Citizens Bank v. Alafabco, Inc., 539 U.S. 52, 2 (2003) (per curiam)

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Cite as: 539 U. S. 52 (2003)

Per Curiam

Per Curiam.

The question presented is whether the parties' debt-restructuring agreement is "a contract evidencing a transaction involving commerce" within the meaning of the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA). 9 U. S. C. 2. As we concluded in Allied-Bruce Terminix Cos. v. Dobson, 513 U. S. 265 (1995), there is a sufficient nexus with interstate commerce to make enforceable, pursuant to the FAA, an arbitration provision included in that agreement.


Petitioner The Citizens Bank—an Alabama lending institution—seeks to compel arbitration of a financial dispute with respondents Alafabco, Inc.—an Alabama fabrication and construction company—and its officers. According to a complaint filed by respondents in Alabama state court, the dispute among the parties arose out of a series of commercial loan transactions made over a decade-long course of business dealings. In 1986, the complaint alleges, the parties entered into a quasi-contractual relationship in which the bank agreed to provide operating capital necessary for Alafabco to secure and complete construction contracts. That relationship began to sour in 1998, when the bank allegedly encouraged Alafabco to bid on a large construction contract in Courtland, Alabama, but refused to provide the capital necessary to complete the project. In order to compensate for the bank's alleged breach of the parties' implied agreement, Alafabco completed the Courtland project with funds that would otherwise have been dedicated to repaying existing obligations to the bank. Alafabco in turn became delinquent in repaying those existing obligations.

On two occasions, the parties attempted to resolve the outstanding debts. On May 3, 1999, Alafabco and the bank executed " 'renewal notes' " in which all previous loans were


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