The Customer Code applies to claims filed on or after April 16, 2007. In addition, the list selection provisions of the Customer Code apply to previously filed claims in which a list of arbitrators must be generated after April 16, 2007; in these cases, however, the claim will continue to be governed by the remaining provisions of the old Code unless all parties agree to proceed under the new Code.
(a) Applicability of Rule
This rule applies to arbitrations involving $50,000 or less, exclusive of interest and expenses. Except as otherwise provided in this rule, all provisions of the Code apply to such arbitrations.
(b) Single Arbitrator
All arbitrations administered under this rule will be decided by a single public arbitrator appointed from the FINRA chairperson roster in accordance with the Neutral List Selection System, unless the parties agree in writing otherwise.
(1) No hearing will be held in arbitrations administered under this rule unless the customer requests a hearing.
(2) If no hearing is held, no initial prehearing conference or other prehearing conference will be held, and the arbitrator will render an award based on the pleadings and other materials submitted by the parties. If a hearing is held, the regular provisions of the Code relating to prehearings and hearings, including fee provisions, will apply.
(d) Discovery and Additional Evidence
(1) Document Production Lists, described in Rule 12506, do not apply to arbitrations subject to this rule. However, the arbitrator may, in his or her discretion, choose to use relevant portions of the Document Production Lists in a manner consistent with the expedited nature of simplified proceedings.
(2) The parties may request documents and other information from each other. All requests for the production of documents and other information must be served on all other parties, and filed with the Director, within 30 days from the date that the last answer is due. Any response or objection to a discovery request must be served on all other parties and filed with the Director within 10 days of the receipt of the requests. The arbitrator will resolve any discovery disputes.
(e) Increases in Amount in Dispute
If any pleading increases the amount in dispute to more than $50,000, the arbitration will no longer be administered under this rule, and the regular provisions of the Code will apply. If an arbitrator has been appointed, that arbitrator will remain on the panel. If a three-arbitrator panel is required or requested under Rule 12401
, the remaining arbitrators will be appointed by the Director in accordance with Rule 12403
. If no arbitrator has been appointed, the entire panel will be appointed in accordance with the Neutral List Selection System.
(f) Arbitrator Honoraria
FINRA will pay the arbitrator an honorarium of $125 for each arbitration administered under this rule.