Pending Arbitration Application In a Court of Competent Jurisdiction
The second and third paragraphs of section 1281.4 provide as follows:
"If an application has been made to a court of competent jurisdiction, whether in this State or not, for an order to arbitrate a controversy which is an issue involved in an action or proceeding pending before a court of this State and such application is undetermined, the court in which such action or proceeding is pending shall, upon motion of a party to such action or proceeding, stay the action or proceeding until the application for an order to arbitrate is determined and, if arbitration of such controversy is ordered, until an arbitration is had in accordance with the order to arbitrate or until such earlier time as the court specifies.
"If the issue which is the controversy subject to arbitration is severable, the stay may be with respect to that issue only."
This statute is clear and unambiguous: it requires that the trial court stay an action pending before it while an application to arbitrate the subject matter of the action is pending in a court of competent jurisdiction. (Marcus v. Superior Court (1977) 75 Cal. App. 3d 204, 209 [141 Cal. Rptr. 890].)
There is no specific or implied exception contained within the statute to preclude its application for dilatory action by a party seeking to arbitrate the matter.
Relief based on such a claim should be presented to the court entertaining the application to arbitrate, as well as any substantive arguments relating to whether arbitration is appropriate under the facts presented.
The third paragraph of section 1281.4 is also inapplicable to the present case.
"In order to avail oneself of this remedy, a party is required to bring an appropriate motion and to prove that his or her claim is independent from the matter in arbitration." (Federal Ins. Co. v. Superior Court (1998) 60 Cal. App. 4th 1370, 1375 [71 Cal. Rptr. 2d 164].)