Helping Parents Design and Plan for Access, Visitation & Custody of Their Children.
Authority of Court to Order Cases
Pursuant to A.C.A. §16-7-202, circuit and appellate courts have the discretionary authority to order any civil, probate, domestic relations, or juvenile case to mediation.
If a case or controversy is ordered to mediation, the parties may: (1) Choose an appropriate mediator from a roster provided by the Arkansas Alternative Dispute Resolution Commission of those mediators who meet the commission's requirement guidelines for that type of case; or (2) Select a mediator not on the commission's roster, if approved by the court.
A party may move to dispense with the order to mediate for good cause shown. Good cause includes, but is not limited to, a party's inability to pay the costs of mediation.
The court has the discretionary authority to make, at the request of a party, appropriate orders to confirm and enforce the results produced by the dispute resolution process.
Pursuant to A.C.A. §16-7-206, communications relating to the subject matter of any civil or criminal dispute made by a participant in mediation are confidential, not subject to disclosure, and may not be used as evidence against a participant in any judicial or administrative proceeding. Confidentiality extends to any record or writing made at the mediation.
The participants or third party or parties facilitating the process shall not be required to testify in any proceedings related to or arising out of the matter in dispute or be subject to process requiring disclosure or production of information or data relating to or arising out of the matter in dispute.
The exception to confidentiality is if there are other legal requirements for disclosure of communications or materials. If that is the case, the issue of confidentiality may be presented to the court having jurisdiction of the proceedings to determine, in camera, whether the facts, circumstances, and context of the communications or materials sought to be disclosed warrant a protective order of the court or whether the communications or materials are subject to disclosure
Arkansas ADR commission
625 Marshall Street Little Rock, AR 72201 Phone: (501) 682-9400 Fax: (501) 682-9410