Step 6: Eligibility for State Arbitration
State arbitration is a process that is available to you and the manufacturer in a Lemon Law dispute. Each of the parties is allowed to present its side of the story in a structured but informal manner.
In order to participate in a state-run arbitration hearing, you must first call for an application from the Governor's Office of Consumer Protection (OCP) at 404-651-9397 and should return it as soon as possible. If you rejected the decision of the certified program, you must file your application with OCP by the 60-calendar-day deadline in Step 5.
Remember, you can only request state-operated arbitration if:
- You have completed the applicable Steps 1 through 4;
- Your vehicle’s manufacturer does not have a state-certified informal dispute settlement program, and the defect continues to exist; OR
- You have completed the applicable Steps 1 through 5;
- You reject the decision of the manufacturer’s state-certified informal dispute settlement program, and the defect continues to exist; OR
- You accept the decision of the manufacturer’s state-certified informal dispute settlement program, but the manufacturer fails to comply with the decision and the defect continues to exist.
Along with your application, OCP requires certain documents from you to verify your preliminary eligibility for a state-run arbitration hearing. Be sure to attach copies (not the originals) of any documents that help prove your claim.
Prior to proceeding through state arbitration, you must make a decision to pursue your rights under the Lemon Law instead of Georgia's Uniform Commercial Code (UCC). This means you will have waived, or given up, your rights to bring a court action under O.C.G.A. Sections 11-2-602 through 11-2-609. If you have any questions about this, you might want to consult a private attorney.
What to Do Next
OCP will review the application to determine whether you have met the requirements and, if so, will submit your application to a state-operated arbitration panel. Arbitration takes place in Step 7. If OCP finds problems with your application, we will notify you.