Review of Court Decisions - Dispute Resolution Journal - Vol. 49, No. 2
Originally from Dispute Resolution Journal
SECURITIES-CIVIL RIGHTS-RACIAL DISCRIMINATION-ARBITRATION PROCEEDINGSTATUTE OF LIMITATIONS--FEDERAL RULES OF CIVIL PROCEDURE
The court held that a plaintiff claiming racial discrimination during the course of an arbitration proceeding is free to bring his civil rights action within the applicable limitations period for his civil rights actions unaffected by the limitations period under the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA).
Tuaha Mian was a party to an arbitration proceeding with Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Securities Corporation and Smith Barney, Harris Upham & Company over their handling of his securities accounts. Mian, acting pro se, filed an action against Donaldson and Smith Barney for damages, claiming that they impermissibly discriminated against him because of his race during the course of the arbitration proceeding. He alleged violations of 42 U.S.C. §§ 1981, 1985(3) and 1986. Donaldson and Smith Barney moved to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted pursuant to rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Their motion was granted and Mian's complaint was dismissed. Mian appealed.
The appellate court disagreed with the lower court's finding that Mian failed to move within the FAA's three-month period to vacate the arbitration award. Mian was deemed free to bring his civil rights action within the applicable limitations period for his civil rights actions unaffected by the limitations period under the FAA. Noting the date when the arbitration panel issued its final decision, the court found Mian's claims timely under the applicable three-year limitations period for the sections 1981 and 1985 claims and the one-year limitations period for the section 1986 claim. As for the inadequacy of Mian's complaint, the appellate court ruled that Mian be given the opportunity to amend his complaint in light of the policy to liberally construe civil rights complaints, especially because the complaint was filed by a pro se plaintiff. Mian v. Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Securities Corporation, 7 F.3d 1085 (2d Cir. 1993).