NGC Network Asia, LLC (“NGC”) and Pacific Group International, Inc. (“PAC”) were parties to an arbitration held in New York. After an award was rendered in NGC’s favor, it commenced an action in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and moved to confirm. PAC opposed the motion and cross moved to transfer, stay or dismiss the action.
In rejecting PAC’s motion, the court found that NGC’s petition to confirm was properly filed in the Southern District, because the parties had agreed to arbitrate their disputes in New York and the hearing was held in that district. The court rejected PAC’s argument that California was the proper jurisdiction simply because the award was signed by an arbitrator in that state. To that end, the court noted that an arbitration award is “made” in the district where the hearing was held, not where the award was written or mailed, and thus the Southern District of New York had jurisdiction over the dispute.
The court further stated that the location of an arbitration hearing is the proper venue for a motion to confirm under the Federal Arbitration Act. Although the court recognized that venue may also be proper in other jurisdictions – pursuant to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Cortez Byrd Chips, Inc. v. Bill Harbert Construction Co., 529 U.S. 193 (2000) (holding that the FAA’s venue provisions are permissive) – that did not change the fact that New York was a proper location for NGC’s motion to confirm.
Click here to review the court’s decision, captioned NGC Network Asia, LLC v. Pac Pacific Group International, Inc., No. 09 Civ. 8684 (S.D.N.Y., Sept. 17, 2010).