United States District Court, D. Maryland, Southern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
W. Grimm, United States District Judge.
Choice Hotels International, Inc. ("Choice Hotels")
filed an application to confirm an arbitration award against
the Joseph Group, LLC and Charbel Joseph (collectively,
"Defendants"). ECF No. 1. Choice Hotels
subsequently filed a motion for default judgment against
Defendants in the amount of $142, 275.00 plus
post-judgment interest and $400 for the costs of this action.
PL's Mot., ECF No. 7. Because I find that I have
jurisdiction to confirm the arbitration award and Defendants
have not responded and demonstrated any basis for vacating
the award, I will grant Choice Hotel's motion for default
17, 2018, an arbitration award was entered in favor of
Plaintiff Choice Hotels against Defendants the Joseph Group,
LLC and Charbel Joseph jointly and severally. See
Arbitration Award, ECF No. 1-4. The award consisted of $25,
000 in an unpaid affiliation fee and $115, 200 in liquidated
damages, plus $2, 275 in arbitration fees. See id.
August 22, 2018, Choice Hotels filed its application to
confirm the arbitration award against Defendants. Appl., ECF
No. 1. This was within one year of the arbitration award.
See Id. Defendants the Joseph Group, LLC and Charbel
Joseph were properly served on September 18, 2018.
See ECF No. 5. Defendants were required to file
their responses by October 9, 2018, and they have failed to
answer or otherwise defend. The Clerk of the Court entered
Defendants' defaults on November 6, 2018. ECF No. 9. A
hearing is unnecessary to determine the amount of liability
given the information provided in the arbitration award, ECF
No. 1-4, and affidavit provided by Plaintiff, ECF No. 7-1.
Hotels moves for default judgment with respect to its
arbitration award. The Fourth Circuit has stated:
Judicial review of an arbitration award is "severely
circumscribed." Patten v. Signator Ins. Agency,
Inc., 441 F.3d 230, 234 (4th Cir. 2006). In fact, the
scope of judicial review for an arbitrator's decision
"is among the narrowest known at law because to allow
full scrutiny of such awards would frustrate the purpose of
having arbitration at all - the quick resolution of disputes
and the avoidance of the expense and delay associated with
Three S Del, Inc. v. DataQuick Info. Sys., Inc., 492
F.3d 520, 527 (4th Cir. 2007) (quoting Apex
Plumbing Supply, Inc. v. U.S. Supply Co., Inc., 142
F.3d 188, 193 (4th Cir. 1998)). The Federal Arbitration Act
provides ("FAA") that
[i]f the parties in their agreement have agreed that a
judgment of the court shall be entered upon the award made
pursuant to the arbitration, and shall specify the court,
then at any time within one year after the award is made any
party to the arbitration may apply to the court so specified
for an order unless the award is vacated, modified, or
corrected as prescribed in sections 10 and 11 of this title.
If no court is specified in the agreement of the parties,
then such application may be made to the United States court
in and for the district within which such award was made.
9 U.S.C. § 9. "If there is a valid contract between
the parties providing for arbitration, and if the dispute
resolved in the arbitration was within the scope of the
arbitration clause, then substantive review is limited to
those grounds set out in [9 U.S.C. § 10]."
Choice Hotels Int'l, Inc. v. Shriji
2000, No. DKC-15-1577, 2015 WL 5010130, at *1 (D.
Md. Aug. 21, 2015). A court may vacate an arbitration award
1) where the award was procured by corruption, fraud, or
2) where there was evident partiality or corruption in the
arbitrators, or either of them;
3) where the arbitrators were guilty of misconduct in
refusing to postpone the hearing, upon sufficient cause
shown, or in refusing to hear evidence pertinent and material
to the controversy; or of any other misbehavior by ...