Administrative Order Number 5
Mandatory Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)Judges
Pursuant to the purpose and intent of the Family Court of the 25th Judicial Circuit,Judge Tracy L. Storie, Presiding Judge, hereby makes the following orders to assist with efficiency and to clarify the mandatory (ADR) policy under the Family Court.
The attorneys and Judges of the 25th Judicial Circuit are firm believers that use of alternative dispute resolution is in the best interests of the parties and the children of parties in Family Court cases. Therefore, it is the policy of the 25th Judicial Circuit, that if the parties cannot fully and fairly resolve their issues within the first few months of filing, that the parties utilize either mediation or the Special Masters Program as mechanisms for resolving their cases. Consistent with this policy, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT:
- 1. The Family Court Judges in each county shall have the authority, duty and responsibility to order parties to attend mediation under the parameters of Missouri Supreme Court Rule 17. Consistent with the goal that alternative dispute resolution be utilized, it is contemplated the order mandating mediation will be made at the time of the case management conference unless the parties agree to mediation or another form of ADR prior to that date.
- 2. Instead of attending mediation after the case management conference or at any time by agreement of all parties, the attorneys and parties can:
- a. Agree to a Special Masters' session;
- b. Agree to an early neutral evaluation instead of other forms of ADR; or
- c. Sign a statement in writing that the case is fully settled and ready for an uncontested hearing.
- 3. The Family Court Judge has full authority and responsibility to order any family law case to the alternative dispute resolution mechanism known as the Special Masters' Program.
- 4. The parties are encouraged to request mediation, Special Masters, or another form of ADR prior to the time contemplated by case management standards. Upon request, each Family Court Judge has full authority to order any form of ADR requested by the parties that is available within this Circuit and order the payment of ADR services from the Family Justice Fund, as long as funds remain available.
This Order is effective June 10, 2011 and to remain in effect until further order of this Court.
SO ORDERED this 10th day of June, 2011.
Tracy L. Storie, Presiding Judge