AN ACT TO AMEND THE LAW REGARDING MEDIATED SETTLEMENT CONFERENCES IN SUPERIOR COURT, MEDIATION IN DISTRICT COURT DOMESTIC CASES, AND THE REGULATION OF MEDIATORS, TO ESTABLISH A DISPUTE RESOLUTION FUND FOR MONIES COLLECTED THROUGH THE EXISTING ADMINISTRATIVE FEE FOR THE CERTIFICATION OF MEDIATORS AND MEDIATION TRAINING PROGRAMS, AND TO MAKE IT UNLAWFUL TO FALSELY REPRESENT ONESELF AS A CERTIFIED MEDIATOR OR TO FALSELY REPRESENT A MEDIATOR TRAINING PROGRAM AS CERTIFIED.
Amends GS 7A-38.1(1), 7A-38.4A(j), 7A-38.3B, and 7A-38.3D(k) making technical changes and conveying all powers and duties previously delineated to agencies established to enforce standards of conduct for mediators or other neutrals to the Dispute Resolution Commission (Commission).
Amends GS 7A-38.2 to provide that the fees charged for certification and annual renewal of certification for mediators and mediation training will be deposited in the Dispute Resolution Fund (Fund). Establishes the Fund in the Judicial Department as a non-reverting, interest-bearing special revenue account. Provides that the monies in the Fund must be used to support the operations of the Commission.
Enacts new GS 7A-38.2(l) and (m) concerning the regulation of mediators, providing that the Commission can issue cease and desist letters to individuals falsely representing themselves to the public as a certified mediator, whether such communication is made through words, letters, titles, signs, cards, web postings, or similar. Provides that such individuals or firms making such misrepresentation are guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor and subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $500 each day of the violation. Provides that each day is considered a separate and distinct violation. Requires proceeds from violations to be remitted to the Civil Penalty and Forfeiture Fund. Provides that the Commission can petition the court on its own accord to apply for an injunction to prevent violations. Effective December 1, 2015.
Unless otherwise provided, effective July 1, 2015, applying to mediations commenced after that date.
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