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How to File a Response

En Español: Como Contestar

Note: The following instructions summarize certain portions of the National Arbitration Forum’s rules that govern arbitration, the Code of Procedure. This summary is not a substitute for reading and understanding the Code of Procedure.

Responding Under Rule 13
If you Received a Notice of Arbitration, someone has submitted to the FORUM an arbitration Claim naming you as the Respondent. Parties responding to a Claim must do so in accordance with Rule 13 of the Code of Procedure. Please read and review this rule prior to submitting your Response.

Deadline
As a Respondent, you are required to respond in Writing to the Claim within thirty (30) days from Receipt of Service of the Claim or fourteen (14) days from the date of the Second Notice of Arbitration, whichever is later.

If you do not respond, an Award and later judgment may be issued against you.

You may obtain ten (10) additional days to respond to an Initial Claim by filing with the FORUM and Delivering to all other Parties an extension Notice before the Response is due. Only one (1) extension by Notice is available.

Rule 13
Rule 13 of the Code of Procedure outlines the process and requirements for filing a Response with the FORUM. You may draft your own Response, or use the Response Form. The Response must include:

1. A statement in plain language of your Response to the Claim or stating the Respondent has insufficient information to affirm or deny a statement. A Response shall also include any defenses to each Claim made, the facts, and the law (if known) supporting the defenses, including affirmative defenses and set offs;

2. An objection to the arbitration of the Claim, if the Respondent so objects. A Response that does not assert this objection is an agreement to the arbitration of the Claim and a waiver of this objection which cannot be asserted in an Amendment;

3. A copy of Documents that support the Response;

4. Any Counter Claim the Respondent has against the Claimant in accord with Rule 14 of this Code, including the Counter Claim filing fee;

5. Proof of Delivery of the Response to all other Parties; and

6. Any fees as provided in the Fee Schedule or as required by the agreement of the Parties.

Fees
The amount of a fee depends upon the amount of the claim and is designated in the Fee Schedule.
Fees can be paid by check, money order, cashier’s check, or credit card. If you are an indigent consumer party and cannot pay a fee, you can ask for a waiver of Common Claim fees, which may be granted by the FORUM.

State All Available Replies, Defenses, and Claims
A Respondent who responds but does not state available replies, defenses, or Claims may be barred by the Arbitrator from presenting such replies, defenses, or Claims at the Hearing. The failure of a Respondent to deny a statement in a Claim may be considered by the Arbitrator as an admission of that statement.

An Arbitrator may reject, in whole or in part, a Response that does not substantially conform to Rule 13 of the Code of Procedure.

Hearing Selection
In the Written Response, you may select the type of hearing desired. A Document Hearing allows you to present your case in writing and provide supporting documentation to an Arbitrator. No party will personally appear at the Document Hearing. A Telephonic Participatory Hearing allows you to present your case, from a location of your choice, to the Arbitrator by way of a telephone conference call. An Online Participatory Hearing allows you to present your case, from a location of your choice, to the Arbitrator by way of online communication. An In-Person Participatory Hearing allows you to appear in person, at a place near where you live, and present your case to an Arbitrator.

Counter Claims, Cross-Claims, and Third Party Claims (Optional)
You may include a Counter Claim in your Response. You may draft your own Document or use the Counter Claim Form.

You must include the appropriate Filing Fee when filing a Counter Claim; see the Fee Schedule to determine the amount of the Filing Fee. The complete Counter Claim process is described in Rule 14 of the Code of Procedure.

You may also file a Cross-Claim or a Third Party Claim. Rules 15 and 16 of the Code of Procedure explain these types of Claims. You may draft your own Document, or you may use the Cross-Claim Form or Third Party Claim Form.

You must Deliver these Documents to the Parties and file them with the FORUM. You must also include the appropriate Filing Fee when filing either a Cross-Claim or a Third Party Claim; see the Fee Schedule to determine the amount of the Filing Fee.

Submit Your Response
Submit your completed Response including any applicable fee, along with any Counter Claim, Cross-Claim, or Third Party Claim and its associated fee, to the FORUM by mail, fax, or email:
 
National Arbitration Forum
P.O. Box 50191
Minneapolis, MN 55405-0191
Fax: 952-345-1160, or toll-free 866-743-4517
Email: file@adrforum.com
 
Our administrative office handles all arbitration Claims, Responses, and Requests. We will review the Documents and advise you if they have been accepted for filing or if there are deficiencies to correct.

If you have any questions about responding, you may contact the FORUM at 800-474-2371. The National Arbitration Forum does not give legal advice or represent parties. You may seek the advice or representation of an attorney or non-attorney regarding arbitration. Read more about your rights in arbitration in the Arbitration Rights document.