In Cayanan v. Citi Holdings, Inc., 2013 WL 784662 (S.D.Cal. 2013), Judge Anello ordered TCPA class actions to arbitration finding that the Arbitration clause in loan agreements were not both procedurally and substantively unconscionable and that the TCPA claims fell within the language of the arbitration agreements. Plaintiffs Elsie Cayanan, Kimberly Baker, and Jesse McKay filed a putative class action against Citi for violating the TCPA. Citi moved to compel separate, individual arbitrations, in accordance with agreements requiring individual arbitration of all claims related to Plaintiffs’ consumer credit accounts held by Defendants. The Court granted the Motion.
Having determined that the arbitration agreements are enforceable, the only remaining question is whether the arbitration agreements encompass the disputes at issue here. In light of “the strong federal policy favoring arbitral dispute resolution,” Simula, Inc. v. Autoliv, Inc., 175 F.3d 716, 720 (9th Cir.1999), and the specifics of Plaintiffs’ claims, the Court concludes that the agreements encompass Plaintiffs’ claims. ¶ *20 The scope of the claims governed by an arbitration clause depends on the language used in the clause. Most recently, in Cape Flattery Ltd. v. Titan Maritime, LLC, 647 F.3d 914, 922 (9th Cir.2011), the Ninth Circuit explained that arbitration clauses using the phrases “arising under,” “arising out of,” and “arising hereunder” have been “narrowly construed” to encompass disputes “relating to the interpretation and performance of the contract itself,” but that the inclusion of the phrase “relating to” should lead to a broader interpretation. Accord Mediterranean Enters., Inc. v. Ssangyong Corp., 708 F.2d 1458, 1463–64 (9th Cir.1983) (explaining that omission of “relating to” language in an arbitration clause results in a narrower scope of covered disputes). ¶ The plain language of Plaintiffs’ arbitration agreements indicates that the parties intended to agree to broad arbitration provisions. Specifically, Cayanan’s agreements require arbitration of any “Claim,” which includes, “without limitation, anything related to … [a]ny dispute about closing, servicing, collecting, or enforcing a Credit Transaction.” [Doc. No. 16–3 at 7, 14 (emphasis added).] McKay’s agreement requires him to arbitrate “Claims relating to: 1) any and all aspects of my Account including without limitation the origination, establishment, terms, treatment, operation, handling, billing, servicing, limitations on or termination or acceleration of my Account …. “ [Doc. No. 16–5 at 18, 27 (emphasis added).] Finally, Baker is required to arbitrate “[a]ll Claims relating to [her] account, a prior related account, or [the parties’] relationship ….“ [Doc. No. 16–7 at 14, 40, 89, 117, 143, 172 (emphasis added).] Defendants’ arbitration agreements all contain the broad “related to” or “relating to” language, and the Court accordingly reads the clauses broadly. ¶ Here, the predicate conduct for Plaintiffs’ lawsuit “related to” the delinquent credit accounts held by Defendants. It is undisputable that Defendants called all three Plaintiffs because Plaintiffs had failed to make timely payments on their accounts. It is further undisputable that, once the accounts had become delinquent, Defendants called for the limited purpose of collecting money owed them. Moreover, the calls were not made for advertising, marketing, or other purposes unrelated to the accounts. In light of the broad language in all arbitration agreements and the narrow purpose for which Defendants contacted Plaintiffs, the Court concludes that the arbitration agreements encompass Plaintiffs’ claims and Defendants’ alleged conduct that form the basis for this action. ¶ Plaintiffs contend their TCPA claims are outside the scope of the arbitration agreements because they are tort claims, not contract claims. However, while TCPA claims are statutory tort claims, such claims are not inherently unarbitrable and may be subject to arbitration. See, e.g., McNamara v. Royal Bank of Scot. Grp., PLC, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 158580, at *19–21 (S.D.Cal. Nov. 5, 2012) (compelling arbitration of TCPA claim); Knutson v. Sirius AM Radio Inc., 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 75698, at *8 (S.D.Cal. May 31, 2012) (same); Gonzalez v. Citigroup, Inc., 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135421 (E.D.Cal. Nov. 22, 2011) (same). ¶ Plaintiffs rely heavily on a case from this District, In re Jiffy Lube International, Inc., 847 F.Supp.2d 1253 (S.D.Cal.2012) (Miller, J.) ( “Jiffy Lube” ), in which the court denied a motion to compel arbitration of a TCPA claim. In Jiffy Lube, the plaintiffs filed a class action complaint alleging that they received unauthorized text messages offering discounted Jiffy Lube services in violation of the TCPA. Jiffy Lube, 847 F.Supp.2d at 1255–56. The arbitration agreement at issue was purportedly signed by the plaintiff when he visited one of the defendant’s store locations to receive an oil change. Id. at 1262–63. The court noted that the language of the arbitration agreement was “incredibly broad” because “[i]t purports to apply to ‘any and all disputes’ between [the parties], and is not limited to disputes arising from or related to the transaction or contract at issue.” Id. at 1262. The court concluded that “a suit … regarding a tort action arising from a completely separate incident could not be forced into arbitration—such a clause would clearly be unconscionable.” Id. at 1263 (emphasis added). To elaborate, the court further explained that “[t]hough it seems likely that [the plaintiff] provided his telephone number when signing the contract, it is unclear that later use of that number to commit a tort can be said to relate to the contract …. [T]he fact that the text message offered membership in a club that would provide discounts on an oil change does not establish that the text message was related to the contract governing [the plaintiff’s] oil change.” Id. ¶ Jiffy Lube is distinguishable from the case at bar. As Defendants aptly point out, Jiffy Lube “concerned TCPA claims resulting from marketing of future services, and was unrelated to the invoices for completed services in which plaintiffs had agreed to arbitration. Here, in contrast, all of the calls made to Plaintiffs concerned the accounts they had already opened with Defendants and Plaintiffs’ ongoing responsibility to make payments on those accounts.” [Doc. No. 26 at 26.] Thus, while the predicate conduct in Jiffy Lube was separate and unrelated to the underlying contract, Defendants’ alleged conduct in this case is directly related to Plaintiffs’ accounts and the contracts that govern them.