Melendez v. Southgate Auto, Inc. – Los Angeles

Our client purchased a vehicle from Southgate Auto and spoke only Spanish. Southgate Auto and Westlake Services, LLC, filed a motion to compel arbitration. The judge ruled the arbitration provision unenforceable due to Southgate Auto’s failure to provide a Spanish language translation of the purchase contract, in violation of Civil Code § 1632. As to Westlake Services, specifically, the Court stated, “It is remarkable that defendant Westlake Services, LLC, an unsuccessful party that moved to compel arbitration but lost in both the trial and appellate courts in Ramos, is a moving party in the instant case. … Having been on the losing side of a similar transaction …, the defendants herein should have known better than to have tried to enforce the English-language arbitration agreement in this case.”