The arbitration process in Mecklenburg County is intended to be a simple, inexpensive, and quick way to resolve disputes. An arbitration hearing is an informal legal proceeding held before a neutral court official. The arbitration hearings are limited to one hour. All cases in District Court will be ordered to arbitration, with the exception of evictions, collection on account and domestic cases.
After the answer is filed or the time to answer has expired in a case, the parties will receive a Notice or Arbitration Hearing. The notice will include the name of the arbitrator, the date and time of the hearing, as well as the location. The hearings are usually scheduled and the notices are sent to parties at least 30 day in advance of the hearing date.
- The parties must complete what is referred to as the "Pre-Arbitration Submission" and exchange that with the opposing parties at least 10 days in advance of the hearing date. The Pre-Arbitration Submission consist of:
- A list of the witnesses you plan to use
- Copies of any documents and other exhibits the will be used as evidence (including written statements from witnesses
- A short written statement describing the issues in the case and why you believe the arbitrator should rule in your favor
The Pre-Arbitration Submission should NOT be sent to the arbitrator, to the ADR Coordinator or filed with Clerk of court. The submission should only be sent to the opposing party.
At the conclusion of the hearing, or within 3 days after the hearing, the arbitrator will enter an Award. The Award will specify the decision of the Arbitrator and if any money was awarded, the amount will be indicated on the Award. There is a $100 assessment fee for the arbitration that will be equally divided between the parties. The arbitrator will provide the parties with the completed form after the hearing is conducted. The assessment fee must be paid to the Clerk of Court's office immediately following the hearing.
The parties have 30 days from the date the Award was entered to file an appeal, which is called a "Trial de Novo". If an appeal is not filed within the 30 days, the Award will be turned into a judgment. If an appeal is filed with Clerk, the case will move on to be heard by a District Court judge or jury.
For more information, please visit the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)