United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Jacksonville Division
CAROL L. MCCURDY, Petitioner/Cross-Respondent,
VIRGINIA COLLEGE, LLC, Respondent/Cross-Petitioner.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION 
B. TOOMEY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
CAUSE is before the Court on the following:
Petitioner's Motion to Vacate Arbitration Award
(“Motion to Vacate”) (Doc. 1), her Memorandum in
support thereof (Doc. 2), and Respondent's Response
thereto (Doc. 4); and Respondent's Petition to Confirm
Arbitration Award (“Motion to Confirm”) (Doc. 6)
and Petitioner's Response thereto (Doc. 19). The Motions
were referred to the undersigned for a report and
recommendation regarding an appropriate
resolution. (Doc. 14.) For the reasons set forth
herein, the undersigned respectfully
RECOMMENDS that the Motion to Vacate be
DENIED, and that the Motion to Confirm be
Petitioner, a graduate of Virginia College, LLC
(“Respondent”), sought recourse against
Respondent through arbitration following numerous disputes
that arose while she was a student. Specifically, Petitioner
alleged that Respondent did not provide her with an adequate
education; that it charged her for services such as housing,
meals, and transportation that were not provided; that she
was not provided with a work-study position; that teachers
improperly changed her grades in some classes; and that when
she raised these issues to the president of the college, he
had her escorted off campus by security and had her stipend
check withheld. (See Doc. 19.)
result, Petitioner brought claims against Respondent in
arbitration for breach of contract, intentional infliction of
emotional distress (“IIED”), fraud, and unlawful
discrimination. (See Doc. 6-2.) Petitioner sought
damages exceeding one million dollars. (See Doc.
2-3.) The arbitrator found in favor of Respondent on all
claims. (Id.) Petitioner now seeks to vacate the
arbitrator's award, and Respondent seeks to confirm the
award. (Docs. 1 & 6.)
review of the relevant statutory and Eleventh Circuit
authority, this Court has stated:
Judicial review of commercial arbitration awards is narrowly
limited under the Federal Arbitration Act [9 U.S.C.
§§ 1, et seq.
(“FAA”)]. The FAA presumes the confirmation of
arbitration awards . . . and federal courts should defer to
an arbitrator's decision whenever possible. Previously
recognized non-statutory grounds for vacatur-such as, that
the arbitration decision was arbitrary and capricious,
violated public policy, or evidenced manifest disregard for
the law-are no longer viable. Instead, a court's
authority to vacate an arbitration is limited to the four
circumstances provided in the FAA:
(1) where the award was procured by corruption, fraud, or
(2) where there was evident partiality or corruption in the
arbitrators, or either of them;
(3) where the arbitrators were guilty of misconduct in
refusing to postpone the hearing, upon sufficient cause
shown, or in refusing to hear evidence pertinent and material
to the controversy; or of any other misbehavior by which the
rights of any party have been prejudiced; or
(4) where the arbitrators exceeded their powers, or so
imperfectly executed them that a mutual, final, and definite
award upon the subject matter submitted was not made.
An arbitrator need not state the reasons for his award. A
petitioner does not clear the high hurdle required to vacate
an award by show[ing] that the [arbitrator] committed an
error-or even a serious error. Rather, arbitration awards are
presumed to be correct, and the burden to rebut this
presumption is on the party requesting vacatur. Otherwise,
the court must confirm the award.
Franskousky v. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC, No.
3:14-cv-878-J-32JRK, 2014 WL 7224462, at *2-3 (M.D. Fla. Dec.
17, 2014) (Corrigan, J.) (citations and quotations omitted).
Petitioner's use of various conclusory labels such as
“Arbitrator misconduct; Arbitrator evidently partial;
Arbitrator's manifest disregard of the law of contracts;
denial of fundamental fairness of the arbitration process
(failed to grant [Petitioner] a fair hearing), ” she
fails to sufficiently allege any basis to vacate the
arbitration award. (See Doc. 1 at 1; Docs. 2 &
9.) Rather, Petitioner is largely asking the Court to
re-weigh the evidence and reach different conclusions than
those reached by the arbitrator. (See Docs. 2 &
9.) Therefore, the undersigned recommends that the award be
specific arguments fall into three broad categories: manifest
disregard of the law; failure to grant a fair hearing; and
failure to properly address the merits of her claims.
(See Docs. 2 & 19.) The undersigned will address
each in turn.