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Rule 67.4. Settlement Conferences

Arizona Revised Statutes AnnotatedRules of Family Law ProcedureEffective: September 1, 2019

Arizona Revised Statutes Annotated
Rules of Family Law Procedure (Refs & Annos)
Part VIII. Settlement and Alternative Dispute Resolution (“ADR”) (Refs & Annos)
Effective: September 1, 2019
17B A.R.S. Rules Fam.Law Proc., Rule 67.4
Formerly cited as AZ ST RFLP Rule 67(C)
Rule 67.4. Settlement Conferences
(a) Generally. On a party's motion or on its own, the court may order the parties to attend a settlement conference. If the parties agree, the assigned judge or commissioner may conduct the settlement conference. The court also may order that another judge, a commissioner, or a judge pro tempore conduct the conference. The word “judge” when used in the remainder of this rule includes a judge, commissioner, and a judge pro tempore assigned to conduct a settlement conference. A Decree of Dissolution signed by a judge pro tempore under this rule has the same force and effect as a Decree signed by the judge or commissioner to whom the case is assigned.
(b) Procedures.
(1) Who May Attend. The court may order the parties, their attorneys, and any other person who the court deems necessary to facilitate settlement of the issues, to attend and participate in the settlement conference.
(2) Scheduling and Other Orders. The court may enter an order setting the date for the conference. The court also may enter other orders that facilitate the settlement conference. The parties and counsel are required to appear in person at all scheduled settlement conferences, and the court may impose sanctions under Rule 71 if a party fails to appear at, or participate in, the conference.
(3) Settlement Memorandum. The settlement judge may require each party to submit a settlement memorandum before a conference, and the court may impose sanctions if a party fails to do so. If a settlement memorandum is required, a party must submit it to the judge conducting the conference but must not file it with the clerk. A settlement memorandum should include the following information, along with any other information required by the court:
(A) a general description of the issues in dispute, the party's position on each issue, and the evidence that will be presented to support the party's position;
(B) if the issues involve financial matters, a current Affidavit of Financial Information, a list of outstanding debts and the party responsible for each debt, and an inventory of community or joint assets, including dates of acquisition, amounts of encumbrances, and present values;
(C) a summary of negotiations the parties have had previously; and
(D) any other information the party believes will be helpful to settlement of the issues.
(c) Communication with One Party. If the court determines that it will facilitate settlement, and with consent of all those participating in the conference, the court may communicate with one party during the conference outside the presence of the other parties.
(d) Domestic Violence. On a party's motion or on its own, the court must put reasonable procedures in place to protect the victim from harm, harassment, or intimidation if it finds that domestic violence has occurred between the parties.
(e) Agreements. Any binding agreement that is reached by the parties at a settlement conference must comply with Rule 69 and include the parties' acknowledgement that:
(1) each party entered the agreement voluntarily and without threat or undue influence, and after full disclosure of all relevant facts and information;
(2) each party intends the agreement to be final and binding;
(3) the agreement is fair and equitable; and
(4) if there are minor children common to the parties, the agreement is in the best interests of the children.
(f) Findings and Approval. The judge conducting the settlement conference must make any findings under A.R.S. § 25-317 that are necessary to approve the agreement. The judge may sign any Decree of Dissolution presented that conforms to the parties' agreements.
(g) Report to the Court. If the parties reached a partial agreement or no agreement during the settlement conference, the settlement conference judge must file a brief report with the court stating that the parties met and attempted to resolve their differences, but that the settlement conference was unsuccessful. The report also must state any agreements the parties reached and the remaining unresolved issues. The report of the settlement conference judge must not include the parties' respective positions and must not comment on or offer any opinion about a party's position. The settlement conference judge also may advise the court if the parties or the judge believes that a further settlement conference would be helpful to resolve the remaining issues.
(h) Other Dispute Resolution Processes; Fees. The court may establish, approve, or administer other dispute resolution processes designed to assist the parties in resolving disputes without contested proceedings. Participants in a dispute service provided through the court may be charged a fee in accordance with the law.

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Added Aug. 30, 2018, effective Jan. 1, 2019.
17B A. R. S. Rules Fam. Law Proc., Rule 67.4, AZ ST RFLP Rule 67.4
Current with amendments received through 08/15/2020.
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