I sucessfully arbitrated complaints with FINRA, and went through the expungement arbitration where FINRA recommends that my CRD be expunged of any reference to the arbitration in question. However they will only enforce the expungement if a court of competent jurisdiction confirms. How do I even begin going about getting a court to do this? Is is civil or criminal? What forms are needed, and where do I go to file them. FINRA must be named as an additional party and served with all appropriate documents, unless i request a waiver from them. Should I request the waiver or not?
Did a Finra arbitrator or panel agree to expunge the CRD under Rule 2080? Rule 2080 contains standards and procedures for expungement of customer dispute information from CRD. The rule requires that a court of competent jurisdiction confirm an arbitration award granting expungement relief or order such expungement. It also requires that firms or associated persons name FINRA as an additional party in any court proceeding in which they seek an order to expunge customer dispute information or request confirmation of an award containing an order of expungement. FINRA will generally oppose confirmation of the expungement portion of the arbitration award in most cases in which it participates in the judicial proceeding. Upon request, however, FINRA, in its discretion, may waive the requirement to name FINRA as a party in these proceedings provided the arbitration award directing expungement contains at least one of the following judicial or arbitral findings: the claim, allegation or information is factually impossible or clearly erroneous;
the registered person was not involved in the alleged investment-related sales practice violation, forgery, theft, misappropriation or conversion of funds; or the claim, allegation or information is false. If Finra awarde an expungement request you need to file a petition in civil court to confirm the Finra arbitration award in your favor.
I am a Finra arbitrator and can assist you with this undertaking however there are many lawyers in your area also familiar with Finra proceedings, rules and regs. It would be to your benefit to seek one out having gotten to this stage. Best of luck!
The expungement order you seek is properly brought by a motion in your local Federal District Court. While not an overly complex process, it can be a maze for non-lawyers. I suggest you seek a lawyer experienced in securities arbitration; the fees should be reasonable as it is not an overly complex process for counsel experienced in FINRA arbitration procedures.
What you will need to do is actually name FINRA as the defendant and serve them with a complaint to confirm the award and to compel compliance with the expungement order. It can be in either state or federal court, but it should bear some geographic nexus to where the arbitration was heard. Once you file the complaint with the court and send it out for service (FINRA has service addresses in each state), you can also send the complaint to the Office of the General Counsel of FINRA with a cover letter, letting them know what you're doing. In most cases, FINRA will file a non-opposition to the relief requested. The court should confirm the award and order the expungement. You then send the order to FINRA in Washington and to CRD. Your current brokerage firm should have a good contact at CRD to whom you could send the executed order so the expungement goes smoothly.
You have to file a petition (or other form depending on the local rules of the court) with the court and name FINRA as a party. Were you pro se during the arbitration? If not, did you consult with the attorney that represented you during the arbitration? They may be your first stop to discuss the method of obtaining the order of expungement.
The party seeking expungement should send to FINRA at the address listed below a written request for a waiver, along with relevant documents such as the Statement of Claim, the Answer, any settlement agreement, the arbitration award and any other relevant documents:
Rule 2080 - Expungement Notice/Waiver Request FINRA Registration and Disclosure Department -
3rd Floor 9509 Key West Ave.
Rockville, MD 20850
FINRA staff will review the information to determine whether the award complies with Arbitration Code Rule 12805, or 13805, and whether the expungement relief was awarded based on one or more of the standards in Rule 2080. Provided that the award reflects compliance with the Arbitration Code, and contains an affirmative finding that the expungement meets one or more of the standards in Rule 2080, FINRA staff will generally grant the waiver. (See FINRA Notice to Members 04-16 at www.FINRA.org). Upon receipt of a request for a waiver, FINRA staff will provide to the States where the individual is, or is seeking to be, registered a copy of the waiver request and any accompanying documents. FINRA staff will also conduct the review described above, and will provide a written response granting or denying the waiver request. If a party whose waiver request is denied still wishes to proceed, he or she must name FINRA as a party, and serve FINRA with notice in any litigation to confirm the award. State authorities will make their own determination on whether to oppose the expungement.
If the party is seeking expungement as part of a court proceeding, FINRA must be named as a party and served. Based on the reasons given for requesting expungement, and after reviewing relevant documents and information, FINRA staff will determine whether to oppose. As with waiver requests, FINRA will provide relevant state authorities with notice of the litigation and may also provide copies of the types of documents referenced above. State authorities will make their own determination on whether to oppose the expungement.
You can find a lot more information on FINRA's website. Specifically, you may wan to look at "FINRA Rule 2080 (Formerly NASD Rule 2130) Frequently Asked Questions."
And as others have said, you probably want to hire a lawyer experienced in these areas. The cost for confirming an arbitration award for expungement should not be too onerous, but it will take some time.
Best of luck!
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