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10302. Simplified Arbitration

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This Code was superseded by the Customer Code (Rule 12000 Series) and the Industry Code (Rule 13000 Series) on April 16, 2007, for claims filed on or after that date. The Code remains in effect, however, for cases filed before April 16, 2007.

(a) Any dispute, claim, or controversy arising between a public customer(s) and an associated person or a member subject to arbitration under this Code involving a dollar amount not exceeding $25,000, exclusive of attendant costs and interest, shall be arbitrated as hereinafter provided.
(b) The Claimant shall file with the Director of Arbitration an executed Submission Agreement and a copy of the Statement of Claim of the controversy in dispute and the required deposit, together with documents in support of the Claim. Sufficient additional copies of the Submission Agreement and the Statement of Claim and supporting documents shall be provided to the Director of Arbitration for each party and the arbitrator. The Statement of Claim shall specify the relevant facts, the remedies sought and whether a hearing is demanded.
(c) The Claimant shall pay a non-refundable filing fee and shall remit a hearing session deposit as specified in Rule 10332 of this Code upon the filing of the Submission Agreement. The final disposition of the fee or deposit shall be determined by the arbitrator.
(d) The Director of Arbitration shall endeavor to serve promptly by mail or otherwise on the Respondent(s) one (1) copy of the Submission Agreement and one (1) copy of the Statement of Claim. Within twenty (20) calendar days from receipt of the Statement of Claim, Respondent(s) shall serve each party with an executed Submission Agreement and a copy of Respondent's Answer. Respondent's executed Submission Agreement and Answer shall also be filed with the Director of Arbitration with sufficient additional copies for the arbitrator(s) along with any deposit required under the schedule of fees for customer disputes. The Answer shall designate all available defenses to the Claim and may set forth any related Counterclaim and/or related Third-Party Claim the Respondent(s) may have against the Claimant or any other person. If the Respondent(s) has interposed a Third-Party Claim, the Respondent(s) shall serve the Third-Party Respondent with an executed Submission Agreement, a copy of the Respondent's Answer containing the Third-Party Claim, and a copy of the original Claim filed by the Claimant. The Third-Party Respondent shall respond in the manner herein provided for response to the Claim. If the Respondent(s) files a related Counterclaim exceeding $25,000 exclusive of attendant costs and interest, the arbitrator may refer the Claim, Counterclaim and/or Third-Party Claim, if any, to a panel of three (3) arbitrators in accordance with Rule 10308 or, he may dismiss the Counterclaim and/or Third-Party Claim without prejudice to the Counterclaimant(s) and/or Third-Party Claimant(s) pursuing the Counterclaim and/or Third Party Claim in a separate proceeding. The costs to the Claimant under either proceeding shall in no event exceed the total amount specified in Rule 10332.
(e) All parties shall serve on all other parties and the Director of Arbitration, with sufficient additional copies for the arbitrator(s), a copy of the Answer, Counterclaim, Third-Party Claim, Amended Claim, or other responsive pleading, if any. The Claimant, if a Counterclaim is asserted against him, shall within ten (10) calendar days either (1) serve on each party and on the Director of Arbitration, with sufficient additional copies for the arbitrator(s), a Reply to any Counterclaim or, (2) if the amount of the Counterclaim exceeds the Claim, shall have the right to file a statement withdrawing the Claim. If the Claimant withdraws the Claim, the proceedings shall be discontinued without prejudice to the rights of the parties.
(f) The dispute, claim or controversy shall be submitted to a single public arbitrator knowledgeable in the securities industry appointed by the Director of Arbitration. Unless the public customer demands or consents to a hearing, or the arbitrator calls a hearing, the arbitrator shall decide the dispute, claim or controversy solely upon the pleadings and evidence filed by the parties. If a hearing is necessary, such hearing shall be held as soon as practicable at a locale selected by the Director of Arbitration.
(g) The Director of Arbitration may grant extensions of time to file any pleading upon a showing of good cause.
(h)(1) The arbitrator shall be authorized to require the submission of further documentary evidence as he, in his sole discretion, deems advisable.
(2) If a hearing is demanded or consented to in accordance with paragraph (f), the General Provisions Governing Pre-Hearing Proceedings under Rule 10321 shall apply.
(3) If no hearing is demanded or consented to, all requests for document production shall be submitted in writing to the Director of Arbitration within ten (10) business days of notification of the identity of the arbitrator selected to decide the case. The requesting party shall serve simultaneously its request for document production on all parties. Any response or objections to the requested document production shall be served on all parties and filed with the Director of Arbitration within five (5) business days of receipt of the requests for production. The appointed arbitrator shall resolve all requests under this Rule on the papers submitted.
(i) Upon the request of the arbitrator, the Director of Arbitration shall appoint two (2) additional arbitrators to the panel which shall decide the matter in controversy.
(j) In any case where there is more than one (1) arbitrator, the majority shall be public arbitrators.
(k) In his discretion, the arbitrator may, at the request of any party, permit such party to submit additional documentation relating to the pleadings.
(l) Except as otherwise provided herein, the general arbitration rules of FINRA shall be applicable to proceedings instituted under this Rule.
Amended by SR-FINRA-2008-021 eff. Dec. 15, 2008.
Amended by SR-NASD-97-22 eff. Nov. 17, 1998.
Amended eff. Oct. 1, 1984; Apr. 1, 1988; May 10, 1989; June 1, 1990; Apr. 26, 1991; Jan. 8, 1992; Sept. 8, 1992.

Selected Notices: 98-90, 08-57.

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