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Mohazzabi v. Wells Fargo, N.A.

United States District Court, D. Nevada

September 25, 2019

BEHROOZ MOHAZZABI, Plaintiff,
v.
WELLS FARGO, N.A., Defendant.

          ORDER

          RICHARD F. BOULWARE, II UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Before the Court are two interrelated motions: Defendant Wells Fargo, N.A’s (Wells Fargo) Motion to Compel Arbitration, and Defendant Wells Fargo’s Motion to Seal its Reply. ECF Nos. 4, 16. For the following reasons, the Court grants both motions.

         II. PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff Behrooz Mohazzabi (“Mohazzabi”) sued Wells Fargo on or around October 8, 2018 in the Eighth Judicial District Court for the state of Nevada. ECF No. 1-1. He alleges that $20, 000 was unlawfully withdrawn from his checking account with Wells Fargo Bank on October 28, 2016. Mohazzabi further alleges that Wells Fargo employees failed to properly investigate the incident. Mohazzabi asserts breach of contract, breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, quantum meruit, conversion, elder abuse in violation of section 41.1395 of the Nevada Revised Statutes (“NRS”), fraudulent concealment, deceptive trade practices in violation of NRS section 598, and negligent hiring, training, supervision and retention claims in his complaint.

         Wells Fargo removed the case to federal court on November 6, 2018 and filed its motion to compel arbitration on that same date. ECF Nos. 1, 4. A response and reply were filed. ECF Nos. 11, 15. Wells Fargo also filed a motion to seal its reply. ECF No. 16.

         III. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         Mohazzabi visited a Wells Fargo branch on or about October 3, 2016, and signed up for a checking account. While at the bank, he signed a Consumer Account Application. Above the Consumer Account Application, just above Mr. Mohazzabi’s signature, it states in relevant part that:

I have received a copy of the applicable account agreement and the privacy policy (each may be amended from time to time) and agree to be bound by their terms I also agree to the terms of the dispute resolution program described in the foregoing agreements. Under the dispute resolution program, our disputes will be decided before one or more neutral persons in an arbitration proceeding and not by a jury trial or a trial before a judge. (emphasis in the original)

In addition to the Consumer Account Application, Wells Fargo alleges that Mohazabbi received a copy of a Consumer Account Agreement (“CAA”). While the parties dispute whether Mohazzabi ever received a copy of the CAA, they do not dispute the contents of the agreement itself. The CAA contains a provision requiring arbitration of “any unresolved disagreement, ” before the American Arbitration Association.

         Mohazzabi maintains in a declaration submitted with the Court that he never received the CAA and that no one explained to him that he was waiving his right to a jury trial. Wells Fargo argues that Mohazzabi consented to have the CAA and other disclosure documents emailed to him. Wells Fargo states that its internal records indicate that Mohazzabi clicked on the consent button to accept disclosure documents electronically. Furthermore Wells Fargo notes that its bankers cannot complete the new account opening process until the customer accepts and acknowledges electronic receipt of the CAA and the other disclosure documents.

         Finally, Wells Fargo moves to seal the documents it submitted to the Court regarding Mohazzabi’s account, on the grounds that the documents contain Mohazzabi’s personally identifiable information and information that is proprietary to Wells Fargo.

         IV. LEGAL STANDARD

         a. Motion to ...


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