Schiffer v. Slomin's
Judge Gary Knobel
Slomin's moved for dismissal of Raviv's action, and sought to compel arbitration between itself and Schiffer. In an apparent case of first impression, the court opined that a clause in Slomin's alarm and security agreement giving either party the right to have an action resolved by binding arbitration was unenforceable, and deemed null and void under General Business Law §399-c, which prohibited the use of mandatory arbitration clauses in contracts for the sale or purchase of consumer goods. Plaintiffs sought to recover $5,000 in damages for breach of contract in their small claims suit. They claimed they entered into three agreements with Slomin's. The court found the contracts at bar calling for the installation of an alarm and security system in plaintiffs' home was for the purchase of consumer goods as defined in §399-c. It found the arbitration clause in the contract fell within the protection of subsections 2(a) and 2(b) of the statute as it allowed the non-consumer party to mandate arbitration. Hence, the court ruled the "only reasonable conclusion" was that Slomin's clause ultimately circumvented the intended benefit of §399-c to consumers to have the right to seek judicial resolution of a dispute. Thus, Slomin's motion was denied.