Judicial arbitration is a program under which cases are assigned to an attorney, sitting as an impartial Arbitrator, to conduct an informal mini-trial and assess the case through means of an Award of Arbitrator. This award is not binding, but does assist parties in determining the value of their case prior to trial. All court ordered arbitration is provided on a pro-bono basis by the assigned Arbitrator.
Arbitration is an important feature of the Case Management Program rules and of civil case processing in Sacramento. At the Designation Hearing, the CMP judge will determine whether the case is suitable for Judicial Arbitration. Arbitrators are selected from a panel maintained by the court. The court has a procedure for phone-in selection of Arbitrators, and a notice with the details is included in the Arbitration/Procedures.
Absent a waiver by the parties, a case may not be referred to Arbitration prior to 210 days after the filing of the complaint. Failure to object to an earlier referral to Arbitration at or before the Case Management Conference shall be deemed a waiver of this rule. If a case is referred to Arbitration, the hearing must be completed within 60 days, unless the court orders otherwise. The court has a form in which the parties may, by mutual stipulation, petition ex parte for an extension of time to complete Arbitration.
For further information, contact the Arbitration Unit at 916-874-5463. You can also e-mail us at ADR@saccourt.com.