BROWARD COUNTY —  The 4th District Court of Appeal has dismissed a case involving voluntary binding arbitration based on Florida statutes, according to a recent opinion.

Elaine Kaplan filed the appeal with the 4th District Court Court of Appeal after the Broward County Circuit Court confirmed an arbitrator’s choice following voluntary binding arbitration referenced Florida statutes. But the appellate court dismissed Kaplan’s appeal because the regulation does not allow “further review … unless a constitutional issue is raised," court records state. 

The opinion does not give details about the case, but the trial court was firm in its motion and added that both Kaplan and Einstein wanted their case to be considered a “voluntary binding arbitration.” 

This rule, which was enacted in 1987, allowed Kaplan to take the appeal to a circuit court but prevents further review. 

Even though the law has changed since the late 1980s, including a 1999 change when the Legislature included “voluntary trial resolution,” this does not apply to Kaplan’s appeal, court documents state. Based on the law, the exceptions are “allegations the arbitrator failed to comply with the rules of procedure or evidence, alleged partiality of the arbitrator, or allegations that the arbitrator’s decision reaches a result contrary to the federal or state constitutions.” 

Still, Kaplan argued that when the law was changed in 1999, the Legislature had the “intent” to block a voluntary trial resolution, not voluntary binding arbitration, which is what applies to her case. 

The appeals court ruled based on what was written, not what a possible intent would be. In the end, it decided that because Kaplan’s case “does not raise a constitutional issue,” it could not accept her appeal. Therefore, it dismissed her appeal based on not having any “subject matter jurisdiction.”

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