Between Rounds Franchise Corporation v. Edgr Real Estate, LLC
The trial court properly denied the defendant landlord's motion to vacate an arbitration award and granted the plaintiff tenant's application to confirm an award despite the defendant's claims that the arbitration panel was guilty of misconduct and denied the defendant a full and fair hearing. The plaintiffs, Between Rounds Franchise Corporation and Between Rounds Rocky Hill, LLC, became involved in a landlord-tenant dispute with the defendant, EDGR Real Estate, LLC. The plaintiffs applied to the court to compel arbitration pursuant to a clause in the parties' lease. The court issued an order compelling arbitration. With the court's permission, the defendant's counsel withdrew his appearance less than 10 days before the matter was scheduled to be heard before the arbitration panel. The defendant requested postponement of the hearing until it could obtain new counsel and the funds to pay its share of the cost of the panel. The panel rescheduled the hearing. One day before the rescheduled hearing, the defendant requested another postponement. The plaintiffs objected. The panel agreed to hear arguments the following day. The defendant failed to appear. The hearing proceeded as scheduled. The panel issued its decision for the plaintiffs. The trial court denied the defendant's application to vacate the award and granted the plaintiffs' motion to confirm the award. The defendant appealed claiming that the court improperly denied its motion and granted the plaintiffs' application to confirm because the arbitration panel was guilty of misconduct under C.G.S. §52-418(a)(3), the defendant was denied a full and fair hearing and the defendant was substantially prejudiced by the denial of its request to postpone the hearing. The Appellate Court affirmed the judgment and adopted the trial court's decision as a statement of the facts and applicable law on the issues.