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California Statute - AB 2656
Requires a private arbitration company involved in
consumer arbitration cases to make certain information regarding
those cases available to the public
BILL NUMBER: AB 2656	ENROLLED
	BILL TEXT

	PASSED THE ASSEMBLY  AUGUST 29, 2002
	PASSED THE SENATE  AUGUST 28, 2002
	AMENDED IN SENATE  AUGUST 26, 2002
	AMENDED IN SENATE  AUGUST 6, 2002
	AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY  MAY 14, 2002
	AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY  APRIL 17, 2002

INTRODUCED BY   Assembly Member Corbett
                        FEBRUARY 22, 2002

   An act to add Section 1281.96 to the Code of Civil Procedure,
relating to arbitration.


	LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


   AB 2656, Corbett.  Arbitration:  private arbitration companies.
   Existing law regulates arbitration conducted pursuant to an
arbitration agreement, as specified.
   This bill would require a private arbitration company involved in
consumer arbitration cases to make certain information regarding
those cases available to the public, as specified, and would provide
that no private arbitration company shall have any liability for
collecting, publishing, or distributing the information.


THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:


  SECTION 1.  Section 1281.96 is added to the Code of Civil
Procedure, to read:
   1281.96.  (a) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of subdivision
(b), any private arbitration company that administers or is otherwise
involved in, a consumer arbitration, shall collect, publish at least
quarterly, and make available to the public in a computer-searchable
format, which shall be accessible at the Internet Web site of the
private arbitration company, if any, and on paper upon request, all
of the following information regarding each consumer arbitration
within the preceding five years:
   (1) The name of the nonconsumer party, if the nonconsumer party is
a corporation or other business entity.
   (2) The type of dispute involved, including goods, banking,
insurance, health care, employment, and, if it involves employment,
the amount of the employee's annual wage divided into the following
ranges:  less than one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000), one
hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) to two hundred fifty thousand
dollars ($250,000), inclusive, and over two hundred fifty thousand
dollars ($250,000).
   (3) Whether the consumer or nonconsumer party was the prevailing
party.
   (4) On how many occasions, if any, the nonconsumer party has
previously been a party in an arbitration or mediation administered
by the private arbitration company.
   (5) Whether the consumer party was represented by an attorney.
   (6) The date  the private arbitration company received the demand
for arbitration, the date the arbitrator was appointed, and the date
of disposition by the arbitrator or private arbitration company.
   (7) The type of disposition of the dispute, if known, including
withdrawal, abandonment, settlement, award after hearing, award
without hearing, default, or dismissal without hearing.
   (8) The amount of the claim, the amount of the award, and any
other relief granted, if any.
   (9) The name of the arbitrator, his or her total fee for the case,
and the percentage of the arbitrator's fee allocated to each party.

   (b) (1) If the information required by subdivision (a) is provided
by the private arbitration company in a computer-searchable format
at the company's Internet Web site and may be downloaded without any
fee, the company may charge the actual cost of copying to any person
who requests the information on paper.  If the information required
by subdivision (a) is not accessible by the Internet, the company
shall provide that information without charge to any person who
requests the information on paper.
   (2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), a private arbitration company
that receives funding pursuant to Chapter 8 (commencing with Section
465) of Division 1 of the Business and Professions Code, and that
administers or conducts fewer than 50 consumer arbitrations per year
may collect and publish the information required by subdivision (a)
semiannually, provide the information only on paper, and charge the
actual cost of copying.
   (c) This section shall apply to any consumer arbitration commenced
on or after January 1, 2003.
   (d) No private arbitration company shall have any liability for
collecting, publishing, or distributing the information required by
this section.
                                      

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