I previously wrote about the grounds to set aside an appraisal award in Pennsylvania. Now that we have discussed the grounds upon which the award may be vacated, the next question is the procedure.

Pennsylvania deals with appraisals in the same way they do arbitrations awards.

In order to protest an appraisal award by alleging one of the grounds stated in my previous post, a complaint must be filed in the appropriate court within the timeframes provided by Pennsylvania Statute 42 Pa.C.S. § 7342(b). That statute provides:

(b) Confirmation and judgment.- On application of a party made more than 30 days after an award is made by an arbitrator under section 7341 (relating to common law arbitration), the court shall enter an order confirming the award and shall enter a judgment or decree in conformity with the order. Section 7302(d)(2) (relating to special application) shall not be applicable to proceedings under this subchapter.

A party on the wrong end of an appraisal award has thirty days to appeal the award or it will be confirmed. The problem is, the appraisal process is often very short and it may well take much longer than the length of the appraisal and the thirty days post-award for the aggrieved party to learn of the facts that could be grounds for appeal. For these reasons, it is imperative for both parties to approach appraisal with caution. Careful consideration must be given to the choice of appraisers, and the umpire selected by the appraisal panel should be researched and vetted.