An international crisis appears to lurching towards a resolution, as the Russian government has dropped piracy charges against 30 Greenpeace activists it arrested last month in the Arctic Circle. Instead, Russia will charge the protestors with "hooliganism," which is punished with a maximum of 15 days in jail, in contrast to piracy's 15-year sentence.
Like other states, Massachusetts has enacted an arbitration statute that provides a streamlined procedure for compelling a party to arbitrate. Section 1 of the Massachusetts Uniform Arbitration Act, G.L. c. 251, recognizes two types of arbitration agreements: (i) those requiring parties to a contract to submit any dispute arising between them to arbitration, and (ii) those requiring parties to submit an existing dispute to arbitration. If a party reneges on either type of agreement, the aggrieved party can file an application in the Massachusetts Superior Courts to compel arbitration. Such applications are heard as motions and typically must be served on the non-arbitrating party in the manner required for original writs of summons, though the parties can agree, and often do agree, on another procedure for service.