Arizona – Arizona Arbitration Act (Effective through 12/31/2010)



Arizona – Arizona Arbitration Act ARS §12-1501 to 12-1518

 12-1501. Validity of arbitration agreement

A written agreement to submit any existing controversy to arbitration or a provision in a written contract to submit to arbitration any controversy thereafter arising between the parties is valid, enforceable and irrevocable, save upon such grounds as exist at law or in equity for the revocation of any contract.

 12-1502. Proceedings to compel or stay arbitration

A. On application of a party showing an agreement described in section 12-1501, and the opposing party’s refusal to arbitrate, the court shall order the parties to proceed with arbitration, but if the opposing party denies the existence of the agreement to arbitrate, the court shall proceed summarily to the determination of the issue so raised and shall order arbitration if found for the moving party. Otherwise, the application shall be denied.

B. On application, the court may stay an arbitration proceeding commenced or threatened on a showing that there is no agreement to arbitrate. Such an issue, when in substantial and bona fide dispute, shall be forthwith and summarily tried and the stay ordered if found for the moving party. If found for the opposing party, the court shall order the parties to proceed to arbitration.

C. If an issue referable to arbitration under the alleged agreement is involved in an action or proceeding pending in a court having jurisdiction to hear applications under subsection A of this section, the application shall be made therein. Otherwise and subject to section 12-2101, the application may be made in any court of competent jurisdiction.

D. Any action or proceeding involving an issue subject to arbitration shall be stayed if an order for arbitration or an application therefor has been made under this section or, if the issue is severable, the stay may be with respect thereto only. When the application is made in such action or proceeding, the order for arbitration shall include such stay.

E. An order for arbitration shall not be refused on the ground that the claim in issue lacks merit or bona fides or because any fault or grounds for the claim sought to be arbitrated have not been shown.

 12-1503. Appointment of arbitrators by court

If the arbitration agreement provides a method of appointment of arbitrators, this method shall be followed. In the absence thereof, or if the agreed method fails or for any reason cannot be followed, or when an arbitrator appointed fails or is unable to act and his successor has not been duly appointed, the court on application of a party shall appoint one or more arbitrators. An arbitrator so appointed has all the powers of one specifically named in the agreement.

 12-1504. Majority action by arbitrators

The powers of the arbitrators may be exercised by a majority unless otherwise provided by the agreement or by this article.

 12-1505. Hearing

Unless otherwise provided by the agreement:

1. The arbitrators shall appoint a time and place for the hearing and cause notification to the parties to be served personally or by registered mail not less than five days before the hearing. Appearance at the hearing waives such notice. The arbitrators may adjourn the hearing from time to time as necessary and, on request of a party and for good cause, or upon their own motion, may postpone the hearing to a time not later than the date fixed by the agreement for making the award unless the parties consent to a later date. The arbitrators may hear and determine the controversy upon the evidence produced notwithstanding the failure of a party duly notified to appear. The court on application may direct the arbitrators to proceed promptly with the hearing and determination of the controversy.

2. The parties are entitled to be heard, to present evidence material to the controversy and to cross-examine witnesses appearing at the hearing.

3. The hearing shall be conducted by all the arbitrators but a majority may determine any question and render a final award. If, during the course of the hearing, an arbitrator for any reason ceases to act, the remaining arbitrator or arbitrators appointed to act as neutrals may continue with the hearing and determination of the controversy.

 12-1506. Representation by attorney

A party has the right to be represented by an attorney at any proceeding or hearing under this article. A waiver thereof prior to the proceeding or hearing is ineffective.

 12-1507. Witnesses; subpoenas; depositions

A. The arbitrators may cause to be issued subpoenas for the attendance of witnesses and for the production of books, records, documents and other evidence, and shall have the power to administer oaths. Subpoenas so issued shall be served, and, upon application to the court by a party or the arbitrators, enforced, in the manner provided by law for the service and enforcement of subpoenas in a civil action.

B. On application of a party and for use as evidence, the arbitrators may permit a deposition to be taken, in the manner and upon the terms designated by the arbitrators, of a witness who cannot be subpoenaed or is unable to attend the hearing.

C. All provisions of law compelling a person under subpoena to testify are applicable.

D. Fees for attendance as a witness shall be the same as for a witness in the superior courts of the state of Arizona.

 12-1508. Award

A. The award shall be in writing and signed by arbitrators joining in the award. The arbitrators shall deliver a copy to each party personally or by registered mail, or as provided in the agreement.

B. An award shall be made within the time fixed therefor by the agreement or, if not so fixed, within such time as the court orders on application of a party. The parties may extend the time in writing either before or after the expiration thereof. A party waives the objection that an award was not made within the time required unless he notifies the arbitrators of his objection prior to the delivery of the award to him.

 12-1509. Change of award by arbitrators

On application of a party or, if an application to the court is pending under sections 12-1511, 12-1512, or 12-1513, on submission to the arbitrators by the court under such conditions as the court may order, the arbitrators may modify or correct the award upon the grounds stated in paragraphs 1 and 3 of subsection A of section 12-1513, or for the purpose of clarifying the award. The application shall be made within twenty days after delivery of the award to the applicant. Written notice thereof shall be given forthwith to the opposing party, stating he must serve his objections thereto, if any, within ten days from the notice. The award so modified or corrected is subject to the provisions of sections 12-1511, 12-1512 and 12-1513.

 12-1510. Fees and expenses of arbitration

Unless otherwise provided in the agreement to arbitrate, the arbitrators’ expenses and fees, together with other expenses, not including counsel fees, incurred in the conduct of the arbitration, shall be paid as provided in the award.

12-1511. Confirmation of an award

A party seeking confirmation of an award shall file and serve an application therefor in the same manner in which complaints are filed and served in civil actions. Upon the expiration of twenty days from service of the application, which shall be made upon the party against whom the award has been made, the court shall enter judgment upon the award unless opposition is made in accordance with section 12-1512.

 12-1512. Opposition to an award

A. Upon filing of a pleading in opposition to an award, and upon an adequate showing in support thereof, the court shall decline to confirm and award and enter judgment thereon where:

1. The award was procured by corruption, fraud or other undue means;

2. There was evident partiality by an arbitrator appointed as a neutral or corruption in any of the arbitrators or misconduct prejudicing the rights of any party;

3. The arbitrators exceeded their powers;

4. The arbitrators refused to postpone the hearing upon sufficient cause being shown therefor or refused to hear evidence material to the controversy or otherwise so conducted the hearing, contrary to the provisions of section 12-1505, as to prejudice substantially the rights of a party; or

5. There was no arbitration agreement and the issue was not adversely determined in proceedings under section 12-1502 and the adverse party did not participate in the arbitration hearing without raising the objection; but the fact that the relief was such that it could not or would not be granted by a court of law or equity is not ground for vacating or refusing to confirm the award.

B. In declining to confirm an award on grounds other than stated in paragraph 5 of subsection A the court may order a rehearing before new arbitrators chosen as provided in the agreement, or in the absence thereof, by the court in accordance with section 12-1503, or if the court declines to confirm the award on grounds set forth in paragraphs 3 and 4 of subsection A the court may order a rehearing before the arbitrators who made the award or their successors appointed in accordance with section 12-1503. The time within which the agreement requires the award to be made is applicable to the rehearing and commences from the date of the order.

 12-1513. Modification or correction of award

A. Upon application made within ninety days after delivery of a copy of the award to the applicant, if judgment has not been entered thereon, the court shall modify or correct the award where:

1. There was an evident miscalculation of figures or an evident mistake in the description of any person, thing or property referred to in the award;

2. The arbitrators have awarded upon a matter not submitted to them and the award may be corrected without affecting the merits of the decision upon the issues submitted; or

3. The award is imperfect in a matter of form, not affecting the merits of the controversy.

B. If the application is granted, the court shall modify and correct the award so as to effect its intent and shall confirm the award as so modified and corrected. Otherwise, the court shall confirm the award as made.

C. An application to modify or correct an award may be joined in the alternative with an application to vacate the award.

D. After judgment, the award shall be subject to the powers of the court in the same manner as any other judgment which may be subject to review under rule 60(c) of the rules of civil procedure.

 12-1514. Judgment or decree on award

Upon the granting of an order confirming, modifying or correcting an award, judgment or decree shall be entered in confirmity therewith and be enforced as any other judgment or decree. Costs of the application and of the proceedings subsequent thereto, and disbursements may be awarded by the court.

 12-1515. Applications to court

Except as otherwise provided, an application to the court under this article shall be by motion and shall be heard in the manner and upon the notice provided by law or rule of court for the making and hearing of motions. Unless the parties have agreed otherwise, notice of an initial application for an order shall be served in the manner provided by law for the service of a summons in an action.

 12-1516. Court; jurisdiction and venue

The term “court”, as used in this article, means the superior courts of the state of Arizona, and venue of the appropriate superior court shall be determined as in any other civil action. The initial application having been made to a court of appropriate venue, all subsequent applications shall be made to the same court unless that court otherwise directs.

 12-1517. Limited effect of article

This article shall have no application to arbitration agreements between employers and employees or their respective representatives.

 12-1518. State and political subdivisions; use of arbitration

A. In the discretion of any state agency, board or commission or any political subdivision of this state, the services of the American arbitration association, or any other similar body, may be used as provided by this article. Any agreement to make use of arbitration shall be made either at the time of entering into a contract or by written mutual agreement at a subsequent time prior to the filing of any civil action.

B. Notwithstanding subsection A of this section, a state agency, board or commission shall include an agreement to make use of arbitration in all contracts which are subject to mandatory arbitration pursuant to rules adopted under section 12-133.

C. Notwithstanding subsection A or B of this section, a state agency, board or commission shall include an agreement to make use of arbitration as provided in this article in public works contracts if the amount in controversy is less than one hundred thousand dollars.