Updated: February 19, 2024
Dispute Resolution Program Rules and Regulations
Stated herein are the Arbitration Resolution Services, Inc. (ARS) rules and regulations governing the submission of civil disputes between businesses or between businesses and consumers. 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 (called an Applicant) or a Response to an Application (called the Respondent) for arbitration must agree to be bound by any decision rendered and all of the rules and regulations stated herein.
Sections of General Applicability
SECTION 1: GENERAL PROVISIONS
- Any party to a dispute may submit a claim to ARS provided that there is a contract between them which contains [an arbitration] a provision for the resolution of disputes via mediation or arbitration by ARS. If there is no provision all parties must agree to submit the dispute through mediation and/or arbitration with ARS.
- 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 lawsuit must dismiss the litigation within sixty (60) days of the completed submissions to ARS.
- Filing of a mediation or arbitration shall be deemed completed when the Application has been submitted, all Responses received, and applicable fees have been paid. Where a Response(s) contains a counterclaim or crossclaim, the submissions will be completed upon a receipt of the Response from the opposing party. If no Response is made within thirty (30) days of receipt of a notice of counterclaim or crossclaim, the matter shall be submitted to an arbitrator for decision.
- If a party fails to dismiss litigation as required by the rules, the other party may file a "Notice of Failure to Dismiss" with ARS. Thereafter, if a party incurs legal expenses and/or fees to have the action dismissed, upon the submission of proper documentation, they will be entitled to recover those costs or expense from the party failing to dismiss the lawsuit. Such documentation shall consist of invoices for legal fees and or costs incurred.
- Any notices required by the rules shall be given by email at the email address provided by the parties on the application.
- EXCLUSION OF LIABILITY: Neither ARS nor any mediator or arbitrator is a necessary party in judicial proceedings relating to the mediation or arbitration. Neither ARS nor any mediator or arbitrator shall be liable to any party for any error, act or omission in connection with any mediation or arbitration conducted under these procedures.
Sections on Mediation
SECTION 2: OPTIONAL MEDIATION
- 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. All “Sections on Arbitration” shall apply except where in conflict with this section.
- All mediations shall be conducted telephonically unless any party requests that the mediation be held via video conference.
- 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.
- All mediators will be selected by ARS and shall be experienced, neutral, and have no connection to any of the parties.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Sections on Arbitration
SECTION 3: JURISDICTION
- ARS arbitration services are limited to agreements entered into and to be executed in the United States of America and its territories.
SECTION 4: PROCEDURES
- A party wanting to submit a claim must be a registered user. A party need only register as a user one time and may thereafter submit new Applications for arbitration without registering again.
- Once registered, the Applicant may begin the process of filing an Application for arbitration. Once the application is submitted, with all exhibits attached and the non-refuindable filing fee paid, ARS will then contact the Respondent to seek their consent to arbitrate.
- If there is no preexisting agreement between the parties providing for arbitration, if and the other party refuses the request or otherwise does not respond to the request, within twenty-one (21) days, the Applicant will be notified and the matter closed. If the Respondent consents to arbitrate, the Applicant will be notified and will have thirty (30) days to complete and submit the Application to Arbitrate. In the event that an Application is not submitted, the matter will be dismissed and the parties notified.
- As part of the Application, the Applicant must submit (upload) the following as attachments to the Application:
- All documentary evidence to support their claim. Evidence may include any audio or video recordings relevant to the claim. Such documentary evidence shall consist of support for the liability of the Respondent, including but not limited to the agreement (with all of the terms and conditions) which provides for arbitration with ARS, witness statements, photographs and all other evidence that the Applicant is relying on.
- The documentary evidence shall also include proof of damages.
- The names, addresses and email addresses (if known) of all individuals that the Applicant intends to call if there is a hearing or otherwise whose statements will be used to support their claim. Such evidence shall contain the name and contact information for any expert witnesses that the Applicant intends to call.
- In the event that the Applicant does not request a hearing in their Application, they may do so after a Response is filed.
- Upon the submission of a completed Application, the Respondent will be notified and have thirty (30) days to submit a Response to the Application. A sample Response form can be vie5wed in the sample forms section of the web site. The Respondent(s) may view the filed Application and supporting documents from the Personal Management Page (view sample Management Page) of the website.
- The Respondent may, as a part of the Response, file a counterclaim against the Applicant or crossclaim against any another Respondent. The Respondent may also have the ability to add another party as an additional Respondent provided that they consent to be added. In the event the Respondent does not assert a counterclaim or crossclaim, their right to do so shall be deemed to have been waived.
- The Respondent must submit (upload) the following with the Response:
- All documentary evidence to support their position and/or counterclaim. Evidence may include any audio or video recordings relevant to the claim. Such documentary evidence shall consist of support for the liability of the Applicant, including but not limited to the agreement (with all of the terms and conditions) which provides for mandatory arbitration with ARS, witness statements, photographs and all other evidence that the Respondent is relying on.
- The documentary evidence shall also include proof of damages.
- The names, addresses and email addresses (if known) of all individuals that the Respondent intends to call if there is a hearing or otherwise those individuals whose statements will be used to support their position. The Respondent shall also list individuals and their contact information that the Respondent intends to rely upon as an expert witness.
- After a Response has been filed, the Applicant will be notified and have twenty-one (21) days to file a Reply. The Reply shall be limited to responding to any Counterclaim or defenses contained in the Response. The Applicant must upload any evidence needed to support their Reply. They may also add to their list of witnesses at that time. If no Reply has been filed by the Applicant to the Response, within the time allotted, the right to file a reply will be deemed waived.
- Either party may request a one-time extension of up to thirty (30) days for the deposition(s) to be held.
- In the event that either party fails to comply with a Notice to Depose or otherwise fails to make available a witness listed in their Application or Response, either party may file a Failure to Produce Witness form.
- Upon the filing of the Failure to Produce Witness form, the opposing party will be notified and given fourteen (14) days to file a Response to Failure to Produce Witness form.
- Either party in filing a Failure to Produce Witness Form or Response thereto, can request that a telephonic hearing be held to discuss the reasons for a party's failure to comply with a deposition request. If such request is made, the party's will be notified of the date and time of the hearing.
- If no hearing is requested, the Arbitrator assigned will render a decision as to whether or not to preclude the non-complying party from allowing the testimony of or reports or statements from the person not made available for the deposition.
- FEES: All filing fees are non-refundable. 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- DEPOSITIONS: In the event that either the amount claimed in the Application or Counterclaim, if any, exceeds Twenty Thousand dollars ($20,000), either party shall have the right to conduct telephonic depositions of any party or person listed in either the Application, Response or Reply that a party intends to rely upon to support their claim.
- A Notice to Depose form must be served via email, by the party seeking the deposition(s) on no less than two (2) weeks’ notice to the opposing party. All depositions must be held within one hundred and twenty (120) days from the filing of a Response. Either party may request a one-time extension of up to sixty (60) days for depositions to be held.
- Both parties must make a good faith effort to make witnesses available for depositions. Parties should be flexible in agreeing to mutually convenient times for depositions if the time specified in the Notice to Depose is not good for the person whose deposition is being sought.
- Where a party fails or refuses to make a person available for a deposition as requested in a Notice to Depose, the opposing party may file a Request to Preclude. If granted, neither the person nor any report produced by them may be used at any hearing or if no hearing, be considered by the arbitrator when rendering a decision. The Request must be sent to the opposing party via email the same time it is submitted to ARS.
- Upon receipt of a Request To Preclude, the opposing file shall have twenty one (21) days to file a Response to the Request to Preclude. Failing to respond, the Request will be referred to an Arbitrator to decide upon the Request.
- Either party may request a telephonic hearing in connection with a Request to Preclude. If neither party requests a hearing, the Request to Preclude and any Response will be referred to an Arbitrator for a decision on the Request.
- 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 email address of the parties as stated on their user registration.
SECTION 5: ARBITRATION HEARINGS
- Unless requested by any of the parties there shall be no formal hearing of a matter and Decisions shall be based on the contentions and evidence submitted by the parties.
- Any party may request a formal hearing which may be held either telephonically or via video conference. The fees associated with any hearing shall be shared equally among the parties unless otherwise provided for in the Agreement between the parties.
- The hearing will be scheduled within thirty (30) days of the receipt by ARS of the completed submissions if no depositions have been requested. If deposition were held, a hearing will be scheduled within sixty (60) days of the completed depositions.
- The notice of such hearing will be given by ARS no less than three (3) weeks before the hearing date.
- If necessary, either party may utilize the services of a translator who shall be provided at their expense.
SECTION 6: DECISIONS
- Decisions shall be made by experienced arbitrators familiar with the subject matter of the dispute. Such arbitrators shall be impartial in their assessment of liability and award of damages. The arbitrators shall conduct no independent research and shall be bound to render decisions based on legal standards or laws provided by the parties.
- In the event that a decision is rendered in favor of a party who incurred expenses and/or costs to have a lawsuit which was filed by another party dismissed, those expenses will be added to the amount awarded.
- If the party who incurred the expenses and/or costs to make the motion to dismiss a pending litigation loses the arbitration, a separate award will be rendered in that party's favor against the party who failed to voluntarily dismiss the lawsuit.
- If neither the Application or Response filed contain a request for a hearing, the matter will be referred to an arbitrator for a decision.
- If either the Applicant or Respondent has requested 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 (which can be viewed on the sample forms section of the web site). 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.
- Decisions shall be rendered no later than sixty (60) days after completed submissions has been received or the deadlines past. 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.
- Any award of damages must be paid within thirty (30) days of the date that the decision is published 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 rendered.
- In the event that an Appeal or Request for Clerical Review is filed, the thirty (30) day 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
- 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.
- Upon final notice from ARS, the non-compliant party will be barred from participating in any future matters with ARS until the award is paid.
- The rendering of a decision by ARS on any disputes shall not be considered as Res Judicata or Collateral Estoppel in any other proceedings.
SECTION 7: APPEALS/CLERICAL REVIEW
- Within thirty (30) days from the date of the decision, any party may file for an appeal of a decision based on any error on the law used by the arbitrator or the application of the law to the facts as determined by the arbitrator. There is no right to an appeal of the facts as determined by the arbitrator.
- The party seeking the appeal shall complete the appropriate Appeal Request form (which can be viewed on the sample forms section of the web site) and ARS shall serve such notice on all parties to the matter.
- 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 than thirty (30) days after the invoice is issued, the appeal will be deemed withdrawn and the original decision will be final and binding.
- The payment of any award of damages shall be due within thirty (30) days of the date that the decision on the appeal is rendered.
- 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.