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Heimbuch v. Platinum Financial Services Corp.

August 1, 2006

BETSY A. HEIMBUCH, PLAINTIFF,
v.
PLATINUM FINANCIAL SERVICES, CORP., DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: McLAUGHLIN, Sean J., J.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

Currently pending before the Court is the Defendant's Motion to Dismiss this matter pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1) and Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure [Doc. No. 3].

I.BACKGROUND

Plaintiff, Betsy A. Heimbuch, instituted the instant action against Defendant, Platinum Financial Services Corporation, alleging claims of fraud, extortion and mail fraud violations. As set forth in the Complaint, Plaintiff had a credit card account with MBNA, but subsequently closed her account due to a dispute over inter alia, interest rates and transaction charges. See Complaint ¶¶ 7-8. At some point a dispute arose between Plaintiff and Defendant with respect to the balance due on the account, and Defendant submitted the matter for arbitration to the National Arbitration Forum. Id. at ¶ 10.*fn1 Plaintiff claims that the credit card account submitted for arbitration was not hers since the card number differed from her original account number with MBNA. Id. at ¶ 10. According to Defendant however, Plaintiff's credit card account number was changed as part of MBNA's routine charge-off practice in conformity with its internal operating procedures. See Affidavit of Gregory B. Canapp ¶¶ 5-6 [Doc. No. 17]; Supplementary Affidavit of MBNA America Bank, N.A. ¶¶ 3-6 [Doc. No. 19].

Prior to the arbitration proceeding, Plaintiff forwarded documentation to the National Arbitration Forum in support of her claim that the credit card account submitted for arbitration was not hers, and further informed the Forum that she had opted out of arbitration on her "true" credit card number. Complaint ¶¶ 10-11; see also Sur Reply Brief p. 2 [Doc. No. 11]; Hearing Tr., June 29, 2006 pp. 9-10 [Doc. No. 22].

The arbitration proceeding subsequently took place and on January 30, 2003, the arbitrator entered an award in favor of Defendant in the amount of $13,591.49. See Complaint ¶ 13; see also Exhibit 1 [Doc. No. 13]. The arbitrator specifically found:

1. That no known conflict of interest exists.

2. That on or before 09/20/2002 the Parties entered into an agreement providing that this matter shall be resolved in accordance with the Forum Code of Procedure.

3. That the Claimant has filed a claim with the Forum and served it on the Respondent.

4. That the Respondent has filed a response with the Forum and served it on the Claimant.

5. That the matter has proceeded in accord with the applicable Forum Code of Procedure.

6. The Parties have had the opportunity to present all evidence and information to the Arbitrator.

7. That the Arbitrator has reviewed all evidence and information submitted in the case.

8. That the information and evidence submitted supports the issuance of ...


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