Rosemann v. Sigillito, No. 10–CV–1165–LRR.

CourtUnited States District Courts. 8th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Missouri)
Writing for the CourtLINDA R. READE
Citation877 F.Supp.2d 763
PartiesPhillip L. ROSEMANN et al., Plaintiffs, v. Martin T. SIGILLITO et al., Defendants.
Docket NumberNo. 10–CV–1165–LRR.
Decision Date26 June 2012

877 F.Supp.2d 763

Phillip L. ROSEMANN et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
Martin T. SIGILLITO et al., Defendants.

No. 10–CV–1165–LRR.

United States District Court,
E.D. Missouri,
Eastern Division.

June 26, 2012.


[877 F.Supp.2d 765]


Sebastian Rucci, Law Office of Sebastian Rucci, Poland, OH, for Plaintiffs.

Martin T. Sigillito, St. Louis, MO, pro se.


Thomas J. Plunkert, Leritz And Plunkert, P.C., Daniel G. Tobben, Laura Gerdes Long, Danna McKitrick, P.C., Jeffrey B. Jensen, Mitchell F. Stevens, Jensen and Bartlett, LLC, Vanessa C. Antoniou, Law Offices Of Vanessa C. Antoniou, Lauren B. Harris, Steven H. Schwartz, Brown and James, P.C., Shirley A. Padmore, Joseph P. Conran, St. Louis, MO, Kara D. Helmuth, Danna McKitrick, P.C., Clayton, MO, Taylor Fields, Fields and Brown, Shahzad Naseem, Kansas City, MO, Ronan J. McHugh, Bailey Law, P.C., Washington, DC, for Defendants.

ORDER

LINDA R. READE, District Judge.
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                ¦TABLE OF CONTENTS ¦
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                ¦I. ¦INTRODUCTION ¦766 ¦
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                ¦II. ¦RELEVANT PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND ¦766 ¦
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                +------+-------------------------------------------------------------+-------¦
                ¦III. ¦RELEVANT FACTUAL BACKGROUND ¦766 ¦
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                ¦ ¦A. ¦Parties ¦766 ¦
                +----+----+----------------------------------------------------------+-------¦
                ¦ ¦B. ¦Plaintiffs' Claims Against Millennium ¦766 ¦
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                ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦
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                ¦IV. ¦ANALYSIS ¦767 ¦
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                ¦ ¦A. ¦Applicable Law ¦767 ¦
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                ¦ ¦B. ¦Discussion ¦769 ¦
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                ¦ ¦ ¦1. ¦Incorporation ¦769 ¦
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                ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦a. ¦2001 and 2002 Adoption Agreements ¦769 ¦
                +----+----+---+----+--------------------------------------------------+------¦
                ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦b. ¦2003 through 2005 Adoption Agreements ¦772 ¦
                +----+----+---+----+--------------------------------------------------+------¦
                ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦c. ¦2006 through 2008 Adoption Agreements ¦772 ¦
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                ¦ ¦ ¦2. ¦Plaintiffs' remaining arguments ¦773 ¦
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                ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦a. ¦Incorporation ¦773 ¦
                +----+----+---+----+--------------------------------------------------+------¦
                ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦b. ¦Arbitration provision ¦774 ¦
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                ¦ ¦ ¦3. ¦Scope of arbitration provision ¦776 ¦
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                ¦ ¦ ¦4. ¦Whether dismissal is appropriate ¦776 ¦
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                ¦V. ¦CONCLUSION ¦777 ¦
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[877 F.Supp.2d 766]


I. INTRODUCTION

The matter before the court is Defendant Millennium Trust Company, LLC's (“Millennium”) “Motion to Compel Arbitration and Dismiss” (“Motion”) (docket no. 315).

II. RELEVANT PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

On January 2, 2012, Plaintiff Phillip L. Rosemann and eighty-five other named Plaintiffs filed a Second Amended Complaint (docket no. 252) against ten unnamed and sixteen named Defendants, including Millennium. On April 23, 2012, Millennium filed the Motion. On May 7, 2012, Plaintiffs filed a Resistance (docket no. 325). On May 8, 2012, Millennium filed an unopposed “Motion to Correct” (docket no. 326), in which it explained that it inadvertently filed one exhibit twice, instead of filing two separate exhibits, and sought leave of court to correct the error. The court subsequently entered an Order (docket no. 334) granting the Motion to Correct. On May 9, 2012, Plaintiffs filed a Supplemental Resistance (docket no. 328) responding to the new exhibit. On May 21, 2012, Millennium filed a Reply (docket no. 337). On May 30, 2012, Plaintiffs filed a Sur–Reply (docket no. 345), with leave of court. On May 31, 2012, Millennium filed an Objection (docket no. 346) to Plaintiffs' Sur–Reply. Neither party requests a hearing on the Motion and the court finds that a hearing is unnecessary. The Motion is fully submitted and ready for decision.

III. RELEVANT FACTUAL BACKGROUND
A. Parties

Plaintiffs are eighty-five individuals who are citizens of various states and one company, Braithwaite Consulting Limited. Millennium is a closely-held limited liability company with its principal place of business in Oak Brook, Illinois. From approximately 2001 until 2008, Millennium served as a qualified custodian of self-directed individual retirement accounts (“IRAs”) for approximately thirty-three Plaintiffs pursuant to 26 U.S.C. § 408(h).

B. Plaintiffs' Claims Against Millennium

In the Second Amended Complaint, Plaintiffs 1 allege two causes of action against Millennium. In Count 2, Plaintiffs allege that Millennium conspired to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”),

[877 F.Supp.2d 767]

18 U.S.C. § 1962. In Count 5, Plaintiffs allege that Millennium was negligent in its provision of professional services.

IV. ANALYSIS

In the Motion, Millennium asks the court to compel Plaintiffs to arbitrate their claims against Millennium and to dismiss the action. Millennium maintains that each Plaintiff signed an Adoption Agreement wherein he or she established a self-directed IRA with Millennium, and, under the terms of each respective Adoption Agreement, each Plaintiff agreed to be bound by the terms of a Custodial Agreement. Millennium claims that the Custodial Agreement, in turn, contains an arbitration clause, which the court should enforce.

Plaintiffs resist, arguing that: (1) the Adoption Agreements do not expressly agree to arbitration; (2) Plaintiffs signed three different classes of Adoption Agreements with Millennium, none of which incorporate a purported Custodial Agreement by reference; (3) the documents Millennium provided to the court do not have the same titles as the documents referenced in the various Adoption Agreements; (4) the documents Millennium provided do not include choice-of-law provisions; (5) there is no clear and unmistakable evidence of intent to arbitrate; (6) Millennium cannot incorporate by reference documents not yet in existence; (7) the incorporating language does not sufficiently describe an agreement to arbitrate because it does not include certain required language; and (8) the arbitration clause is unconscionable.

A. Applicable Law

“Congress enacted the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA), 9 U.S.C. §§ 1–16 (1994), ‘to reverse the longstanding judicial hostility to arbitration agreements ... and to place arbitration agreements upon the same footing as other contracts.’ ” Gannon v. Circuit City Stores, Inc., 262 F.3d 677, 679 (8th Cir.2001) (quoting Gilmer v. Interstate/Johnson Lane Corp., 500 U.S. 20, 24, 111 S.Ct. 1647, 114 L.Ed.2d 26 (1991)). The FAA “makes written arbitration agreements ‘valid, irrevocable, and enforceable, save upon such grounds as exist at law or in equity for the revocation of a contract.’ ” Arthur Andersen LLP v. Carlisle, 556 U.S. 624, 629–30, 129 S.Ct. 1896, 173 L.Ed.2d 832 (2009) (quoting 9 U.S.C. § 2). The FAA applies to contracts “involving commerce.” 9 U.S.C. § 2. The United States Supreme Court has held that “the word ‘involving’ is broad and is indeed the functional equivalent of ‘affecting.’ ” Allied–Bruce Terminix, Cos. v. Dobson, 513 U.S. 265, 273–274, 115 S.Ct. 834, 130 L.Ed.2d 753 (1995). The parties appear to agree, and the court finds, that the FAA governs the contracts at issue in this case. Accordingly, the court will undertake its review under the FAA, which “evinces a ‘liberal federal policy favoring arbitration agreements.’ ” Gannon, 262 F.3d at 680 (quoting Moses H. Cone Mem'l Hosp. v. Mercury Constr. Corp., 460 U.S. 1, 24, 103 S.Ct. 927, 74 L.Ed.2d 765 (1983)).

“Before a party may be compelled to arbitrate under the [FAA], the district court must engage in a limited inquiry to determine whether a valid agreement to arbitrate exists between the parties and whether the specific dispute falls within the scope of that agreement.” Houlihan v. Offerman & Co., Inc., 31 F.3d 692, 694–95 (8th Cir.1994). “When deciding whether the parties agreed to arbitrate a certain matter ..., courts generally ... should apply ordinary state-law principles that govern the formation of contracts.” First Options of Chic., Inc. v. Kaplan, 514 U.S. 938, 944, 115 S.Ct. 1920, 131 L.Ed.2d 985 (1995); see also Arthur Andersen LLP, 556 U.S. at 630–31, 129 S.Ct. 1896

[877 F.Supp.2d 768]

(noting that state...

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10 practice notes
  • Rosemann v. Sigillito, No. 10–CV–1165–LRR.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Missouri)
    • July 9, 2013
    ...is construed to avoid rendering other terms meaningless.” Brief in Support of Enterprise's Motion at 24 (quoting June 26, 2012 Order, 877 F.Supp.2d 763, 768 (E.D.Mo.2012)) (internal quotation marks omitted). Thus, the court cannot consider Section 4 in isolation but, rather, must consider i......
  • Martin v. First Advantage Background Servs. Corp., Civ. No. 11–3357 (MJD/LIB).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. United States District Court of Minnesota
    • July 13, 2012
    ...Mahlon Martin is granted leave to amend his complaint to add alternative state law claims. Any such amendment must be completed [877 F.Supp.2d 763]within 30 days of the filing of this Order.--------Notes: 1. Prior to July 21, 2010, this exemption was codified at 15 U.S.C. §...
  • Becker v. Creative Circle, LLC, 4:21CV1166 RLW
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Missouri)
    • April 21, 2022
    ...Agreement was a contract of adhesion, that “alone is insufficient to make the contract[] unconscionable.” Rosemann v. Sigillito, 877 F.Supp.2d 763, 775 (E.D. Mo. 2012) (citing Cicle, 583 F.3d at 555 (“These sorts of take-it-or-leave-it agreements between businesses and consumers are used al......
  • Torres v. Simpatico, Inc., Case No. 4:12CV2373 CDP.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Missouri)
    • February 3, 2014
    ...part, by operation of the unit franchise agreement, the arbitration agreement encompasses those claims. Compare Rosemann v. Sigillito, 877 F.Supp.2d 763, 776 (E.D.Mo.2012) (finding RICO claims arbitrable where arbitration agreement covered all disputes between parties to agreement) with PRM......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
10 cases
  • Rosemann v. Sigillito, No. 10–CV–1165–LRR.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Missouri)
    • July 9, 2013
    ...is construed to avoid rendering other terms meaningless.” Brief in Support of Enterprise's Motion at 24 (quoting June 26, 2012 Order, 877 F.Supp.2d 763, 768 (E.D.Mo.2012)) (internal quotation marks omitted). Thus, the court cannot consider Section 4 in isolation but, rather, must consider i......
  • Martin v. First Advantage Background Servs. Corp., Civ. No. 11–3357 (MJD/LIB).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. United States District Court of Minnesota
    • July 13, 2012
    ...Mahlon Martin is granted leave to amend his complaint to add alternative state law claims. Any such amendment must be completed [877 F.Supp.2d 763]within 30 days of the filing of this Order.--------Notes: 1. Prior to July 21, 2010, this exemption was codified at 15 U.S.C. §...
  • Becker v. Creative Circle, LLC, 4:21CV1166 RLW
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Missouri)
    • April 21, 2022
    ...Agreement was a contract of adhesion, that “alone is insufficient to make the contract[] unconscionable.” Rosemann v. Sigillito, 877 F.Supp.2d 763, 775 (E.D. Mo. 2012) (citing Cicle, 583 F.3d at 555 (“These sorts of take-it-or-leave-it agreements between businesses and consumers are used al......
  • Torres v. Simpatico, Inc., Case No. 4:12CV2373 CDP.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Missouri)
    • February 3, 2014
    ...part, by operation of the unit franchise agreement, the arbitration agreement encompasses those claims. Compare Rosemann v. Sigillito, 877 F.Supp.2d 763, 776 (E.D.Mo.2012) (finding RICO claims arbitrable where arbitration agreement covered all disputes between parties to agreement) with PRM......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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