The petitioner sought to confirm an arbitration award, which the respondent opposed for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction. The respondent argued that the district court only had jurisdiction to confirm final arbitration awards and that the petitioner was seeking to enforce an interim ruling. The award at issue was governed by the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, as the petitioner was not a U.S. citizen. Under the Convention, the district courts lack authority to confirm an arbitration award unless it is “final,” meaning it resolves the rights and obligations of the parties definitively enough to preclude the need for further adjudication. An interim arbitration decision is “final” as to certain claims under certain circumstances – when, for example, it definitively disposes of specific claims in the arbitration, even if others remain.
The petitioner sought to enforce an award titled “interim emergency award.” While the title itself was not decisive on the issue, the court found that the ruling facially and substantively only “paused” the parties’ business relationship until a full arbitration panel could be convened. Because the award did not definitively dispose of any independent claim submitted to arbitration, the court found that it lacked subject-matter jurisdiction over the petition to confirm and therefore granted the respondent’s motion to dismiss.
Al Raha Grp. for Tech. Servs. v. PKL Servs., Inc., No. 1:18-cv-04194 (N.D. Ga. Sept. 6, 2019).