North Shore Condominium Ass'n v. Wan-Tsing Kwang, No. 1 CA-CV 22-0641 (App. Div. I, September 14, 2023) (J. Campbell) https://www.azcourts.gov/Portals/0/OpinionFiles/Div1/2023/CV%2022-0641%20North%20Shore%20OP.pdf
ARBITRATION AWARD ADDING FEES AND COSTS TO AMOUNT AWARDED IN “NOTICE OF DECISION” IS VOID IF FILED LATER THAN 50 DAYS FROM DATE OF “NOTICE OF DECISION”/”NOTICE OF DECISION” CONVERTS INTO “ARBITRATION AWARD” AFTER 50 DAYS BY OPERATION OF LAW DIVESTING ARBITRATOR OF JURISDICTION
Plaintiff brought a claim for unpaid assessments against defendant and in Compulsory Arbitration received an Arbitrator's “Notice of Decision” in the amount of $6,942.50 in assessments and $1,645 in attorneys' fees on December 15, 2021. Plaintiff was directed by arbitrator to apply for recoverable costs. On December 20, 2021 plaintiff submitted a proposed award asking for costs and an additional $16,885 in litigation related fees. Arbitrator did not act until March 22, 2022. Defendant objected arguing the Arbitration Award which included additional fees was untimely. The trial court entered judgment for the plaintiff including costs and a reduced fee award of $8,000 in litigation fees. The Arizona Court of Appeals vacated and remanded.
Ariz. R. Civ. P. 75 requires an arbitrator in a compulsory arbitration matter to issue a “Notice of Decision” stating how she decides the case. Parties submit forms of award and objections, but the Arbitrator is to issue a formal “Arbitration Award” within 50 days of the “Notice of Decision.” Finally, the failure to file the formal “Arbitration Award” within 50 days turns the “Notice of Decision” turns the “Notice of Decision” into the “Arbitration Award.” Once the 50 days runs and the Notice of Decision becomes the Arbitration Award as a matter of law, the Arbitrator is divested of any jurisdiction to issue any further decisions or awards.