CHAPTER 55. ACTIONS, SUITS AND ARBITRATION;
ARTICLE 10. ARBITRATION.
§55-10-1. Submission of controversy; defenses; setoff.
Persons desiring to end any controversy, whether there be a
suit pending therefor or not, may submit the same to arbitration,
and agree that such submission may be entered of record in any
court. Upon proof of such agreement out of court, or by consent of
the parties given in court, in person or by counsel, it shall be
entered in the proceedings of such court; and thereupon a rule
shall be made that the parties shall submit to the award which
shall be made in pursuance of such agreement. When a pending cause
is submitted to arbitration, the defendant may make any defense to
the plaintiff's claim or demand that he could make under any proper
plea filed in court, whether such plea has been filed or not, by
giving to the plaintiff reasonable notice in writing of the nature
and character of his defense; and in a suit for any debt, he may at
the trial before the arbitrators prove and have allowed against
such debt any payment or setoff, whether before that time pleaded
or not, or whether an account of setoff has before that time been
filed or not, which he may plead or file before the arbitrators in
such manner as to give the plaintiff notice of its nature, but not
otherwise. Although the claim of the plaintiff be jointly against
several persons and the setoff be of a debt, not to all, but only
to a part of them, this section shall extend to such setoff, if it
appear that the persons against whom such claim is stand in the
relation of principal and surety, and the person entitled to the
setoff be the principal. When the defendant is allowed to file and
prove an account of setoff to the plaintiff's demand, the plaintiff
shall be allowed to file and prove an account of counter setoff, and make such other defense as he might have made had an original
action been brought upon such setoff; and upon the trial the
arbitrators shall ascertain the true state of indebtedness between
the parties, and the award shall be rendered accordingly.
§55-10-2. Submission irrevocable; extension of time for award.
No such submission, entered or agreed to be entered of record,
in any court, shall be revocable by any party to such submission,
without the leave of such court; and such court may, from time to
time, enlarge the term within which an award is required to be
§55-10-3. Entry of award as judgment or decree; compensation of
Upon the return of any such award, made under such an
agreement (whether any previous record of the submission or rule
thereupon has been made or not), it shall be entered up as the
judgment or decree of the court, unless good cause be shown against
it at the first term after the parties have been summoned to show
cause against it. And the court shall make to such arbitrators
such reasonable allowance for their services as it may deem proper,
to be taxed in the costs of the suit or proceeding, when no
provision is made for the pay of the arbitrators in the arbitration
agreement, or to be otherwise paid as the court may direct.
§55-10-4. Setting aside award; equity jurisdiction not affected.
No such award shall be set aside, except for errors apparent
on its face, unless it appears to have been procured by corruption
or other undue means, or by mistake, or that there was partiality
or misbehavior in the arbitrators, or any of them, or that the
arbitrators so imperfectly executed their powers that a mutual,
final and definite award upon the subject matter submitted was not
made. But this section shall not be construed to take away the
power of courts of equity over awards.
§55-10-5. Rehearing by arbitrators.
Where an award is vacated, and the time within which the
submission requires the award to be made has not expired, the
court, in its discretion, may direct a rehearing by the
§55-10-6. When award may be modified or corrected.
Any party to such submission may also move to modify or
correct such award in the following cases: (a) Where there is an
evident miscalculation of figures, or an evident mistake in the
description of any person, thing or property referred to in such
award; (b) where the arbitrators shall have awarded upon some
matter not submitted to them, nor affecting the merits of the
decision of the matter submitted; (c) where the award shall be
imperfect in some matter of form not affecting the merits of the
controversy, and when, if it had been a verdict, such defect could
have been amended or disregarded by the court.
§55-10-7. Fiduciary may submit to arbitration.
Any personal representative of a decedent, guardian of an
infant, committee of an insane person or a convict, or trustee, may
file his petition in the circuit court of the county in which he
qualified or was appointed, asking permission from such court to
submit to arbitration any suit or matter of controversy touching
the estate or property of such decedent, infant, insane person, or
convict, or in respect to which he is trustee, in which petition
shall be stated the facts upon which the petitioner seeks the
permission of the court. The court may, in its discretion, grant
or refuse the prayer of the petition. If the petition be filed in
good faith, and the petition be granted by the court, an order
showing that permission to arbitrate was granted shall be entered
on the chancery order book of the court, and the award made in any
such case shall be binding upon all the parties in interest, and
shall be entered as the judgment or decree of the court in the same
manner as other submissions and awards are entered, unless set
aside by the court. If the petition be filed in good faith and
there be no fault or neglect on the part of the fiduciary, he shall
not be responsible for any loss sustained by an award adverse to
the interests of his decedent, ward, insane person, convict or
beneficiary under any such trust.
Wherever the word "arbitrators" is used in this chapter, it
shall be construed as applying to and including any "umpire" who
has participated in the arbitration.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2013 1st Special Session
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