WHAT IS JUDICIAL MEDIATION?
Judicial Mediation is the process by which the parties to a claim (the Plaintiff, the Defendant and other interveners) meet privately in the presence of a Territorial Court Judge and discuss ways to resolve the claim without the need for a trial.
The parties work together, with the assistance of the judge but outside of court, to try to find a solution to a problem.
Judicial Mediation is confidential. This means that if the parties do not reach a settlement and the matter is set for trial, no reference can be made to the fact that Mediation took place or to anything that was discussed during the Judicial Mediation. It also means that the judge who presided over the Judicial Mediation cannot hear the trial.
HOW DOES IT HAPPEN?
When a Plaintiff has filed a Statement of Claim at the Territorial Court Registry and a Defendant has filed a Defense, the Clerk of the Territorial Court contacts them to participate in a Judicial Mediation
The Clerk of the Court will ask the Plaintiff and Defendant for available dates and then will send a notice of the time and date of the Judicial Mediation.
CAN I COME WITH SOMEONE?
Each party to the claim may come with a lawyer, a student-at-law or, with a judge's permission, a support person. Of course, each party may also come alone.
If a party is an organization such as a corporation or partnership, an officer of the organization, an employee, or another authorized individual may attend on the organization's behalf.
IN ALL CASES, THE INDIVIDUAL APPEARING ON BEHALF OF A PARTY MUST BE FULLY AUTHORIZED TO PARTICIPATE IN THE MEDIATION AND SETTLE THE CLAIM
DO I BRING ANYTHING?
Each party may bring every document, photo or report that may be relevant. Typically these would be the same materials that you would bring to a trial; in other words, full disclosure of your case is necessary at a Mediation session.
WHERE DOES THE MEDIATION SESSION TAKE PLACE?
It takes place in the community of the Northwest Territories where the Plaintiff and Defendant live. If the parties live in different communities, the Mediation Session may be set at a place or in a manner that a judge determines.
WHAT IF I CAN'T GO TO THE MEDIATION SESSION?
The date of a Mediation Session may be changed on consent of the other party or by a judge. The party seeking the adjournment must contact the Clerk of the Territorial Court, who will then contact the other party to inform them of the need for an adjournment. If the other party consents to the adjournment, the clerk will suggest another date. Otherwise, a party may apply to the Judge, with notice to the other party, 7 days before the mediation session to adjourn it to another date. The judge will decide on the adjournment after having heard from both parties.
WHAT HAPPENS IF A SETTLEMENT IS NOT REACHED?
The matter is set for trial, either in discussion with the judge presiding over the Mediation, or by the Clerk of the Court.
WHAT HAPPENS IF A SETTLEMENT IS REACHED?
There are a number of things that the parties and the judge can do to make sure that the settlement works out. The judge will explore these possibilities with you.