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RULES OF THE SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

ADMINISTRATIVE RULES 35 TO 61

Rule 48-B. Family Mediator Fees


(1)  Scope.  The provisions of this rule shall apply to proceedings in which the parties participate in court-connected mediation under RSA 461-A:7 and RSA 458:15-c, including reopened cases under either statute.

(2)  Purpose.  This rule outlines how and when parties engaged in mediation pay their mediation fee.  This rule also provides guidance for mediators in collecting fees.

(3)  Services.  Mediators shall be paid according to this rule for conducting mediation sessions, drafting mediated agreements, and performing necessary administrative tasks. Administrative tasks may include reviewing the file, screening for domestic violence, scheduling and rescheduling sessions, and communicating before and after mediation with the parties and, if applicable, counsel.  Except as provided below, mediators shall not be paid for travel time; see section (7) below for mileage reimbursement.

(4)  Disclosure of Fees.  Before mediation begins, the mediator shall provide the parties a written mediation agreement disclosing both the set fee of $300, which includes the first four hours of mediation services and up to one hour of administrative work related to the mediation, and the hourly fee for any time that exceeds the five hours.  This disclosure of both fees shall be prominently displayed.  Before mediation may begin, the mediation agreement shall be signed by the parties, the mediator, and if present, counsel.

(5)  Fees.

(a)  First Four Hours of Mediation.  For court-connected mediation permissible under RSA 461-A:7 and RSA 458:15-c, the fee is $300, and includes the first four hours of mediation services and up to one hour of administrative work related to the mediation.  The court may allocate responsibility for the fee between the parties as the court determines.

(i)  For a case mediated under RSA 461-A:7, if a party is indigent as defined by administrative order of the Circuit Court, the party qualifies to have the party’s mediation fee paid to the mediator from the Fund established by RSA 490-E:4 (the Fund).  If the party chooses to accept such assistance, pursuant to RSA 461-A:18, the party is required to repay the fee to the Office of Cost Containment (OCC) after the mediation occurs.

(ii)  For a case mediated pursuant to RSA 458:15-c, if a party is indigent, as defined by administrative order of the Circuit Court, the party qualifies to have that party’s mediation fee paid to the mediator from the Fund established by RSA 490-E:4.

(iii)  If a party is not indigent, or has not completed the necessary steps to receive a determination of indigence from the court, the party is required to pay the mediation fee directly to the mediator.

1.  If, after communication between the mediator and a party about a fee owed, the party fails to pay the mediator, the mediator may decline further mediation services.

2.  If the mediator does not receive payment after providing services, the mediator may submit to the court a Notice to Court of Nonpayment of Mediator Fee.  The court may raise the issue of non-payment at the next hearing with the party.

(b) Additional Mediation Beyond Four Hours.

(i)  If the mediator believes mediation beyond four hours will benefit the parties, the mediator may propose additional mediation to the parties after three hours of mediation.  The mediator shall share the sliding scale with the parties at that time.  If both parties want to continue mediation beyond four hours, and at least one party is indigent, the mediator shall contact the Office of Mediation and Arbitration to receive approval.  The Office of Mediation and Arbitration will notify the mediator within seven (7) days if another four hours has been approved.  If both parties want to continue mediation beyond four hours and neither party is indigent, the mediator has discretion to proceed.

(ii) If additional hours are agreed upon, each party’s fee will be determined by the party’s individual gross annual income.  Each party shall pay the mediator at the hourly rate listed below, unless the court orders one party to pay all or a portion of the other’s fees or payments from an asset, as justice requires.

INDIVIDUAL ANNUAL GROSS INCOME

$ 10,000 and under             $ 15 hour

$ 10,001 – $ 15,000             $ 20 hour

$ 15,001 – $ 20,000             $ 25 hour

$ 20,001 – $ 30,000             $ 35 hour

$ 30,001 – $ 35,000             $ 45 hour

$ 35,001 – $ 40,000             $ 55 hour

$ 40,001 – $ 50,000             $ 65 hour

$ 50,001 – $100,000            $ 75  hour

$ 100,001 and above            $ 100 hour

(iii)  If a party is indigent, a party may pay the mediator directly or may qualify to have that party’s mediation fee paid to the mediator from the Fund established by RSA 490-E:4.  The party would then repay the fee to the OCC after mediation occurs.  Mediators shall advise parties who are indigent of both options for payment.

(iv)  If a party is not indigent, or has not completed the necessary steps to receive a determination of indigence from the Court, the party is required to pay the mediation fee directly to the mediator.

(6)  Rescheduling, Cancellation, Non-Appearance.

(a)  Rescheduling.  If a party wishes to reschedule a mediation session, the party must:

1. contact the other side to obtain consent to reschedule from the other party;

2. notify the mediator at least 2 business days before the session; and

3. provide the mediator with dates and times both parties are available. 

(b)  Cancellation.  If a party wishes to cancel mediation and not reschedule, the party must contact the mediator at least 2 business days before the session.  If the cancellation occurs before the first mediation session, the parties must file a motion with the court requesting to be excused from mediation.  If the cancellation occurs after the first session, the mediator shall indicate “Case did not settle,” without further comment.

(c)  Non-appearance.  If a party receives notice but does not appear for a scheduled mediation session, or cancels or reschedules the mediation session less than 2 business days before the session, the case may be scheduled for the next court event.  The non-appearing party shall pay the mediator a failure-to-appear fee of $120.  If neither party appears, each party shall pay the mediator a failure-to-appear fee of $60.  The mediator has discretion to waive failure-to-appear fees.

(7)  Mileage.  For the first mediation session, the mediator shall be reimbursed at the current IRS mileage reimbursement rate.  No additional mediation sessions are eligible for mileage reimbursement.  To receive reimbursement, the mediator shall, within 45 days of accrual, submit to the Office of Mediation and Arbitration a completed mileage form.

      

 

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