2010 Georgia Code
TITLE 10 - COMMERCE AND TRADE
CHAPTER 1 - SELLING AND OTHER TRADE PRACTICES
ARTICLE 28 - GEORGIA LEMON LAW
§ 10-1-786 - Request for arbitration; determination of eligibility; notifications; timing; requirements for decision
. Request for arbitration; determination of eligibility; notifications; timing; requirements for decision
(a) A consumer shall request arbitration by filing a written application for arbitration with the administrator. The application must be filed no later than one year from the date of expiration of the lemon law rights period or 60 days from the conclusion of the certified informal dispute settlement mechanism's proceeding, whichever occurs later.
(b) (1) After receiving an application for arbitration, the administrator shall determine whether the dispute is eligible for arbitration. Manufacturers shall be required to submit to arbitration under this article if the consumer's dispute is deemed eligible for arbitration by the administrator. Disputes deemed eligible for arbitration shall be assigned to an arbitrator or arbitrators appointed pursuant to Code Section 10-1-789
(2) (A) A consumer whose dispute is determined to be ineligible for arbitration by the administrator may appeal the determination of ineligibility to an arbitrator or arbitrators appointed pursuant to Code Section 10-1-789
(B) If the arbitrator or arbitrators determine that the consumer's dispute is eligible for arbitration, the arbitrator or arbitrators shall retain jurisdiction and the consumer's dispute shall proceed in accordance with this Code section.
(C) If the arbitrator or arbitrators determine that the consumer's dispute is not eligible for arbitration, a written decision shall be prepared and sent to the consumer and manufacturer by certified mail, return receipt requested.
(D) The decision of ineligibility may be appealed by the consumer under the provisions set forth in subsection (a) of Code Section 10-1-787
. On appeal, the court shall consider only the issue of eligibility for arbitration.
(3) If the court finds that a consumer's appeal from a determination of ineligibility is frivolous or has been filed in bad faith or for the purpose of harassment, the court may require the consumer to pay to the administrator all costs incurred as a direct result of the appeals from the administrator's determination of ineligibility.
(c) A lessee shall notify the lessor of the pending arbitration, in writing, within ten days of the lessee's receipt of notice that a dispute has been deemed eligible for arbitration and shall provide to the arbitrator or arbitrators proof that notice was given to the lessor. Within ten days of its receipt of notice from the lessee, a lessor may petition the arbitrator or arbitrators to be a party to the arbitration proceeding.
(d) The arbitrator or arbitrators shall make every effort to conduct the arbitration hearing within 40 days from the date the dispute is deemed eligible for arbitration. The hearing shall be held at a location that is reasonably convenient to the Georgia consumer. Failure to hear the case within 40 days shall not divest authority of the arbitrator or arbitrators to hear the dispute or void any decision ultimately rendered.
(e) If the arbitrator or arbitrators determine:
(1) That a reasonable number of attempts has been undertaken to repair and correct the nonconformity and that the manufacturer was given the opportunity to make a final attempt to repair and correct the nonconformity and was unable to correct it; or
(2) That a new motor vehicle was out of service by reason of repair of one or more nonconformities for a cumulative total of 30 days within the lemon law rights period,
the consumer shall be awarded replacement or repurchase of the new motor vehicle as provided under Code Section 10-1-784
. The arbitrator or arbitrators also may award attorney's fees and technical or expert witness fees to a consumer who prevails.
(f) The decision of the arbitrator or arbitrators shall be in writing, be signed, and contain findings of fact and conclusions of law. The original signed decision shall be filed with the administrator and copies shall be sent to all parties. The filing of the decision with the administrator constitutes entry of the decision.
(g) A decision of the arbitrator or arbitrators that has become final under the provisions of subsection (a) of Code Section 10-1-787
may be filed with the clerk of the superior court, shall have all the force and effect of a judgment or decree of the court, and may be enforced in the same manner as any other judgment or decree.
(h) No arbitrator may be required to testify concerning any arbitration and the arbitrator's notes or other records are not subject to discovery. This provision does not extend to testimony or documents sought in connection with legal claims brought against an arbitrator arising out of an arbitration proceeding.
Graham Syfert - Jacksonville Lawyer