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Michael Paralikas v. Ford Motor Credit Company

June 14, 2012

MICHAEL PARALIKAS, PLAINTIFF,
v.
FORD MOTOR CREDIT COMPANY, LLC, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Seybert, District Judge:

MEMORANDUM & ORDER

Plaintiff Michael Paralikas ("Plaintiff") commenced this action on July 19, 2010 seeking an order vacating an arbitration decision rendered in favor of Defendant Ford Motor Credit Company ("Defendant"). Presently before the Court is Defendant's motion to dismiss Plaintiff's cause of action for lack of subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure or, in the alternative, for failure to state a claim pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6). For the reasons set forth below, Defendant's motion is GRANTED, and Plaintiff's cause of action is DISMISSED for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff asserts that, on or about May 20, 2009, a repossession company damaged his car in the amount of $2,294.53 while repossessing it on behalf of Defendant. See Paralikas v. Gobal Asset Recovery, Inc., No. HUSC 403-09 (N.Y. Dist. Ct., Suffolk Cnty, Feb. 11, 2010). (Mot. to Vacate, Docket Entry 4, at 6.) Plaintiff subsequently commenced an action against the repossession company in the Small Claims Part of the Suffolk County District Court (Mot. to Vacate, Docket Entry 4, at 1) and arbitration against Defendant*fn1 to recover in damages the cost of repairing his vehicle.

On November 17, 2009, an arbitrator heard Plaintiff's claim against the repossession company in Small Claims Court and awarded Plaintiff damages in the amount of $2,294.53 plus interest. (Mot. to Vacate, Docket Entry 4, at 4.) The repossession company moved for trial de novo. Then, on January 28, 2010, an arbitrator denied Plaintiff's claim against Defendant. (Mot. to Vacate, Docket Entry 4, at 9.)

On February 11, 2010, the Suffolk County District Court heard Plaintiff's claim against the repossession company and held that Plaintiff's claim was barred by res judicata:

"[T]he Court's decision is that it is undisputed that the defendant repossession company damaged the front and rear bumpers of the plaintiff's automobile during the course of repossessing his Lincoln Navigator automobile on or about May 20, 2009 on behalf of Ford Motor Credit Company (hereafter "Ford"). . . .

Normally, Ford would be liable for its agents [sic] negligent acts in damaging plaintiff's automobile. However, the fact that the matter was already submitted to arbitration and resolved therein bars the re-litigation of this dispute under the doctrine of res judicata.

Paralikas, No. HUSC 403-09 (N.Y. Dist. Ct., Suffolk Cnty, Feb. 11, 2010) (citation omitted). (Mot. to Vacate, Docket Entry 4, at 6.)

On July 19, 2010, Plaintiff commenced the present action pro se seeking an order vacating the January 28, 2010 arbitration decision in favor of Defendant. Plaintiff filed a Motion to Vacate the arbitration award (Docket Entry 4) and a motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis (Docket Entry 2). He did not file a complaint. On November 3, 2010, Plaintiff's motion to proceed in forma pauperis was denied (Docket Entry 6), and, on December 16, 2010, Plaintiff paid the filing fee (Docket Entry 8).

On December 1, 2011, the parties appeared before Magistrate Judge E. Thomas Boyle for an initial pretrial conference. Judge Boyle noted that Plaintiff had not filed a complaint and granted Plaintiff thirty days to do so. (Docket Entry 15.)

Plaintiff never filed a complaint; however, since Plaintiff is proceeding pro se, the Court will construe his Motion to Vacate as his Complaint. See Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94, 127 S. Ct. 2197, 167 L. Ed. 2d 1081 (2007) ("'[A] pro se complaint, however inartfully pleaded, must be held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.'") (quoting Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106, 97 S. Ct. 285, 50 L. Ed. 2d 251 (1976)); see also Boykin v. KeyCorp, 521 F.3d 202, 214 (2d Cir. 2008).

On January 25, 2012, Defendant moved to dismiss arguing that: (1) the Court lacked subject matter jurisdiction and (2) Plaintiff failed to state a claim upon which relief may be ...


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