§ 64.55.100. Arbitration--Election--Number of arbitrators--Qualifications--Trial de novo
(1) If the declarant, an association, or a party unit owner demands an arbitration by filing such demand with the court not less than thirty and not more than ninety days after filing or service of the complaint, whichever is later, the parties shall participate in a private arbitration hearing. The declarant, the association, and the party unit owner do not have the right to compel arbitration without giving timely notice in compliance with this subsection. Unless otherwise agreed by the parties, the arbitration hearing shall commence no more than fourteen months from the later of the filing or service of the complaint.
(2) Unless otherwise agreed by the parties, claims that in aggregate are for less than one million dollars shall be heard by a single arbitrator and all other claims shall be heard by three arbitrators. As used in this chapter, arbitrator also means arbitrators where applicable.
(3) Unless otherwise agreed by the parties, the court shall appoint the arbitrator, who shall be a current or former attorney with experience as an attorney, judge, arbitrator, or mediator in construction defect disputes involving the application of Washington law.
(4) Upon conclusion of the arbitration hearing, the arbitrator shall file the decision and award with the clerk of the superior court, together with proof of service thereof on the parties. Within twenty days after the filing of the decision and award, any aggrieved party may file with the clerk a written notice of appeal and demand for a trial de novo in the superior court on all claims between the appealing party and an adverse party. As used in this section, "adverse party" means the party who either directly asserted or defended claims against the appealing party. The demand shall identify the adverse party or parties and all claims between those parties shall be included in the trial de novo. The right to a trial de novo includes the right to a jury, if demanded. The court shall give priority to the trial date for the trial de novo.
(5) If the judgment for damages, not including awards of fees and costs, in the trial de novo is not more favorable to the appealing party than the damages awarded by the arbitrator, not including awards of fees and costs, the appealing party shall pay the nonappealing adverse party's costs and fees incurred after the filing of the appeal, including reasonable attorneys' fees so incurred.
(6) If the judgment for damages, not including awards of fees and costs, in the trial de novo is more favorable to the appealing party than the damages awarded by the arbitrator, not including awards of fees and costs, then the court may award costs and fees, including reasonable attorneys' fees, incurred after the filing of the request for trial de novo in accordance with applicable law; provided if such a judgment is not more favorable to the appealing party than the most recent offer of judgment, if any, made pursuant to RCW 64.55.160, the court shall not make an award of fees and costs to the appealing party.
(7) If a party is entitled to an award with respect to the same fees and costs pursuant to this section and RCW 64.55.160, then the party shall only receive an award of fees and costs as provided in and limited by RCW 64.55.160. Any award of fees and costs pursuant to subsections (5) or (6) of this section is subject to review in the event of any appeal thereof otherwise permitted by applicable law or court rule.
[2005 c 456 § 11.]Sections: Previous 64.55.030 64.55.040 64.55.050 64.55.060 64.55.070 64.55.080 64.55.090 64.55.100 64.55.110 64.55.120 64.55.130 64.55.140 64.55.150 64.55.160 64.55.900 Next
Last modified: April 7, 2009