AN ACT TO PROVIDE FOR MEDIATED SETTLEMENT CONFERENCES IN DISTRICT COURT CIVIL ACTIONS AND TO MAKE A TECHNICAL CORRECTION TO THE RULES OF CIVIL PROCEDURE, AS RECOMMENDED BY THE LEGISLATIVE RESEARCH COMMISSION'S COMMITTEE ON JUDICIAL EFFICIENCY AND EFFECTIVE ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE.
House committee substitute makes the following changes to the 1st edition:
Changes the long title.
Deletes proposed GS 7A-38.4A(b1), which directed the chief district court judge of a judicial district court to order either a mediated settlement or another settlement procedure, as provided under subsection (g) of this section, when the amount in controversy is more than $10,000.
Changes the caption of GS 7A-38.4A to Settlement procedures in family financial actions (previously, Settlement procedures in district court actions), clarifying that the section applies only to family financial actions. Deletes proposed changes to GS 7A-38.4A(c) and makes a clarifying change.
Enacts new GS 7A-38.4B, Settlement procedures in district court general civil actions, permitting mediated settlement conferences in all other district court civil actions. Allows the chief district court judge, or designee, to order parties in a civil action to participate in mediated settlement conferences or other settlement procedures. Excludes actions involving family issues covered by GS 7A-38.4 and issues exempted by Supreme Court rules. Provides that local rules can be adopted for the procedures as long as they are not inconsistent with any rules adopted by the Supreme Court.
Sets out processes and procedures for interested parties including procedures for attendance, designation of a mediatior, and assignment of associated costs. Also limits the admissibility and discovery, in future court proceedings, of communications made during the conferences with four exceptions, including proceedings for specified sanctions and proceedings to enforce or rescind a settlement of the action. These provisions are closely modeled after and similar to existing statutes for mediated settlement conferences in family financial actions, namely GS 7A-38.4A (District Court) and GS 7A-38.1 (Superior Court).
Amends the act's titles.
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