Local Rule 50
50.00 Referral. After service of summons in any civil, divorce, visitation, companionship, allocation of parental rights and responsibilities of minor children, pro se litigation, or at any time after filing a post-decree motion, such case may be referred to mediation. The Court or magistrate may issue the order on its own motion, motion of counsel, or by pro se litigant upon referral to the mediator. Mediation shall not be used as an alternative to the prosecution or adjudication of domestic violence, nor may it be used to determine whether to grant, modify or terminate a protection order, to determine the terms and conditions of a protection order, or to determine the penalty for violation of a protection order.
50.01 Required Attendance. In civil actions, except domestic relations cases, all parties to the action, their legal counsel, and if the case involves an insurance company, a representative who has full authority to settle the matter are required to attend the mediation. In domestic relations cases, all parties may have their attorney and/or other support person attend the mediation session. If any of the individuals identified in this section fail to attend mediation without good cause, the Court may impose sanctions, including awarding of attorney fees and court costs, contempt, or other appropriate sanctions.
50.02 Costs. The costs of the mediation shall be paid by the parties in the case, unless otherwise ordered by the Court. The costs of mediation shall be divided on an equal basis. All fees must be paid prior to the first mediation session or must be paid before a final journal entry of judgment containing the mediated agreement will be approved by the Court.
50.03 Procedure. In all domestic relations actions regarding the allocation of parental rights and responsibilities (including visitation and companionship) the cases shall be automatically stayed during the mediation proceedings. No stay will be issued in civil cases.
50.04 Mediation Report. Upon conclusion of mediation and pursuant to Ohio Revised Code section 3109.052(B), a mediation report indicating whether or not an agreement has been reached on any of the issues that were the subject of mediation shall be filed with the Court. In domestic relations cases, if an agreement is reached, the mediator shall prepare a written memorandum of agreement and furnish a copy to each party and to each attorney representing the party so the attorney can prepare an acceptable entry for presentation to the Court at which time the case shall be returned to the Court’s active docket for further proceedings. In civil mediation the parties are to appear with counsel (unless pro se) and, if an agreement is reached, the plaintiff’s attorney will prepare a written memorandum of agreement and furnish the same to each party and to the attorneys. The plaintiff’s attorney shall also prepare the proper entry for the Court to give notice of settlement. If an agreement is not reached, the mediator will provide a notice of results to the Court.
50.05 Mediation Position Statement. In all cases except for those regarding divorce, allocation of parental rights and responsibilities, visitation, or companionship, at least five (5) days prior to civil mediations, the parties shall return to the mediator a mediation case summary form which shall include the following:
1. The elements of each claim asserted by the party filing the form;
2. A brief statement of facts supporting the claim(s), admitted or undisputed facts, and of remaining issues of fact to be tried;
3. A brief settlement proposal; and
4. Any other issues the parties deem pertinent to reaching an equitable and satisfactory resolution.
50.06 Confidentiality. Pursuant to Ohio Revised Code sections 2710.03-2710.05 and 3109.52(B) statements made by the parties during the mediation assessment or the mediation sessions are not admissible as evidence and the mediator cannot be required to give testimony before the Court. However, mediators may be required to testify as to a crime committed in their presence or regarding child abuse.
50.07 Domestic Violence Mediation. Any mediator providing services for this Court shall maintain a policy which incorporates both screening and participation criteria which complies with the expressed intent of the Ohio Supreme Court.
50.08 Continuances. Interested parties shall first contact their mediator to determine whether or not a continuance will be granted. This request shall be made to the mediator in writing as required by rule. If a party is not satisfied with the mediator’s decision regarding the continuance or the party wishes to file an objection to the continuance, a motion should be addressed to the Court by filing through the Clerk.
50.09 Qualifications of Mediators. Mediators shall meet the qualifications of mediators as set forth in Rule 16(C)(1), (2), and (3) of the Rules of Superintendence for the Courts of Ohio. The Court shall keep on file a list of all qualified mediators along with a photocopy of all certificates and qualification hours for each mediator to show compliance with the mediation training for the various types of mediation.