Johnson v. Johnson
Supreme Court of New Jersey
9 A.3d 1003 (N.J. 2010)
David Johnson (defendant) and Molly Johnson (plaintiff) were divorced with two children. A divorce decree was entered, awarding joint legal custody of the children to David and Molly. David and Molly struggled with scheduling physical custody of the children. As a result, David and Molly agreed to resolve the scheduling issues via arbitration. David and Molly signed a thorough agreement, generally detailing what they expected of the arbitrator’s decision and the arbitration process. The agreement stated that there would be no formal transcript of the arbitration proceedings and that the arbitrator’s detailed decision called for in the agreement would constitute the entire record of the proceedings. During the proceedings, the arbitrator produced a detailed recapitulation of each interview and observation and issued a full and detailed decision in accordance with all procedures agreed upon by the Johnsons. However, Molly disagreed with the decision and filed a petition to have the arbitrator removed. The trial court upheld the arbitrator’s decision. The appellate court reversed, finding that because the arbitrator had not kept a verbatim transcript of testimony, there was insufficient evidence on which the court could review the decision. As a result, the appellate court remanded the case for a plenary hearing. David appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Long, J.)
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