Connecticut Supreme Court Finds State Law Statutory Limitation Period to Vacate Arbitration Award Confers Jurisdiction……

Plaintiff A Better Way Wholesale Autos Inc. filed an application in Connecticut state court seeking to vacate an arbitration award issued in favor of the defendants, James Saint Paul and Julie J. Saint Paul. The defendants filed motions to confirm the award and for attorneys’ fees, and to dismiss the plaintiff’s application. The defendants argued that the application was untimely under Connecticut Statutes section 52-420 (b) and that the trial court, therefore, lacked subject matter jurisdiction. The trial court order granting the defendant’s motions and dismissing the plaintiff’s application was affirmed on appeal. The Supreme Court of Connecticut framed the issues as: (1) whether Connecticut’s 30-day statutory limitation for seeking to vacate an arbitration award is “jurisdictional” in that it implicates the subject matter jurisdiction of state courts; and (2) whether the Connecticut statute is preempted by the FAA, which has a three-month limitation period for seeking to vacate.

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