The opinion of the court was delivered by: McLaughlin, J.
James Dickerson filed a complaint on April 13, 2009, alleging that the DeSimone Auto Group, Randy Foreman, Anthony Weiss, and John Doe defendants one through ten, violated the plaintiff's rights in the sale of a pickup truck to the plaintiff and in the initiation of criminal proceedings against him. The plaintiff's claims with respect to the sale and financing of the truck arise under the Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law, the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Sales Finance Act, and the Federal Equal Credit Opportunity Act. The plaintiff also asserts claims of fraud and fraudulent misrepresentation, abuse of process, malicious prosecution and the violation of the plaintiff's civil rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 with respect to the plaintiff's arrest and the criminal proceedings against him.
The defendants have moved to dismiss the case on the basis of an arbitration agreement signed by the plaintiff upon the purchase of the pickup truck. The defendants argue alternatively that certain of the plaintiff's counts fail to state claims as a matter of law and that the complaint should be amended to provide a more definite statement with respect to the plaintiff's Motor Vehicle Sales Finance Act and Equal Credit Opportunity Act claims.
I. Facts Alleged in the Complaint
The plaintiff alleges that on January 12, 2008, a representative of defendant DeSimone, Inc., contacted him about the sale of a vehicle. That representative stated that the plaintiff was pre-approved for financing and that he could secure a loan without a down-payment on the vehicle of his choice. On that same day, the plaintiff went to DeSimone and purchased a 2004 Chevy Silverado for the price of $16,383.05. Compl., ¶¶ 10-13.
The plaintiff, upon returning home with the truck, installed a large toolbox in the bed of the truck and replaced the existing rims with another set of rims. On January 17, 2008, defendant Weiss allegedly called the plaintiff at home and asked for a $1,500 down payment on the truck. The plaintiff informed Weiss that he could not make that payment. Weiss allegedly told the plaintiff that he should contact his credit union for a cash advance in order to make the down payment and keep the truck.
The plaintiff alleges that he began receiving notices of rejection of financing applications made on his behalf by DeSimone from various financial institutions. Those letters stated that they were rejecting a loan to the plaintiff because the amount requested was greater than the value of the purchased truck. Id., ¶¶ 20-21.
The complaint states that on January 21, 2008, the plaintiff came to believe that the defendants had failed to secure financing on his behalf. On January 22, 2008, the plaintiff returned the truck to DeSimone. He had previously removed the toolbox installed in the bed of the truck, but alleges that he forgot to replace the original rims. Id., ¶¶ 23-25.
On the same day that the truck was returned, the plaintiff allegedly received a call from defendant Foreman who demanded the return of the original rims and accused the plaintiff of vandalism. Foreman allegedly threatened to call the police and ask for the plaintiff's arrest. On January 24, 2008, officers of the Philadelphia Police Department arrested the plaintiff at his home for theft of the rims of the truck. Id., ¶¶ 24-27.
The plaintiff was charged with theft and receiving stolen property. He was released on his own recognizance after spending one night in the Philadelphia Police Department's central lockup. On April 25, 2008, the plaintiff appeared for a preliminary hearing at which defendant Foreman allegedly testified that he turned over the truck to the plaintiff so that the plaintiff could secure his own financing. At that hearing, the district judge ordered that the plaintiff be tried on both criminal charges. Trial was delayed several times, and the District Attorney's office ultimately decided to nolle prosse the charges against the plaintiff. Id., ¶¶ 29-42.
The defendants have moved to compel arbitration of the entire case pursuant to an agreement executed by the plaintiff in connection with the sale of the truck. The defendant represented to the Court at oral argument on the pending motion, however, that they would prefer to waive enforcement of this arbitration agreement in the event that the Court finds that it applies to less than all claims in the plaintiff's complaint.
The defendants also move to dismiss the plaintiff's counts under the Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices Act, the plaintiff's count for fraud, the plaintiff's abuse of process claim and the plaintiff's malicious prosecution claim. They have also moved for a more definite statement of the plaintiff's claims under the Motor Vehicle Sales Finance Act and the Equal Credit Opportunity ...