Judge Daniel Palmieri, sitting in a Supreme Court part handling matrimonial matters in Nassau County, New York, recently vacated the decision of a Beth Din determination and award. Beth Din is a Jewish Religious Court.
The parties in this case had entered into a written agreement to arbitrate financial issues related to the marriage before the Beth Din religious court. The agreement authorized the Beth Din arbitrators power to hear and determine all issues of a financial nature. The determination of these financial issues are enforceable in the Nassau County Supreme Court.
Limitations Of An Arbitration Agreement
The arbitration agreement did not empower the Beth Din court to render final and enforceable decisions concerning issues involving child custody and visitation. This is due to public policy in New York. In New York, only state courts can render decisions on issues of child custody and visitation.
In the case, before Justice Palmieri, the husband moved to set aside a decision and award by the Beth Din arbitration panel. He also asked the Court to grant a downward modification of child support. The wife moved to confirm all aspects of the decision of the Beth Din panel.
Justice Palmieri vacated the arbitration award to the extent that it dealt with decisions of custody and visitation as being against a public policy in the State of New York. He confirmed the portion of the award dealing with financial issues.
Private Arbitration Of Legal Matters
More and more litigant today are opting for alternate dispute resolution of legal matters. This usually involves hiring a retired judge to conduct an arbitration. These private tribunals can resolve litigated issues much faster than the overworked courts in New York.