CONSUMER ARBITRATION RULES
Arbitration Services, Inc.
The Consumer Arbitration Rules are intended to provide a mechanism for a simplified arbitration procedure where either the Claimant or the Respondent (or both) are consumers. For the purpose of interpreting these Rules a "consumer" shall be defined in the context of the laws of the State where the individual resides. The Consumer Arbitration Rules apply solely to those situations where goods or services have been rendered to an individual for personal or household use.
The purpose of this Consumer Arbitration is to resolve disputes between parties utilizing the guiding principal of rendering substantial justice to the parties to the dispute. As such, strict enforcement of evidentiary rules may be modified or waived by the individual arbitrator. Issues of the arbitrability of a claim shall be determined by the arbitrator, who shall have the discretion to dismiss a claim where he or she determines, among other reasons, that no binding obligation to arbitrate exists between the parties.
R1. General Statement: A Consumer related dispute may be submitted to arbitration under the Consumer Rules where either: (1) there is a written agreement between the parties authorizing the submission of the dispute to arbitration; and (2) where there is a State statute, law or rule which authorizes the submission of the dispute in question to arbitration. A "consumer" is defined by the laws of the State where the individual resides and is intended to apply to those instances where goods or services have been rendered to an individual for personal or household use. Where a consumer resides in a state that requires that arbitration hearings be conducted within the venue of the consumer’s residence it shall sufficient that all in-person hearings be conducted within such venue, and arbitrations conducted by submission of papers, telephonic or video conducted by an arbitrator outside the venue shall be deemed sufficient compliance with the state venue requirement. An arbitrator need not be located within the consumer’s venue.
a. The Demand for Arbitration shall state the name, address of the Claimant and the name, address, phone and email of the Claimant’s attorney, if any, or the person signing the Demand for Arbitration; and
R3. In the event Respondent fails to serve an Answer to the Demand for Arbitration and these rules authorize Arbitration Services Inc to issue an Award, the Chief Administrator of Arbitration Services Inc shall be authorized to render the Award and shall be deemed to act as the Arbitrator in the case.
R4. Respondent's Answer: The Respondent shall serve an Answer the Demand for Arbitration and Statement of Claim which may include a counterclaim or set-off within 15 days of the service of the Demand For Arbitration by Claimant. the Answer must be served upon the Claimant or upon the Claimant’s attorney if Claimant is represented by an attorney, by First Class Mail, delivered to the United States Post office, postage prepaid, and within 3 days thereafter must be sent to Arbitration Services, Inc. by mail, electronically or overnight mail, together any filing fee required for the Counterclaim, if any.
R.5 Appointment of Arbitrator: Upon receipt of Respondent’s Answer, an arbitrator shall be appointed to determine the dispute. Either party may object to the appointment of the assigned arbitrator for cause within 5 days following the time that they are notified of the arbitrator’s appointment. The arbitrator appointed shall certify that there are no circumstances likely to affect his or her ability to render a fair and reasonable determination of the dispute based solely on the evidence produced and in accordance with the arbitration agreement and arbitration rules.
R.6 Expedited Resolution: Unless Claimant or Respondent requests an in-person hearing, the arbitration may, at the discretion of the Arbitrator, be conducted by submission of the papers, by telephone or video. . Provided served with the Demand for Arbitration or with the Answer, a party may, in writing, request that the arbitration be conducted by an in-person hearing, provided that that the party requesting the in-person hearing pay, at the time of the request, a deposit for the Arbitrator fee of $350 or such other amount as Arbitration Services Inc shall require. The request for an in-person hearing shall be deemed withdrawn if not accompanied by the deposit for the Arbitrator deposit. There shall not be any pre-hearing discovery unless approved by the Arbitrator except that upon request of either party at least 5 days before the arbitration hearing, all parties shall be required to serve upon the other parties and upon the Arbitrator copies of all papers intended to be used at the time of the arbitration.
R.7 Hearing: The arbitration hearing shall be conducted within 40 days of the filing the Demand for Arbitration with Arbitration Services Inc or within 15 days of service and filing of Respondent’s Answer, whichever is earlier, unless such time is extended by consent of the parties and consent of the Arbitrator.
(a) The agreement between the parties authorizes an award of attorneys’ fees to Claimant; and/or
R.11 Filing Fees:
(a) An initiating fee of $125.00 shall accompany the filing of a Demand for Arbitration.
R.12 Amendment to Claim or Counterclaim: No amendment to any claim, Counterclaim or setoff shall be permitted without either the consent of the arbitrator or the consent of all parties.
R.13 Adjournments: Adjournments may be granted solely by the arbitrator assigned in his or her discretion. The failure to grant an adjournment shall not prevent the arbitrator from rendering a determination based on the documentary or other evidence provided by the parties.
R.14 Stenographic Record: Arbitration Services, Inc., shall not provide stenographic or other record of the proceedings. Any party may make his, her or their own arrangements to have a hearing stenographically recorded provided that prior notice is given to the other party.
R.15 Notices: Notices shall be given by Arbitration Services, Inc. by mail, telephone, email or facsimile transmission, if mailed or sent to the last known address, telephone number or email address of the parties or their respective counsel.
R.16 Vacating Defaults: A party against who a default Award has been rendered may request that the default Award be vacated. Such request shall be in writing and mailed to Arbitration Services, Inc. together with the applicable payments as provided in Rule 11. A copy of Respondent’s Answer and proof of service on Claimant or his, her or its attorney must accompany Respondent’s submission. A request to vacate an Award made after 10 days of the Award is served may not be granted without reasonable compensation to the non-defaulting party as determined by the Arbitrator. A request made to vacate an Award after a proceeding has been commenced in a court of competent jurisdiction to confirm the Award shall be denied unless consented to by the non-defaulting party and reimbursement of the non-defaulting parties legal expense in post Award proceedings as determined by the Arbitrator.