God's Battalion of Prayer Pentecostal Church, Inc. v. Miele Associates, LLP

6 N.Y.3d 371, 812 N.Y.S.2d 435, 845 N.E.2d 1265 (2006)

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God’s Battalion of Prayer Pentecostal Church, Inc. v. Miele Associates, LLP

New York Court of Appeals
6 N.Y.3d 371, 812 N.Y.S.2d 435, 845 N.E.2d 1265 (2006)

Facts

God’s Battalion of Prayer Pentecostal Church, Inc. (church) (plaintiff) operated a church and school. The church hired the architectural firm of Miele Associates, LLP (Miele) (defendant) in connection with an expansion and renovation of the church’s facilities. Miele provided the church with a written agreement for the church to sign, but the church retained the agreement without signing it. The unsigned agreement contained an arbitration clause requiring that all claims arising out of or relating to the agreement or the breach of the agreement were to be submitted to arbitration. According to the church, Miele asked the church to hire Ropal Construction Corporation (Ropal) to be the general contractor for the project, but Ropal did not do a good job. The church sued Miele in the supreme court for breaching the contract that the church never signed and for architectural malpractice. Miele moved for an order permanently staying the church’s supreme-court action and compelling arbitration. The church opposed arbitration, arguing that neither party had signed the agreement and that there had been no meeting of the minds regarding arbitration. The supreme court compelled arbitration. The appellate division affirmed. The church appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Rosenblatt, J.)

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