Florida Senate - 2012 COMMITTEE AMENDMENT
Bill No. SB 1458
Senate . House
Comm: RCS .
The Committee on Judiciary (Flores) recommended the following:
1 Senate Substitute for Amendment (141064) (with title
4 Delete everything after the enacting clause
5 and insert:
6 Section 1. Section 682.01, Florida Statutes, is amended to
8 682.01 Short title
Florida Arbitration Code.—This chapter
9 Sections 682.01 - 682.22 may be cited as the “Revised Florida
10 Arbitration Code.”
11 Section 2. Section 682.011, Florida Statutes, is created to
13 682.011 Definitions.—As used in this chapter, the term:
14 (1) “Arbitration organization” means an association,
15 agency, board, commission, or other entity that is neutral and
16 initiates, sponsors, or administers an arbitration proceeding or
17 is involved in the appointment of an arbitrator.
18 (2) “Arbitrator” means an individual appointed to render an
19 award, alone or with others, in a controversy that is subject to
20 an agreement to arbitrate.
21 (3) “Court” means a court of competent jurisdiction in this
23 (4) “Knowledge” means actual knowledge.
24 (5) “Person” means an individual, corporation, business
25 trust, estate, trust, partnership, limited liability company,
26 association, joint venture, or government; governmental
27 subdivision, agency, or instrumentality; public corporation; or
28 any other legal or commercial entity.
29 (6) “Record” means information that is inscribed on a
30 tangible medium or that is stored in an electronic or other
31 medium and is retrievable in perceivable form.
32 Section 3. Section 682.012, Florida Statutes, is created to
34 682.012 Notice.—
35 (1) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, a person
36 gives notice to another person by taking action that is
37 reasonably necessary to inform the other person in ordinary
38 course, whether or not the other person acquires knowledge of
39 the notice.
40 (2) A person has notice if the person has knowledge of the
41 notice or has received notice.
42 (3) A person receives notice when it comes to the person’s
43 attention or the notice is delivered at the person’s place of
44 residence or place of business, or at another location held out
45 by the person as a place of delivery of such communications.
46 Section 4. Section 682.013, Florida Statutes, is created to
48 682.013 Applicability of revised code.—
49 (1) The Revised Florida Arbitration Code governs an
50 agreement to arbitrate made on or after July 1, 2012.
51 (2) The Revised Florida Arbitration Code governs an
52 agreement to arbitrate made before July 1, 2012, if all the
53 parties to the agreement or to the arbitration proceeding so
54 agree in a record. Otherwise, such agreements shall be governed
55 by the applicable law existing at the time the parties entered
56 into the agreement.
57 (3) The Revised Florida Arbitration Code does not affect an
58 action or proceeding commenced or right accrued before July 1,
60 (4) Beginning July 1, 2015, an agreement to arbitrate shall
61 be subject to the then applicable law governing agreements to
63 Section 5. Section 682.014, Florida Statutes, is created to
65 682.014 Effect of agreement to arbitrate; nonwaivable
67 (1) Except as otherwise provided in subsections (2) and
68 (3), a party to an agreement to arbitrate or to an arbitration
69 proceeding may waive, or the parties may vary the effect of, the
70 requirements of this chapter to the extent permitted by law.
71 (2) Before a controversy arises that is subject to an
72 agreement to arbitrate, a party to the agreement may not:
73 (a) Waive or agree to vary the effect of the requirements
75 1. Commencing a petition for judicial relief under s.
77 2. Making agreements to arbitrate valid, enforceable, and
78 irrevocable under s. 682.02(1);
79 3. Permitting provisional remedies under s. 682.031;
80 4. Conferring authority on arbitrators to issue subpoenas
81 and permit depositions under s. 682.08(1) or (2);
82 5. Conferring jurisdiction under s. 682.181; or
83 6. Stating the bases for appeal under s. 682.20;
84 (b) Agree to unreasonably restrict the right under s.
85 682.032 to notice of the initiation of an arbitration
87 (c) Agree to unreasonably restrict the right under s.
88 682.041 to disclosure of any facts by a neutral arbitrator; or
89 (d) Waive the right under s. 682.07 of a party to an
90 agreement to arbitrate to be represented by an attorney at any
91 proceeding or hearing under this chapter, but an employer and a
92 labor organization may waive the right to representation by an
93 attorney in a labor arbitration.
94 (3) A party to an agreement to arbitrate or arbitration
95 proceeding may not waive, or the parties may not vary the effect
96 of, the requirements in this section or:
97 (a) The applicability of this chapter, the Revised Florida
98 Arbitration Code under s. 682.013(1) or (4);
99 (b) The availability of proceedings to compel or stay
100 arbitration under s. 682.03;
101 (c) The immunity conferred on arbitrators and arbitration
102 organizations under s. 682.051;
103 (d) A party’s right to seek judicial enforcement of an
104 arbitration preaward ruling under s. 682.081;
105 (e) The authority conferred on an arbitrator to change an
106 award under s. 682.10(4) or (5);
107 (f) The remedies provided under s. 682.12;
108 (g) The grounds for vacating an arbitration award under s.
110 (h) The grounds for modifying an arbitration award under s.
112 (i) The validity and enforceability of a judgment or decree
113 based on an award under s. 682.15(1) or (2);
114 (j) The validity of the Electronic Signatures in Global and
115 National Commerce Act under s. 682.23; or
116 (k) The excluded disputes involving child custody,
117 visitation, or child support under s. 682.25.
118 Section 6. Section 682.015, Florida Statutes, is created to
120 682.015 Petition for judicial relief.—
121 (1) Except as otherwise provided in s. 682.20, a petition
122 for judicial relief under this chapter must be made to the court
123 and heard in the manner provided by law or rule of court for
124 making and hearing motions.
125 (2) Unless a civil action involving the agreement to
126 arbitrate is pending, notice of an initial petition to the court
127 under this chapter must be served in the manner provided by law
128 for the service of a summons in a civil action. Otherwise,
129 notice of the motion must be given in the manner provided by law
130 or rule of court for serving motions in pending cases.
131 Section 7. Section 682.02, Florida Statutes, is amended to
133 682.02 Arbitration agreements made valid, irrevocable, and
134 enforceable; scope.—
135 (1) An agreement contained in a record to submit to
136 arbitration any existing or subsequent controversy arising
137 between the parties to the agreement is valid, enforceable, and
138 irrevocable except upon a ground that exists at law or in equity
139 for the revocation of a contract.
140 (2) The court shall decide whether an agreement to
141 arbitrate exists or a controversy is subject to an agreement to
143 (3) An arbitrator shall decide whether a condition
144 precedent to arbitrability has been fulfilled and whether a
145 contract containing a valid agreement to arbitrate is
147 (4) If a party to a judicial proceeding challenges the
148 existence of, or claims that a controversy is not subject to, an
149 agreement to arbitrate, the arbitration proceeding may continue
150 pending final resolution of the issue by the court, unless the
151 court otherwise orders.
152 (5) Two or more parties may agree in writing to submit to
153 arbitration any controversy existing between them at the time of
154 the agreement, or they may include in a written contract a
155 provision for the settlement by arbitration of any controversy
156 thereafter arising between them relating to such contract or the
157 failure or refusal to perform the whole or any part thereof.
158 This section also applies to written interlocal agreements under
159 ss. 163.01 and 373.713 in which two or more parties agree to
160 submit to arbitration any controversy between them concerning
161 water use permit motions applications and other matters,
162 regardless of whether or not the water management district with
163 jurisdiction over the subject motion application is a party to
164 the interlocal agreement or a participant in the arbitration.
165 Such agreement or provision shall be valid, enforceable, and
166 irrevocable without regard to the justiciable character of the
167 controversy; provided that this act shall not apply to any such
168 agreement or provision to arbitrate in which it is stipulated
169 that this law shall not apply or to any arbitration or award
171 Section 8. Section 682.03, Florida Statutes, is amended to
173 682.03 Proceedings to compel and to stay arbitration.—
174 (1) On motion of a person showing an agreement to arbitrate
175 and alleging another person’s refusal to arbitrate pursuant to
176 the agreement:
177 (a) If the refusing party does not appear or does not
178 oppose the motion, the court shall order the parties to
180 (b) If the refusing party opposes the motion, the court
181 shall proceed summarily to decide the issue and order the
182 parties to arbitrate unless it finds that there is no
183 enforceable agreement to arbitrate. A party to an agreement or
184 provision for arbitration subject to this law claiming the
185 neglect or refusal of another party thereto to comply therewith
186 may make application to the court for an order directing the
187 parties to proceed with arbitration in accordance with the terms
188 thereof. If the court is satisfied that no substantial issue
189 exists as to the making of the agreement or provision, it shall
190 grant the application. If the court shall find that a
191 substantial issue is raised as to the making of the agreement or
192 provision, it shall summarily hear and determine the issue and,
193 according to its determination, shall grant or deny the
195 (2) On motion of a person alleging that an arbitration
196 proceeding has been initiated or threatened but that there is no
197 agreement to arbitrate, the court shall proceed summarily to
198 decide the issue. If the court finds that there is an
199 enforceable agreement to arbitrate, it shall order the parties
200 to arbitrate. If an issue referable to arbitration under an
201 agreement or provision for arbitration subject to this law
202 becomes involved in an action or proceeding pending in a court
203 having jurisdiction to hear an application under subsection (1),
204 such application shall be made in said court. Otherwise and
205 subject to s. 682.19 , such application may be made in any court
206 of competent jurisdiction.
207 (3) If the court finds that there is no enforceable
208 agreement to arbitrate, it may not order the parties to
209 arbitrate pursuant to subsection (1) or subsection (2). Any
210 action or proceeding involving an issue subject to arbitration
211 under this law shall be stayed if an order for arbitration or an
212 application therefor has been made under this section or, if the
213 issue is severable, the stay may be with respect thereto only.
214 When the application is made in such action or proceeding, the
215 order for arbitration shall include such stay.
216 (4) The court may not refuse to order arbitration because
217 the claim subject to arbitration lacks merit or grounds for the
218 claim have not been established. On application the court may
219 stay an arbitration proceeding commenced or about to be
220 commenced, if it shall find that no agreement or provision for
221 arbitration subject to this law exists between the party making
222 the application and the party causing the arbitration to be had.
223 The court shall summarily hear and determine the issue of the
224 making of the agreement or provision and, according to its
225 determination, shall grant or deny the application.
226 (5) If a proceeding involving a claim referable to
227 arbitration under an alleged agreement to arbitrate is pending
228 in court, a motion under this section must be made in that
229 court. Otherwise, a motion under this section may be made in any
230 court as provided in s. 682.19. An order for arbitration shall
231 not be refused on the ground that the claim in issue lacks merit
232 or bona fides or because any fault or grounds for the claim
233 sought to be arbitrated have not been shown.
234 (6) If a party makes a motion to the court to order
235 arbitration, the court on just terms shall stay any judicial
236 proceeding that involves a claim alleged to be subject to the
237 arbitration until the court renders a final decision under this
239 (7) If the court orders arbitration, the court on just
240 terms shall stay any judicial proceeding that involves a claim
241 subject to the arbitration. If a claim subject to the
242 arbitration is severable, the court may limit the stay to that
244 Section 9. Section 682.031, Florida Statutes, is created to
246 682.031 Provisional remedies.—
247 (1) Before an arbitrator is appointed and is authorized and
248 able to act, the court, upon motion of a party to an arbitration
249 proceeding and for good cause shown, may enter an order for
250 provisional remedies to protect the effectiveness of the
251 arbitration proceeding to the same extent and under the same
252 conditions as if the controversy were the subject of a civil
254 (2) After an arbitrator is appointed and is authorized and
255 able to act:
256 (a) The arbitrator may issue such orders for provisional
257 remedies, including interim awards, as the arbitrator finds
258 necessary to protect the effectiveness of the arbitration
259 proceeding and to promote the fair and expeditious resolution of
260 the controversy, to the same extent and under the same
261 conditions as if the controversy were the subject of a civil
263 (b) A party to an arbitration proceeding may move the court
264 for a provisional remedy only if the matter is urgent and the
265 arbitrator is not able to act timely or the arbitrator cannot
266 provide an adequate remedy.
267 (3) A party does not waive a right of arbitration by making
268 a motion under this section.
269 Section 10. Section 682.032, Florida Statutes, is created
270 to read:
271 682.032 Initiation of arbitration.—
272 (1) A person initiates an arbitration proceeding by giving
273 notice in a record to the other parties to the agreement to
274 arbitrate in the agreed manner between the parties or, in the
275 absence of agreement, by certified or registered mail, return
276 receipt requested and obtained, or by service as authorized for
277 the commencement of a civil action. The notice must describe the
278 nature of the controversy and the remedy sought.
279 (2) Unless a person objects for lack or insufficiency of
280 notice under s. 682.06(3) not later than the beginning of the
281 arbitration hearing, the person by appearing at the hearing
282 waives any objection to lack of or insufficiency of notice.
283 Section 11. Section 682.033, Florida Statutes, is created
284 to read:
285 682.033 Consolidation of separate arbitration proceedings.—
286 (1) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (3), upon
287 motion of a party to an agreement to arbitrate or to an
288 arbitration proceeding, the court may order consolidation of
289 separate arbitration proceedings as to all or some of the claims
291 (a) There are separate agreements to arbitrate or separate
292 arbitration proceedings between the same persons or one of them
293 is a party to a separate agreement to arbitrate or a separate
294 arbitration proceeding with a third person;
295 (b) The claims subject to the agreements to arbitrate arise
296 in substantial part from the same transaction or series of
297 related transactions;
298 (c) The existence of a common issue of law or fact creates
299 the possibility of conflicting decisions in the separate
300 arbitration proceedings; and
301 (d) Prejudice resulting from a failure to consolidate is
302 not outweighed by the risk of undue delay or prejudice to the
303 rights of or hardship to parties opposing consolidation.
304 (2) The court may order consolidation of separate
305 arbitration proceedings as to some claims and allow other claims
306 to be resolved in separate arbitration proceedings.
307 (3) The court may not order consolidation of the claims of
308 a party to an agreement to arbitrate if the agreement prohibits
310 Section 12. Section 682.04, Florida Statutes, is amended to
312 682.04 Appointment of arbitrators by court.—
313 (1) If the parties to an agreement to arbitrate agree on or
314 provision for arbitration subject to this law provides a method
315 for appointing the appointment of arbitrators or an umpire, this
316 method must shall be followed, unless the method fails.
317 (2) The court, on application of a party to an arbitration
318 agreement, shall appoint one or more arbitrators, if:
319 (a) The parties have not agreed on a method;
320 (b) The agreed method fails;
321 (c) One or more of the parties failed to respond to the
322 demand for arbitration; or
323 (d) An arbitrator fails to act and a successor has not been
325 (3) In the absence thereof, or if the agreed method fails
326 or for any reason cannot be followed, or if an arbitrator or
327 umpire who has been appointed fails to act and his or her
328 successor has not been duly appointed, the court, on application
329 of a party to such agreement or provision shall appoint one or
330 more arbitrators or an umpire. An arbitrator or umpire so
331 appointed has all the shall have like powers of an arbitrator
332 designated as if named or provided for in the agreement to
333 arbitrate appointed pursuant to the agreed method or provision.
334 (4) An individual who has a known, direct, and material
335 interest in the outcome of the arbitration proceeding or a
336 known, existing, and substantial relationship with a party may
337 not serve as an arbitrator required by an agreement to be
339 Section 13. Section 682.041, Florida Statutes, is created
340 to read:
341 682.041 Disclosure by arbitrator.—
342 (1) Before accepting appointment, an individual who is
343 requested to serve as an arbitrator, after making a reasonable
344 inquiry, shall disclose to all parties to the agreement to
345 arbitrate and arbitration proceeding and to any other
346 arbitrators any known facts that a reasonable person would
347 consider likely to affect the person’s impartiality as an
348 arbitrator in the arbitration proceeding, including:
349 (a) A financial or personal interest in the outcome of the
350 arbitration proceeding.
351 (b) An existing or past relationship with any of the
352 parties to the agreement to arbitrate or the arbitration
353 proceeding, their counsel or representative, a witness, or
354 another arbitrator.
355 (2) An arbitrator has a continuing obligation to disclose
356 to all parties to the agreement to arbitrate and arbitration
357 proceeding and to any other arbitrators any facts that the
358 arbitrator learns after accepting appointment that a reasonable
359 person would consider likely to affect the impartiality of the
361 (3) If an arbitrator discloses a fact required by
362 subsection (1) or subsection (2) to be disclosed and a party
363 timely objects to the appointment or continued service of the
364 arbitrator based upon the fact disclosed, the objection may be a
365 ground under s. 682.13(1)(b) for vacating an award made by the
367 (4) If the arbitrator did not disclose a fact as required
368 by subsection (1) or subsection (2), upon timely objection by a
369 party, the court may vacate an award under s. 682.13(1)(b).
370 (5) An arbitrator appointed as a neutral arbitrator who
371 does not disclose a known, direct, and material interest in the
372 outcome of the arbitration proceeding or a known, existing, and
373 substantial relationship with a party is presumed to act with
374 evident partiality under s. 682.13(1)(b).
375 (6) If the parties to an arbitration proceeding agree to
376 the procedures of an arbitration organization or any other
377 procedures for challenges to arbitrators before an award is
378 made, substantial compliance with those procedures is a
379 condition precedent to a motion to vacate an award on that
380 ground under s. 682.13(1)(b).
381 Section 14. Section 682.05, Florida Statutes, is amended to
383 682.05 Majority action by arbitrators.—If there is more
384 than one arbitrator, the powers of an arbitrator must be
385 exercised by a majority of the arbitrators, but all of the
386 arbitrators shall conduct the hearing under s. 682.06(3). The
387 powers of the arbitrators may be exercised by a majority of
388 their number unless otherwise provided in the agreement or
389 provision for arbitration.
390 Section 15. Section 682.051, Florida Statutes, is created
391 to read:
392 682.051 Immunity of arbitrator; competency to testify;
393 attorney fees and costs.—
394 (1) An arbitrator or an arbitration organization acting in
395 that capacity is immune from civil liability to the same extent
396 as a judge of a court of this state acting in a judicial
398 (2) The immunity afforded under this section supplements
399 any immunity under other law.
400 (3) The failure of an arbitrator to make a disclosure
401 required by s. 682.041 does not cause any loss of immunity under
402 this section.
403 (4) In a judicial, administrative, or similar proceeding,
404 an arbitrator or representative of an arbitration organization
405 is not competent to testify, and may not be required to produce
406 records as to any statement, conduct, decision, or ruling
407 occurring during the arbitration proceeding, to the same extent
408 as a judge of a court of this state acting in a judicial
409 capacity. This subsection does not apply:
410 (a) To the extent necessary to determine the claim of an
411 arbitrator, arbitration organization, or representative of the
412 arbitration organization against a party to the arbitration
413 proceeding; or
414 (b) To a hearing on a motion to vacate an award under s.
415 682.13(1)(a) or (b) if the movant establishes prima facie that a
416 ground for vacating the award exists.
417 (5) If a person commences a civil action against an
418 arbitrator, arbitration organization, or representative of an
419 arbitration organization arising from the services of the
420 arbitrator, organization, or representative or if a person seeks
421 to compel an arbitrator or a representative of an arbitration
422 organization to testify or produce records in violation of
423 subsection (4), and the court decides that the arbitrator,
424 arbitration organization, or representative of an arbitration
425 organization is immune from civil liability or that the
426 arbitrator or representative of the organization is not
427 competent to testify, the court shall award to the arbitrator,
428 organization, or representative reasonable attorney fees and
429 other reasonable expenses of litigation.
430 Section 16. Section 682.06, Florida Statutes, is amended to
432 682.06 Hearing.—
433 (1) An arbitrator may conduct an arbitration in such manner
434 as the arbitrator considers appropriate for a fair and
435 expeditious disposition of the proceeding. The arbitrator’s
436 authority includes the power to hold conferences with the
437 parties to the arbitration proceeding before the hearing and,
438 among other matters, determine the admissibility, relevance,
439 materiality, and weight of any evidence. Unless otherwise
440 provided by the agreement or provision for arbitration:
441 (1)(a) The arbitrators shall appoint a time and place for
442 the hearing and cause notification to the parties to be served
443 personally or by registered or certified mail not less than 5
444 days before the hearing. Appearance at the hearing waives a
445 party’s right to such notice. The arbitrators may adjourn their
446 hearing from time to time upon their own motion and shall do so
447 upon the request of any party to the arbitration for good cause
448 shown, provided that no adjournment or postponement of their
449 hearing shall extend beyond the date fixed in the agreement or
450 provision for making the award unless the parties consent to a
451 later date. An umpire authorized to hear and decide the cause
452 upon failure of the arbitrators to agree upon an award shall, in
453 the course of his or her jurisdiction, have like powers and be
454 subject to like limitations thereon.
455 (b) The arbitrators, or umpire in the course of his or her
456 jurisdiction, may hear and decide the controversy upon the
457 evidence produced notwithstanding the failure or refusal of a
458 party duly notified of the time and place of the hearing to
459 appear. The court on application may direct the arbitrators, or
460 the umpire in the course of his or her jurisdiction, to proceed
461 promptly with the hearing and making of the award.
462 (2) An arbitrator may decide a request for summary
463 disposition of a claim or particular issue:
464 (a) If all interested parties agree; or
465 (b) Upon request of one party to the arbitration
466 proceeding, if that party gives notice to all other parties to
467 the proceeding and the other parties have a reasonable
468 opportunity to respond. The parties are entitled to be heard, to
469 present evidence material to the controversy and to cross
470 examine witnesses appearing at the hearing.
471 (3) If an arbitrator orders a hearing, the arbitrator shall
472 set a time and place and give notice of the hearing not less
473 than 5 days before the hearing begins. Unless a party to the
474 arbitration proceeding makes an objection to lack or
475 insufficiency of notice not later than the beginning of the
476 hearing, the party’s appearance at the hearing waives the
477 objection. Upon request of a party to the arbitration proceeding
478 and for good cause shown, or upon the arbitrator’s own
479 initiative, the arbitrator may adjourn the hearing from time to
480 time as necessary but may not postpone the hearing to a time
481 later than that fixed by the agreement to arbitrate for making
482 the award unless the parties to the arbitration proceeding
483 consent to a later date. The arbitrator may hear and decide the
484 controversy upon the evidence produced although a party who was
485 duly notified of the arbitration proceeding did not appear. The
486 court, on request, may direct the arbitrator to conduct the
487 hearing promptly and render a timely decision. The hearing shall
488 be conducted by all of the arbitrators but a majority may
489 determine any question and render a final award. An umpire
490 authorized to hear and decide the cause upon the failure of the
491 arbitrators to agree upon an award shall sit with the
492 arbitrators throughout their hearing but shall not be counted as
493 a part of their quorum or in the making of their award. If,
494 during the course of the hearing, an arbitrator for any reason
495 ceases to act, the remaining arbitrator, arbitrators or umpire
496 appointed to act as neutrals may continue with the hearing and
497 determination of the controversy.
498 (4) At a hearing under subsection (3), a party to the
499 arbitration proceeding has a right to be heard, to present
500 evidence material to the controversy, and to cross-examine
501 witnesses appearing at the hearing.
502 (5) If an arbitrator ceases or is unable to act during the
503 arbitration proceeding, a replacement arbitrator must be
504 appointed in accordance with s. 682.04 to continue the
505 proceeding and to resolve the controversy.
506 Section 17. Section 682.07, Florida Statutes, is amended to
508 682.07 Representation by attorney.—A party to an
509 arbitration proceeding may has the right to be represented by an
510 attorney at any arbitration proceeding or hearing under this
511 law. A waiver thereof prior to the proceeding or hearing is
513 Section 18. Section 682.08, Florida Statutes, is amended to
515 682.08 Witnesses, subpoenas, depositions.—
516 (1) An arbitrator may issue a subpoena for the attendance
517 of a witness and for the production of records and other
518 evidence at any hearing and may administer oaths. A subpoena
519 must be served in the manner for service of subpoenas in a civil
520 action and, upon motion to the court by a party to the
521 arbitration proceeding or the arbitrator, enforced in the manner
522 for enforcement of subpoenas in a civil action. Arbitrators, or
523 an umpire authorized to hear and decide the cause upon failure
524 of the arbitrators to agree upon an award, in the course of her
525 or his jurisdiction, may issue subpoenas for the attendance of
526 witnesses and for the production of books, records, documents
527 and other evidence, and shall have the power to administer
528 oaths. Subpoenas so issued shall be served, and upon application
529 to the court by a party to the arbitration or the arbitrators,
530 or the umpire, enforced in the manner provided by law for the
531 service and enforcement of subpoenas in a civil action.
532 (2) In order to make the proceedings fair, expeditious, and
533 cost effective, upon request of a party to, or a witness in, an
534 arbitration proceeding, an arbitrator may permit a deposition of
535 any witness to be taken for use as evidence at the hearing,
536 including a witness who cannot be subpoenaed for or is unable to
537 attend a hearing. The arbitrator shall determine the conditions
538 under which the deposition is taken. On application of a party
539 to the arbitration and for use as evidence, the arbitrators, or
540 the umpire in the course of her or his jurisdiction, may permit
541 a deposition to be taken, in the manner and upon the terms
542 designated by them or her or him of a witness who cannot be
543 subpoenaed or is unable to attend the hearing.
544 (3) An arbitrator may permit such discovery as the
545 arbitrator decides is appropriate in the circumstances, taking
546 into account the needs of the parties to the arbitration
547 proceeding and other affected persons and the desirability of
548 making the proceeding fair, expeditious, and cost effective. All
549 provisions of law compelling a person under subpoena to testify
550 are applicable.
551 (4) If an arbitrator permits discovery under subsection
552 (3), the arbitrator may order a party to the arbitration
553 proceeding to comply with the arbitrator’s discovery-related
554 orders, issue subpoenas for the attendance of a witness and for
555 the production of records and other evidence at a discovery
556 proceeding, and take action against a noncomplying party to the
557 extent a court could if the controversy were the subject of a
558 civil action in this state.
559 (5) An arbitrator may issue a protective order to prevent
560 the disclosure of privileged information, confidential
561 information, trade secrets, and other information protected from
562 disclosure to the extent a court could if the controversy were
563 the subject of a civil action in this state.
564 (6) All laws compelling a person under subpoena to testify
565 and all fees for attending a judicial proceeding, a deposition,
566 or a discovery proceeding as a witness apply to an arbitration
567 proceeding as if the controversy were the subject of a civil
568 action in this state.
569 (7) The court may enforce a subpoena or discovery-related
570 order for the attendance of a witness within this state and for
571 the production of records and other evidence issued by an
572 arbitrator in connection with an arbitration proceeding in
573 another state upon conditions determined by the court so as to
574 make the arbitration proceeding fair, expeditious, and cost
575 effective. A subpoena or discovery-related order issued by an
576 arbitrator in another state must be served in the manner
577 provided by law for service of subpoenas in a civil action in
578 this state and, upon motion to the court by a party to the
579 arbitration proceeding or the arbitrator, enforced in the manner
580 provided by law for enforcement of subpoenas in a civil action
581 in this state.
582 (8) (4) Fees for attendance as a witness shall be the same
583 as for a witness in the circuit court.
584 Section 19. Section 682.081, Florida Statutes, is created
585 to read:
586 682.081 Judicial enforcement of preaward ruling by
587 arbitrator.—If an arbitrator makes a preaward ruling in favor of
588 a party to the arbitration proceeding, the party may request
589 that the arbitrator incorporate the ruling into an award under
590 s. 682.12. A prevailing party may make a motion to the court for
591 an expedited order to confirm the award under s. 682.12, in
592 which case the court shall summarily decide the motion. The
593 court shall issue an order to confirm the award unless the court
594 vacates, modifies, or corrects the award under s. 682.13 or s.
596 Section 20. Section 682.09, Florida Statutes, is amended to
598 682.09 Award.—
599 (1) An arbitrator shall make a record of an award. The
600 record must be signed or otherwise authenticated by any
601 arbitrator who concurs with the award. The arbitrator or the
602 arbitration organization shall give notice of the award,
603 including a copy of the award, to each party to the arbitration
604 proceeding. The award shall be in writing and shall be signed by
605 the arbitrators joining in the award or by the umpire in the
606 course of his or her jurisdiction. They or he or she shall
607 deliver a copy to each party to the arbitration either
608 personally or by registered or certified mail, or as provided in
609 the agreement or provision.
610 (2) An award must be made within the time specified by the
611 agreement to arbitrate or, if not specified therein, within the
612 time ordered by the court. The court may extend, or the parties
613 to the arbitration proceeding may agree in a record to extend,
614 the time. The court or the parties may do so within or after the
615 time specified or ordered. A party waives any objection that an
616 award was not timely made unless the party gives notice of the
617 objection to the arbitrator before receiving notice of the
618 award. An award shall be made within the time fixed therefor by
619 the agreement or provision for arbitration or, if not so fixed,
620 within such time as the court may order on application of a
621 party to the arbitration. The parties may, by written agreement,
622 extend the time either before or after the expiration thereof.
623 Any objection that an award was not made within the time
624 required is waived unless the objecting party notifies the
625 arbitrators or umpire in writing of his or her objection prior
626 to the delivery of the award to him or her.
627 Section 21. Section 682.10, Florida Statutes, is amended to
629 682.10 Change of award by arbitrators or umpire.—
630 (1) On motion to an arbitrator by a party to an arbitration
631 proceeding, the arbitrator may modify or correct an award:
632 (a) Upon a ground stated in s. 682.14(1)(a) or (c);
633 (b) Because the arbitrator has not made a final and
634 definite award upon a claim submitted by the parties to the
635 arbitration proceeding; or
636 (c) To clarify the award.
637 (2) A motion under subsection (1) must be made and notice
638 given to all parties within 20 days after the movant receives
639 notice of the award.
640 (3) A party to the arbitration proceeding must give notice
641 of any objection to the motion within 10 days after receipt of
642 the notice.
643 (4) If a motion to the court is pending under s. 682.12, s.
644 682.13, or s. 682.14, the court may submit the claim to the
645 arbitrator to consider whether to modify or correct the award:
646 (a) Upon a ground stated in s. 682.14(1)(a) or (c);
647 (b) Because the arbitrator has not made a final and
648 definite award upon a claim submitted by the parties to the
649 arbitration proceeding; or
650 (c) To clarify the award.
651 (5) An award modified or corrected pursuant to this section
652 is subject to ss. 682.09(1), 682.12, 682.13, and 682.14. On
653 application of a party to the arbitration, or if an application
654 to the court is pending under s. 682.12 , s. 682.13 or s. 682.14 ,
655 on submission to the arbitrators, or to the umpire in the case
656 of an umpire’s award, by the court under such conditions as the
657 court may order, the arbitrators or umpire may modify or correct
658 the award upon the grounds stated in s. 682.14 (1)(a) and (c) or
659 for the purpose of clarifying the award. The application shall
660 be made within 20 days after delivery of the award to the
661 applicant. Written notice thereof shall be given forthwith to
662 the other party to the arbitration, stating that he or she must
663 serve his or her objections thereto, if any, within 10 days from
664 the notice. The award so modified or corrected is subject to the
665 provisions of ss. 682.12 - 682.14 .
666 Section 22. Section 682.11, Florida Statutes, is amended to
668 682.11 Remedies; fees and expenses of arbitration
670 (1) An arbitrator may award punitive damages or other
671 exemplary relief if such an award is authorized by law in a
672 civil action involving the same claim and the evidence produced
673 at the hearing justifies the award under the legal standards
674 otherwise applicable to the claim.
675 (2) An arbitrator may award reasonable attorney fees and
676 other reasonable expenses of arbitration if such an award is
677 authorized by law in a civil action involving the same claim or
678 by the agreement of the parties to the arbitration proceeding.
679 (3) As to all remedies other than those authorized by
680 subsections (1) and (2), an arbitrator may order such remedies
681 as the arbitrator considers just and appropriate under the
682 circumstances of the arbitration proceeding. The fact that such
683 a remedy could not or would not be granted by the court is not a
684 ground for refusing to confirm an award under s. 682.12 or for
685 vacating an award under s. 682.13.
686 (4) An arbitrator’s expenses and fees, together with other
687 expenses, must be paid as provided in the award.
688 (5) If an arbitrator awards punitive damages or other
689 exemplary relief under subsection (1), the arbitrator shall
690 specify in the award the basis in fact justifying and the basis
691 in law authorizing the award and state separately the amount of
692 the punitive damages or other exemplary relief. Unless otherwise
693 provided in the agreement or provision for arbitration, the
694 arbitrators’ and umpire’s expenses and fees, together with other
695 expenses, not including counsel fees, incurred in the conduct of
696 the arbitration, shall be paid as provided in the award.
697 Section 23. Section 682.12, Florida Statutes, is amended to
699 682.12 Confirmation of an award.—After a party to an
700 arbitration proceeding receives notice of an award, the party
701 may make a motion to the court for an order confirming the award
702 at which time the court shall issue a confirming order unless
703 the award is modified or corrected pursuant to s. 682.10 or s.
704 682.14 or is vacated pursuant to s. 682.13. Upon application of
705 a party to the arbitration, the court shall confirm an award,
706 unless within the time limits hereinafter imposed grounds are
707 urged for vacating or modifying or correcting the award, in
708 which case the court shall proceed as provided in ss. 682.13 and
709 682.14 .
710 Section 24. Section 682.13, Florida Statutes, is amended to
712 682.13 Vacating an award.—
713 (1) Upon motion application of a party to an arbitration
714 proceeding, the court shall vacate an arbitration award if when:
715 (a) The award was procured by corruption, fraud, or other
716 undue means; .
717 (b) There was:
718 1. Evident partiality by an arbitrator appointed as a
719 neutral arbitrator;
720 2. Corruption by an arbitrator; or
721 3. Misconduct by an arbitrator prejudicing the rights of a
722 party to the arbitration proceeding; or corruption in any of the
723 arbitrators or umpire or misconduct prejudicing the rights of
724 any party.
725 (c) An arbitrator refused to postpone the hearing upon
726 showing of sufficient cause for postponement, refused to
727 consider evidence material to the controversy, or otherwise
728 conducted the hearing contrary to s. 682.06, so as to prejudice
729 substantially the rights of a party to the arbitration
730 proceeding; The arbitrators or the umpire in the course of her
731 or his jurisdiction exceeded their powers.
732 (d) An arbitrator exceeded the arbitrator’s powers; The
733 arbitrators or the umpire in the course of her or his
734 jurisdiction refused to postpone the hearing upon sufficient
735 cause being shown therefor or refused to hear evidence material
736 to the controversy or otherwise so conducted the hearing,
737 contrary to the provisions of s. 682.06 , as to prejudice
738 substantially the rights of a party.
739 (e) There was no agreement to arbitrate, unless the person
740 participated in the arbitration proceeding without raising the
741 objection under s. 682.06(3) not later than the beginning of the
742 arbitration hearing; or There was no agreement or provision for
743 arbitration subject to this law, unless the matter was
744 determined in proceedings under s. 682.03 and unless the party
745 participated in the arbitration hearing without raising the
747 (f) The arbitration was conducted without proper notice of
748 the initiation of an arbitration as required in s. 682.032 so as
749 to prejudice substantially the rights of a party to the
750 arbitration proceeding.
752 But the fact that the relief was such that it could not or would
753 not be granted by a court of law or equity is not ground for
754 vacating or refusing to confirm the award.
755 (2) A motion under this section must be filed within 90
756 days after the movant receives notice of the award pursuant to
757 s. 682.09 or within 90 days after the movant receives notice of
758 a modified or corrected award pursuant to s. 682.10, unless the
759 movant alleges that the award was procured by corruption, fraud,
760 or other undue means, in which case the motion must be made
761 within 90 days after the ground is known or by the exercise of
762 reasonable care would have been known by the movant. An
763 application under this section shall be made within 90 days
764 after delivery of a copy of the award to the applicant, except
765 that, if predicated upon corruption, fraud or other undue means,
766 it shall be made within 90 days after such grounds are known or
767 should have been known.
768 (3) If the court vacates an award on a ground other than
769 that set forth in paragraph (1)(e), it may order a rehearing. If
770 the award is vacated on a ground stated in paragraph (1)(a) or
771 paragraph (1)(b), the rehearing must be before a new arbitrator.
772 If the award is vacated on a ground stated in paragraph (1)(c),
773 paragraph (1)(d), or paragraph (1)(f), the rehearing may be
774 before the arbitrator who made the award or the arbitrator’s
775 successor. The arbitrator must render the decision in the
776 rehearing within the same time as that provided in s. 682.09(2)
777 for an award. In vacating the award on grounds other than those
778 stated in paragraph (1)(e), the court may order a rehearing
779 before new arbitrators chosen as provided in the agreement or
780 provision for arbitration or by the court in accordance with s.
781 682.04 , or, if the award is vacated on grounds set forth in
782 paragraphs (1)(c) and (d), the court may order a rehearing
783 before the arbitrators or umpire who made the award or their
784 successors appointed in accordance with s. 682.04 . The time
785 within which the agreement or provision for arbitration requires
786 the award to be made is applicable to the rehearing and
787 commences from the date of the order therefor.
788 (4) If a motion the application to vacate is denied and no
789 motion to modify or correct the award is pending, the court
790 shall confirm the award.
791 Section 25. Section 682.14, Florida Statutes, is amended to
793 682.14 Modification or correction of award.—
794 (1) Upon motion made within 90 days after the movant
795 receives notice of the award pursuant to s. 682.09 or within 90
796 days after the movant receives notice of a modified or corrected
797 award pursuant to s. 682.10, the court shall modify or correct
798 the award if Upon application made within 90 days after delivery
799 of a copy of the award to the applicant, the court shall modify
800 or correct the award when:
801 (a) There is an evident miscalculation of figures or an
802 evident mistake in the description of any person, thing, or
803 property referred to in the award.
804 (b) The arbitrators or umpire have awarded upon a matter
805 not submitted in the arbitration to them or him or her and the
806 award may be corrected without affecting the merits of the
807 decision upon the issues submitted.
808 (c) The award is imperfect as a matter of form, not
809 affecting the merits of the controversy.
810 (2) If the application is granted, the court shall modify
811 and correct the award so as to effect its intent and shall
812 confirm the award as so modified and corrected. Otherwise,
813 unless a motion to vacate the award under s. 682.13 is pending,
814 the court shall confirm the award as made.
815 (3) An application to modify or correct an award may be
816 joined in the alternative with an application to vacate the
817 award under s. 682.13.
818 Section 26. Section 682.15, Florida Statutes, is amended to
820 682.15 Judgment or decree on award.—
821 (1) Upon granting an order confirming, vacating without
822 directing a rehearing, modifying, or correcting an award, the
823 court shall enter a judgment in conformity therewith. The
824 judgment may be recorded, docketed, and enforced as any other
825 judgment in a civil action.
826 (2) A court may allow reasonable costs of the motion and
827 subsequent judicial proceedings.
828 (3) On motion of a prevailing party to a contested judicial
829 proceeding under s. 682.12, s. 682.13, or s. 682.14, the court
830 may add reasonable attorney fees and other reasonable expenses
831 of litigation incurred in a judicial proceeding after the award
832 is made to a judgment confirming, vacating without directing a
833 rehearing, modifying, or correcting an award. Upon the granting
834 of an order confirming, modifying or correcting an award,
835 judgment or decree shall be entered in conformity therewith and
836 be enforced as any other judgment or decree. Costs of the
837 application and of the proceedings subsequent thereto, and
838 disbursements may be awarded by the court.
839 Section 27. Section 682.16, Florida Statutes, is repealed.
840 Section 28. Section 682.17, Florida Statutes, is repealed.
841 Section 29. Section 682.18, Florida Statutes, is repealed.
842 Section 30. Section 682.181, Florida Statutes, is created
843 to read:
844 682.181 Jurisdiction.—
845 (1) A court of this state having jurisdiction over the
846 controversy and the parties may enforce an agreement to
848 (2) An agreement to arbitrate providing for arbitration in
849 this state confers exclusive jurisdiction on the court to enter
850 judgment on an award under this chapter.
851 Section 31. Section 682.19, Florida Statutes, is amended to
853 682.19 Venue.—A petition pursuant to s. 682.015 must be
854 filed in the court of the county in which the agreement to
855 arbitrate specifies the arbitration hearing is to be held or, if
856 the hearing has been held, in the court of the county in which
857 it was held. Otherwise, the petition may be made in the court of
858 any county in which an adverse party resides or has a place of
859 business or, if no adverse party has a residence or place of
860 business in this state, in the court of any county in this
861 state. All subsequent petitions must be made in the court
862 hearing the initial petition unless the court otherwise directs.
863 Any application under this law may be made to the court of the
864 county in which the other party to the agreement or provision
865 for arbitration resides or has a place of business, or, if she
866 or he has no residence or place of business in this state, then
867 to the court of any county. All applications under this law
868 subsequent to an initial application shall be made to the court
869 hearing the initial application unless it shall order otherwise.
870 Section 32. Section 682.20, Florida Statutes, is amended to
872 682.20 Appeals.—
873 (1) An appeal may be taken from:
874 (a) An order denying an application to compel arbitration
875 made under s. 682.03.
876 (b) An order granting a motion an application to stay
877 arbitration pursuant to made under s. 682.03(2)-(4).
878 (c) An order confirming or denying confirmation of an
880 (d) An order denying confirmation of an award unless the
881 court has entered an order under s. 682.10(4) or s. 682.13. All
882 other orders denying confirmation of an award are final orders.
883 (e) (d) An order modifying or correcting an award.
884 (f) (e) An order vacating an award without directing a
886 (g) (f) A judgment or decree entered pursuant to this
887 chapter the provisions of this law.
888 (2) The appeal shall be taken in the manner and to the same
889 extent as from orders or judgments in a civil action.
890 Section 33. Section 682.21, Florida Statutes, is repealed.
891 Section 34. Section 682.22, Florida Statutes, is repealed.
892 Section 35. Section 682.23, Florida Statutes, is created to
894 682.23 Relationship to Electronic Signatures in Global and
895 National Commerce Act.—The provisions of this chapter governing
896 the legal effect, validity, and enforceability of electronic
897 records or electronic signatures and of contracts performed with
898 the use of such records or signatures conform to the
899 requirements of s. 102 of the Electronic Signatures in Global
900 and National Commerce Act, 15 U.S.C. s. 7002.
901 Section 36. Section 682.25, Florida Statutes, is created to
903 682.25 Disputes excluded.—This chapter does not apply to
904 any dispute involving child custody, visitation, or child
906 Section 37. Section 44.104, Florida Statutes, is amended to
908 44.104 Voluntary binding arbitration and voluntary trial
910 (1) Two or more opposing parties who are involved in a
911 civil dispute may agree in writing to submit the controversy to
912 voluntary binding arbitration, or voluntary trial resolution, in
913 lieu of judicial litigation of the issues involved, prior to or
914 after a lawsuit has been filed , provided no constitutional issue
915 is involved.
916 (2) If the parties have entered into such an agreement and
917 the agreement which provides in voluntary binding arbitration
918 for a method for appointing of one or more arbitrators, or which
919 provides in voluntary trial resolution a method for appointing
920 the a member of The Florida Bar in good standing for more than 5
921 years to act as trial resolution judge, that method shall be
922 followed the court shall proceed with the appointment as
923 prescribed. However, in voluntary binding arbitration at least
924 one of the arbitrators, who shall serve as the chief arbitrator,
925 shall meet the qualifications and training requirements adopted
926 pursuant to s. 44.106 . In the absence of an agreement on a
927 method for appointing the trial resolution judge, or if the
928 agreement method fails or for any reason cannot be followed, and
929 the parties fail to agree on the person to serve as the trial
930 resolution judge, the court, on application of a party, shall
931 appoint one or more qualified arbitrators, or the trial
932 resolution judge, as the case requires. A trial resolution judge
933 must be a member of The Florida Bar in good standing for 5 years
934 or more who has agreed to serve.
935 (3) The arbitrators or trial resolution judge shall be
936 compensated by the parties according to their agreement with the
937 trial resolution judge.
938 (4) Within 10 days after the submission of the request for
939 binding arbitration, or voluntary trial resolution, the court
940 shall provide for the appointment of the arbitrator or
941 arbitrators, or trial resolution judge, as the case requires.
942 Once appointed, the arbitrators or trial resolution judge shall
943 notify the parties of the time and place for the hearing.
944 (5) Application for voluntary binding arbitration or
945 voluntary trial resolution shall be filed and fees paid to the
946 clerk of court as if for complaints initiating civil actions.
947 The clerk of the court shall handle and account for these
948 matters in all respects as if they were civil actions, except
949 that the clerk of court shall keep separate the records of the
950 applications for voluntary binding arbitration and the records
951 of the applications for voluntary trial resolution from all
952 other civil actions.
953 (6) Filing of the application for binding arbitration or
954 voluntary trial resolution tolls will toll the running of the
955 applicable statutes of limitation.
956 (7) The chief arbitrator or trial resolution judge may
957 administer oaths or affirmations and conduct the proceedings as
958 the rules of court shall provide. At the request of any party,
959 the chief arbitrator or trial resolution judge shall issue
960 subpoenas for the attendance of witnesses and for the production
961 of books, records, documents, and other evidence and may apply
962 to the court for orders compelling attendance and production.
963 Subpoenas shall be served and shall be enforceable in the manner
964 provided by law. The trial resolution judge may order temporary
965 relief in the same manner, and to the same extent, as in civil
966 actions generally. Any party may enforce such an order by filing
967 a petition in the court. Orders entered by the court are
968 reviewable by the appellate court in the same manner, and to the
969 same extent, as orders in civil actions generally.
970 (8) A voluntary binding arbitration hearing shall be
971 conducted by all of the arbitrators, but a majority may
972 determine any question and render a final decision. A trial
973 resolution judge shall conduct a voluntary trial resolution
974 hearing. The trial resolution judge may determine any question
975 and render a final decision.
976 (9) The Florida Evidence Code and Florida Rules of Civil
977 Procedure shall apply to all proceedings under this section,
978 except that voluntary trial resolution is not governed by
979 procedural rules regulating general and special magistrates, and
980 rulings of the trial resolution judge are not reviewable by
981 filing exceptions with the court.
982 (10) An appeal of a voluntary binding arbitration decision
983 shall be taken to the circuit court and shall be limited to
984 review on the record and not de novo, of:
985 (a) Any alleged failure of the arbitrators to comply with
986 the applicable rules of procedure or evidence.
987 (b) Any alleged partiality or misconduct by an arbitrator
988 prejudicing the rights of any party.
989 (c) Whether the decision reaches a result contrary to the
990 Constitution of the United States or of the State of Florida.
991 (10) (11) Any party may enforce a final decision rendered in
992 a voluntary trial by filing a petition for final judgment in the
993 circuit court in the circuit in which the voluntary trial took
994 place. Upon entry of final judgment by the circuit court, any
995 party may appeal to the appropriate appellate court. The
996 judgment is reviewable by the appellate court in the same
997 manner, and to the same extent, as a judgment in a civil action.
998 Factual findings determined in the voluntary trial are not
999 subject to appeal.
1000 (12) The harmless error doctrine shall apply in all
1001 appeals. No further review shall be permitted unless a
1002 constitutional issue is raised.
1003 (11) (13) If no appeal is taken within the time provided by
1004 rules promulgated by the Supreme Court, then the decision shall
1005 be referred to the presiding judge in the case, or if one has
1006 not been assigned, then to the chief judge of the circuit for
1007 assignment to a circuit judge, who shall enter such orders and
1008 judgments as are required to carry out the terms of the
1009 decision. Equitable remedies are , which orders shall be
1010 enforceable by the contempt powers of the court to the same
1011 extent as in civil actions generally. When a judgment provides
1012 for execution, and for which judgments execution shall issue on
1013 request of a party.
1014 (12) (14) This section does shall not apply to any dispute
1015 involving child custody, visitation, or child support, or to any
1016 dispute that which involves the rights of a third party not a
1017 party to the arbitration or voluntary trial resolution when the
1018 third party would be an indispensable party if the dispute were
1019 resolved in court or when the third party notifies the chief
1020 arbitrator or the trial resolution judge that the third party
1021 would be a proper party if the dispute were resolved in court,
1022 that the third party intends to intervene in the action in
1023 court, and that the third party does not agree to proceed under
1024 this section.
1025 (13) A trial resolution judge does not have jurisdiction to
1026 declare unconstitutional a statute, ordinance, or provision of a
1027 constitution. If any such claim is made in the voluntary trial
1028 resolution proceeding, that claim shall be severed and
1029 adjudicated by a judge of the court.
1030 (14)(a) The parties may agree to a trial by a privately
1031 selected jury. The court’s jury pool may not be used for this
1032 purpose. In all other cases, the trial resolution judge shall
1033 conduct a bench trial.
1034 (b) The trial resolution judge may wear a judicial robe and
1035 use the title “Trial Resolution Judge” when acting in that
1037 Section 38. Subsection (1) of section 44.107, Florida
1038 Statutes, is amended to read:
1039 44.107 Immunity for arbitrators, voluntary trial resolution
1040 judges, mediators, and mediator trainees.—
1041 (1) Arbitrators serving under s. 44.103, voluntary trial
1042 resolution judges serving under or s. 44.104, mediators serving
1043 under s. 44.102, and trainees fulfilling the mentorship
1044 requirements for certification by the Supreme Court as a
1045 mediator shall have judicial immunity in the same manner and to
1046 the same extent as a judge and are entitled to the same immunity
1047 and remedies provided in s. 682.051.
1048 Section 39. Section 440.1926, Florida Statutes, is amended
1049 to read:
1050 440.1926 Alternate dispute resolution; claim arbitration.
1051 Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the
1052 employer, carrier, and employee may mutually agree to seek
1053 consent from a judge of compensation claims to enter into
1054 binding claim arbitration in lieu of any other remedy provided
1055 for in this chapter to resolve all issues in dispute regarding
1056 an injury. Arbitrations agreed to pursuant to this section shall
1057 be governed by chapter 682, the Revised Florida Arbitration
1058 Code, except that, notwithstanding any provision in chapter 682,
1059 the term “court” shall mean a judge of compensation claims. An
1060 arbitration award in accordance with this section is shall be
1061 enforceable in the same manner and with the same powers as any
1062 final compensation order.
1063 Section 40. Paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of section
1064 489.1402, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
1065 489.1402 Homeowners’ Construction Recovery Fund;
1067 (1) The following definitions apply to ss. 489.140-489.144:
1068 (a) “Arbitration” means alternative dispute resolution
1069 entered into between a claimant and a contractor either pursuant
1070 to a construction contract that contains a mandatory arbitration
1071 clause or through any binding arbitration under chapter 682, the
1072 Revised Florida Arbitration Code.
1073 Section 41. Subsection (2) of section 731.401, Florida
1074 Statutes, is amended to read:
1075 731.401 Arbitration of disputes.—
1076 (2) Unless otherwise specified in the will or trust, a will
1077 or trust provision requiring arbitration shall be presumed to
1078 require binding arbitration under chapter 682, the Revised
1079 Florida Arbitration Code s. 44.104.
1080 Section 42. The Division of Statutory Revision is directed
1081 to redesignate the title of chapter 44, Florida Statutes, as
1082 “Alternative Dispute Resolution.”
1083 Section 43. This act shall take effect July 1, 2012.
1085 ================= T I T L E A M E N D M E N T ================
1086 And the title is amended as follows:
1087 Delete everything before the enacting clause
1088 and insert:
1089 A bill to be entitled
1090 An act relating to dispute resolution; amending s.
1091 682.01, F.S.; revising the short title of the “Florida
1092 Arbitration Code” to the “Revised Florida Arbitration
1093 Code”; creating s. 682.011, F.S.; providing
1094 definitions; creating s. 682.012, F.S.; specifying how
1095 a person gives notice to another person and how a
1096 person receives notice; creating s. 682.013, F.S.;
1097 specifying the applicability of the revised code;
1098 creating s. 682.014, F.S.; providing that an agreement
1099 may waive or vary the effect of statutory arbitration
1100 provisions; providing exceptions; creating s. 682.015,
1101 F.S.; providing for petitions for judicial relief;
1102 providing for service of notice of an initial petition
1103 for such relief; amending s. 682.02, F.S.; revising
1104 provisions relating to the making of arbitration
1105 agreements; requiring a court to decide whether an
1106 agreement to arbitrate exists or a controversy is
1107 subject to an agreement to arbitrate; providing for
1108 determination of specified issues by an arbitrator;
1109 providing for continuation of an arbitration
1110 proceeding pending resolution of certain issues by a
1111 court; revising provisions relating to applicability
1112 of provisions to certain interlocal agreements;
1113 amending s. 682.03, F.S.; revising provisions relating
1114 to proceedings to compel and to stay arbitration;
1115 creating s. 682.031, F.S.; providing for a court to
1116 order provisional remedies before an arbitrator is
1117 appointed and is authorized and able to act; providing
1118 for orders for provisional remedies by an arbitrator;
1119 providing that a party does not waive a right of
1120 arbitration by seeking provisional remedies in court;
1121 creating s. 682.032, F.S.; providing for initiation of
1122 arbitration; providing that a person waives any
1123 objection to lack of or insufficiency of notice by
1124 appearing at the arbitration hearing; providing an
1125 exception; creating s. 682.033, F.S.; providing for
1126 consolidation of separate arbitration proceedings as
1127 to all or some of the claims in certain circumstances;
1128 prohibiting consolidation if the agreement prohibits
1129 consolidation; amending s. 682.04, F.S.; revising
1130 provisions relating to appointment of an arbitrator;
1131 prohibiting an individual with an interest in the
1132 outcome of an arbitration from serving as a neutral
1133 arbitrator; creating s. 682.041, F.S.; requiring
1134 certain disclosures of interests and relationships by
1135 a person before accepting appointment as an
1136 arbitrator; providing a continuing obligation to make
1137 such disclosures; providing for objections to an
1138 arbitrator based on information disclosed; providing
1139 for vacation of an award if an arbitrator failed to
1140 disclose a fact as required; providing that an
1141 arbitrator appointed as a neutral arbitrator who does
1142 not disclose certain interests or relationships is
1143 presumed to act with partiality for specified
1144 purposes; requiring parties to substantially comply
1145 with agreed to procedures of an arbitration
1146 organization or any other procedures for challenges to
1147 arbitrators before an award is made in order to seek
1148 vacation of an award on specified grounds; amending s.
1149 682.05, F.S.; requiring that if there is more than one
1150 arbitrator, the powers of an arbitrator must be
1151 exercised by a majority of the arbitrators; requiring
1152 all arbitrators to conduct the arbitration hearing;
1153 creating s. 682.051, F.S.; providing immunity from
1154 civil liability for an arbitrator or an arbitration
1155 organization acting in that capacity; providing that
1156 this immunity is supplemental to any immunity under
1157 other law; providing that failure to make a required
1158 disclosure does not remove immunity; providing that an
1159 arbitrator or representative of an arbitration
1160 organization is not competent to testify and may not
1161 be required to produce records concerning the
1162 arbitration; providing exceptions; providing for
1163 awarding an arbitrator, arbitration organization, or
1164 representative of an arbitration organization with
1165 reasonable attorney fees and expenses of litigation
1166 under certain circumstances; amending s. 682.06, F.S.;
1167 revising provisions relating to the conduct of
1168 arbitration hearings; providing for summary
1169 disposition, notice of hearings, adjournment, and
1170 rights of a party to the arbitration proceeding;
1171 requiring appointment of a replacement arbitrator in
1172 certain circumstances; amending s. 682.07, F.S.;
1173 providing that a party to an arbitration proceeding
1174 may be represented by an attorney; amending s. 682.08,
1175 F.S.; revising provisions relating to the issuance,
1176 service, and enforcement of subpoenas; revising
1177 provisions relating to depositions; authorizing an
1178 arbitrator to permit discovery in certain
1179 circumstances; authorizing an arbitrator to order
1180 compliance with discovery; authorizing protective
1181 orders by an arbitrator; providing for applicability
1182 of laws compelling a person under subpoena to testify
1183 and all fees for attending a judicial proceeding, a
1184 deposition, or a discovery proceeding as a witness;
1185 providing for court enforcement of a subpoena or
1186 discovery-related order; providing for witness fees;
1187 creating s. 682.081, F.S.; providing for judicial
1188 enforcement of a preaward ruling by an arbitrator in
1189 certain circumstances; amending s. 682.09, F.S.;
1190 revising provisions relating to the record needed for
1191 an award; revising provisions relating to the time
1192 within which an award must be made; amending s.
1193 682.10, F.S.; revising provisions relating to
1194 requirements for a motion to modify or correct an
1195 award; amending s. 682.11, F.S.; revising provisions
1196 relating to fees and expenses of arbitration;
1197 authorizing punitive damages and other exemplary
1198 relief and remedies; amending s. 682.12, F.S.;
1199 revising provisions relating to confirmation of an
1200 award; amending s. 682.13, F.S.; revising provisions
1201 relating to grounds for vacating an award; revising
1202 provisions relating to a motion for vacating an award;
1203 providing for a rehearing in certain circumstances;
1204 amending s. 682.14, F.S.; revising provisions relating
1205 to the time for moving to modify or correct an award;
1206 deleting references to the term “umpire”; revising a
1207 provision concerning confirmation of awards; amending
1208 s. 682.15, F.S.; revising provisions relating to a
1209 court order confirming, vacating without directing a
1210 rehearing, modifying, or correcting an award;
1211 providing for award of costs and attorney fees in
1212 certain circumstances; repealing s. 682.16, F.S.,
1213 relating to judgment roll and docketing of certain
1214 orders; repealing s. 682.17, F.S., relating to
1215 application to court; repealing s. 682.18, F.S.,
1216 relating to the definition of the term “court” and
1217 jurisdiction; creating s. 682.181, F.S.; providing for
1218 jurisdiction relating to the revised code; amending s.
1219 682.19, F.S.; revising provisions relating to venue
1220 for actions relating to the code; amending s. 682.20,
1221 F.S.; providing that an appeal may be taken from an
1222 order denying confirmation of an award unless the
1223 court has entered an order under specified provisions;
1224 providing that all other orders denying confirmation
1225 of an award are final orders; repealing s. 682.21,
1226 F.S., relating to the previous code not applying
1227 retroactively; repealing s. 682.22, F.S., relating to
1228 conflict of laws; creating s. 682.23, F.S.; specifying
1229 the relationship of the code to the Electronic
1230 Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act;
1231 providing for applicability; creating s. 682.25, F.S.;
1232 providing that the revised code does not apply to any
1233 dispute involving child custody, visitation, or child
1234 support; amending s. 44.104, F.S.; deleting references
1235 to binding arbitration from provisions providing for
1236 voluntary trial resolution; providing for temporary
1237 relief; revising provisions relating to procedures in
1238 voluntary trial resolution; providing that a judgment
1239 is reviewable in the same manner as a judgment in a
1240 civil action; deleting provisions relating to
1241 applicability of the harmless error doctrine;
1242 providing limitations on the jurisdiction of a trial
1243 resolution judge; providing for the use of juries;
1244 providing for the title of a trial resolution judge
1245 and the use of judicial robes; amending s. 44.107,
1246 F.S.; providing immunity for voluntary trial
1247 resolution judges serving under specified provisions;
1248 amending ss. 440.1926, 489.1402, and 731.401, F.S.;
1249 conforming cross-references; providing a directive to
1250 the Division of Statutory Revision to redesignate the
1251 title of chapter 44, Florida Statutes, as “Alternative
1252 Dispute Resolution”; providing an effective date.