Review of Court Decisions - Dispute Resolution Journal - Vol. 49, No. 1
Originally from Dispute Resolution Journal
COMMERCIAL-LANDLORD /TENANT--MANDATORY ARBITRATION AWARD-TRIAL DE NOVO-PROOF OF SERVICE-TIMELINES -- WASHINGTON
An arbitration rule providing that any party aggrieved by an arbitration award may request a trial de novo by filing a request, together with proof of service on the opposing party, within 20 days after the award is filed is required to actually complete service within the 20-day period. Marilyn Alexander, doing business as Lynn Construction (Lynn), operated a business on premises owned by Roland and Wanda Jankelson. A dispute arose and the matter went to mandatory arbitration. The arbitrator ruled in favor of the Jankelsons. The court denied Lynn's request for trial de novo and entered judgment on the award. Lynn appealed.
At issue was whether the request for trial de novo was timely served on the Jankclsons. Under applicable rules, a party aggrieved by an arbitration award can request a trial de novo by filing a request within 20 days after the award is filed, along with proof of service. In this case, the mailing of the request to the opposing party was done on the 20th day. The court determined that such service did not satisfy the applicable rule because its language contemplates that service will have been completed within the 20 days allowed for making the request. The trial court's decision was affirmed because service in this case was not completed within the 20-day period. Jankelson v. Lynn Construction, Inc., 864 P.2d 9 (Wash. Ct. App. 1993).