Home | Arbitration Rules | Arbitrator's Application | Respondent's Form | NY CPLR Art. 75 | Claim Form | Consumer Procedures | Mediation Rules
 


CONSUMER ARBITRATION RULES
Arbitration Services, Inc.

Preamble

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.

Rules

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.

R2. Initiation of a Claim: The filing party (the "Claimant") is required to serve upon the other party (the "Respondent")  a "Demand" for Arbitration, and Statement of Claim which shall be verified by the Claimant and which shall be served in accordance with subdivision (e) of this Rule 2. The Demand for Arbitration shall  include the following information:

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

b. The Statement of Claim shall provide a brief description of the nature of the dispute and shall have appended to the Claim a copy of the underlying written document which Claimant contends authorized the arbitration process; and

c. The amount of money sought by Claimant; and


d.Claimant shall pay the filing fee when filing the Demand for Arbitration with Arbitration Services Inc or the Demand for Arbitration may be dismissed; and

e. The Claimant "shall serve" a copy of the Demand For Arbitration and Statement of Claim on the Respondent(s) at his, her or their last known residence or business address by First Class Mail deposited with the United States Post Office, postage prepaid. Claimant shall , within 3 days of serving the Respondent, deliver to Arbitration Services Inc the original or true and exact electronic copy of the Demand for Arbitration and Statement of Claim, together with an affidavit, affirmation or certification of service, together with the filing fee found in Rule 11 Service shall be deemed sufficient and complete upon delivery to the United States Postal Service.

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.

a. The Answer shall provide a brief statement of the nature of Respondent's defense to the arbitration proceeding.

b. If the Respondent has asserted a Counterclaim or set-off, Respondent must state the nature of the counterclaim or set-off, the amount involved, and the remedy sought.

c. If no Answer is served and filed within the stated time, Respondent shall be in default and Arbitration Services, Inc. is authorized to render an Award in the proceeding provided that at least 5 days prior to the date the Answer is due Claimant serves upon the Respondent a Proposed Award.  The Proposed Award may be served with the Demand for Arbitration or thereafter.

d. In the event Respondent fails to pay the filing fee when filing an Answer with Counterclaim the Counterclaim shall be dismissed. In the event Respondent fails to pay any other fee or charge the Respondent shall be deemed in default in the arbitration proceeding.

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.

R.8 A party failing to comply with a ruling, request or order of the Arbitrator, or pay any filing or arbitration fee or charge in timely manner, shall be deemed in default and the Arbitrator shall proceed as if such party is in default.

R.9 Arbitrator’s Award: The Arbitrator shall render his or her award, in writing within fifteen (15) days following completion of the arbitration hearing.. A true and complete copy of the award shall be mailed by First Class Mail delivery to the United States Post Office, postage prepaid, to each party or their counsel, by Arbitration Services, Inc. within five (5) days thereafter. The award shall be consistent with the terms of the agreement to arbitrate and render substantial justice to the parties. The award shall be final and may thereafter be submitted for confirmation to a court of competent jurisdiction.

R.10 Attorney’s Fees and other costs: Except where prohibited by the laws of the State of Respondent’s residence, the arbitrator, in his or her discretion, may award attorneys’ fees to the prevailing party where:

(a) The agreement between the parties authorizes an award of attorneys’ fees to Claimant; and/or

(b) Relevant State law authorizes attorneys’ fees in matters of the nature submitted to the arbitrator for determination.
The arbitrator may also include in his or her award, an award for interest and filing/hearing fees.

R.11 Filing Fees:

(a) An initiating fee of $125.00 shall accompany the filing of a Demand for Arbitration.

(b) No filing fee is required from Respondent to serve an Answer unless the Answer includes a Counterclaim or demand for in-person hearing, in which event the appropriate fee must be paid when the Answer is filed with Arbitration Services Inc. A Counterclaim or in-person hearing demand shall be void unless accompanied with the filing fee.

(c) If either party demands that the arbitrator conduct an in-person hearing, he, she or they shall pay the sum of $350.00, together with the written demand for an in-person hearing, in accordance with Rule 2. The Arbitrator may require the party demanding the in-person hearing to pay an additional deposit where the Arbitrator reasonably believes that the in-person hearing will exceed two (2) hours of prep, hearing and post-hearing time.

(d) If the arbitrator determines that a hearing is required, the arbitrator may direct that either or both parties pay the required fees unless the arbitration agreement or all parties to the arbitration demand that the hearing be conducted via submission of papers, telephone or video.

(e) If a party who is required to pay a fee fails to do so, the Arbitrator may proceed as if the party is in default.

(f) Where a fee has been requested, and the appropriate fee paid, and the parties settle their dispute at least seven (7) days prior to the date scheduled for the hearing, the party paying the hearing fee shall be reimbursed the fee advanced. However, no refund shall be made where the matter is settled seven (7) or less days prior to the scheduled hearing.

(g) Reasonable adjournments of the hearing may be granted upon consent of all parties or within the discretion of the Arbitator, but may not extend the hearing date beyond 60 days from the filing of the Demand for Arbitration. Other than in emergency situations, where a party or parties request an adjournment less than 48 hours prior to the scheduled hearing, the party or parties requesting the adjournment shall, unless excused by the Arbitrator, pay an adjournment fee of $125.00.

(h) Where a party against whom an Award on default has been rendered requests, within 10 days of mailing of the Award by Arbitration Services Inc, that the default be vacated, the payment of an initial filing fee of $125.00 shall be paid with the request and shall accompany any other filing as provided in Rule 16. A request to vacate an Award made after 10 days 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.

(i) Arbitration Services Inc may in its discretion appoint a substitute Arbitrator when the assigned Arbitrator is unable to perform his or her arbitration services in accordance with these rules.


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.