Last updated July 7, 2021
- Overview. Arbitration is an alternative to litigation where a neutral person (the “Arbitrator”) hears and decides the parties’ dispute. Arbitration proceedings are designed to provide parties with a fair hearing in a manner that is faster and less formal than court proceedings. The following procedures (the “Arbitration Procedures”) are applicable to all arbitration proceedings involving you and DG Auto.
- Pre-Arbitration Dispute Resolution. DG Auto is always interested in resolving disputes amicably and efficiently. So before you commence an arbitration, we suggest that you contact us to explain your complaint, as we may be able to resolve it without the need for arbitration. You may contact us at DG Legal, 527 Okerson Road, Freehold, NJ 07728.
- Administrator. The administrator for the arbitration is JAMS, an organization that is not affiliated with DG Auto. The JAMS facilitates, but does not itself conduct, the arbitration. The arbitrator who will hear and decide your dispute will be chosen from the JAMS’s roster of neutral arbitrators. For information on the JAMS, please visit its website, https://www.jamsadr.com. Information about JAMS’s rules and fees for resolving disputes can be found at JAMS’s Streamlined Arbitration Rules & Procedures page, https://www.jamsadr.com/rules-streamlined-arbitration/.
- Applicable Rules. The arbitration will be governed by JAMS’s Streamlined Arbitration Rules & Procedures (the JAMS Rules”), as modified by these Arbitration Procedures. If there is any inconsistency between the JAMS Rules and these Arbitration Procedures, the Arbitration Procedures will control. However, if the Arbitrator determines that strict application of any term of the Arbitration Procedures would result in a fundamentally unfair arbitration (the “Unfair Term”), then the Arbitrator shall have authority to modify the Unfair Term to the extent necessary to ensure a fundamentally fair arbitration that is consistent with these Arbitration Procedures (the “Modified Term”). In determining the substance of a Modified Term, the Arbitrator shall select a term that comes closest to expressing the intention of the Unfair Term.
- Commencing an Arbitration. To commence an arbitration against DG Auto, you must complete a short form, submit it to JAMS, and send a copy to DG at DG Legal, 527 Okerson Road, Freehold, NJ 07728. To learn more about commencing an arbitration and to obtain a form to institute arbitration, please visit the JAMS website and download the form available at, https://www.jamsadr.com/files/Uploads/Documents/JAMS_Arbitration_Demand.pdf. You may represent yourself in the arbitration or have a lawyer (or some other representative) act on your behalf. Upon receipt of an arbitration claim, DG Auto may assert any counterclaims it may have against the complaining party.
- Fees. You are responsible for paying your portion of the fees set forth in the JAMS fee schedule for consumer disputes. DG Auto will pay all remaining fees, except to the extent that fees paid by either party may be re-allocated upon order of the Arbitrator following a determination (a) that other party’s claim or counterclaim was filed for purposes of harassment or was frivolous, (b) that the other party engaged in any activities during the course of the arbitration for the purposes of harassment or to cause unnecessary costs or delay, or (c) that re-allocation is permitted by applicable law. If your claim against DG Auto is for less than $1,000 and you succeed on the merits, we will pay all fees, subject to the potential re-allocation discussed in the prior sentence. If you believe you cannot afford the JAMS fee, you may apply to JAMS for a fee waiver.
- Discovery. Each party may (a) request relevant, non-privileged documents from the other party; and (b) request that the other party provide the particulars of its claims or responses to no more than 5 relevant interrogatories (including subparts). Any such discovery requests must be served on the other party within 10 days after the Arbitrator’s appointment. The responding party shall provide the requesting party with all responsive, non-privileged documents, responses to the requested interrogatories, and/or any objections to the requests within 30 days after receipt of the requests. In the event of an objection to any discovery request, the objecting party shall not be required to provide any documents or interrogatory responses within the scope of the objection until the later of (a) 30 days after the Arbitrator resolves the dispute or (b) a deadline for production determined by the Arbitrator. In the event either party requests that the Arbitrator consider a dispositive motion prior to the expiration of a response deadline set forth in this paragraph, such response deadline shall be extended until 30 days following (a) the Arbitrator’s decision on the request to hear the dispositive motion or (b) if the Arbitrator grants the request to hear the dispositive motion, the Arbitrator’s final decision on such dispositive motion. Depositions shall not be permitted, unless agreed to by both parties. Any disputes about discovery or requests for extensions shall be submitted promptly to the Arbitrator for prompt resolution. In ruling on any discovery dispute or extension request, the Arbitrator shall take into consideration the nature, amount, and scope of the underlying arbitration claim, the cost and other effort that would be involved in providing the requested discovery, the case schedule, and whether the requested discovery is necessary for the adequate preparation of a claim or defense.
- Communications with the Arbitrator. Whenever communicating with the Arbitrator, the parties must include each other – for example, by including the other party on a telephone conference call and copying the other party on any written submissions, such as letters or emails. To the extent practicable, conferences with the Arbitrator will take place by telephone conference call or email. Ex parte communications are not permitted with the Arbitrator.
- Confidentiality. Upon either party’s request, the Arbitrator will issue an order requiring that confidential information of either party disclosed during the arbitration (whether in documents or orally) may not be used or disclosed except in connection with the arbitration or a proceeding to enforce the arbitration award and that any permitted filing of confidential information must be done under seal.
- Arbitration Hearing. The Parties agree to waive an oral hearing and submit the dispute to the Arbitrator for an Award based on written submissions and other evidence as the Parties may agree, unless a party requests an oral Hearing in writing within 10 days after the Arbitrator’s appointment. The Parties agree that the Arbitrator shall have the authority to consider dispositive motions without an oral evidentiary hearing if it determines that the motion is likely to succeed and will dispose of or narrow the issues in the case. Dispositive motions may be requested under the following circumstances: (a) within 30 days after the Arbitrator’s appointment, a party may request to file a dispositive motion based upon the pleadings; and (b) no later than 30 days prior to the oral evidentiary hearing, a party may request to file a dispositive motion for summary judgment based upon the parties’ pleadings and the evidence submitted.
- Arbitration Award. The Arbitrator will render a written decision within 30 days after the hearing or, if no hearing was held, within 30 days after any rebuttal or supplemental statements are due. The decision must clearly specify the relief, if any, awarded and contain a brief statement of the reasons for the award.