United States District Court, D. New Jersey
E. Land Retail LTD., Petitioner,
Sky Mart Global LLC, Respondent.
MEMORANDUM OPINION & ORDER
ESTHER SALAS, District Judge.
This matter is before the Court on Petitioner's, E. Land Retail LTD. ("E. Land"), unopposed Motion to Confirm Arbitration Award ("Motion to Confirm") (D.E. No. 3).
The dispute between E. Land and Respondent Sky Mart Global LLC ("Sky Mart") relates to a series of commercial contracts for the purchase of well-known consumer food items. (D.E. No. 1, Verified Petition To Confirm Foreign Arbitration Award And To Enter Judgment Thereupon "E. Land Pet." at ¶ 2). Each of the purchasing contracts contained an arbitration clause stating, "all claims which cannot be amicably settled between Sellers and Buyers shall be settled by arbitration in Seoul, [Republic of Korea], in accordance with the international commercial arbitration rules of the Korean Commercial Arbitration Board (KCAB') whose award shall be final and binding upon Sellers and Buyers." ( Id. at ¶ 2, 15). E. Land promptly made payments under the contract; however, Sky Mart either failed entirely to deliver the goods or delivered goods of such inferior quality as to be not usable. ( Id. at ¶ 3).
Thus, on June 18, 2013, E. Land commenced arbitration before the KCAB in Seoul to recover its damages. ( Id. at ¶ 3). Sky Mart, through its representative Paul Kim, communicated with the KCAB and participated in preliminary arbitration proceedings, including serving an Answer to the Request for Arbitration and a Power of Attorney naming Paul Kim as a lawful representative of Sky Mart. ( Id. at ¶ 4). After numerous failed appearances by Sky Mart to appear at the initial oral hearing, the KCAB rendered an opinion and an award in favor of E. Land on April 18, 2014. ( Id. at ¶ 5, 6; Ex. 2). Now, despite being served, Sky Mart has failed to answer E. Land's motion to confirm arbitration award. ( See D.E. Nos. 5-7) (E. Land's notices of certified service on Sky Mart).
A. Subject-Matter Jurisdiction & Venue
The Court has jurisdiction over this matter pursuant to 9 U.S.C. § 203. Section 203 states:
An action or proceeding falling under [The Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards] ("Convention") shall be deemed to arise under the laws and treaties of the United States. The district courts of the United States... shall have original jurisdiction over such an action or proceeding, regardless of the amount in controversy.
Venue is also proper here pursuant to 9 U.S.C. § 204. Section 204 states:
An action or proceeding over which the district courts have jurisdiction pursuant to section 203 of this title may be brought in any such court in which save for the arbitration agreement an action or proceeding with respect to the controversy between the parties could be brought....
Federal district courts have the authority to confirm foreign arbitral awards. 9 U.S.C. § 207. To obtain enforcement of the arbitral award, a party may apply to federal district court, attaching copies of the arbitral award and the agreement to arbitrate. See Convention, Article IV; 9 U.S.C. § 201. E. Land has complied with these requirements. (Exs. 2 & 3 to E. Land Pet.). Once the requirements are complied with, the district court's role in reviewing a foreign arbitral award is limited: "The court shall confirm the award unless it finds one of the grounds for refusal or deferral of recognition specified in the said Convention." 9 U.S.C. § 207; Admart AG v. Stephen & Mary Birch Found., Inc., 457 F.3d 302, 307 (3d Cir. 2006). These ...