Roles of Parties to the Mediation
- Attorneys for Incarcerated Parent(s): Incarcerated parents are encouraged to participate by speakerphone. It is the Attorney’s responsibility to contact CPM within 2 days of mediation, with identifying contact information for their client i.e. DCDC number, location, and name of facility supervisor. A CPM case manager will contact the facility for the parent’s participation.
- Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) shall deliver one narrative copy of their recommendations for the child. The GAL gathers information regarding the child’s life prior to mediation and participates in the decisions regarding the children.
- Children Participating in Mediation: Cases in which a child’s presence is needed if the following procedure is not followed the child will not be allowed by the program to participate. There should be a meaningful inquiry to determine if the child understands mediation and if the child wants to participate. This discussion should occur between the child, the GAL and the social worker. Factors to be weighed in such a determination include the child’s wishes, the child’s age and developmental capacity, and child protective factors, including the nature of the allegations in case. Children will not participate in mediation with allegations of sex abuse and/or felony physical abuse. Children twelve years old and younger will not participate in mediation. Children thirteen and older may participate in mediation with permission from CPM’s program manager. Notice and reason for child’s appearance shall be submitted to the program manager 4 days in advance of mediation. The GAL and social worker must agree that based on the maturity of the child and the nature of the case that participating in mediation would not do the child further harm. The child protection mediation program will not assume responsibility for children who appear for mediation with or without permission.
Rescheduling MediationParties requesting a continuance shall submit a Motion to Continue to the calendar judge at least twenty-four hours prior to mediation. The request must include a new agreed upon mediation date and the requesting party must notify ALL participants including the mediation program.
Cases Resolve Prior to MediationThe Assistant Attorney General is responsible for notifying the program of cancellations.
Day of MediationCase managers will greet and identify all parties and ask all participating parties to sign the “Certificate of Mediation Readiness” certifying that they have
- Arrived on time and are available for the full two hours to mediate.
- Met with their client(s) prior to mediation.
- Discussed possible family services.
- Discussed methods of resolving the legal case.
- Prepared to mediate in good faith – good faith implies the obligation of full preparation prior to the mediation, including appropriate consultation with client(s) and other parties, performance of a site visit, investigation, research, and the timely filing of all required pre-mediation documents.
- Appeared with settlement authority – having an idea of the needs and wishes of their client—including incarcerated parent(s).
Results of Mediation
- Stipulation Reached - Mediations that conclude with a stipulated agreement will immediately proceed to the judicial officer of record for court approval. Parties are encouraged to include a disposition plan at the time of stipulation.
- Stipulation Not Reached – If mediation does not result in a stipulation, the parties remain together and complete a Joint Pre-trial Statement. Mediators are not included in the process of completing this form.