Judge: Layne H. Melzer, Case: 22-01253510, Date: 2022-08-04 Tentative Ruling

Pltf. Bethany Services
Petition to Confirm Arbitration Award

 

Before the court is Petitioner Bethany Services dba Bakersfield Homeless Center continued Petition to Confirm the Arbitration award entered in favor of Respondents Tracy Lanser and Chanell Brown in the amounts of $148,714.29 and $46,714.29, respectively, the claimants in an underinsured motorist arbitration.

 

The court heard this Petition on 6/23/22. (ROA 24) The court held that electronic service on claimants/ Respondents was improper, ruling in relevant part:

 

“…the petition must be served pursuant to the arbitration agreement; if the agreement does not provide for the manner of service, service must be made as provided by law for service of summons in an action. [Civ. Proc. Code, § 1290.4] Where an arbitration agreement does not specify on whom service was to be made, service should be made personally on the defendants… The court therefore orders Petitioner to serve Respondents as provided by law for service of summons in an action.

 

(Id.)

 

Instead of serving Respondents as provided by law for service of summons in an action, Petitioner personally served a third-party, presumably Respondent’s Counsel in the underlying arbitration. There is no indication that Counsel agreed to accept service. And nothing in the Policy that waives service; nor does Petitioner make such argument.

 

Of particular relevance here are sections 1290.4 and 1293. Section 1290.4, subdivision (a) requires that “[a] copy of the petition and a written notice of the time and place of the hearing thereof and any other papers upon which the petition is based shall be served in the manner provided in the arbitration agreement for the service of such petition and notice.” (Italics added.) Subdivision (b) provides that if an arbitration agreement “does not provide the manner in which such service shall be made and the person upon whom service is to be made has not previously appeared in the proceeding,” a person in California shall be served “in the manner provided by law for the service of summons in an action.” (Rockefeller Technology Investments (Asia) VII v. Changzhou SinoType Technology Co., Ltd. (2020) 9 Cal.5th 125, 142.)

 

The court continues the hearing on this Motion to September 8, 2022 at 2:00 pm in Department C12. Petitioner is ordered to serve notice of this Order and the Petition on Respondents “in the manner provided by law for the service of summons in an action.”