Policy Statement Trial Court Policy on Fees for Dispute Resolution Services
- This Policy provides guidance for the charging of fees for court-connected dispute resolution services provided to any trial court department in accordance with of Rules 7(e), 9(d), and 9(e)(iv) of the Uniform Rules on Dispute Resolution (Supreme Judicial Court Rule 1:18).
- For the purpose of this Policy, a “program” is an organization that has been approved to provide court-connected dispute resolution services to a trial court department. A “neutral” is an individual who provides dispute resolution services under the auspices of an approved program through membership on the program’s roster. A neutral may provide only services approved and allowed by the program.
- In accordance with Rule 7(e) of the Uniform Rules on Dispute Resolution, a program may charge fees for dispute resolution services, if such fees are approved by the Chief Justice of the court department.
- In cases where a program provides free court-connected dispute resolution services, the Chief Justice of the court department may authorize the program to charge a fee for continuation of a service or for subsequent services for the same case or dispute. In such cases, before the free court-connected dispute resolution service begins, the program or neutral must fully disclose any fees that will be charged by the program for continued or subsequent service, and must obtain written agreement of all parties to pay for any continued or subsequent service.
- If a continued or subsequent service is provided for which a fee is charged, the program may provide the same dispute or any other dispute resolution process the program is approved to provide as long as the neutral is qualified to provide that dispute resolution service resolution process (e.g., arbitration, conciliation, mediation) that the program originally provided.
- A program authorized to charge fees for the continuation of a service or for subsequent services for the same case or dispute may charge such fees for services provided in any location.