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How Can I Obtain a Judgment for an Arbitration Award?


When parties engage in arbitration to resolve disputes, they often seek a faster and more private alternative than traditional litigation. However, what happens when one party fails to comply with the arbitration award? In these cases, the prevailing party may need to take additional steps to ensure the enforcement of the award. This blog post aims to shed light on the process of obtaining a judgment for an arbitration award and the crucial role it plays in ensuring the efficacy of the arbitration process.

Step 1: Confirming the Award

Before a judgment can be entered, it’s essential to have a valid arbitration award in place. The arbitration tribunal issues the award, which outlines the decisions and awards granted to each party. This award serves as the foundation for seeking enforcement through the courts.

Step 2: Seeking Judicial Confirmation

Once the arbitration award is obtained, the prevailing party often seeks judicial confirmation of the award. This step involves bringing the arbitration award before a court with jurisdiction over the matter. The court’s role here is not to reevaluate the merits of the case, but to ensure that the award meets the necessary legal requirements and standards.

Step 3: Petitioning the Court

To initiate the process, the prevailing party typically files a petition or application with the appropriate court. This legal document formally requests the court’s approval and confirmation of the arbitration award. The petition usually includes the arbitration agreement, the award itself, and any relevant evidence that supports the validity of the award.

Step 4: Grounds for Challenge

While the court’s role is limited, there are instances in which the non-prevailing party might challenge the enforcement of the arbitration award. Common grounds for the challenge can include procedural irregularities, fraud, or if the award exceeds the scope of the arbitration agreement. Both parties will have the opportunity to present their arguments and the court will make a determination.

Step 5: Entering the Judgment

Upon satisfying the court’s requirements, the arbitration award becomes a court judgment. This judgment holds the same legal weight as any other court judgment, allowing the prevailing party to utilize various legal mechanisms available for enforcing judgments. These mechanisms can include garnishing wages, seizing assets, or placing liens on property.

Considerations and Benefits

  • Speedy Enforcement: One of the advantages of arbitration is its relative speed. But without effective enforcement, this advantage could be nullified. Obtaining a judgment ensures a quicker path to enforcing the award if the opposing party doesn’t comply voluntarily.
  • Preservation of Rights: By seeking a judgment, the prevailing party safeguards their rights. A court judgment provides a legal basis for enforcement and can help deter parties from attempting to evade their obligations under the award.
  • Consistency and Predictability: The court’s involvement in confirming and entering the arbitration award as a judgment brings consistency and predictability to the enforcement process. This uniform approach enhances the credibility of the arbitration process.


Obtaining a judgment for an arbitration award is a strategic and necessary step in ensuring the effectiveness of arbitration. While arbitration offers numerous benefits over traditional litigation, having a court-backed judgment provides the means to enforce the award and safeguard the integrity of the process. If you’re facing challenges with enforcing an arbitration award, the team at LawPLA can guide you through the process necessary to help you achieve the resolution you deserve. Contact us today!


PLEASE NOTE: This is not a representation, warranty, or guarantee of a future result or outcome. Every case is different just like every one of our clients.