Consumer Arbitration

ARBITRATION AGREEMENT

What do you do when you make demand for arbitration and the business fails to comply?
It is not uncommon that if you have purchased a consumer good, it is likely that you have signed an arbitration agreement contained in the small print. The fact that the agreement is contained in small print or in the back of the document most likely will not result in a change in result that you cannot go to court but have to handle the matter through the arbitration process. These two major arbitration resources are the American Arbitration Association and JAMS. Well, what do you do when the business fails to respond or they are in violation of either American Arbitration Association or JAMS due to process protocols?

1. If the business does not respond under American Arbitration Association rules, you are permitted to pay their fee and proceed in their absence. You would then be forced to obtain a judgment and domesticate it in the Superior Court and take whatever action is needed to collect on such a judgment.

2. If the business is in violation of the due process protocols or has not complied with their rules so as they are not handling the matters, there is no option but to proceed to Superior Court. It would be apparent that the business would be in breach of the contract for not permitting the consumer to go through the arbitration forum.

New Jersey Supreme Court has held that a consumer might bargain away their right to go to court as contained in the small print in a consumer contract. The business’ placement of this ‘court waiver’ in the fine print is enforceable and appropriate.