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TexLaw, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4430
Experience:  Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
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I recently won a small claims case against a former "employer"

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I recently won a small claims case against a former "employer" who I actually worked with as an unpaid intern. He did not show up to court on the date and a ruling was made in my favor by an arbitrator. The awarded amount was a little over $2000. When I brought the case against this person I used the address and contact information listed on their business website. Prior to this I made four attempts to contact the defendant by email and phone and was ignored.

Now in accordance with the ruling I contacted the defendant (my former employer) to discuss how he can fulfill the ruling and pay me the money awarded. The defendant was confused and did not know anything about the ruling or any court date and said he received no notification. He also said that the business website where the address was listed had not been updated in 2 years. Now the letter with the ruling on it says that since the ruling was made by an arbitrator it cannot be appealed. But in this case where the defendant didn't even receive the subpoena can it still be appealed?

Thank you for your question. While the ruling cannot be appealed, whether the arbitrator acted outside the scope of due process in holding the arbitration may be grounds for an appeal.

In this case, the Defendant may seek to challenge the arbitration on the grounds that his due process rights were violated by the complete lack of notice. You sent notice to the Defendant's last known address. However, you only used the address which was posted on a website and did not do anything else to confirm that the Defendant was at that location. A court could, within its discretion, find that the arbitrator should have required more from you to determine whether the Defendant truly resided at the address where you tried to provide notice. The fact that you also called and emailed the Defendant to give notice helps your case though, as the Defendant eventually responded to one of your attempts at contact after the case was over.

So, in summary, it can be appealed, but only in limited circumstances. Please let me know if you have further questions. Please also consider rating my answer positively so that I am compensated for my work on your question by the website.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

So should I fax him my copy of the ruling letter with all pertinent contact information for him to contact the court?

Yes, because you are also telling him that he needs to pay the judgment in the ruling. He has to figure out that he can appeal, and on what grounds he can appeal. Trying to appeal an arbitration is difficult and must be done under the correct statute. He has to figure these things out.

I recommend sending the letter and telling him to pay the judgment.
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