Stated herein are the rules and regulations governing the submission of disputes involving businesses and individuals to Arbitration Resolution Services, Inc. (“ARS”). The rules and regulations stated herein have been designed for the benefit of the parties and are intended to insure the quick, accurate and unbiased rendering of decisions. Any party who submits either an Application for arbitration to ARS or a Response to an Application for arbitration must agree to be bound by any decision rendered and all of the rules and regulations stated herein.
SECTION 1: GENERAL PROVISIONS
1.1 Any company that provides goods or services to an individual, extends credit or grants loans of any type to an individual or is a landlord who is owned money by an individual who is/was a tenant may submit a claim as an Applicant to ARS for binding arbitration provided that the agreement with the individual contains an arbitration clause for the resolution of disputes or absent a written agreement to arbitrate, both parties agree to submit the dispute to binding arbitration with ARS. Where there is a written agreement between the parties, ARS strongly recommends that the agreement’s arbitration provision be highlighted and that the individual have the option at the time of execution to opt out of the arbitration process. Such shall be done by requiring the individual to initial a box or other check off indicating their specific knowledge and consent to the arbitration process or choice to forego it in favor of litigation.
1.2 Any individual who is a party to a contract whereby they purchased goods or services from a company or where a tenant and the contract provides for the resolution of disputes through arbitration with ARS, may submit an Application for dispute resolution with ARS.
1.3 In the event that the parties to a dispute agree to submit a claim to ARS where one of the parties has previously filed a lawsuit, the party having filed the law suit must dismiss the litigation within sixty (60) days of the completed submissions to ARS. Submissions shall be deemed completed when a Response has been filed to an Application. Failure to withdraw the litigation as prescribed herein will be the basis for assessing the offending party all of the other party’s reasonable costs and attorney’s fees necessary to conclude the litigation.
1.4 In the event a party fails to dismiss litigation as required by these rules and any other party incurs any legal expenses and/or fees to have the action dismissed, such expenses and/or fees will be added to any award rendered to the party who failed to dismiss the action. In the event that the conclusion of the proceeding to dismiss the litigation goes beyond the decision of the arbitration and the decision is rendered in favor of the party required to begin legal proceedings to dismiss the litigation, any such award will be amended to reflect the expenses of such party upon proper documentation. If the party required to make the motion to dismiss a pending litigation loses the arbitration, a separate award will be rendered in that party’s favor upon the documentation of the action and expenses.
1.5 All decisions rendered by ARS shall be made by an attorney experienced in litigation and all such attorneys shall be impartial in their assessment of liability and award of damages. But for the basic rules of law (for example, Statutes of Limitations), the arbitrators shall conduct no independent research and shall be bound to render a decision as to the legal standards or laws provided by the parties.
1.6 The filing of an Application for arbitration, will act to suspend any relevant Statute of Limitations. In the event that a matter is dismissed from arbitration, the Statute of Limitations, it would have otherwise expired, will be extended to ninety (90) days past the dismissal date.
1.7 Any notices required by the rules shall be given by email at the email address provided by the parties on the application. In the event that an email address is not available, the Applicant is responsible for notifying the respondent of the proceedings in accordance with the rules herein.
SECTION 2: JURISDICTION
2.1 ARS arbitration services are limited to agreements entered into and to be executed in the United States of America and its territories.
2.2 ARS shall have the jurisdiction to arbitrate claims for monetary damages, for equitable relief and/or in situations in which monetary and equitable relief is sought. In that regard, ARS arbitrators may grant any relief that they determine to be fair and justified based on the agreement between the partiers including but not limited to specific performance.
2.3 Submission of disputes requires that all parties involved agree to participate and be bound by a decision rendered by ARS.
SECTION 3: PROCEDURES
3.1 A party wanting to submit a claim (referred to as the Applicant) must be a registered ARS user. A party need only register one time to be able to participate in future arbitrations with ARS.
3.2 Once registered, the Applicant may begin the process of filing an Application for arbitration. ARS will then notify the Respondent that an arbitration has been filed against it/them.
3.3 If the Respondent does not acknowledge the arbitration and agree to participate within twenty-one (21) days, the Applicant will be notified that the Respondent is in default and will be instructed to complete the Arbitration Application.
3.4 Upon receipt of the Notice to Arbitrate, the Respondent(s) shall have thirty (30) days within which to submit a Response to the Application. The Respondent(s) may do so by viewing the filed Application and supporting documents found from the Personal Management Page (view sample management page) of the website and then completing the Arbitration Response form.
3.5 The Respondent may, as part of the Response, file a counterclaim against the Applicant. In the event the Respondent does not assert a counterclaim, their right to do so shall be deemed to have been waived.
3.6 The Respondent in their Response may request that a hearing be held prior to any decision being made by the assigned arbitrator.
3.7 The Respondent must submit the following as attachments to their Response:
a) All documentary evidence to support their position as to liability or to refute the damages claimed by the Applicant.
b) If a counterclaim is filed, all documentary evidence to support their claim for damages and proof of payment of such damages.
3.8 Upon the receipt of a Response with counterclaim, the Applicant shall have thirty (30) days to reply to the counterclaim. The Reply shall contain any evidence necessary to refute the claim asserted by the Respondent.
3.9 FEES: All fees are due at the time of filing any document under the rules or within thirty (30) days after an invoice for the fee(s) is rendered. Except as stated in this section, once both or all parties to a dispute have agreed (as required) to submit a matter to ARS for binding arbitration and all fees have been paid, the matter will be submitted to an Arbitrator. No matters will be referred to an arbitrator for any type of action or decision unless all required fees have been paid. The following are exceptions to the general rule:
a) Where the Application has been filed and the fee paid, if the Respondent files a Response but does not pay the required fee within the time required, the Response will be stricken and the matter referred to an arbitrator for a decision on the merits based on the Application alone.
b) Where the Respondent has filed a counterclaim and the Applicant has failed to pay their required fee within the time required, the Application will be stricken and the Response with the counterclaim will be submitted to an arbitration for a decision on the merits based solely on the Response.
c) The same rules as stated in sub-paragraph a and b above apply to all situations where parties are required to file a fee for a particular purpose with the exception of the clerical review fee. No fee will be required when the request for the review is filed. Where a clerical error is not found, the party will be required to pay the clerical review fee as stated in the schedule of fees.
3.10 Defaults/Notices: Where a party fails to file or respond as required by the rules, after proper notice has been given, all arbitrations will proceed as outlined in the rules. All notices will be sent to the e-mail address of the parties as stated on their user registration.
SECTION 4: OPTIONAL MEDIATION
4.1 Any party may request that a mediation session take place prior to the matter being assigned to an Arbitrator. ARS will seek to obtain the consent of the other party(ies). Where all parties agree, the mediation will be scheduled. Unless the parties agree otherwise, the parties shall bear the costs of the mediation equally.
4.2 All mediations shall be conducted telephonically unless any party requests that the mediation be held via video conference.
4.3 The request may be made at the time a party files an Application for arbitration, a Response to the Application or in their Reply, if one is filed. Any party may also request mediation at any time prior to the scheduling of an arbitration hearing. The party seeking the mediation must file a Request to mediate form with ARS and ARS will notify the other party (s). Once the consent is obtained, the matter will be assigned to a mediator.
4.4 All ARS mediators will be selected by ARS and shall be experienced, neutral, and have no connection to any of the parties.
4.5 All communications made at the mediation are strictly confidential and nothing said or done at the mediation will be reflected in any manner in the arbitration file maintained by ARS.
4.6 Any party may request a postponement of mediation one time. Any request shall be made to the Mediator who shall reschedule the mediation. In the event that a party needs a second postponement, they will be subject to a rescheduling fee. In no event will a party be entitled to more than two postponements. If any party is not available for a scheduled mediation session after two postponements, the mediation request shall be denied and the matter referred to an Arbitrator.
4.7 In the event that a resolution/settlement is reached by the parties at any time, the Applicant shall complete and submit a Stipulated Decision Award to ARS. ARS will then issue an Agreed Arbitration Award which reflects the terms of the settlement which may be converted to a judgment for enforcement purposes.
SECTION 5: HEARINGS
5.1 All hearings shall conducted telephonically unless any party requested that it be held via video conference.
5.2 In the event either or both parties request a hearing, both the Applicant and the Respondent shall fill out a Hearing Availability Form within in seven (7) days of the filing of the Response.
5.3 The hearing will be scheduled within thirty (30) days of the receipt by ARS of the completed submissions. The submissions shall be deemed completed when a Response without a counterclaim has been filed. Where a counterclaim is filed, the submissions will be deemed completed when a Reply is filed by the Applicant or the time to file a Reply has expired.
5.4 If the Response filed contains a request for a hearing, the matter will then be referred to an arbitrator who will set a date and time for the hearing in accordance with the times specified in the Hearing Availability Form. In the event that neither of the parties are available at the same time, the arbitrator will set a hearing date and time upon no less than three (3) weeks notice.
5.5 The notice of such hearing will be given by ARS no less than one (1) week before the hearing date. In no event shall a telephonic hearing last more than one (1) hour. If necessary, either party may utilize the services of a translator who shall be provided at their sole costs and expense.
SECTION 6: DECISIONS
6.1 If the Response filed does not contain a request for a hearing, the matter will be referred to an arbitrator for a decision.
6.2 Decisions shall be rendered no later than sixty (60) days after completed submissions have been received or the deadline has passed. In the event that a hearing is held, the decision will be rendered no later than sixty (60) days from the hearing. The decision will be published to the file and notice of such decision will be given to the parties.
6.3 Unless an Appeal, Request for Clerical Review or other Civil Court proceeding is filed challenging the award, all decisions rendered are final and binding on all parties and must be paid within thirty (30) days of the date the rendered.
a) In the event that an Appeal or Request for Clerical Review is filed, the thirty (30) days period to pay any award is suspended and starts to run when a decision on the appeal or clerical review is made and notice of the decision is sent to the parties.
b) In the event that litigation is commenced challenging the award, the thirty (30) day period shall not start to run until the conclusion of the litigation where the award is upheld.
c) In the event that any party files a lawsuit to enforce or challenge the award, all parties hereby acknowledge and agree that any service of papers related to the litigation may be served by e-mail at the address provided by the parties in their Application or Response.
6.4 In the event a party fails to pay an award within the time provided for, the party seeking payment of the award shall file a Notice of Non Payment with ARS and serve a copy of such Notice upon the non-compliant party by either e-mail or facsimile.
6.5 If such award remains unpaid for an additional time of thirty (30) days from the receipt of the Notice of Non Payment, then the following shall occur:
a) The amount of the award shall be increased by one third, which represents the reasonable costs of the party awarded the damages in seeking enforcement of the decision.
b) The non-compliant party will be barred from participating in any future matters with ARS until the award is paid.
6.6 The rendering of a decision by ARS on any disputes shall not be considered as Res Judicata or Collateral Estoppel in any other proceedings.
6.7 Clerical Review: Any party may file a Request for a Clerical Review of a decision based on a clerical error. A clerical error is defined as a typographical error in either a number or amount related to a decision or award or the misuse, inclusion or omission of a word which is clear from a reading of the Decision that is incorrect. Such request must be filed with ARS within twenty one (21) days from the date that the Decision is rendered or the right is waived. If an error if found, there will be no fee for the review. If there is no clerical error found, the party will be charged a fee as indicated in our schedule of fees.
SECTION 7: APPEALS
7.1 Within thirty (30) days from the date of publication of a decision, or if a clerical review has been requested, within thirty (30) days from the date that a decision on the clerical review has been rendered, any party may file an Appeal of the decision. The Appeal can only be based on one of two (2) reasons. First: The Arbitrator used the wrong law or legal standard or Second: The Arbitrator used the correct legal standard but applied it incorrectly as to the facts of the case as determined by the Arbitrator.
The non-appealing party(s) shall have the right to file a Reponse to the Appeal within thirty (30) days of receiving the Notice of Appeal.
7.2 The appeal will be conducted by a panel of three (3) arbitrators not previously involved in the matter and a decision on the appeal will be requested within sixty (60) days of the submitted request. No decision on the Appeal will be rendered until the applicable fee has been paid. If the fee remains unpaid for more that thirty (30) days after the invoice is issued, the appeal will be deemed withdrawn and the original decision will be final and binding.
7.3 Clerical Review: Any party may file a request for a clerical review of an appellate decision based on a clerical error. A clerical error is defined as a typographical error in either a number or amount related to a decision or award or the misuse, inclusion or omission of a word which is clear from a reading of the Appellate Decision that is incorrect. Such request must be filed with ARS within twenty one (21) days from the date that the Appellate Decision is rendered or the right is waived. If an error if found, there will be no fee for the review. If there is no clerical error found, the party will be charged a fee as indicated in our schedule of fees.
7.4 In the event that no request for a clerical review of the appeal is filed, the payment of any award of damages shall be due within sixty (60) days of that date the decision on the appeal is rendered.