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Reparations Program

  • The CFTC’s Reparations Program provides an inexpensive, expeditious, fair, and impartial forum for resolving disputes between customers and registered commodity futures trading professionals.

    ·         Eligibility

    ·         How the Process Works

    ·         File a Complaint

    ·         Case Status and Decisions 

    ·         Additional Resources

    ·         Do You Need an Attorney?

    For additional information on the Reparations Program, see:

    ·         CFTC Regulations, Title 17 Part 12 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)

    ·         Reparations Program Information Booklet (PDF | 322 KB)

    ·         Reparations Program Brochure (PDF 1.9 MB)

    The information on this page is not legal advice. Review the section Do You Need an Attorney if you think you need legal advice from a private attorney.

    Eligibility

    If you are a customer of a commodity futures trading professional and have a dispute that you are unable to resolve, you may be able to use the CFTC’s Reparations Program if:

    ·         Your complaint involves a commodity futures trading professional registered with the CFTC at the time of the alleged wrongdoing or at the time you file the complaint.

    ·         Your complaint alleges that the individual or firm (respondent) has engaged in activities that violate the Commodity Exchange Act or CFTC regulations. Typical violations involve: futures contracts, options on futures contracts or physical commodities, and leverage contracts. Your complaint must include facts to show that the losses you claim as damages resulted from the respondent’s alleged wrongful conduct.

    ·         You file your complaint within the statute of limitations—within two years of the date the violation occurred or within two years of the date you should have known about the violation. You must submit your non-refundable filing fee with your complaint.

    ·         The individual or firm you name is not in bankruptcy or receivership.

    ·         You are not pursuing the same claim in a parallel proceeding such as arbitration.

    If you are a foreign resident, you must file a non-resident bond and satisfy additional criteria as described in Section 12.13(b)(4) of the CFTC rules.

    How the Reparations Process Works

    1.       Check the Registration Status

    2.       Allege Violations or Illegal Activities

    3.       Select Type of Proceedings

    ·         Compare the Types of Proceedings

    4.       File a Complaint

    ·         How to File a Complaint Video

    ·         Reparations Complaint Checklist (PDF | 40.3 KB)

    ·         How to Calculate Damages

    ·         Payment by Check Notice (PDF | 50.8 KB)

    ·         Withdrawing a Filed Complaint

    5.       Review of Complaint

    6.       Assignment to Judgment Officer

    ·         Ex Parte Communications

    7.       Evidence: the Discovery Process

    8.       Decision Process

    ·         Case Status Inquiries

    9.       Appeal or Review of Initial Decision

    10.   Monetary Awards

    11.   Counterclaims

    Check Registration Status

    Complaints must involve a commodity futures trading professional who is:

    ·         registered with the CFTC, and

    ·         alleged to have engaged in activities that violate either the Commodity Exchange Act or CFTC regulations.

    Check registration status of your commodity futures trading professional using the National Futures Association’s BASIC or contact the CFTC’s Office of Proceedings.

     

    Allege Violations or Illegal Activities

    In your complaint, you must allege one or more violations. You will need to provide evidence to support your claim.

    Illegal activities include, but are not limited to:

    ·         Fraud – cheating or attempting to cheat you through false claims concerning the likelihood of profit or loss; false or misleading statements about trading or about your salesperson, advisor, or the trading program you use; or false or misleading statements about any other material fact that you relied on in making a decision about futures or options trading. See avoid fraud for more information.

    ·         Breach of fiduciary duty – a failure by a broker or salesperson to act with special care in handling your account when required to do so by the Commodity Exchange Act or CFTC rules.

    ·         Unauthorized trading – trades made by a broker without your prior specific authorization or a written grant of authority to effect trades without your specific authorization.

    ·         Misappropriation – a broker’s unauthorized use or diversion of money that you deposited for the purpose of trading futures or options.

    ·         Churning – excessive trading of your account for the purpose of producing commissions and with disregard of your financial interests.

    ·         Wrongful liquidation – the unauthorized closing of your position.

    ·         Failure to supervise – failure by a supervisor to diligently oversee the handling of your account by the supervisor’s partners, officers, employees, and agents.

    ·         Nondisclosure – failure to inform you of the risks associated with futures and option trading; failure to disclose any other material fact you required to make a decision about futures or option trading.

     

    Select the Type of Proceeding

    Before filing a complaint, you must choose which of the three types of Reparations proceedings you wish to submit:

    ·         Voluntary Proceedingavailable for claims of any amount

    ·         Summary Proceeding – for claims of $30,000 and less

    ·         Formal Proceeding – for claims greater than $30,000

    Compare the proceeding options.

    Voluntary Proceedings

    Voluntary proceedings are available for claims of any amount. This is the quickest option since it does not involve a hearing or allow appeals. Cases are decided by a Judgment Officer solely on the basis of written submissions and exhibits provided by the parties.

    ·         Filing fee. The non-refundable filing fee for voluntary proceedings is $50. You must submit the fee with the complaint.

    ·         Consent by all parties. All parties must consent to using a voluntary proceeding—those alleging violations (complainants) and those against whom the complaint has been filed (respondents). All parties waive certain rights in voluntary proceedings and the decision is final and cannot be appealed. If any respondent does not consent to a voluntary proceeding, the claim will be adjudicated as either a summary proceeding or a formal proceeding, depending on the amount of the claim. The respondent who did not consent must pay any increase in the filing fee. 

    ·         Evidence. The Judgment Officer will not investigate your case for you. You must collect and submit to the Judgment Officer all information and evidence supporting your claim of a violation along with your calculation of damages. The respondents will provide evidence in support of their defense.

    ·         No oral hearing. Voluntary proceedings do not allow oral hearings.

    ·         Decision. A CFTC Judgment Officer will decide the case based on the documents submitted by you and the respondents.  The Judgment Officer will issue a brief final decision as to whether a violation has been proven, and if so, the amount of the reparations award.  The final decision will not contain findings of fact or any other explanation of the Judgment Officer's conclusions.

    ·         Award. The award cannot exceed the amount of damages claimed in the complaint. Interest and costs (except the filing fee) are not awarded.  However, if you prevail, post-judgment interest will be awarded.

    ·         No appeal. Voluntary proceeding results are final and cannot be appealed. The result will not contain factual findings or discuss the basis of the decision.

    Summary Proceedings

    If your claim is $30,000 or less and you choose not to opt for a voluntary proceeding, you must select a summary proceeding. Cases are decided by a Judgment Officer on the basis of written submissions and exhibits provided by the parties and, if necessary, by an oral hearing.

    ·         Filing fee. The non-refundable filing fee for summary proceedings is $125. You must submit the fee with the complaint. If you choose a voluntary proceeding and one or more of the respondents does not consent to use a voluntary proceeding, your claim will be decided using a summary proceeding if it involves $30,000 or less. The respondent who did not consent to the voluntary proceeding must pay the $75 difference in the filing fee.

    ·         Evidence. The Judgment Officer will not investigate your case for you. You must collect and submit to the Judgment Officer all information and evidence supporting your claim of a violation along with your calculation of damages. The respondents will provide evidence in support of their defense.

    ·         Oral hearing. The Judgment Officer will determine whether an oral hearing is necessary. Normally, the oral hearing will be held via a telephone conference call. If both sides request an in-person hearing, and the Judgment Officer grants the request, one can be held in Washington, DC.

    ·         Decision. The Judgment Officer's decision will contain findings of fact and conclusions of law explaining the decision.

    ·         Award. Awards cannot exceed $30,000, plus prejudgment and post-judgment interest, the filing fee, and any other costs the Judgment Officer deems recoverable.

    ·         Appeal. The losing party may appeal, first to the CFTC and then to a U.S. Court of Appeals. There is a $50 appeal filing fee.

    Formal Proceedings

    If your claim is for more than $30,000 and you did not select the voluntary proceeding option, you must select a formal proceeding. Your case will be decided by a Judgment Officer or Administrative Law Judge on the basis of written submissions and exhibits provided by the parties and by an oral hearing.

    ·         Filing fee. The non-refundable filing fee for formal proceedings is $250. You must submit the fee with the complaint. If your claim is for more than $30,000 and you choose a voluntary proceeding but one or more of the respondents does not agree, your claim will be decided using a formal proceeding. In that case, the respondent must pay the $200 difference in filing fees.

    ·         Evidence. The Judgment Officer or Administrative Law Judge will not investigate your case for you. You must collect and submit to the Judgment Officer or Administrative Law Judge all information and evidence supporting your claim of a violation along with your calculation of damages. The respondents will provide evidence in support of their defense.

    ·         Oral hearing. Normally, an in-person oral hearing will be held. It will be scheduled by the Judgment Officer or Administrative Law Judge. They will consider the convenience of all parties when selecting the hearing location and time.

    ·         Decision. The Judgment Officer’s or Administrative Law Judge's decision will contain findings of fact and conclusions of law explaining the decision.

    ·         Award. Awards generally may not exceed the amount of the damages claimed, plus prejudgment and post-judgment interest, the filing fee, and any other costs the Judgment Officer or Administrative Law Judge deem recoverable.

    ·         Appeal. The losing party may appeal, first to the CFTC and then to a U.S. Court of Appeals. There is a $50 appeal filing fee.

    Compare the Types of Proceedings

    Feature

    Voluntary Proceeding

    Summary Proceeding

    Formal Proceeding

    Filing fee

    $50

    $125

    $250

    Claim limits

    No limit.

    Your claimed damages are limited to $30,000 or less.

    No. But your claim must be for more than $30,000.

    Evidence

    All evidence is submitted in writing. There is no oral hearing.

    All evidence is submitted in writing, but the Judgment Officer may order a telephonic oral hearing or a hearing in Washington, DC, if all parties prefer.

    In addition to the parties' documentary evidence, an oral hearing will be held before a Judgment Officer or Administrative Law Judge.

    Consent

    All parties must consent.

    Mandatory for claims of $30,000 or less unless all parties choose the voluntary procedure.

    Mandatory for claims above $30,000 unless all parties choose the voluntary procedure.

    Decision

    The decision indicates only whether a violation has been proven, and if so, the amount of the award.

    The Administrative Law Judge or Judgment Officer will issue an initial decision containing findings of fact and conclusions of law.

    Appeals

    You cannot appeal a voluntary proceeding decision.

    You may appeal the decision, first to the CFTC ($50 filing fee) and then to a U.S. Court of Appeals.

    Recovery of Costs/Interest

     

    The filing fee normally will be awarded, but no other costs or prejudgment interest. Post-judgment interest may be awarded, if you prevail

    Prejudgment and post-judgment interest and the filing fee are awarded in summary and formal proceedings. The Judge also may award necessary litigation costs, such as fees for an expert witness. You will not, however, be granted non-essential costs such as telephone calls, copying fees, or travel expenses.

    Recovery of Attorney Fees

    You cannot recover attorney fees unless there is an enforceable contract that provides for an award of attorney fees or the other side engaged in bad-faith litigation tactics. Strongly denying a claim is not bad-faith litigation.

    Payment of a Respondent’s Attorney Fees

    You cannot recover attorney fees unless there is an enforceable contract that provides for an award of attorney fees or the other side engaged in bad-faith litigation tactics. Strongly denying a claim is not bad-faith litigation.

    Award Recovery if Respondent Doesn’t Pay

    If a reparations award is not paid, you may file a certified copy of the decision (available from the CFTC Proceedings Clerk) in a U.S. District Court to enforce payment. The District Court judge will have discretion to award you attorney fees and costs incurred in enforcing the award. If a person or firm fails to pay the award, their CFTC registration and trading privileges are automatically suspended until the award is paid.

     

    File a Complaint

    The How to File a Complaint Tutorial video will walk you through the process of filing a reparations complaint.

    When you’re ready to file:

    ·         Complete CFTC Form 30, Reparations Complaint Form (PDF | 94.9KB).

    ·         Review the Reparations Complaint Checklist (PDF | 40.3 KB) to confirm that you have prepared all necessary information for your complaint.

    ·         Prepare the filing fee payment. If paying by check, see our payment by check notice (PDF | 50.8 KB).

    ·         File the completed form, with the appropriate filing fee, in person or by mailing (preferably certified or registered mail) to:
    Commodity Futures Trading Commission
    Office of Proceedings
    1155 21st Street, N.W.
    Washington, DC  20581

    Your complaint must include:

    ·         Information about youyour full name, address, telephone number, email, and fax number for each person lodging the complaint (the complainants).

    ·         Information about respondents – the names, addresses, and telephone numbers (if known) of all individuals and firms against whom you are filing the complaint (the respondents).

    ·         Facts – a statement of facts supporting your claim that there has been an alleged violation; attach all documents which support or explain your claim, such as account forms and trading statements.

    ·         Liability explanation – an explanation of why each respondent you have named should be held liable. Any respondent whose liability or involvement is not described may be dismissed from the case.

    ·         Damage calculation – the amount of damages you are claiming and a brief explanation of how you calculated them. The amount you claim cannot be adjusted after the case is forwarded for adjudication, except by permission of the Judgment Officer. Review how to calculate damages.

    ·         Parallel proceedings statementa statement that no arbitration or civil court litigation is pending based upon the same facts and including the same respondents you have named.

    ·         Bankruptcy or receivership statement – a statement indicating whether, to your knowledge, any of the respondents are involved in bankruptcy or receivership proceedings.

    ·         Verification – a statement that the facts set forth in your complaint are true to the best of your knowledge, belief, and information.  The reparations complaint does not have to be notarized if you sign the reparations complaint form or include a verification statement with the description of the complaint.  Your verification statement should be written as follows:  
    "I hereby affirm (under penalty of law) that to the best of my knowledge the facts set forth in this complaint are known or believed to be true.”

    ·         Proceeding selection and filing fee – you must select the type of proceeding and submit the appropriate filing fee at the time you submit your complaint.

    ·         Filing Fee Payment – The filing fee check or money order should be made payable to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

    How to Calculate Damages

    When calculating damages:

    ·         For misrepresentation, fraudulent solicitation, fraudulent omissions, and other types of claims, you are entitled to be put back into the position you would have been in if the violation had not occurred. This figure is usually your net out-of-pocket loss for the transactions affected by the false statements (i.e., the amount deposited minus any amounts returned).

    ·         For churning, you are entitled to a full refund of commissions generated by the broker during the period in which your account was churned.

    ·         For unauthorized trading, you are entitled to the total losses for all unauthorized transactions (this figure is not offset by profitable unauthorized trades because proceeds from profitable trades always belong to the customer).

    ·         For lost profits, it is your burden to prove that any lost profits would have been earned if the violations had not occurred. Such claims for lost profits are obviously difficult to prove. You will have to prove exactly how the trading would have occurred and this cannot be based on mere conjecture or hindsight about profits that might have been earned had the violation not occurred. If you intend to claim lost profits, you must provide a calculation of the lost profits; submit supporting documentation that provides the price of the contract and the date that you intended to sell it; and a full explanation of why those profits should be awarded. Price information is available from the Wall Street Journal or Investor’s Business Daily.

    ·         For unauthorized/wrongful liquidation, the measure of damages is determined by either (1) the value of the options positions when liquidation occurred, or (2) its highest intermediate value between notice of the conversion and a reasonable time thereafter during which the positions could have been replaced had that been desired, whichever is higher.  The CFTC decision in Ahlstedt v. Capitol Commodity Services, Inc. [1996-1998 Transfer Binder] Comm. Fut. L. Rep. (CCH) ¶27,131 at 45,291 (CFTC) 1997, and citations therein, provides further guidance.

    ·         For interest, post-judgment interest shall run on all reparations awards resulting in judgment for the complainant. The losing party is required to pay post-judgment interest on the reparations award, as well as any prejudgment interest ordered by the Judgment Officer. Such interest shall run according to the terms of 28 U.S.C. 1961 and pursuant to 12.407(d) of the reparations rules. The losing party is liable for post-judgment interest even if the post-judgment interest is inadvertently omitted from the award decision.

    Withdrawing a Filed Complaint

    Before your complaint is forwarded to respondents, you may withdraw your complaint by sending the CFTC a written Notice of Withdrawal. Your filing fee will not be refunded. Once you have sent the Commission a Notice of Withdrawal, you may:

    ·         Refile your complaint with the CFTC and submit a new filing fee, provided the two-year statute of limitations has not expired

    ·         File your claim in another forum, such as arbitration or in a Federal or state court of law.

    After your complaint is forwarded to respondents, you can only withdraw your complaint if all respondents agree. When you have obtained the respondents’ consent, the CFTC will issue an Order of Voluntary Dismissal. You may not refile your complaint with the CFTC once an Order of Voluntary Dismissal has been issued.

     

    Review of Complaint

    The Office of Proceedings will review your complaint to determine if it meets the criteria for a valid claim.

    If your complaint

    ·         Meets the criteria and is complete, our staff will notify you when it has been accepted.

    ·         Might meet the criteria but is deficient, our staff will notify you of the deficiencies and give you an opportunity to correct them.

    ·         Does not meet the criteria, our staff will notify you of the reasons why.

    When your complaint is accepted, the Office of Proceedings will forward copies of the complaint to the individuals and/or firms you named as respondents. Respondents may reply to the complaint by either:

    ·         Paying you the full amount of damages claimed or a lesser sum mutually agreed upon as full satisfaction of the claim;

    ·         Filing an answer to your complaint; respondents are required to send you and all complainants a copy.

    ·         Filing a counterclaim with the answer to your complaint.

    The CFTC staff will review the answer and determine whether there are any deficiencies in the response. If the respondents do not respond, we will forward your complaint to a Judgment Officer who may issue a default judgment.

    Depending on the presence and number of deficiencies that need to be corrected, it can take from two to six months for your case to be assigned to a Judgment Officer.

     

    Assignment to Judgment Officer

    Once our staff determines that a reparations proceeding meets the specified requirements and any deficiencies have been corrected, the case is forwarded to the CFTC Proceedings Clerk for assignment to a Judgment Officer.

    ·         Voluntary and summary proceedings are normally assigned to a Judgment Officer.

    ·         Formal proceedings may be assigned to either a Judgment Officer or an Administrative Law Judge.

    You will receive a notice of the assignment to the Judgment Officer and authorization to begin gathering evidence in support of your claim.

    Ex Parte Communications

    After you are notified that your case has been assigned to a Judgment Officer, you may not discuss the facts of your case with the Judgment Officer or any member of his staff without the other parties being present or, in the case of written communication, without simultaneously sending a copy of your letter to the other parties. This prohibition against ex parte communications applies to all parties to the case. If you violate the rule against ex parte communications, your case may be decided against you.

     

    Evidence: The Discovery Process

    All parties are responsible for gathering their own evidence our supporting evidence can include:

    ·         Affidavits (i.e., sworn statements) of the parties themselves and of other witnesses;

    ·         Solicitation mailings;

    ·         Telephone records, including memos of telephone conversations;

    ·         Correspondence;

    ·         Account forms, including account opening documents, trading statements, order tickets, and confirmations; and

    ·         Other records such as tape recordings.

    During discovery, each side can make a formal request to obtain evidence held by the other parties or by third parties.

    ·         Requests to partiesall parties are required to respond to relevant discovery requests.

    ·         Requests to non-parties – the Judgment Officer can issue a subpoena to obtain information from parties not named in the complaint.

    Discovery requests can be in any or all of three forms:

    ·         Interrogatories – questions posed to other parties concerning factual matters (such as names of witnesses, the reasons for a trade recommendation, or the dates of a respondent's employment);

    ·         Requests for production of documents – documents held by the other side (for example, a request could be filed to produce copies of order tickets or monthly statements); and/or

    ·         Requests for admissions – factual matters that are important but not likely to be disputed (for example, a party could request that the other side admit that the account was first opened on a particular day or that a deposit or trade occurred on that day).

    No party may request personal tax returns or personal bank records during discovery unless the Judgment Officer grants permission.

    Abuse of the discovery rules can lead to sanctions, including assessment of costs against the abusing party.

     

    Decision Process

    Depending on the type of proceeding you selected, your Judgment Officer will review your evidence and take the necessary steps before issuing a decision. The time it takes to receive a decision on your complaint varies widely and depends on:

    ·         The complexity of the issues and the facts.

    ·         How quickly you and the respondents provide requested information.

    ·         Whether there are disputes about procedural issues.

    ·         How quickly an oral hearing can be scheduled if required.

    Sometimes, a Judgment Officer approves a “stay” in a case, putting the procedure on hold. This can be due to the health of a party or for other reasons as requested by a party and approved by the Judgment Officer.

    All cases are different and resolution times may vary significantly, but typically:

    ·         Voluntary proceedings are decided in about six months after the Judgment Officer receives the case.

    ·         Summary and formal proceedings require anywhere from two months to eighteen months.

    The length of time required for the CFTC to decide an appeal varies from case to case, depending on a combination of factors including the complexity of legal and factual issues.

     

    Appeal or Review of Initial Decision

    Voluntary proceeding. If you and the respondents named in your complaint all agree to use a voluntary proceeding, the decision reached is final. Neither you nor the respondents may appeal the decision to any higher level.

    Summary or formal proceeding. If your claim was considered in a summary or formal proceeding, the losing party may appeal an adverse decision (or an adverse part of a decision) to the CFTC. There is a $50 appeal filing fee. The Commission may reverse, modify, or affirm the initial decision.

    Appeal to U.S. Court of Appeals. A losing party may appeal a decision by the CFTC to a U.S. Court of Appeals. Appellate rules are strictly enforced at both the Commission and U.S. Court of Appeals levels. Any failure to observe those rules may result in losing the appeal.

     

    Monetary Awards

    Payment in 45 days. Under the law, the respondents must pay you any award within 45 days unless one of the respondents appeals the decision.

    Failure to pay. If there has been no appeal, the CFTC will automatically revoke the license and trading privileges of any respondent who fails to pay the award and fails to report to the CFTC that payment has been made. We notify the industry and the public of the revocation and suspension through publication of our Reparations Sanctions in Effect. See Disciplinary History for more information.

    Collection of an award. The CFTC cannot help you collect your award. You may obtain a certified copy of your decision from our Proceedings Clerk at PROC_Filings@cftc.gov. If the respondent does not pay the award, you can attempt to enforce the award by filing a certified copy of the reparations decision in the U.S. District Court in the district where the respondent lives or has a principal place of business. If the District Court enforces the award, the court normally will require the respondent to pay all court costs and any legal fees incurred in enforcing the award.

    Interest.  Post-judgment interest shall run on all reparations awards resulting in judgment for the complainant.  The losing party is required to pay post-judgment interest on the reparations award (as well as any prejudgment interest ordered by the Judgment Officer). Such interest shall run according to the terms of 28 U.S.C. 1961 and pursuant to 12.407(d) of the Reparations rules. The losing party is liable for post-judgment interest even if the post-judgment interest is inadvertently omitted from the reparations award decision.

     

    Counterclaims

    Filed by respondent. A respondent can file a counterclaim against you if it stems from the same set of facts that are the subject of your claim. Counterclaims usually seek to recover a debit balance in an account you held with the respondent. If a counterclaim is filed against you, you will be sent a copy and you must file a reply within 30 days.

    Decision against you. If a respondent wins a counterclaim against you, you must pay the counterclaim within 45 days after the decision unless you appeal to the CFTC. If you fail to pay the counterclaim and you do not appeal, the respondent can enforce the award in the U.S. District Court in your district. If you win your claim and a respondent wins a counterclaim against you, your award will be reduced by the amount of the counterclaim award or vice versa.

    Case Status and Decisions

    Active Case Status Inquiries

    You may make status inquires and ask for procedural information at any time. Contact the Office of Proceedings by phone: 202-418-5250; fax: 202-418-5532; or email: proceedings@cftc.gov.

    ·         Before your case is assigned, contact the Office of Proceedings at 202-418-5250.

    ·         After your case is assigned, contact the staff directly or proceedings@cftc.gov.

    ·         After your case is decided, contact the Proceedings Clerk at PROC_Filings@cftc.gov.

    Decisions, Opinions, and Rulings

    View our current and historical:

    ·         Dispositions – initial decisions, orders and other rulings from reparations program and other administrative enforcement cases.

    ·         Opinions and adjudicated orders – opinions and orders resolving reparations program decision appeals and administrative enforcement cases, reparation program decisions by Administrative Law Judges or Judgement Officers, and decisions issued by self-regulatory organizations.

     

    Additional Resources

    Federal Court Decisions

    If you are representing yourself, you are not required to cite legal cases, but you may strengthen your claim if you can provide the Judgment Officer with references to similar cases. You can find federal court decisions involving commodity law and CFTC decisions for both reparations and enforcement cases on Lexis-Nexis and Westlaw. They are also published in the Commodity Futures Law Reporter (published by Commerce Clearing House). These resources are available in many libraries and most law libraries.

    Registration Information and Disciplinary History

    Information about CFTC enforcement or reparations actions is available from the Commission staff in the Office of Proceedings. Information about both registration status and disciplinary history for registrants is available from the National Futures Association.

    Bankruptcy or Receivership

    If the respondents are in bankruptcy or receivership, contact them or their lawyers for the names of the bankruptcy trustee or receiver to determine if you may file a claim.

    Arbitration and Alternate Dispute Resolution

    Information about arbitration to resolve commodity futures disputes is available from

    ·         National Futures Association

    ·         American Arbitration Association

    Futures exchanges offer arbitration programs for disputes involving one or more exchange members.

    Filing Civil Cases in U.S. District Court

    Information is available from the Clerk of any U.S. District Court. Court information is available from libraries or on the Internet.

    Do You Need an Attorney?

    Many parties represent themselves. You may not need an attorney if:

    ·         the facts and issues are simple and you can present your case satisfactorily without the assistance of an attorney; or

    ·         the amount of money at stake is so small that hiring an attorney would not be cost-effective.

    Remember that when you represent yourself, you must gather evidence, comply with all rules and deadlines, and make your own legal arguments. Neither the Judgment Officer nor the CFTC staff will litigate or investigate the case on your behalf.

    If you have a complex case or anticipate difficulty in following the reparations rules, you may wish to hire an attorney to represent you. You can ask a local bar association for a referral to an attorney.