United States District Court, D. Minnesota
Choi, Esq., Choi Capital Law PLLC, Seattle WA, on behalf of
Matthew Berner, Esq., Droel PLLC, Bloomington, MN, on behalf
MONTGOMERY U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the undersigned United States District Judge
for a ruling on Defendants Juhl Energy Development, Inc.,
Juhl Energy, Inc., Winona Wind Holdings, LLC, Winona County
Wind, LLC, Daniel Juhl, John Mitola, John Brand, Bartly J.
Joethen, Audrey Loethen, and Jeff Bendel's (collectively,
“Defendants”) Motion to Confirm Arbitration Award
and Motion to Dismiss [Docket No. 130], and Motion for
Attorney Fees and Costs [Docket No. 148]. Plaintiff Unison
Co., Ltd. (“Unison”), opposes the
Motions. For the reasons set forth below,
Defendants' Motions are denied as premature.
Energy Development, Inc. (“JEDI”) and Unison are
parties to contractual agreements related to the design,
manufacture, and sale of Wind Turbine Generators
(“WTG”) to be installed in Minnesota. Am. Compl.
[Docket No. 14] ¶¶ 18-22. On December 5, 2013,
Unison filed suit against JEDI. See Compl. [Docket
No. 1]. On May 26, 2015, the Eighth Circuit
ordered that Unison's claims be arbitrated. Unison
Co., Ltd. v. Juhl Energy Dev., Inc., 789 F.3d 816, 821
(8th Cir. 2015). This case was stayed pending the
arbitration. Order [Docket No. 101].
March 26, 2018, a Final Award was issued by the American
Arbitration Association. Berner Aff. [Docket No. 133] Ex. S.
The arbitration panel concluded “that the most
appropriate and equitable remedy for both parties is the
rescission of all the contracts between the parties.”
Id. at 6. Unison was ordered to remove the WTGs on
or before August 1, 2018, or, if it declined to remove the
WTGs, to pay JEDI $350, 000 to cover the cost of
de-commissioning. Id. at 6-7. Unison was also
ordered to reimburse JEDI for construction and related costs,
as well as extra freight costs, to “place the parties
in the position they were in prior to the rescinded
contracts.” Id. at 7.
March 27, 2018, one day after the arbitration award was
entered, Defendants filed its Motion seeking to confirm the
award. Unison argues the Motion is premature.
argues that its time for challenging the arbitration award
has yet to expire and, thus, Defendants' effort to
finalize the award is premature.
9 of the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) provides
that any party may apply, within one year after the
arbitration award is made, to the district court for an entry
of judgment confirming the award. 9 U.S.C. § 9. Under
§ 12 of the FAA, either party may file a motion to
vacate, modify, or correct an arbitration award. Such a
motion must be filed within 90 days of the initial
arbitration award. Id.; Domino Grp., Inc. v.
Charlie Parker Mem'l Found., 985 F.2d 417, 419 (8th
Cir. 1993). “Absent a timely motion to vacate, in most
cases ‘the confirmation of an arbitration award is a
summary proceeding that makes what is already a final
arbitration award a judgment of the court.'”
Domino Grp., Inc., 985 F.3d at 420 (quoting
Florasynth, Inc. v. Pickholz, 750 F.2d 171, 176 (2d
Cir. 1984)). As of this time, the arbitration award is still
subject to challenge under § 12. Thus, Defendants'
motion to confirm the award is premature.
upon the foregoing, and all the files, records, and
proceedings herein, ...