Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Zyppah, Inc. v. Allemeier

United States District Court, D. Nevada

April 24, 2018

Zyppah, Inc., Plaintiff
v.
Daniel Allemeier, Jr., Defendant

          ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO DISMISS PETITION, DENYING PETITION AND MOTION TO, COMPEL ARBITRATION, AND CLOSING, [ECF 1, 8, 10]

          Jennifer A. Dorsey U.S. District Judge

         Zyppah, Inc. petitions and moves under the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) to compel Daniel Allemeier, Jr. to arbitrate his employment disputes with Zyppah in Nevada, and to enjoin the arbitration that Allemeier initiated when he filed an arbitration demand requesting a hearing in California.[1] Allemeier moves to dismiss the petition, arguing that Zyppah cannot compel arbitration under the FAA because it is not an aggrieved party as Allemeier has not refused to arbitrate the employment dispute.[2] Allemeier further argues that arbitral venue is a procedural question that is presumptively for the arbitrator to decide.[3]

         I find that Zyppah is not an “aggrieved” party under the FAA and, thus, cannot compel arbitration under the Act because Allemeier has not failed, neglected, or refused to arbitrate the employment dispute consistent with the parties' arbitration agreement. I also find that the parties committed the question of arbitral venue to arbitration. So, I grant Allemeier's motion to dismiss the petition, deny Zyppah's petition and motion to compel arbitration, and close this case.

         Background

         Zyppah employed Allemeier as the president of its Professional Division in January 2017, but terminated him five months later based on alleged fiduciary-duty breaches, work-performance issues, and failures to comply with the terms of the employment contract. Two months later, Allemeier filed a demand for arbitration with the American Arbitration Association (AAA), arguing that Zyppah breached the employment contract and a corporate officer interfered with his work performance. Allemeier requested that the arbitration hearing occur in Los Angeles, California. Zyppah promptly informed the AAA that it interpreted the employment contract to require the parties to arbitrate in Nevada. Allemeier responded that California is proper under his interpretation of the contract.

         The AAA's “Employment Filing Team” acknowledged the parties' dispute and stated that “[t]he parties may choose to raise the issue of . . . the locale to the arbitrator for further clarification.” Zyppah then petitioned this court to compel Allemeier to arbitrate in Nevada and enjoin the California arbitration.[4] In light of Zyppah's petition, the AAA stayed the arbitration, and it has extended that stay until May 7, 2018.[5]

         Discussion

         A. Zyppah is not an “aggrieved” party under the FAA.

         Section 4 of the FAA states that “[a] party aggrieved by the alleged failure, neglect, or refusal of another to arbitrate under a written agreement for arbitration may petition any” U.S. district court that, “save for such agreement, would have jurisdiction under title 28 . . . 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 prescribed in such agreement.”[6] Zyppah argues that it is aggrieved because Allemeier, in requesting and arguing for the arbitration hearing to occur in California, is not arbitrating consistent with the terms of the parties' arbitration agreement. Zyppah interprets the arbitration agreement to state that Nevada is the exclusive venue in which the parties can resolve their disputes.

         The employment agreement between Zyppah and Allemeier states that:

Any controversy or claim arising out of or relating to this Agreement, or the breach thereof, shall be settled by arbitration administered by the American Arbitration Association in accordance with its Employment Arbitration Rules and judgment on the award rendered by the arbitrator(s) may be entered in any court having jurisdiction thereof.[7]

         This language is contained in-and is the entirety of-paragraph 24 of the employment contract, which is entitled “Arbitration.”[8] The parties agree that this is a valid arbitration agreement that binds both of them. They also agree that Allemeier's employment dispute falls within the scope of this agreement. But the arbitration agreement is silent about the arbitral venue. And it is undisputed that Allemeier initiated arbitration proceedings with the AAA for his employment dispute. So, I am at a loss for how, in requesting and arguing for the arbitration hearing to occur in California, Allemeier has failed, neglected, or refused to arbitrate consistent with the parties' arbitration agreement.

         Zyppah argues that this case is similar to In re Cintas Corp. Overtime Pay Arbitration Litigation.[9] As the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California explained in that case, § 4 “speaks of a party's failure or refusal to arbitrate under a written agreement for arbitration. If the written agreement contains a place-of-arbitration clause, then logically, a party's attempt to arbitrate elsewhere is a refusal to arbitrate under the agreement.”[10] But the Zyppah-Allemeier arbitration agreement-which, to be clear, is just ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.