TO INCREASE THE JURISDICTIONAL AMOUNTS IN THE GENERAL COURT OF JUSTICE, TO MAKE ARBITRATION MANDATORY IN CERTAIN CIVIL CASES, AND TO PROVIDE GUIDANCE TO THE COURT FOR THE ASSESSMENT OF COURT COSTS AND ATTORNEYS' FEES IN SMALL CLAIMS MATTERS WHEN AN ARBITRATOR'S DECISION IN FAVOR OF THE APPELLEE IS AFFIRMED ON APPEAL.
Amends GS 7A-210 to increase the amount in controversy threshold for a small claim action to $10,000 (was $5,000). Amends GS 7A-243 to provide that the district court division is the proper division for civil actions in which the amount in controversy is $20,000 or less and the superior court division is the proper division for actions in which the amount in controversy exceeds $20,000 (was, $10,000).
Amends GS 7A-37.1 to make nonbinding arbitration mandatory in all civil actions where claims do not exceed $20,000, unless all parties to the action waive arbitration. Adds new subsection GS 7A-37.1(c2) to require a court to consider the fact that an arbitrator’s decision in a small claim matter was affirmed by the court on appeal for trial de novo as a significant factor in favor of assessing all court costs and attorneys’ fees against the appellant.
Effective July 1, 2011, and applies to actions filed on or after that date.
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