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Sample Letters for Rescinding (i.e., terminating) a Previously Signed Arbitration Agreement in a Nursing Home or RCFE:

 

CANHR recommends sending a rescission letter certified mail, return receipt requested, to ensure the facility receives it.

 

For nursing home arbitration agreement signed in last 30 days:

Dear [Facility Administrator]:

Pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure Section 1295, I hereby revoke the agreement to pre-dispute arbitration that was signed on [Date].

Sincerely,

______________ [Signature]

__________________ [Printed Name]

 

For nursing home agreement signed over thirty days ago but does not comply with the legal requirements:

Dear [Facility Administrator]:

I recently had the opportunity to review the pre-dispute arbitration agreement that was signed on [Date]. The agreement violates Health and Safety Code Section 1599.81(a) because it was presented as a condition of admission to your facility. [for other potential bases for non-enforcement, see http://canhr.org/arbitration/arbitration_laws.html] Because the agreement is not compliant with California law, it is not enforceable.

Sincerely,

______________ [Signature]

__________________ [Printed Name]

For all other cases:

The chances are small to successfully rescind an arbitration agreement that was not signed with a nursing home in the last thirty days or that does not clearly violate a California law.

If a third party (someone other than the resident) signed the arbitration agreement, the resident can attempt to rescind it by writing a letter stating that the agent exceeded his or her authority in binding the resident to arbitration. The letter should clarify that the agent did not have authority to limit the resident’s options for dispute resolution, and therefore the arbitration agreement is unenforceable and will not be honored by the resident.

In any other case, a rescission letter should simply state any factors that may have made the arbitration agreement “unconscionable,” meaning unfair or one-sided. Such factors may include:

  • the arbitration agreement was presented as take-it-or-leave-it, where the resident or her surrogate were told that services would not be provided unless the agreement was signed;
  • the agreement was signed under great duress, such as in the midst of a health care crisis where the resident needed nursing services urgently but had few options and little time to explore them;
  • the agreement was presented among a stack of papers and pressure was applied by the facility staff to have all the papers signed right away;
  • the person signing the agreement did not understand the terms due to illiteracy, incapacity, or deception.

Page Last Modified:July 7, 2014