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Rule 3.10. Conciliation Court Services--Mediation of Legal Decision-Making and Parenting Time D...

Arizona Revised Statutes AnnotatedLocal Rules of Practice Superior Court

Arizona Revised Statutes Annotated
Local Rules of Practice Superior Court (Refs & Annos)
Pima County (Refs & Annos)
Rule 3. Family Law Cases
17C A.R.S. Super.Ct.Local Prac.Rules, Pima County, Rule 3.10
Formerly cited as AZ ST PIMA SUPER CT Rule 8.12
Rule 3.10. Conciliation Court Services--Mediation of Legal Decision-Making and Parenting Time Disputes
(A) Mediation Requirement. All issues of legal decision-making and/or parenting time with minor children are subject to mediation or other alternative dispute resolution (“ADR”) process as set forth in Rule 68(c), ARFLP, and this rule. A party may request a waiver of this provision by filing a written request with the Court, and after a hearing, upon a finding of good cause, the Court may waive the requirement for mediation. This rule requiring mediation does not apply to actions to enforce legal decision-making or parenting time orders. In the event one or both of the parties do not reside in Pima County, mediation is required, and may be conducted telephonically, unless: (a) the out-of-county party is willing to personally appear for mediation; or (b) as otherwise ordered by the Court for good cause. The Conciliation Court will conduct mediation unless the parties stipulate to private mediation with a mediator agreed upon pursuant to the provisions of subsection H of this rule or stipulate to other alternative dispute resolution methods described in Rule 67, ARFLP.
(B) Commencement of Mediation.
(1) By the Court:
(a) Temporary Orders. Mediation is not required before filing a motion to establish temporary legal decision-making and/or parenting time unless the parties stipulate to attend or the Court orders otherwise. Upon the entry of temporary orders, unless entered by the parties' stipulation, the Court will enter an order that the parties attend mediation.
(b) Pre-Decree. If a Motion to Set or a Controverting Certificate indicates that legal decision-making and/or parenting time is an issue and the parties have not previously attended mediation, the Court shall enter an order that the parties attend mediation before trial.
(c) Post-Decree. The parties must attend mediation if there is a hearing scheduled to modify parenting time and/or legal decision-making, unless otherwise ordered by the Court. A Request for Mediation must be submitted to the Court when a post-decree petition to modify parenting time and/or legal decision-making is filed. Except in an emergency, the Court may not conduct a hearing on a post-decree petition to modify parenting time and/or legal decision-making until the required mediation has been completed.
(2) At the Request of a Party:
(a) When a Request for a Hearing Has Been Filed. If a party files a pre-trial or post-trial request for hearing that raises an issue of legal decision-making and/or parenting time, a party, or a legal representative of a child, may file a written request for mediation at any time. The original request for mediation must be filed with the Clerk of the Court with copies provided to the Conciliation Court and the assigned judge.
(b) When No Request for a Hearing Has Been Filed. A party may request mediation at any time under any of the following circumstances, and by following the procedure described in paragraph (c) below:
(i) The parties previously agreed in writing to use mediation, or there is an order requiring the parties to use mediation to resolve any legal decision-making or parenting time disputes prior to requesting a court hearing.
(ii) An order establishing paternity has been entered, and there is no legal decision-making or parenting time order.
(iii) More than one year has passed since the entry of the last legal decision-making or parenting time order, there has been a significant change in the circumstances of the parties or children, and there is no agreement for mediation.
(c) Procedure.
(i) The original Request for Mediation must be filed with the Clerk of the Court and copies of the Request must be provided to the Conciliation Court and the assigned judge.
(ii) A copy of the written Request for Mediation must be served on the other party pursuant to Rule 41, ARFLP, and proof of service must be filed with the Clerk.
(iii) The party served with the Request for Mediation may file a written response to the Request for Mediation within 20 days of the date of service. A copy of the written response must be provided to the other party and the assigned division. The Court may deem the failure to file a timely response as a consent to granting the request.
(iv) A party requesting mediation must provide to the assigned division 5 days after the expiration of the response period, a Request for Order Granting or Denying a Request for Mediation, and a separate form of Order Granting or Denying Request for Mediation.
(v) The Court may grant or deny the Request for Mediation within its discretion. If the Request for Mediation is granted, the Court will order the parties to attend mediation at the Conciliation Court.
(d) By Agreement of the Parties. At any time, the parties may agree to attend mediation through the Conciliation Court by completing and signing a Stipulation to Mediate Legal Decision-Making and/or Parenting Time on a form approved by the Court. The Conciliation Court will set a time and date for mediation upon receipt of a properly completed stipulation.
(C) Mediation Conference. Each party must attend all appointments scheduled by the Conciliation Court. Mediation conferences are governed by Rule 68(c), ARFLP. If a party fails to appear at a mediation conference, the mediator will report to the Court the failure to appear, and the Court may impose such sanctions as may be appropriate.
(D) Mediation Agreement. Any agreement reached through mediation must be signed by the parties. If neither party is represented by an attorney, the agreement will be forwarded to the Court for approval immediately. If any party is represented by an attorney, any agreement reached through mediation must be signed by the parties and submitted to the attorneys for review. In the case of mediation of legal decision-making and/or parenting time at Conciliation Court, the parties and the attorneys may waive in writing or on the record the right for their attorneys to file written objections to mediated agreements. An attorney must file a notice of objection within 30 days after the date of the signing of the agreement, but in no event less than 3 court days before any hearing or trial set for legal decision-making and/or parenting time, and provide a copy of the notice of objection to the Conciliation Court. The notice of objection must state nothing more than a party objects to the agreement, without elaboration. At the same time the objecting party files a notice of objection, that party must submit to the opposing attorney, or to the party if self-represented, a statement setting forth the specific objections to the agreement and a proposal for resolution. The statement and proposal for resolution must not be filed with the Court. If a notice of objection is filed, the parties will not return to mediation to resolve their dispute unless both parties and their attorneys stipulate to return to mediation. If no timely objection is filed, the Conciliation Court will submit the agreement to the Court for approval. Agreements reached through mediation are not binding until an Order has been entered by the Court approving the agreement. If the agreement is not approved, or if the Court modifies the agreement, and the parties do not accept the modification, then the agreement is nullified, and will not be admissible in evidence.
(E) Private Mediation. The parties may agree to mediate legal decision-making or parenting time disputes through a private mediator pursuant to Rule 67.3, ARFLP, as an alternative to mediation through the Conciliation Court only by complying with Rule 67.3(d), ARFLP, and providing a copy of the notice to the Conciliation Court.
The parties must also acknowledge in the written agreement that the private mediator has received a copy of Pima County Local Rule 3.10.
All the provisions of Pima County Local Rule 3.10 apply to private mediation, and any references to the Conciliation Court are deemed to include private mediators.

Credits

Added effective July 1, 2018. Amended April 30, 2019, effective May 1, 2019.
17C A. R. S. Super. Ct. Local Prac. Rules, Pima County, Rule 3.10, AZ ST PIMA SUPER CT Rule 3.10
State Court Rules are current with amendments received and effective through 4/1/22. The Code of Judicial Administration is current with amendments received through 4/1/22.
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