"Mediation" is a voluntary process where parties to a dispute jointly explore and resolve all or a part of their differences with the assistance of a neutral person. The mediator's role is to assist the parties in resolving the dispute themselves. The mediator has no authority to impose a settlement.
The office will provide mediation services to any state agency, court, or political subdivision in a contested case proceeding or other contested matter other than labor relation disputes which are within the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Mediation Services. For purposes of this part only, "agency" means either a state agency, court, or political subdivision of the state.
Mediation may be initiated in the following ways:
Prior to the initiation of a contested case proceeding, an agency may propose mediation by filing a written request for mediation services with the chief judge. A copy of the request shall be served upon all persons whom the agency would name as parties in the notice of and order for hearing.
Subsequent to the initiation of a contested case proceeding, the agency, a party to a contested case, or the judge assigned to the contested case may propose that the case be mediated by filing a request for mediation services with the chief judge. A copy of the request must be served upon the agency, the judge, and all parties.
Upon receipt of a request for mediation, the chief judge or designee shall contact, either orally or in writing, the agency and all parties to determine whether they are willing to participate in mediation. No matter shall be ordered for mediation if the agency or any party is opposed.
If the chief judge determines that no party or the agency is opposed to mediation, the chief judge shall appoint a mediator and issue an order for mediation, which shall set forth:
the name, address, and telephone number of the mediator; and
a date by which the mediator must initiate the mediation proceedings.
The order shall be served upon the agency, the parties, and the judge assigned to the contested case, if any.
The mediator must initiate the mediation proceedings by contacting the agency and each party no later than the date set forth in the order for mediation.
The mediator shall not communicate, either directly or indirectly, regarding any facts or issues in the mediation with any person not participating in the mediation unless authorized to do so by the parties to the mediation.
The mediation process shall terminate when all parties are, or the agency is, unwilling to continue mediation; or a settlement agreement is signed setting forth the resolution of the disputed issues.
Upon termination, the mediator shall either forward the signed settlement agreement to the agency or the judge, if applicable, for appropriate action; or inform the agency or the judge, if applicable, that the mediation has been terminated without agreement.
Any offers to compromise or evidence of conduct or statements made during mediation are not admissible.
The person appointed to mediate a dispute shall not be assigned to hear any portion of the case should mediation terminate unsuccessfully.
9 SR 2276; 15 SR 1595
August 6, 2013