North Dakota Divorce Mediation

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In North Dakota, Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is very popular. This is a method to settle conflicts outside the courtroom without litigation. The most frequently used ADR in this state is Mediation.

Rule 8.8 of North Dakota Divorce Mediation

  • A statement must be filed in the District Court within 15 days providing details of an ADR procedure that has taken place or would take place or will not take place
  • Along with the joint informational statement in a divorce, another statement must be attached certifying that the given parties have spoken about ADR participation with each other, the lawyers of the parties have spoken regarding ADR with the parties and if an ADR procedure is planned, the time when it will be over
  • If a party does not accede to take part in ADR, then it must certify in a statement that the party has spoken regarding ADR with counsel. If the party is not represented by a lawyer, then the party must certify that it is aware of ADR
  • When both the parties accede to an ADR process, but do not have a consensus on who should mediate, then the Court might allocate a person from the ADR neutral list

Confidentiality of North Dakota Divorce Mediation

Part (d) of Rule 8.8 of the North Dakota Supreme Court Rules that were amended effective from 1st October 2006 is related to Confidentiality of the ADR process.

  • In non-binding ADR processes, the documents that are produced and the statements that are made which otherwise cannot be discovered, cannot be produced as proof in any trial and are not subject to other disclosure or discovery
  • The neutral person who conducts an ADR process cannot be summoned for testimony in case of any conflict pertaining to the ADR process, unless there is a written agreement of the parties and the concurrence of the District Court or when it is needed by law
  • Recollections, work product, records and notes of the neutral person are confidential and it is implied that these cannot be revealed to the public, the parties or anybody other than this neutral person, except when the neutral person and all parties accede to such a disclosure or it is needed by law. A record can be made only after the agreement of both parties with the exception of the Memorandum of Issues that are resolved

Joint Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee

The Joint ADR Committee is given the responsibility of continuance of study and review of the ADR within the justice system. Some of the duties of this Committee are as follows-

  • Development of ethical rules and education standards for arbitrators, mediators and neutrals for consideration by the Supreme Court
  • Development of administrative rules pertaining to ADR processes for consideration by the Supreme Court
  • Studying and reviewing trends in ADR and accordingly making recommendations for the enhancement of ADR programs in the state
  • Studying and making recommendations regarding the requirement to execute a discipline program pertaining to neutrals or any other secure method to be assured of the protection of the public

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