By Joan Champagne, White and Champagne
In Marion County, mediation is mandatory for ALL jury trials. The Marion Circuit and Superior Court Civil Division Rules, LR49-ADR2-209. Mandatory Mediation, state:
- Civil Jury Trials. All cases where a timely demand for jury trial is made, mediation pursuant to ADR Rule 2 and subsection A herein is mandatory. Mediation is to be completed 60 days prior to trial unless the mediation referral is vacated for good cause shown. Objections to mediation may be made within 15 days of the completion of the case management conference required by Rule 16.1(A).
- Post-Decree Domestic Litigation. Parties must submit post-decree child-related issues to mediation prior to presenting such issues to the court for hearing unless this rule is waived for good cause shown.
Furthermore, if you want two hours or more of the court’s time for your contested family law hearing, the Marion Circuit and Superior Court Civil Division Rules, LR49-FR00-502. G. Mandatory Mediation state:
- Parties must submit all contested final hearing issues requiring two hours or more of court time and all non-contempt post-decree child-related issues to mediation prior to presenting the issues to the court for hearing, unless this rule is waived for good cause shown after written request by a party. The court may in its discretion assign matters to mediation at any stage of the proceeding.
The local rules also state that If the parties are unable to select a mediator by agreement pursuant to ADR Rule 2.4, the court will generate a list of three mediators by random selection through the computer. Many of us have a “shortlist” of mediators that we are familiar with and frequently utilize. However, this can result in an unnecessary delay for the litigants if their counsel cannot agree on a mediator from their respective “shortlists”.
The Indiana Commission for Legal Education has a free searchable database of all active Indiana civil and domestic relations registered mediators. You can search by mediator type (civil or domestic), locations served, hourly rate, last name and language spoken. There is also a way to search by specific practice area, such as “premises liability” or “child support." This tool is an invaluable resource for the practitioner who needs to find a mediator quickly and can also serve to expand that “shortlist” of mediators into a comprehensive list. This database is located online here.
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