Hudson v. Citibank (South Dakota) NAAnnotate this Case
Two credit card holders defaulted on their accounts, and the issuing bank elected to litigate debt-collection actions. After courts entered default judgments against both card holders, the card holders filed new and separate suits alleging that the bank violated the Uniform Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Act (UTPA) during the earlier debt collection actions. The bank moved in each case to arbitrate the UTPA claims, and the superior court stayed the UTPA litigation and ordered arbitration. The issue presented for the Supreme Court's review was whether the bank waived its right to demand arbitration of the subsequent UTPA claims by litigating the debt-collection claims. Because the Court concluded that the two claims were not sufficiently closely related, it held that the bank did not waive its right to demand arbitration of the separate UTPA claims. But The Court also concluded that it was error for the superior court to interpret the arbitration agreement on the question of the availability of statewide injunctive relief: the interpretation of an arbitration agreement is in the first instance a matter for the arbitrator.