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Mandatory Arbitration

Goal of the Program

The goal of the mandatory arbitration program is to provide litigants who have a civil case, other than an appeal from a court of limited jurisdiction, a simplified and economical procedure for obtaining the prompt and equitable resolution of disputes that have been filed in Superior Court.

When Mandatory Arbitration is Used

Some cases go to mandatory arbitration even if none of the parties want it.  In some instances the cases are put into mandatory arbitration because one party asked the judge to have arbitration instead of a trial.  In other instances the case is arbitrated by agreement (stipulation) of the parties. In cases where the parties have not agreed otherwise the remedy is limited to a capped financial award.

Who Decides if Mandatory Arbitration is Appropriate?

A judge must approve mandatory arbitration as a method to resolve the dispute before the Court.  After the judge has approved arbitration the parties select an arbitrator by agreement or through a selection process administered by the court.  Note: Don't include a requirement in a private contract that the court's mandatory arbitration program is to be utilized.  The program is only available, in certain circumstances, for cases on file with the Court.

The program eligibility and process is defined by reading both the State Superior Court Mandatory Arbitration Rules and our local rules.