Couch Investments, LLC v. Peverieri

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Arbitration
  • Date Filed: 04-01-2015
  • Case #: A155483
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Tookey, J. for the Court; Sercombe, P.J.; & Hadlock, J.

An arbitrator does not exceed its authority under ORS 36.695(3) to order "just and appropriate" remedies when the arbitration agreement fails to lay out express award guidelines.

Peverieri (Landlord) appealed an arbitration judgment in favor of Couch Investments, LLC (Tenant), arguing that the arbitrator exceeded his authority under the parties’ stipulation to arbitrate. The arbitrator cited ORS 36.695(3) in ordering “just and appropriate” remedies, and Landlord argued that these remedies were outside the arbitration agreement. Tenant ran a gas station on Landlord’s property and was subject to eviction proceedings after failing to meet DEQ regulations involving storm water drainage requirements. The parties stipulated to an arbitration agreement that designated the “only issue to be resolved” would determine whether Landlord or Tenant is liable for the cost of storm water drainage improvements on the property. The arbitrator concluded that Landlord was responsible for improving the premises in accordance with DEQ regulations. Landlord objected to the arbitration award, and argued that Tenant sought monetary relief outside the agreement; the arbitrator overruled Landlord’s objections, citing ORS 36.695(3). Landlord sought to vacate the award at the trial court; the trial court refused. On review, the Court determined that the arbitrator did not exceed its express authority under the arbitration agreement, and that because the parties failed to provide express remedial guidelines, Landlord waived its ability to dispute the arbitrator’s award. Affirmed.

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