HCCLR 11 Mandatory Mediation in Family Law Cases (A) All contested issues in every family law case, except matters limited to child support, establishment of paternity, or the existence of adequate cause, shall be submitted to mandatory mediation before proceeding to trial. This shall include, but not be limited to dissolutions, legal separations, declarations of invalidity, residential placement, parenting plans, and petitions to change or modify same. No such contested matter shall be set for trial without proof of commencement of mediation proceedings. Mediation shall be completed 30 days prior to trial. The mediation requirement or time limits may be waived or modified by the Court upon motion for good cause shown or upon the Court's motion. The parties shall mediate in good faith. Sanctions may be imposed by the Court against a party found not to have participated in mediation in good faith, including, but not limited to all costs of mediation, attorney fees, and costs. (B) Mediation No Stay. Mediation does not stay or otherwise affect the rights and duties of the parties established by statute, court rule, or court order. The Court may enter temporary orders and the parties may conduct discovery prior to or during the mediation process. (C) Selection of Mediator. The parties may choose their own mediator approved by the Court. Absent an agreement, upon motion of either party, the Court will select a mediator. The parties are responsible for the cost of mediation equally unless otherwise ordered by the Court. (D) Authority of Mediator. The mediator has the authority to set the time, place, manner, duration of mediation,and retainer required to be paid by both parties before mediation will commence. The mediator also has the right to terminate mediation. (E) Attendance. The parties shall personally attend mediation sessions, unless leave is granted by the mediator to appear telephonically. The mediator shall have authority to require other persons to attend. (F) Declaration of Completion. Within seven (7) days of completion of mediation, a declaration of completion shall be filed with the Court by the mediator. The parties shall be advised by the mediator of the results of mediation in writing. The mediator shall advise the Court whether or not an agreement has been reached on some or all of the issues. (G) Payment. Mediators shall be paid by the parties in accordance with their agreement, and if none, as determined in mediation. (H) Confidentiality. The work product of the mediator and all communications to the mediator during the mediation process are confidential and may not be disclosed. The mediator shall not appear to testify in any court action. (I) Effective Date. This rule shall apply to all cases, petitions, or motions described in section (A) filed on or after September 1, 2003. (Effective 9/1/03)
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