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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:The court reviews the district court’s denial of Mitsubishi Motors Credit of America Inc. and Triad Financial Corp.’s motions to compel arbitration de novo HOLDING:Reversed and remanded. The district court held that appellants did not provide signed arbitration agreements, and therefore, failed to show that there existed a valid agreement to arbitrate between the parties. Appellants argue that they proffered the affidavit of John M. Thames Jr., President of Thames Autoplex establishing that: 1. appellees purchased cars from Thames Autoplex; 2. the signed arbitration agreements could not be located; 3. Thames requires that every customer purchasing or attempting to purchase a vehicle from Thames execute an arbitration agreement and that appellees could not have purchased the vehicles from Thames without having signed such an arbitration agreement; and 4. Thames’ standard arbitration agreement applies to “all claims, demands, disputes or controversies of every kind or nature . . . arising from, concerning or relating to any of the negotiations involved in the sale, lease or financing of the vehicle.” Appellees failed to provide any evidence in response to the Thames affidavit. Based on the Thames affidavit, appellants contend that they proved by a preponderance of the evidence that the parties agreed to arbitrate this dispute. Under Mississippi law, where there is no writing to evidence the contract or the writing itself has been destroyed or lost, the parties may use parol evidence or outside evidence to prove that a valid contract existed and what the terms of that contract were meant to be. A party must undertake a twofold burden in order to recover on a document that he cannot produce. Such a party must demonstrate both the former existence and the present unavailability of the missing document, and the contents of the missing document. The uncontradicted Thames affidavit shows by a preponderance of the evidence: 1. the existence of an agreement to arbitrate between the parties, albeit through circumstantial evidence that appellees purchased a car from Thames, every car purchaser is made to sign an arbitration agreement, and that appellees could not have purchased a car without executing an arbitration agreement; 2. the present unavailability of the arbitration agreement; and 3. the contents of the missing arbitration agreement. The district court determined that the other plaintiffs’ claims in this case, for which appellants were able to produce signed copies of the arbitration agreements, fell within the scope of the arbitration agreement. Because appellees asserted the same claims as the other plaintiffs, their arbitration agreements are identical, and appellees do not contend that their claims fall outside the scope of the arbitration agreement, the court concludes that the appellees’ claims fall within the scope of the arbitration agreement. OPINION:Per curiam; Reavley, Davis and Wiener, JJ.

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