New York corporation. Defendant is in the business of franchising retail furniture stores to sell distinctive lines of furniture and plaintiff acquired a franchise from it to operate a store in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on June 4, 1979.
On March 18, 1983, defendant mailed to plaintiff a letter of termination of the franchise agreement by reason of default on the part of plaintiff.
On March 24, 1983, plaintiff filed a Complaint for Preliminary Injunction together with a Motion for Temporary Restraining Order, with notice to opposing counsel. On March 25, 1983, the court heard counsel and entered a temporary restraining order maintaining the status quo until a hearing could be held April 5, 1983 on the preliminary injunction.
After conference with counsel, the hearing set for April 5, 1983 was continued until on or after April 25, 1983 and the temporary restraining order was continued with the consent of the defendant until such hearing.
Defendant, on April 14, 1983, filed a Motion for a Stay of Proceedings Pending Arbitration and plaintiff on April 25, 1983 filed a Motion for Temporary Restraining Order Against Arbitration. It is with these motions that we are presently dealing. We have omitted from our recital the side skirmishes that have arisen.
Upon receipt of the defendant's motion we fixed argument on the arbitration question for April 22, 1983, and postponed the evidentiary hearing on injunctive relief until it was resolved, keeping the temporary restraining order in effect. We have heard the argument of counsel, read their briefs and now face the issue.
The United States Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. § 3 provides that in any suit in the United States Courts on any issue that is referable to arbitration under a written agreement to arbitrate the court shall stay the trial of the action until such arbitration has been had.
The franchise agreement between the parties here, which precipitated this lawsuit by its cancellation, contains the following provisions concerning arbitration:
All complaints, disputes or grievances between the parties involving questions of interpretation of any of the provisions of this Agreement shall be submitted to arbitration by either party before an arbitrator . . . in the City of New York designated by the American Arbitration Association, in accordance with its rules. . . .