Camaro Trading Co. v. Nissei Sangyo America, LTD

In Camaro Trading Co. v. Nissei Sangyo America, LTD., 577 So. 2d 1274 (Ala. 1991) the Court affirmed the trial court's denial of a foreign corporation's motion to compel arbitration, holding that the foreign corporation could not compel arbitration pursuant to an arbitration clause in a contract because the entire contract was unenforceable and invalid as a result of the foreign corporation's failure to qualify to do business in Alabama. 577 So. 2d at 1274-75. In Camaro Trading, we adopted the reasoning of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia in A.J. Taft Coal Co. v. S & H Contractors, Inc. [Ms. 1-88-CV-436-MHS, October 4, 1988] (N.D. Ga. 1988) (not reported in F. Supp. ), aff'd on other grounds, 906 F.2d 1507 (11th Cir.1990), cert. denied, 498 U.S. 1026, 111 S. Ct. 677, 112 L. Ed. 2d 669 (1991). The district court wrote: "The unenforceability of the contract extends to the contract's arbitration clause, so there exists no enforceable agreement between the parties to arbitrate disputes. 'The question of arbitrability is an issue for judicial determination....' Roadway Express, Inc. v. Teamsters Local 515, 642 F. Supp. 116, 118 (N.D. Ga. 1986) . In any case, 'arbitration is a matter of contract and a party cannot be required to submit to arbitration any dispute which he has not agreed so to submit.' United Steelworkers of America v. Warrior and Gulf Navigation Co., 363 U.S. 574, 582, 4 L. Ed. 2d 1409, 80 S. Ct. 1347 (1960). Clearly, if a party cannot be forced to arbitrate if the contract does not contain a valid arbitration clause, then a party cannot be forced to arbitrate if the contract containing the arbitration clause, which gives the arbitration clause viability, is found to be void." 577 So. 2d at 1275.