Fast Facts and Q&A: North Carolina Court-Ordered Arbitration

October 6, 2022 General

North Carolina’s court-ordered arbitration program was started in 1987 as an alternative way to quickly, and more efficiently resolve certain types of civil cases without going through the traditional litigation process. Although North Carolina’s arbitration program has been in existence for more than thirty years, many people first learn about it when they are notified that their case has been selected for arbitration.

Often, individuals who are party to a lawsuit choose to represent themselves at an arbitration hearing. Below are ten commonly asked questions and answers about our state’s court-ordered arbitration program that may help educate and prepare you for your arbitration hearing date. 

If you need guidance or representation concerning an upcoming arbitration, we may be able to help. Contact Young Legal, PLLC to schedule a consultation.

*The information provided on this blog does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this blog are for general informational purposes only.

What happens if I don’t go to my scheduled arbitration?

Generally, choosing to not attend your arbitration hearing will not cause the arbitration to be canceled, or rescheduled. If you have been notified of the hearing, and fail to appear, without good cause, the hearing will proceed without you.

My case was scheduled for arbitration, but due to an emergency I was unable to attend. What can I do?

If you cannot attend or continue your arbitration, because of circumstances beyond your control, and an award is entered against you, the court may order a rehearing if a motion is timely filed and granted.

What is the role of the arbitrator?

The arbitrator has the authority of a trial judge to govern the conduct of arbitration hearings. The arbitrator is a neutral party selected to hear the evidence and decide, based on the law, what each party is likely entitled to recover. An award will be entered by the arbitrator in favor of the prevailing party.

During the arbitration, may I ask the arbitrator to dismiss the action against me?

The arbitrator is not allowed to dismiss the action. The arbitrator is also not allowed to issue contempt orders, or issue sanctions.

What can I do if I don’t agree with the arbitrator’s decision?

If you do not agree with the arbitrator’s decision and/or award, you may appeal for a trial de novo if done so within the time allowed.

How long does the arbitration last?

The arbitration can last up to one hour.

My company is being sued, may I, as the owner of the company, appear at the arbitration to represent my company?

As the owner of a company that is a party to a lawsuit, you cannot represent the company at the arbitration hearing. The company must be represented by an attorney.

How much is the arbitration fee?

The arbitration fee amount is currently $100. Each party is responsible for half ($50) of the fee.

What happens if I don’t pay the arbitration fee?

If you are not found to be indigent, and you do not pay your half of the arbitration fee, a judgment in the amount of $50 will be entered against you. (If you believe you qualify as an indigent or partial indigent party, and are unable to pay a portion or all of the arbitration fee, you may seek relief from your obligation to pay the fee with the clerk or court.)

Why am I responsible for paying an arbitration fee?

The arbitration fee covers the cost of providing an arbitrator for your case.