The court ruling speaks for itself. Conflict of interest just does not matter to these "religious Jews".
Furthermore Rabbi Hillel David is alleged to have disassociated himself with this Bais Din in disgust but the Bais Din falsely advertises his name which is despicable.
The Bais Din charges litigants on a per hour basis so effectively it has an incentive to prolong proceedings. if it did not, it would not be able to cover its dayonim's fat salaries. So its claims that its dayonim are not paid on an hourly basis, while probably true are highly misleading.
Furthermore I ask the following questions about this esteemed Bais Din
1) Why does it only use English dates and not Jewish dates on its Hazmonos?
2) Why does it send hazmonos out to people when the other Baal Din is in Arko'oys, and it should establish this fact first before sending hazmonos out?
3) Why does it refuse to provide explanations on its rulings?
4) Why does it allow corrupt toanim in its Bais Din?
5) Why are the fees charged in excess of the schar betaila of the judges?
Matter of Beth Jacob Teachers Seminary Inc. v Beis Chinuch Le’Bunos
2009 NY Slip Op 50504(U)
Decided on March 24, 2009
Supreme Court, Kings County
Published by New York State Law Reporting Bureau pursuant to Judiciary Law 431.
This opinion is uncorrected and will not be published in the printed Official Reports.
Decided on March 24, 2009
Supreme Court, Kings County
In the Matter of the Application of Beth Jacob Teachers Seminary Inc., Petitioner, for an Order Pursuant to Article 75 of the CPLR Confirming the Arbitration Award dated April 11, 2008,
Beis Chinuch Le’Bunos – Bas Melech, a/k/a Bas Melech School for Girls, Respondent.
ATTORNEYS FOR PETITIONER
BETH JACOB TEACHERS SEMINARY INC.,
HELLER, HOROWITZ & FEIT, P.C.
292 MADISON AVENUE
NEW YORK, NEW YORK 10017
ATTORNEYS FOR RESPONDENT
BEIS CHINUCH LE’BUNOS-BAS
MELECH a/k/a BAS MELECH SCHOOL
THE SILBER LAW FIRM, LLC
NEW YORK, NEW YORK 10038
Martin Schneier, J.
Petitioner, Beth Jacob Teachers Seminary Inc. (Beth Jacob) petitions this court to confirm the written arbitration award pursuant to CPLR 7510. Respondent Beis Chinuch Le’Burnos-Bas Melech (Bas Melech) cross-moves to vacate the arbitration award pursuant to CPLR 7511.
Petitioner Beth Jacob, is a domestic religious corporation. Beth Jacob owns real property located at 4421 15th Avenue in Brooklyn, NY, which on July 30, 2006, it leased to respondent, Bas Melech, also a religious corporation. When a dispute pertaining to the lease arose, the parties agreed to submit the dispute to binding arbitration before a Rabbinical Court. The parties then chose and agreed on January 24, 2008, to have their dispute heard by the Rabbinical Court of Tzedek Umishpot (the “Beth Din”).
Rabbi Yerachmiel Barash is employed as the Beth Din’s secretary and clerk; and is married to an employee of Beth Jacob. This marital relationship was not disclosed to Bas Melech when Bas Melech had agreed to binding arbitration by this Beth Din.
During the second arbitration hearing on March 17, 2008 at the Beth Din Bas Melech claimed that the backyard of an adjacent apartment in a building not owned by Beth Jacob but by Mr. Joseph was part of the premises it had rented from Beth Jacob. Beth Jacob argued that it was not and could not have included the backyard area as part of the rental to Bas [*2]Melech because, Beth Jacob first rented the adjacent apartment after it had entered into the rental agreement with Bas Melech.
At the second Beth Din hearing, Mrs. Barash was telephoned at Beth Jacob by her husband, Rabbi Barash, who was present during this entire Beth Din hearing, for verification of the rental date of the apartment and backyard from Mr. Joseph. Rabbi Barash then reported to the Beth Din that Beth Jacob’s version of the timing of the rental agreements was the correct one.
It was at this second Beth Din hearing that Bas Melech learned for the first time of the marital relationship between Rabbi Barash and an employee of Beth Jacob.
Rabbi Yitzchok Kaplan, who appeared at the Beth Din on behalf of Beth Jacob, in his affirmation averred in pertinent part that:
“4. Prior to the Beth Din proceedings, I neither knew or ever had
any connection with Yerachmiel Barash, the Beth Din’s clerk, and did not know that he was employed by the Beth Din.”
In support of the petition, Beth Jacob also submitted the affidavit of Rabbi Daniel Geldzahler who served on the rabbinical panel that heard the dispute. Rabbi Geldzahler averred in pertinent part:
“10. On March 17, 2008, during the early part of the second hearing session, Bas Melech claimed that included in their lease with Beth Jacob was a backyard area of an adjacent building, 4407 15th Avenue, Brooklyn, New York, owned by Mr. Joseph. Beth Jacob disputed that the area was not and could not have been included in the lease because at the time of Bas Melech’s lease with Beth Jacob that area had not yet been rented by Beth Jacob from Mr. Joseph.
11. At that time, Rabbi Kaplan of Beth Jacob mentioned the employment of Rabbi Barash’s wife and suggested that she be called to verify the rental date of said backyard area. This suggestion was made in front of the Dayanim and Rabbi Welz of Bas Melech. The Dayanim had no prior knowledge of the employment of Mrs. Barash, they first learned of it then, at the same time Rabbi Welz did.
12. Rabbi Barash verified the rental date information by calling Mrs. Barash. This telephone call was also made in the presence of the Dayanim and both parties. Rabbi Welz did not make any objection at that time. Additionally, he has never questioned the veracity of the information confirmed by Mrs. Barash, nor provided any evidence refuting the [*3]information confirmed by Mrs. Barash.”
Rabbi Berish Weltz, who appeared at the Beth Din on behalf of Bas Melech averred in his affidavit in pertinant part:
“16. Thereafter, Rabbi Geldzhaler himself volunteered the information that (i) Mrs. Barash worked for petitioner Beth Jacob and (ii) was involved in managing the relevant property, which is used in part as Beth Jacob’s dormitory…
17. Rabbi Geldzhaler directed that Rabbi Barash call his wife at Beth Jacob to verify when Beth Jacob leased the Joseph Property. Rabbi Barash did so on a private line, and the entire conversation between husband and wife was heard by no one else notwithstanding that Mrs. Barash’s employer was then sitting as a party before the Beth Din.”
By letter dated March 19, 2008, two days after the second hearing, Bas Melech notified the Beth Din that it was “cancelling the arbitration agreement because of the relationship between the Beth Din and Beth Jacob, and “agrees to sign a new arbitration agreement before another Rabbinical Court”. On April 11, 2008, the Beth Din issued its decision which Beth Jacob now seeks to confirm.
Neither of the parties submitted to the Court the written lease which would contain all of the terms and conditions of their rental agreement. Beth Jacob submits only a one-half page “Negotiation notes on leasing the Beth Jacob building to the Bnos Bas Melech organization” signed by the parties.
CPLR Section 7511 in pertinent part states:
“Vacating or modifying award. “(b) Grounds for vacating.1. The award shall be vacated on the application of a party who either participated in the arbitration or was served with a notice of intention to arbitrate if the court finds that the rights of that party were prejudiced by:…(ii) partiality of an arbitrator appointed as a neutral, except where the award was by confession.”
“[T]he failure of an arbitrator to disclose facts which reasonably may support an inference of bias is grounds to vacate the award under CPLR 7511″ (J.P.Stevens & Co. v. Rytex Corp., 34 NY2d 123, 125 ; Morgan Guaranty Trust Company of New York v. Solow Building Co., LLC 279 AD2d 431 (1st Dept 2001)).
“Although courts generally will not interfere with the judgment of arbitrators, arbitration awards are not to be confirmed without question where there is evidence of misconduct prejudicing the rights of the parties” (Goldfinger v. Lisker, 68 NY2d 225, 231 ). The J.P Stevens decision makes clear that, although the presumption is in favor of full disclosure, not every relationship is grounds for the disqualification of an arbitrator (J.P Stevens, supra).
The material facts are not in dispute. Rabbi Barash, an employee of the Beth Din, is married to an employee of Beth Jacob. Regardless of how the relationship was disclosed, it is undisputed that Bas Melech did not learn of the marital relationship between Rabbi Barash and Beth Jacob’s employee until the second hearing at the Beth Din. This relationship was significant enough that it should have been disclosed by either the Beth Din or Beth Jacob prior to the agreement by Bas Melech to binding arbitration by this Beth Din.
The fact that the Beth Din’s clerk, who was present during the entire arbitration hearing, was married to an employee of Beth Jacob in conjunction with the fact that the clerk informed the Beth Din of the results of a private telephone conversation he had with his wife during the hearing with respect to one of the issues in dispute which resolved this issue in Beth Jacob’s favor creates more than the requisite inference of partiality and bias. Thus, this case is one where the Courts “general reluctance to disturb arbitration awards must yield…to the clear necessity of safeguarding the integrity of the arbitration process” (Goldfinger, supra at 232 -233)
Based on the foregoing, the respondent’s cross-motion to vacate the arbitration award pursuant to CPLR 7511 is granted and the arbitration award is vacated. The petitioner’s petition to confirm the arbitration award is denied and the petition is dismissed.
This constitutes the Decision and Order of the Court.