Judge: Armen Tamzarian, Case: 22STCV19888, Date: 2023-03-21 Tentative Ruling

Case Number: 22STCV19888    Hearing Date: March 21, 2023    Dept: 52

Defendants Nissan North America, Inc. and K Motors SJC, LLC’s Motion to Compel Arbitration and Stay Proceedings

            Defendants Nissan North America, Inc. and K Motors SJC, LLC dba Glendale Nissan move to compel arbitration of the complaint by plaintiff Ernesto Patino and to stay this action pending the ruling on this motion and pending the conclusion of arbitration. 

            In his opposition, plaintiff requested that the court take this matter under submission until the Court of Appeal issues a final decision in the Ford Motor Warranty Cases, Case No. B312261.  (Opp., p. 6.)  In that case, the Court of Appeal issued a tentative opinion (Powell Decl., Ex. 4) that, if decided and published, would significantly impact this motion.  The tentative opinion disagrees with Felisilda v. FCA US LLC (2020) 53 Cal.App.5th 486 and rejects an auto manufacturer’s arguments that it can enforce an arbitration clause under equitable estoppel or as a third-party manufacturer.  The case is set for oral argument on March 30, 2023.  The court agrees it is appropriate to wait for the Court of Appeal’s opinion in the Ford Motor Warranty Cases before ruling on this motion. 

In the meantime, the court must stay this entire action.  “If an application has been made to a court… for an order to arbitrate a controversy” involved in a pending action, “and such application is undetermined, the court in which such action or proceeding is pending shall, upon motion of a party to such action or proceeding, stay the action or proceeding until the application for an order to arbitrate is determined.”  (CCP § 1281.4.)  “The clear language of the statute compels the conclusion that any party to a judicial proceeding, whether a party to an arbitration agreement or not, is entitled to a stay of those proceedings” under Code of Civil Procedure section 1281.4.  (Marcus v. Superior Court (1977) 75 Cal.App.3d 204, 209.)  Defendants have moved for such a stay.  (Notice of Motion, p. 2; Memo., pp. 15-16.)  Staying the action is mandatory.


            The hearing on defendants’ motion to compel arbitration is continued to July 10, 2023, at 9:00 a.m.  The court hereby stays the entire action until the court rules on defendants’ motion to compel arbitration.