of
law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a), (c)(1)(A). Significantly, a
party must be able to present the materials it cites in
“a form that would be admissible in evidence, ”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(2), and supporting affidavits and
declarations “must be made on personal knowledge”
and “set out facts that would be admissible in
evidence, ” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(4). In the context of a
motion to compel arbitration under the FAA, “the party
seeking a jury trial must make an unequivocal denial that an
arbitration agreement exists-and must also show sufficient
facts in support.” Chorley Enters., Inc. v.
Dickey's Barbecue Rests., Inc., 807 F.3d 553, 564
(4th Cir. 2015) (citing Oppenheimer & Co., Inc. v.
Neidhardt, 56 F.3d 352, 358 (2d Cir. 1995)).
provides, with limited exceptions, that agreements to
arbitrate “shall be valid, irrevocable, and
enforceable.” 9 U.S.C. § 2 (2018). To compel
arbitration, the moving party must demonstrate: (1)
“the existence of a dispute between the parties”;
(2) “a written agreement that includes an arbitration
provision which purports to cover the dispute”; (3)
“the relationship of the transaction, which is
evidenced by the agreement, to interstate or foreign
commerce”; and (4) “the failure, neglect or
refusal of the defendant to arbitrate the
dispute.'” Galloway, 819 F.3d at 84
(quoting Rota-McLarty v. Santander Consumer USA,
Inc., 700 F.3d 690, 696 n.6 (4th Cir. 2012)).
United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in
Choice Int'l Hotels, Inc. v. BSR Tropicana Resort,
Inc., held, “[n]otwithstanding the terms of §
3 [of the FAA] . . . dismissal is a proper remedy when all of
the issues presented in a lawsuit are arbitrable.” 252
F.3d 707, 709-10 (4th Cir. 2001). This Court has uniformly
dismissed cases where all of the claims are arbitrable.
See, e.g., Bey v. Midland Credit Mgmt.,
Inc., No. GJH-15-1329, 2016 WL 1226648, at *5 (D.Md.
Mar. 23, 2016) (granting defendant's motion to dismiss
when it moved to stay or in the alternative dismiss, holding
that “because all of the Plaintiff's claims . . .
are subject to arbitration, dismissal of this action is
requests that the Court compel arbitration of the
Taccinos' claims against it or, alternatively, to dismiss
the Complaint. OneMain contends that all the requirements to
compel arbitration under the FAA are met: (1) this suit is
evidence of a dispute between the parties; (2) the parties
executed a loan agreement in July 2017, which contains an
arbitration provision that governs this dispute; (3)
OneMain's business transactions involve interstate
commerce; and (4) the Taccinos have failed to arbitrate this
dispute. The Taccinos state that they agree to arbitrate the
dispute. Accordingly, the Court will grant OneMain's
Motion and dismiss the Complaint against OneMain. See
Bey, 2016 WL 1226648, at *5.
Mariner Finance's Motion
Finance argues that the Note, Security Agreement &
Arbitration Agreement (the “Note”) that the
Taccinos executed when they took out a loan with Mariner
Finance is binding and compels arbitration of the claims in
this lawsuit. The Court agrees with Mariner Finance and
addresses the factors for compelling arbitration.
there is a dispute between the parties. The Taccinos allege
that Mariner Finance “committed fraud by charging . . .
an illegal interest rate of 25.99%, ” by defrauding Ms.
Taccino out of a $200.00 refund for life insurance, and by
defrauding Mr. Taccino out of his ownership share in the 1996
Jeep that Ms. Taccino pledged as collateral for her loan.
(Compl. at 10). Mariner Finance argues that the Taccinos have
not provided any evidence of fraud or other illegal actions.
the Note requires the parties to submit this dispute to
arbitration. Mariner Finance submitted a copy of the Note,
signed by Ms. Taccino, as Exhibit A to its Motion.
(Mariner's Mot. Compel Arbitration Ex. A
[“Arbitration Agreement”] at 4-5, ECF No. 26-2).
The Note states that “[b]y signing below, [Ms. Taccino]
agree[s] to all of the terms of [the Note] and the
arbitration agreement.” (Id. at 5). The
Arbitration Agreement defines arbitrable claims broadly as:
“any claim, dispute or controversy [ ]whether based
upon contract, tort, intentional or otherwise,
constitutional, statute ...