United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO COMPEL
ARBITRATION AND TO DISMISS THE CASE
L. ROBART UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the court is Defendants Expedia, Inc.
(“Expedia”), EAN.com, LP, Travelscape, LLC, and
Hotels.com L.P.'s (collectively,
“Defendants”) motion to compel arbitration and to
either dismiss the case or stay it pending the completion of
arbitration. (See Mot. (Dkt. # 19).) Plaintiff
Joseph Church opposes the motion. (See Resp. (Dkt. #
30-1).) The court has reviewed the motion, the parties'
submissions filed in support of and in opposition to the
motion, the relevant portions of the record, and the
applicable law. Being fully advised,  the court GRANTS
Defendants' motion to compel arbitration and DISMISSES
this matter without prejudice.
4, 2017, Mr. Church used Reservations.com, which is not a
party to this suit, to make a two-night hotel reservation at
the Hyatt Regency Orlando (“the Hyatt”). (Compl.
(Dkt. # 1) ¶¶ 46-47.) Mr. Church alleges that he
paid a total of $641.97 for his reservation. (Id.
¶ 52.) Mr. Church further alleges that this payment was
divided into a $14.99 service fee, a $518.30 room charge, and
a $108.68 “Taxes & Fees” charge.
(Id. ¶¶ 47, 52.) Mr. Church asserts that
two payments appeared on his credit card: one charge appeared
to Reservations.com for the service fee, and a separate
charge appeared to Expedia for the room charge and the
“Taxes & Fees” charge bundled together.
(Id. ¶¶ 32, 35.) He further asserts that
the service fee was paid to Reservations.com, the room charge
was divided between the Hyatt and Defendants, and Expedia
paid $67.97 of the $108.68 “Taxes & Fees”
charge to appropriate governmental entities but
“illegally retained” the $38.71 remainder.
(Id. ¶¶ 30, 32, 52.) He alleges that
whenever Defendants sell a room through Reservations.com,
they inflate the “Taxes & Fees” charge beyond
what is actually owed to any governmental authorities and
retain the excess funds. (Id. ¶¶ 6, 52.)
Mr. Church alleges that Defendants and Reservations.com //
were part of a fraudulent conspiracy to “deceive
consumers into believing that they were paying a legitimate
‘Taxes & Fees' charge.” (See Id.
¶¶ 22, 50, 74.)
The Terms of Service
complete his booking, Mr. Church had to click on a red
“Complete Reservation” button. (Patel Aff. (Dkt.
# 20-1) ¶ 3.) Next to that red button was the statement:
“By clicking the ‘Complete Reservation'
button you agree to our Terms of Service and
hotel room cancellation policy.”
(Id.) The words “Terms of
Service” (“Terms”) in that sentence
were underlined and provided a hyperlink to the Terms.
(Id., Ex. A.)
Terms set forth “the terms and conditions of bookings
you make with us, including matters concerning pricing,
payment, and dispute resolution.” (Id., Ex. B
at 5.) A section on “Dispute
Resolution” is prefaced with the
THIS SECTION HAS A SIGNIFICANT IMPACT ON YOUR RIGHTS
ESPECIALLY WHEN IT COMES TO HOW DISPUTES BETWEEN YOU AND U.S.
GET RESOLVED. PLEASE READ THIS SECTION CAREFULLY.
(Id., Ex. B at 7.) The Terms also states that the
customer agrees “to resolve any dispute, claim, or
controversy arising out of or relating to your use of our
termination, enforcement, interpretation or validity thereof,
or our relationship in connection with the Site or these or
(‘Claim')” by contacting Reservations.com
before taking further action. (Id.) If the Claim is
not resolved in 60 days, “[a]ny and all Claims will be
resolved by binding arbitration, ” except certain
claims that may be asserted in small claims court.
Plaintiff's Prior Complaint
the present suit, Mr. Church filed a similar putative class
action based on the same Reservations.com hotel room booking
in the District of South Carolina. (Powell Decl. (Dkt. # 20)
¶ 2, Ex. A (attaching First Amended Class Action
Complaint filed on January 23, 2018, in Church v.
Hotels.com L.P., No. 2:18-cv-18 (D.S.C.)
(“Church I”), Dkt. # 5)
(“Church I Compl.”).) Mr. Church alleged
breach of contract, constructive trust, unjust enrichment,
and conversion and misappropriation claims against two
entities doing business as Reservations.com (the
“Reservations.com Defendants”), and three of the
four Defendants in the present suit. (See Church I
Compl. ¶¶ 9-14.)
Church I, the Reservations.com Defendants filed a
motion to compel arbitration based on the arbitration clause
in the Terms, and Mr. Church opposed it. (See Powell
Decl. ¶¶ 3-4, Exs. B, C.) The court held that an
agreement existed between Mr. Church and Reservations.com as
to the Terms on the website. (Id. ¶ 6, Ex. E
(attaching order) at 4-5.) The court further determined that
all of Mr. Church's claims fell within the “broad
scope of ...