Ex parte Oasis Legal Finance, LLC

In re: James Marquez v. GNS & Associates, Inc., Oasis Legal Finance, LLC, et al, [Ms. 1170431, Ala. Mar. 22, 2018]. The Supreme Court denies a petition for writ of mandamus filed by Oasis Legal Finance, LLC, a foreign limited liability corporation not qualified to do business in the State of Alabama, which sought an order directing the Mobile Circuit Court to enforce an outbound forum selection clause. Plaintiffs alleged Oasis's so-called "purchase agreements," whereby it offered cash advances to financially vulnerable Alabamians with workers' compensation claims, were prohibited by §§ 25-5-231 and 25-5-86(2), Ala. Code 1975, parts of the Alabama Workers' Compensation Act which characterize such activities as a crime. Plaintiffs invoked § 10A-1-7.21(a), Alabama's "door-closing statute," which commands that a non-qualified foreign corporation "may not maintain any action, suit, or proceeding in any court of this State...." The Court (Stuart, C.J., and Bolin, Parker, Shaw, Main, Wise, and Bryan, JJ., concur; Sellers and Mendheim, JJ, dissent) denied the petition for writ of mandamus, without opinion, and dismissed Oasis's emergency motion for stay as moot. On May 1, 2018, Oasis Legal Finance, LLC’s application for rehearing was denied.