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Trial de Novo (after mandatory arbitration)

If either side does not agree with the arbitrator’s decision after Mandatory Arbitration, that party can ask for a new trial before a judge. This is called a trial de novo. You start all over again as if the arbitration never happened. The arbitrator’s report and award can’t be considered at all during the new trial.

Important! A request for a trial de novo cannot be made by a party that defaulted - did not come to court for the hearing. If you defaulted, visit Vacating a Default Judgment to learn what to do next.

A request for a trial de novo must be made quickly. You must also pay a filing fee that you do not get back even if you win.


Steps to Request a Trial de Novo

If you want to start over after non-binding arbitration, follow these steps:

  1. Requests for a new trial should be made within 30 days after receiving the Arbitrator’s award from the Court – 35 days if it was mailed to you.
    Note: If you made a mistake and missed this deadline, you can ask the Judge to extend your time. Ask the Court Clerk about what you need to do.

  2. Fill out a Demand for a Trial de Novo.

  3. Have someone who is 18 years or older and not a party in this case, mail the Demand to each party in the case. If a party had an attorney, mail the Demand to the attorney.

  4. Have the person that mailed the Demand for a Trial de Novo fill out an Affidavit of Service for the Demand and sign it in front of a notary.

  5. Bring the Demand for a Trial de Novo and the Affidavit of Service to the court and pay the filing fee within the 30-day time period. Check with the court about how much this fee is and what type of payment the court accepts. You will not get this fee back even if you win.

  6. The Court will give you a date for a new trial.

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