Island County Superior Court Rules about Parenting Seminars and Mediation

Island County Superior Court
Local Rules of Court 

effective January 3rd 2018

Part II SPR 94.04 Family Law Rules

(e) Parenting Seminars.
This rule shall apply to all cases in which the court is being asked to enter a parenting plan for minor children.

  1. Mandatory attendance. Unless waived as provided herein, within  30 days of filing an appearance, answer or other responsive pleadings in an action involving a parenting plan for minor children, both parties should register for court-approved parent education seminar on the effects of family transitions on children, unless the parties have previously attended search occurs within the last 3 years. Each party shall attend the seminar within 60 days of registering.
  2. Certificate of Completion. Upon completion of the seminar, each party shall file with the court the seminar completion certificate provided by the sponsoring agency or provider.  Additionally, a copy of the certificate of completion shall be provided to the judge at the presentation of final documents.
  3. Fees.  Each party attending a seminar she’ll pay a fee charged by the approved provider on authorized by the court.
  4. Seminar providers. The court shall establish standards for parenting seminars and shall approve seminar providers. A list of approved parenting centers shall be available from the court administrator, juvenile court administrator, or county clerk. If a parenting seminar is not included on the list, then the court, upon proper motion, may allow other providers to fulfill this requirement on a case-by-case basis.

(f) Mandatory Mediation.

  1. Requirement for mandatory mediation. In all cases specified in SPR 94.04(a)  with unresolved issues, both parties all in good faith engage in mediation with a court-approved mediator in an effort to resolve the case, unless waived as set forth herein.  Mediation shall be completed at least 60 days prior to the scheduled trial date.
  2. Waiver of Mandatory Mediation.  Mediation shall not be required in the following cases:  
    1. Good Cause.  For good cause shown upon motion and approval by the court, or
    2. Restraining or protection order.
    3. No contact order
    4. Domestic Abuse
    5. Order to require mediation.
  3. Settlement conference after mandatory mediation. If, after mediation in good faith or where mediation is not required there remain unresolved issues in any case specified by in SPR 94.04(a), the parties may participate in a settlement conference pursuant to LCR 16(d).
  4. Effect on Court Proceedings.
  5. Cost of Mediation. Mediators shall be paid by the parties in accordance with the agreement of the parties, or in the absence of agreement, as determined in mediation.
  6. Responsibility for Compliance. The party shall be responsible for arranging for and completing all mediation requirements established under this rule.
  7. Failure to comply with Mandatory Mediation.  Willful refusal to participate in mediation or willful delay in completing mediation may result in a finding of contempt and imposition of sanctions.
  8. Approval of mediators. Mediators performing mediation services pursuant to this row must fulfill certain qualifications established by the court.  The court administrator shall maintain a list of such minimum qualifications for distribution to the public. In order to fulfill the mediation requirements of this rules, the parties must use the services of a court-approved mediator.  The court administrator shall maintain a list of approved mediators, either persons or agencies, for distribution to the public. The list shall contain the following information each mediators name organization if any address and telephone number and fee schedule.
  9. Selection of Mediator, Right of Mediator to Decline.  The parties met either agreed to a mediator from the court-approved list or the mediator will be determined by use of a strike list. A mediator has the right to decline to serve in a particular case. He declines to serve, the party shop select a different mediator using the same selection process by which the preceding mediator was selected.
  10. Authority of Mediator. The mediator has the authority to determine the time, place, manner and duration of mediation. In appropriate cases, the mediator shall have the authority to terminate the mediation prior to completion.
  11. Attendance at Mediation.  The parties shall personally attend all mediation sessions unless the mediator permits telephonic or other attendance.  The mediator shall have the authority to require other persons to attend.
  12. Declaration of Completion of Mediation. Within 7 days of completion of mediation, a declaration that mediation has been completed shall be filed with the court by the mediator. The mediator shall advise counsil and the parties of the results of mediation in writing. The mediator shall advise the court only whether an agreement has been reached on some or all of the issues.
  13. Confidentiality,  (See RCW 5.60.070)  The work product of the mediator and all communications during the mediation shall be privileged and confidential and not subject to compulsory disclosure.  The mediator shall not appear to testify in any Court proceedings.
  14. Effective Date. This rule shall apply to all cases described herein filed after January 1, 1997.

Source:   Island County Superior Local Rules of Court,
SPR 94.04 Family Law Rules: (e) Parenting Seminars  (f) Mandatory Mediation