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Wolf v. Nissan Motor Acceptance Corp.

United States District Court for the District of New Jersey

June 22, 2011, Decided; June 22, 2011, Filed

Civil Action No. 10-cv-3338 (NLH)(KMW)

Opinion

HILLMAN, District Judge

Plaintiff, Matthew S. Wolf, has brought a putative class action suit against Defendant, Nissan Motor Acceptance Corporation ("Nissan"), 1 alleging, inter alia, violations to the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, 50 U.S.C. App. §§ 501 et seq. (or, "SCRA"). Nissan moves to dismiss or stay Wolf's claims and compel arbitration, based on a purported arbitration provision agreed upon by the parties.

For the reasons expressed below, Nissan's Motion to Dismiss or Stay is granted.

I. JURISDICTION

The Court may exercise jurisdiction over Plaintiff's federal claim pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331, and may exercise supplemental jurisdiction over Plaintiff's state law claim under 28 U.S.C. § 1367.

II. BACKGROUND

Matthew S. Wolf is a captain in the Judge Advocate General's Corps of the United States Army Reserves. On or around November 25, 2006, Wolf entered into an agreement to lease a 2007 Nissan Infiniti G35 Sedan for thirty-nine months. Among other things, the lease contained an arbitration clause mandating that all claims are subject to arbitration.

At the inception of his lease, Wolf paid $595 in "capitalized cost reduction" ("CCR"), an advance toward the lease's rent. He also prepaid other items for which, alternatively, he could have paid on a monthly basis. During the life of the lease, however, Wolf entered into active military service. On or around October 30, 2007, he returned his leased vehicle to Nissan. Moreover, Wolf invoked the SCRA. According to Wolf's complaint, the SCRA entitles military service members,  [*3] like himself, to a prorated refund of lease payments made in advance. Despite Wolf's invocation of the SCRA and his provision of proper notices, Nissan refused to refund to Wolf any prorated CCR payments.

In June 2010, Wolf filed a putative class action suit against Nissan, alleging conversion and violation of the SCRA. Several months later, Nissan moved to dismiss or stay Wolf's claims and compel arbitration.

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2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66649 *; 2011 WL 2490939

MATTHEW S. WOLF, on behalf of himself and all other similarly situated, Plaintiff, v. NISSAN MOTOR ACCEPTANCE CORPORATION, Defendant.

Subsequent History: Reconsideration denied by Wolf v. Nissan Motor Acceptance Corp., 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 44854 (D.N.J., Mar. 29, 2012)

Motion denied by Wolf v. Nissan Motor Acceptance Corp., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20459 (D.N.J., Feb. 20, 2015)

CORE TERMS

arbitration, lease, unconscionable, consumer, adhesion, invalidate