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Member Arbitration Rules



SECTION 5. INITIATION OF ARBITRATION.
[Adopted effective February 18, 1992. Effective dates of amendments: May 1, 1994; March 12, 1996; June 7, 1996; June 23, 1997; June 1, 1999; March 1, 2002; December 15, 2003; June 13, 2005; June 5, 2007; and October 18, 2010.]

An arbitration proceeding under these Rules shall be initiated as follows:

(a) Notice of Intent to Arbitrate.

If the two-year time limit under Section 4 of these Rules is close to expiring, a person wanting to file an Arbitration Claim may notify NFA, either in writing or orally, of such person's intent to arbitrate. NFA shall maintain a record of the receipt of each such notice and shall promptly provide such person with a copy of these Rules and an Arbitration Claim form.

(b) Arbitration Claim Pursuant to a Notice of Intent to Arbitrate.

If a person who files a notice of intent to arbitrate decides to proceed with NFA arbitration, such person shall, within 35 days after the date NFA provided the person with a copy of the Rules and an Arbitration Claim form under Section 5(a) above, serve a completed Arbitration Claim on NFA.

(c) Arbitration Claim.

NFA shall promptly review each Arbitration Claim for completeness. Any Arbitration Claim which NFA deems to be incomplete, or which is not accompanied by the appropriate fee, shall be returned to the filing party by NFA. In that event, the filing party shall serve a completed Arbitration Claim, together with any unpaid fee, within 20 days following service by NFA. NFA shall reject any Arbitration Claim which has not been timely filed, or for which the appropriate fee has not been paid.

(d) Notice to Respondent.

(1) NFA shall promptly serve a copy of the completed Arbitration Claim on each person named therein as a Respondent.

(2) If a guarantee IB is named in the Arbitration Claim as a Respondent, NFA shall promptly serve a copy of the completed Arbitration Claim on the Member FCM or RFED that guaranteed the IB during the time of the acts and transactions involved in the claim. That Member FCM or RFED may intervene in the arbitration proceeding if it chooses to.

(e) Answer to an Arbitration Claim.

A Respondent shall serve its Answer on and concurrently serve a copy on the Claimant within the time period provided below. Any Member FCM or RFED served with the Arbitration Claim under Section 5(d)(2) above that wishes to intervene in the arbitration proceeding must serve an Answer and written notice of intervention on NFA and concurrently serve a on the Claimant within the time period provided below for filing the Answer. An allegation in the Arbitration Claim that is not denied in the Answer shall be deemed by the Panel to be admitted.

    (1) Claims of $50,000 or Less. Where the Arbitration Claim amount does not exceed $50,000, the Answer shall be served within 20 days following service of the Arbitration Claim by NFA.

    (2) Claims of more than $50,000 through $100,000. Where the Arbitration Claim amount exceeds $50,000 but is not more than $100,000, the Answer shall be served within 45 days following service of the Arbitration Claim by NFA. An arbitration service fee of $275.00 shall accompany each Answer. Any Answer which is not accompanied by the appropriate fee shall be returned to the filing party by NFA. In that event, the filing party shall serve a completed Answer on NFA, together with any unpaid fee, within 20 days following service by NFA. NFA shall reject any Answer for which the appropriate fee has not been paid. Each Respondent who files an Answer but does not pay the service fee will have waived its right to an oral hearing and to otherwise participate in the proceeding. However, the Panel may, for good cause shown, accept the Answer and allow the Respondent to participate.

    (3) Claims of more than $100,000. Where the Arbitration Claim amount exceeds $100,000, the Answer shall be served within 45 days following service of the Arbitration Claim by NFA. An arbitration service fee of $675.00 shall accompany each Answer. Any Answer which is not accompanied by the appropriate fee shall be returned to the filing party by NFA. In that event, the filing party shall serve a completed Answer on NFA, together with any unpaid fee, within 20 days following service by NFA. NFA shall reject any Answer for which the appropriate fee has not been paid. Each Respondent who files an Answer but does not pay the service fee will have waived its right to an oral hearing and to otherwise participate in the proceeding. However, the Panel may, for good cause shown, accept the Answer and allow the Respondent to participate.

(f) Counterclaim and Cross-claim.

If any counterclaim or cross-claim is asserted, the party asserting the counterclaim or cross-claim shall promptly remit the appropriate fee to NFA. (See Section 11 below.) Any counterclaim or cross-claim which NFA deems to be incomplete, or which is not accompanied by the appropriate fee, shall be returned to the filing party by NFA. In that event, the filing party shall serve a completed counterclaim or cross claim on NFA, together with any unpaid fee, within the time period provided below. NFA shall reject any counterclaim or cross-claim which has not been timely filed, or for which the appropriate fee has not been paid.

    (1) Claims of $50,000 or Less. Where the aggregate claim amount does not exceed $50,000, the completed counterclaim or cross-claim shall be served within 10 days following service by NFA.

    (2) Claims of more than $50,000. Where the aggregate claim amount exceeds $50,000, the completed counterclaim or cross-claim shall be served within 20 days following service by NFA.

(g) Reply to Counterclaim or Cross-claim.

The person against whom the counterclaim or cross-claim is asserted shall serve its Reply to the counterclaim or cross-claim on NFA, and concurrently serve a copy on the counterclaiming or cross-claiming Respondent within the time period provided below. Any allegation in the counterclaim or cross-claim that is not denied in the Reply shall be deemed by the Panel to be admitted.

    (1) Claims of $50,000 or Less. Where the aggregate claim amount does not exceed $50,000, the Reply shall be served within 10 days from the date of service of the Answer, counterclaim or cross-claim by NFA.

    (2) Claims of more than $50,000. Where the aggregate claim amount exceeds $50,000, the Reply shall be served within 35 days from the date of service of the Answer, counterclaim or cross-claim by NFA.

(h) Third-party Claim.

A Respondent may file a third-party claim against a Member or Associate under these Rules. If any third-party claim is asserted, the Respondent asserting the third-party claim shall promptly remit the appropriate fee to NFA. (See Section 11 below.) Any third-party claim, which NFA deems to be incomplete, or which is not accompanied by the appropriate fee, shall be returned to the filing party by NFA. In that event, the filing party shall serve a completed third party claim on NFA, together with any unpaid fee, within the time provided below. NFA shall reject any third-party claim which has not been timely filed, or for which the appropriate fee has not been paid.

    (1) Claims of $50,000 or Less. Where the aggregate claim amount does not exceed $50,000, the completed third-party claim shall be served within 10 days following service of the incomplete third-party claim by NFA.

    (2) Claims of more than $50,000. Where the aggregate claim amount exceeds $50,000, the completed third-party claim shall be served within 20 days following service of the incomplete third-party claim by NFA.

(i) Notice to Third-party Respondent.

NFA shall promptly serve a copy of the completed third-party claim on each person named therein as a Respondent, and a copy of any agreement to arbitrate.

(j) Answer to Third-party Claim.

A third-party Respondent shall serve its Answer on NFA and concurrently serve a copy on the third-party Claimant within the time period provided below. An allegation in the third-party claim that is not denied in the Answer shall be deemed by the Panel to be admitted.

    (1) Claims of $50,000 or Less. Where the aggregate claim amount does not exceed $50,000, the Answer shall be served within 20 days following service of the third-party claim by NFA.

    (2) Claims of more than $50,000. Where the aggregate claim amount exceeds $50,000, the Answer shall be served within 45 days following service of the third-party claim by NFA.

(k) Amendments to Claims.

After the appointment of a Panel, no new or different claim may be filed except with the Panel's consent.

(l) Late Answer, Reply or Notice of Intervention.

NFA shall accept any Answer or Reply filed prior to the hearing. However, NFA or any party may present an objection to the Panel with regard to the timeliness of any filing. NFA will not accept a late notice of intervention unless the party filing the late notice explains in writing its reasons for the lateness and obtains the Panel's consent to file the late notice.

(m) Consolidation and Joinder.

    (1) When Arbitration Claims involving common questions of fact or arising from the same act or transaction are received by the Secretary, the Secretary may, whether or not at the request of any party, order any or all of the proceedings to be consolidated for hearing in the interest of providing a fair, equitable and expeditious procedure and may take such action concerning the proceedings herein as may tend to avoid unnecessary or unreasonable delay.

    (2) A party may join multiple claims in a single Arbitration Claim if the claims involve common questions of fact, arise from the same act or transactions, are filed by the same person against the same Respondents (even if the person filing the Arbitration Claim is acting in different capacities) or are filed on behalf of an individual and a corporation against the same Respondents if the individual is the sole shareholder of the corporation. The Secretary may, whether or not at the request of any party, order any or all joined claims to be separated in the interest of providing a fair, equitable or expeditious procedure or to avoid unnecessary or unreasonable delay.

(n) Attestation.

Any claim, answer, counterclaim, cross-claim, reply to counterclaim or cross-claim, third-party claim, or answer to third-party claim must include the following attestation: "The undersigned certifies that, to the best of his/her knowledge, information and belief, formed after a reasonable inquiry, the statements set forth in this pleading are true and correct."

 
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