In a recent decision, the Supreme Court of Ohio held that neither R.C. 2711.09 nor R.C. 2711.13 requires a court to wait three months after an arbitration award is issued before confirming the award.
R.C. 2711.13 provides that “after an award in an arbitration proceeding is made, any party to the arbitration may file a motion in the court of common pleas for an order vacating, modifying, or correcting the award.” Any such motion to vacate, modify, or correct an award “must be served upon the adverse party or his attorney within three months after the award is delivered to the parties in interest.” In BST Ohio Corporation et al. v. Wolgang, the Court held the three-month period set forth in R.C. 2711.13 is not a guaranteed time period in which to file a motion to vacate, modify, or correct an arbitration award. 2021-Ohio-1785.
The Court emphasized that in R.C. 2711.13, the General Assembly “specifically addressed the discretionary power of the trial court to stay proceedings in the interest of fairness to both parties… [and therefore] the trial court is empowered to balance the interests of the parties.” Id. Now, “the limitation period in R.C. 2711.13 as an upper limit that may be shortened by another party’s filing a pleading or motion to which a response is required.” Id.
Ultimately, if and when a party to the arbitration files to confirm the award before the expiration of the three-month period following the date of the award, “any party that wishes to oppose confirmation must, within the three-month period, respond with a motion to vacate, modify, or correct the award, on the date of or before the hearing on the application to confirm.” Id. The Court explained that “failing to do so may result in the award’s being confirmed.” Id.
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