RULES AND POLICIES FOR PARTIES TO MEDIATION
1. Center Purpose. The purpose of the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (“C.A.R.”) Real Estate Mediation Center for Consumers (the “Center”) is to provide parties to real estate transactions with a highly qualified pool of specially trained, objective and reliable mediation professionals to assist them in resolving their real estate related disputes. The goal of the Center is to provide consumers with an affordable, supportive and confidential process that working with the mediator of their choosing, will assist them to reach a mutually agreeable settlement and thereby avoid the time, expense and uncertainty of litigating their dispute in court.
2. Cases Eligible for Mediation. All real estate disputes, with a focus on real estate disputes among consumers arising under the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® Residential Purchase Agreement and Joint Escrow Instructions (“RPA-CA”). In addition, the Center may consider and accept other types of disputes on a case-by-case basis.
3. Center Contacts. All correspondence with the Center should include the address of the property that is the subject of the dispute and be directed in writing to:
Mail to: C.A.R. Real Estate Mediation Center
Attn: Mediation Administrator
525 S. Virgil Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90020
4. Fees and Costs. Center mediators are required to keep their mediation fee schedule and any associated policies up-to-date at all times. Mediator fees and policies along with a full profile of each mediator is accessible within the mediator fee and policy schedules page.
a. Filing Costs. A $400 filing cost is paid directly to the Center and is non-refundable. The filing costs must be received with your Request to Mediate in order to begin the process. Please ensure that the other party to your dispute has agreed to mediate at the Center prior to submitting your request. In most cases the initiating party will pay the full filing cost. As a courtesy, we ask our mediators to reduce the deposit due from the filing party by $200 and increase the deposit due from the responding party by $200 to offset the filing party's advance payment of the filing cost. Fees to the mediator are separate and paid directly to the mediator as provided below.
b. Fees for Preparation and Travel. In general, Center mediators provide scheduling, local travel and preparation time without charge for up to two hours and charge their hourly rate thereafter. The parties and their counsel are encouraged to independently coordinate their availability for mediation to avoid incurring excess fees. For complex disputes, disputes arising out of an agreement that is not a C.A.R. standard form agreement, or disputes that require extensive review of documents in advance of the mediation, preparation fees may apply as provided by your mediator. See the fee and policy schedule for further details.
c. Initial Hourly Fees to Parties. Center mediators agree to a maximum collective fee to the parties of $175.00 per hour for the first 2 hours of mediation hearing time. Parties commit to a minimum of 3 hours of mediation hearing time, unless otherwise noted in the fee and policy schedule. Hourly fees after the first 2 hours are at the rate provided in the mediator’s fee and policy schedule All mediator fees are billed in advance by and paid directly to the mediator.
d. Fee Deposit. Center mediators generally require a minimum deposit equal to 3 hours mediation hearing time prior to reserving the mediation date. See the mediator fee schedule for actual requirements.
e. Cancellation/Continuance Fees. Mediators may charge cancellation/continuance fees as follows: if notice is received 4 calendar days or more prior to the scheduled mediation, $200 cancellation/continuance fee. If notice is received 3 calendar days or less prior to the scheduled mediation, $500 cancellation/continuance fee. Your mediator may apply cancellation/continuance fees to any deposit.
Conflicts Check. Center mediators are required to perform a conflict of interest check in connection with all mediation participants to determine matters potentially affecting their impartiality. Prior to proceeding with the mediation, the mediator must obtain the prior written consent of all mediation participants for any waiver of a conflict of interest.
6. Scheduling Process and Timeframes. Once your file has been accepted by your mediator, your mediator will begin the scheduling process and contact all parties, counsel and other interested parties who you have identified to participate in the mediation. Your mediator will generally have twenty (20) calendar days from the date of assignment for the scheduling process. If your mediator is unable to schedule the mediation within this time frame, the mediator may submit a request to the Center requesting a one-time thirty (30) day extension. Any further extension is at the discretion of the Center. All scheduling is performed by your mediator and any scheduling inquiries should be made directly with your mediator. Once scheduled, any request to cancel or continue the mediation will incur an associated fee. See Fees and Costs above.
7. Notice to the Parties. Once the mediation has been scheduled, the mediator will provide written notice to the parties of the details of the mediation and mediation process.
Represented by Counsel Any party may be represented by cousel. If a dispute involves a small sum and is not complex, parties may choose not to be represented by counsel. If a party will be represented by counsel at the mediation conferene, the mediator and all parties must be notified in writing at least ten (10) days in advance of the conference date of such party's intent to be represented by counsel. failure to comply with this notice requirement may result in the need for a continuance and application of a continuance fee as provided in Fees and Costs.
9. Post Mediation Survey. Following the mediation, you will be asked to complete a survey about the mediation process. The Center will maintain your survey responses as confidential and use this information solely to evaluate the Center program and distribute general statistical data related to the Center program (in the aggregate without disclosure of confidential identifying data).