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Chapter 1. Golden State Scholarshare Trust Program Dispute Resolution   

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(a) Optional Pre-Arbitration Procedure. In the event a controversy or claim arises out of or relates to a participation agreement, the account owner or designated beneficiary may elect to discuss the matter informally with the program administrator or his or her designee. If the dispute is not resolved to the satisfaction of the account owner or designated beneficiary, the account owner or designated beneficiary may send a letter explaining the dispute to the Executive Director of the ScholarShare Investment Board. The Executive Director or his or her designee shall meet in person or by telephone with the account owner or designated beneficiary within ten (10) working days of receipt of the letter from the account owner or designated beneficiary or such longer period as may be mutually acceptable, and the Executive Director or his or her designee shall mail a written decision, and the reasons therefor, to the account owner or designated beneficiary within twenty (20) working days of the meeting. The procedure set forth in this paragraph is not a substitute for mandatory arbitration, which is required by paragraph (b) below. The procedure set forth in this paragraph is an informal process that may resolve controversies and claims and make arbitration unnecessary.

(b) Arbitration Mandatory. Any controversy or claim arising out of or relating to any participation agreement, or the breach, termination or validity thereof, shall be settled by arbitration administered by the American Arbitration Association, and judgement on the award rendered by the arbitrator(s) may be entered in any court having jurisdiction thereof.

(c) Arbitration Clause and Disclosure. Every participation agreement shall include the following arbitration clause and disclosure language. The arbitration clause and the disclosure language shall be underlined or printed in bold face type.

Any controversy or claim arising out of or relating to this participation agreement, or the breach, termination or validity thereof, shall be settled by arbitration administered by the American Arbitration Association in accordance with its Commercial Arbitration Rules, and judgment on the award rendered by the arbitrator(s) may be entered in any court having jurisdiction thereof.

The foregoing is a predispute arbitration clause. By signing an arbitration agreement, the parties agree as follows:

(1) All parties to this agreement are giving up the right to sue each other in court, including the right to a trial by jury, except as provided by the rules of the American Arbitration Association.

(2) Arbitration awards are generally final and binding; a party's ability to have a court reverse or modify an arbitration award is limited.

(3) The ability of the parties to obtain documents, witness statements and other discovery is generally more limited in arbitration than in court proceedings.

(4) The arbitrators do not have to explain the reason(s) for their award.

(5) The rules of the American Arbitration Association may impose time limits for bringing a claim in arbitration.

(d) Predispute Arbitration Clause Disclosure. Immediately preceding the signature line on the participation agreement there shall be a statement, which shall be highlighted, that the agreement contains a predispute arbitration clause. The statement shall also indicate at what page and paragraph the arbitration clause is located.

(e) Copy of Agreement to Account Owner. Upon request by an account owner, the program administrator or his or her designee shall provide the account owner with a copy of the participation agreement executed by the account owner, within ten (10) business days of receipt of the account owner's request.

(f) Information Upon Request. Upon request by an account owner, the program administrator or his or her designee shall provide the account owner with information on how to contact or obtain the rules of the American Arbitration Association.

Authority cited:

Education Code 69981(d)

Education Code 69982(h)

Reference:

Education Code 69981(c)

Education Code 69990(d)

(Amended By Register 2002, No. 49)