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NEW JERSEY HOME WARRANTY ARBITRATION INFORMATION

 

NEW JERSEY HOME WARRANTY ARBITRATION INFORMATION

REVISED MAY 30, 2018

EACH HOME WARRANTY COMPANY MAY HAVE DIFFERENT PROCEDURES SPECIFIED TO COMMENCE THE ARBITRATION PROCESS.  THE FIRST STEP IN COMMENCING THE ARBITRATION PROCESS IS TO CONTACT YOUR HOME WARRANTY COMPANY. 

AFTER CDRS RECEIVES THE CASE INFORMATION FROM THE HOME WARRANTY COMPANY (HWC), THE FOLLOWING PROCEDURES SHOULD BE FOLLOWED, SUBJECT TO THE RULES AND PROCEDURES OF THE HWC:  (NOTE THAT THE HOMEOWNER IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY OF THE CDRS ARBITRATION FEES FOR THE COVERAGE ARBITRATION PROCESS)

CDRS FIRST RESPONSE
Upon receipt of the appropriate arbitration information from the Home Warranty Company, CDRS will appoint the Arbitrator from our panel of neutrals who meet the arbitrator qualifications as specified and required by the State of NJ.  The Arbitrator, prior to his/her appointment, will be provided with the names of the parties and their attorney, if applicable, to make certain that no conflict of interest exists between the Arbitrator and either of the parties and or their attorney if applicable.  There shall be no direct contact for any reason between any of the parties and the Arbitrator.  All communications should be directed to the CDRS Case Administrator.

The CDRS Case Administrator will then send to the homeowner and builder (with a copy to the HWC) or the HWC Administrator as applicable, an email with an attached letter specifying the Arbitrator who will be handling your arbitration case along with a list of suggested dates to hold the arbitration hearing, as selected and provided by the Arbitrator. Each party shall reply to that email indicating all dates that will be convenient for them to attend the arbitration hearing. Hopefully, both parties will select at least one date for the arbitration hearing that is convenient for both parties. Should the parties not agree on a date to hold the arbitration hearing, a new set of dates will be sent to the Parties as suggested by the Arbitrator until a date is mutually agreeable to both parties.  Both parties will also be reminded to send to CDRS by a specified date, two copies of any additional information that they would like the Arbitrator to review prior to the arbitration.  A copy must also be sent to the other party.  There is no requirement that the parties submit any additional information to the Arbitrator prior to the arbitration hearing.

CDRS will also request that both parties provide the names of those people who will be attending the arbitration hearing to allow the Arbitrator to do a conflicts check.  Should there be any perceived conflict of interest by the Arbitrator; CDRS will determine whether the Arbitrator should be disqualified and/or a new Arbitrator appointed.


CDRS SECOND RESPONSE
After a date has been agreed upon by the parties to hold the arbitration hearing, CDRS will send the parties via email, a “Notice of Arbitration Hearing” that will specify the date, time and location of the arbitration hearing along with other information related to the arbitration process and hearing.


THE ARBITRATION HEARING
The arbitration process, including the arbitration hearing, shall be conducted according to the CDRS General Arbitration Rules and Procedures and the Home Warranty Arbitration Rules and Procedures as is posted on the CDRS website.  Should there be any conflict between those Rules and Procedures and the procedures mentioned in this document or with any of the Rules and Procedures specified in the HWC booklet, this document and/or the HWC booklet shall prevail over the CDRS Rules and Procedures.  The HWC Warranty Booklet procedures shall prevail over all other Rules and Procedures.

The arbitration hearing will take place at the residence of the homeowner at a time specified by the Arbitrator to allow the Arbitrator the opportunity to personally observe and inspect the disputed defects (claims). 

The arbitration hearing may be postponed by the Arbitrator for good cause.  The Arbitrator may proceed with the arbitration hearing in the absence of any party who, after due notice was given to the absent party, fails to be present at the hearing.  However, an Arbitration Award will not be made solely on the basis of the absence of a party.  In such circumstances, the Arbitrator may still require the party who is present to submit evidence in support or in defense of the claims at issue.

The hearing will be conducted in a manner which will permit the parties a full, fair and expeditious presentation of the case.  The Arbitrator will ask the Homeowner to testify regarding the alleged defects (claims).  The Builder or HWC Administrator, as applicable, will then be asked to respond.  At any time during the presentation by the Homeowner or Builder/HWC, witnesses, experts or representatives of the parties may be allowed to testify as allowed and directed by the Arbitrator.  The Arbitrator shall judge the relevance and materiality of the evidence and testimony offered.

After all testimony and evidence has been presented by the parties to the Arbitrator, the Arbitrator will close the arbitration hearing.  The Arbitrator shall return to his office or residence and will write his/her Arbitration Award that will address all of the claims (defects) that were the subject of the arbitration hearing.  The Arbitration Award will be sent to CDRS who will issue the Award to the parties as is appropriate via email. 

The Arbitration Award will be binding on both parties and is reviewable only under such circumstances and to such extent as provided in the New Jersey Arbitration Act. (N.J.S.A. 2A:24-1)


REQUESTS FOR CLARIFICATION AND/OR MODIFICATION OF THE ARBITRATION AWARD
Within twenty (20) days of the issuance of the Arbitration Award (via email) by CDRS, the Homeowner, Builder or HWC may request a clarification or modification of the Arbitration Award by giving written notice to CDRS with a copy to the opposing party.  Note that the Arbitrator may not change the Arbitration Award and is empowered to only clarify or modify the Award as is appropriate.


COMPLIANCE ARBITRATION
You may request a Compliance Arbitration, as is specified in the HWC Warranty Booklet, within twenty (20) days after the expiration of the compliance period by giving the HWC written notice of your request as specified in the HWC Warranty Booklet.  The terms and conditions of the Compliance Arbitration are as is specified in the HWC Warranty Booklet.