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Stolt-Nielsen v. Animalfeeds International Corp.

Docket No.: 08-1198
Certiorari Granted: Jun 15 2009
Argued: December 9, 2009
Decided: April 27, 2010

PartyNames: Stolt-Nielsen S.A., et al. v. AnimalFeeds International Corp.
Petitioner: Stolt-Nielsen S.A., et al.
Respondent: AnimalFeeds International Corp.

Court Below: United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Stolt-Nielsen S.A., et al.
v.
AnimalFeeds International Corp.
Question Presented:

In Green Tree Financial Corp. v. Bazzle, 539 U.S. 444 (2003), this Court granted certiorari to decide a question that had divided the lower courts: whether the Federal Arbitration Act permits the imposition of class arbitration when the parties' agreement is silent regarding class arbitration. The Court was unable to reach that question, however, because a plurality concluded that the arbitrator first needed to address whether the agreement there was in fact "silent." That threshold obstacle is not present in this case, and the question presented here - which continues to divide the lower courts - is the same one presented in Bazzle: Whether imposing class arbitration on parties whose arbitration clauses are silent on that issue is consistent with the Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. ยงยง 1 et seq.

Question:

Is imposing class arbitration on parties whose arbitration clauses are silent on that issue consistent with the Federal Arbitration Act?

Note:

JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR TOOK NO PART

Holding: reversed and remanded
Vote: 5-3
Recused: J.,
Read STOLT-NIELSEN V. ANIMALFEEDS INTERNATIONAL CORP. opinion (PDF)
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