Due to COVID-19, court-ordered mediations under DRC programs shall be conducted remotely. If the mediator, all parties, and any other persons required to attend agree to waive the requirement to conduct a remote mediation, and comply with all federal, state and local safety guidelines that have been issued, they may conduct the mediation in person. Rule 4 of the MSC, FFS and Clerk Rules and Rule 5 of the DCC Rules provide that a mediation shall be conducted via electronic means. With the agreement of all parties, and ability to comply with safety guidelines, the parties may conduct the mediation in person. The parties may also seek an order from the court to conduct the mediation in person. If all parties do not consent to hold the mediation in person, and absent an order from the court, the matter shall be held through remote technology.
*Nothing in the Rules prohibits a mediator from establishing stricter health requirements for a mediation conference.
*Any mediation conducted in person shall be done in strict compliance with all executive orders and social distancing requirements. All parties to the mediation shall use appropriate social distancing practices and safety procedures. The NCDRC recommends all parties follow the three W’s: wear a cloth face covering, wait 6 feet apart and avoid close contact, and wash your hands often. Please stay informed of all local and state policies that are in place to ensure best practices are followed.
For years, many North Carolina community mediation centers have partnered with their local district attorneys and judges to make mediation available in North Carolina’s district criminal courts. These efforts have been successful and many misdemeanor criminal cases have been settled to the satisfaction of complaining witnesses, defendants, and others involved in these disputes. Settlements have also meant that the State was saved the expense of a trial. The community mediation centers involved in these efforts are non-profit agencies, pursuant to G.S. 7A-38.5, and are dedicated to the peaceful resolution of conflict in North Carolina’s communities. Many of the mediators who serve these centers are volunteers working to help their fellow citizens.
In 2006, the Dispute Resolution Commission set about creating a framework to formalize and standardize the process of mediating misdemeanor criminal matters. Legislation providing for statewide certification and regulation of district criminal court mediators, G.S. 7A-38.3D, was enacted by the General Assembly in 2007. Also in 2007, the Supreme Court of North Carolina adopted Rules Implementing Mediation In Matters Pending In District Criminal Court.
Since 2007, a number of community mediation centers have opted to participate in the District Criminal Court Mediation Program, submitting their mediators for certification and regulation by the Commission and mediating cases referred by their local district criminal courts in accordance with the Supreme Court’s Rules.
Disclaimer: While every effort was made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the rules available on the DRC/NC Courts website, the Dispute Resolution Commission/Administrative Office of the Courts is not responsible for any errors or omissions which may occur in these rules. See the General Statues of North Carolina, Rules volume.
- AOC-CR-700 - The Report of Mediator in District Criminal Court Matters
- AOC-DRC-05 - Dispute Resolution Commission Complaint Form
- AOC-DRC-11 - Application For Certification to Conduct District Criminal Court Mediations
- AOC-DRC-12 - Certificate of Observations (District Criminal Court Mediation)
- AOC-DRC-13 - Certificate of Co-Mediations (District Criminal Court Mediation)
- AOC-DRC-14 - District Criminal Court Mediator Evaluation Form
- AOC-DRC-21 Application for Recertification to Conduct Criminal Court Mediations
Mediation centers organized by state geographic region.
The Commission certifies mediators serving four court-based mediation programs.
Dispute Resolution Commission
PO Box 2448
Raleigh, NC 27602