United States District Court, W.D. Tennessee, Western Division
ROBERT L. WASHINGTON, JR., Petitioner,
AMERICAN WAY MOTORS, INC., d/b/a, AUTONATION HONDA 385, Respondent.
ORDER ADOPTING THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND
RECOMMENDATION, ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO
COMPEL ARBITRATION AND ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITHOUT
T. FOWLKES, JR., UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
7, 2016, Plaintiff Robert L. Washington, Jr., proceeding
pro se, filed a complaint alleging racial
discrimination under 42 U.S.C. § 2000, along with a
motion to proceed in forma pauperis and a motion for
appointment of counsel. (ECF Nos. 1, 2 & 3). On July 7,
2016, the matter was referred to the Magistrate Judge
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915 (e)(2)(B) and L.R.
4.1(b)(2). On September 12, 2016, the Defendant's filed a
Motion to Compel Arbitration and Dismiss Plaintiff's
Complaint. (ECF No. 18). On September 21, Plaintiff filed a
Motion to Move Forward with Arbitration/Mediation. (ECF No.
21). On November 7, 2016, the Magistrate Judge issued a
Report and Recommendation that the Court dismiss this case
without prejudice and grant the Defendant's Motion to
Compel Arbitration. (ECF No. 23). To date, Plaintiff has not
filed any objections.
passed 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) “to relieve some of the
burden on the federal courts by permitting the assignment of
certain district court duties to magistrates.” See
e.g. Baker v. Peterson, 67 Fed. App'x. 308, 311,
2003 WL 21321184 (6th Cir. 2003) and Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(a). A
United States District Judge may refer certain dispositive
pretrial motions to a United States Magistrate Judge for
submission of proposed findings of fact and conclusions of
law, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and (C);
Brown v. Wesley Quaker Maid, Inc., 771 F.2d 952, 957
(6th Cir. 1985). The District Court Judge may accept, reject,
or modify in whole or in part, the Magistrate Judge's
proposed findings and recommendations. While most actions by
a Magistrate Judge are reviewed for clear error, dispositive
recommendations to the District Court Judge are reviewed
de novo. Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140,
Magistrate Judge's report and recommendation offers
proposed findings of fact to which Plaintiff has not
objected. (ECF No. 23, pp. 2-3). As such, the Court adopts
the Magistrate Judge's proposed findings of fact as the
factual summary of this case.
report and recommendation, the Magistrate Judge recommended
that the Court grant Defendant's Motion to Compel
Arbitration and dismiss this matter without prejudice. The
Magistrate Judge determined that under the Federal
Arbitration Act, (“FAA”): 1) American Way Motors
is engaged in interstate commerce; 2) Plaintiff's
employment as a new car salesman is not excluded from
coverage under the FAA and, 3) under Tennessee law, the
parties in this matter had entered into a valid and
enforceable contract. Specifically, the Magistrate Judge
determined that the Arbitration Agreement was enforceable
because Washington's signature on the agreement and his
employment by the Defendant evidenced sufficient
consideration. She also concluded that all of Plaintiff's
alleged claims are subject to arbitration and are therefore
waived. (Id. at 3-8). EEOC v. Frank's
Nursery & Crafts, Inc., 177 F.3d 448, 462 (6th Cir.
1999) and Green v. Ameritech Corp., 200 F.3d 967,
973 (6th Cir. 2000). The Court agrees.
undisputed that an Arbitration Agreement was executed by the
parties in this case. (ECF No. 18-2, pp. 7-9). The agreement
contained a provision regarding discrimination claims and
that both the employee and the employer or
“company” waived their respective right to a
trial by jury. (ECF No. 18-2, ¶¶ 4 and 8). A
reading of the agreement proves that it is a binding contract
under Tennessee law. Plaintiff's request to “Move
Forward With Arbitration/Mediation” filed on October
27, 2016, acknowledges that an Arbitration Agreement was
executed and his willingness to proceed in that manner. (ECF
No. 21). Plaintiff has not raised any issues regarding the
terms of the Arbitration Agreement or any improprieties
surrounding the execution of the document as a condition of
his employment. Seawright v. American General Financial
Services, Inc., 507 F.3d 967, 972 (6th Cir. 2007).
Lastly and just as important, Plaintiff has also failed to
submit any objections to the Magistrate Judge's report
and recommendation pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(2).
de novo review of the Magistrate Judge's Report
and Recommendation, the Defendant's Motion to Compel,
supporting documentation, the Arbitration Agreement, and
Plaintiff's Motion to Move Forward with
Arbitration/Mediation, the Court finds the Magistrate Judge
properly determined that a valid and enforceable Arbitration
Agreement was executed in this case. (ECF No. 18-2).
Therefore, the case is ordered Dismissed without prejudice
and the Defendant's Motion to Compel Arbitration, ECF No.
18, is Granted. The parties are ordered to pursue Arbitration
in accordance with the terms of the Arbitration Agreement
executed on May 12, 2014.