The Supreme Court of South Carolina
RE: Circuit Court Arbitration and Mediation and Family Court Mediation
By order dated February 1, 2006, this Court adopted Court-Annexed Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Rules which govern court-annexed ADR processes in South Carolina Circuit Courts in civil suits, and in South Carolina Family Courts in domestic relations actions in counties designated by this Court for mandatory ADR or as required by statute. By order dated November 15, 2007, this Court superseded the order dated February 1, 2006 to include additional counties in the Court-Annexed ADR process.
It has come to the attention of this Court that some courts in counties not designated by this Court for mandatory ADR have been requiring that litigants participate in ADR processes in cases in which ADR is not required by statute, without compliance with ADR Rules.
THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED that in all cases in which ADR shall be ordered in the courts of this state, the Court-Annexed Alternative Dispute Resolution Rules shall apply. Court-appointed mediators in mandated cases shall be named by the court only from the roster of Certified Neutrals provided by the Supreme Court Commission on Alternative Dispute Resolution, which Roster is maintained by the South Carolina Bar. Court appointed mediators shall not charge an hourly fee for mediation services greater than the maximum allowed under the ADR Rule, currently set at $175 per hour. The parties may still select the mediator of their choice in accordance with the ADR Rule. In the event the parties select their own mediator, the mediator may charge such fee as shall be agreed upon between the mediator and the parties.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
|s/Jean Hoefer Toal
Jean Hoefer Toal, Chief Justice
Columbia, South Carolina
May 5, 2008