New York Judiciary Law Section 849-B - Establishment and administration of centers.

849-b. Establishment and administration of centers. 1. There is hereby established the community dispute resolution center program, to be administered and supervised under the direction of the chief administrator of the courts, to provide funds pursuant to this article for the establishment and continuance of dispute resolution centers on the basis of need in neighborhoods.

2. Every center shall be operated by a grant recipient.

3. All centers shall be operated pursuant to contract with the chief administrator and shall comply with all provisions of this article. The chief administrator shall promulgate rules and regulations to effectuate the purposes of this article, including provisions for periodic monitoring and evaluation of the program.

4. A center shall not be eligible for funds under this article unless:

(a) it complies with the provisions of this article and the applicable rules and regulations of the chief administrator;

(b) it provides neutral mediators who have received at least twenty-five hours of training in conflict resolution techniques;

(c) it provides dispute resolution without cost to indigents and at nominal or no cost to other participants;

(d) it provides that during or at the conclusion of the dispute resolution process there shall be a written agreement or decision setting forth the settlement of the issues and future responsibilities of each party and that such agreement or decision shall be available to a court which has adjourned a pending action pursuant to section 170.55 of the criminal procedure law;

(e) it does not make monetary awards except upon consent of the parties and such awards do not exceed the monetary jurisdiction of the small claims part of the justice court, except that where an action has been adjourned in contemplation of dismissal pursuant to section 215.10 of the criminal procedure law, a monetary award not in excess of five thousand dollars may be made; and

(f) it does not accept for dispute resolution any defendant who is named in a filed felony complaint, superior court information, or indictment, charging: (i) a class A felony, or (ii) a violent felony offense as defined in section 70.02 of the penal law, or (iii) any drug offense as defined in article two hundred twenty of the penal law, or (iv) a felony upon the conviction of which defendant must be sentenced as a second felony offender, a second violent felony offender, or a persistent violent felony offender pursuant to sections 70.06, 70.04 and 70.08 of the penal law, or a felony upon the conviction of which defendant may be sentenced as a persistent felony offender pursuant to section 70.10 of such law.

5. Parties must be provided in advance of the dispute resolution process with a written statement relating:

(a) their rights and obligations;

(b) the nature of the dispute;

(c) their right to call and examine witnesses;

(d) that a written decision with the reasons therefor will be rendered; and

(e) that the dispute resolution process will be final and binding upon the parties.

6. Except as otherwise expressly provided in this article, all memoranda, work products, or case files of a mediator are confidential and not subject to disclosure in any judicial or administrative proceeding. Any communication relating to the subject matter of the resolution made during the resolution process by any participant, mediator, or any other person present at the dispute resolution shall be a confidential communication.

Last modified: February 3, 2019