State court administrators are seeking comments on proposed new rules establishing a statewide voluntary alternative dispute resolution program for matrimonial actions. The proposal would create a new Part 146 to the Rules of the Chief Administrative Judge and was put forward by the courts' Matrimonial Advisory Committee. It calls for courts that are presiding over matrimonial actions to order parties to participate in a free one-hour alternative dispute resolution session if judges and ADR professionals agree that ADR could be an appropriate vehicle to resolve disputes. If parties want to voluntarily continue the ADR sessions, they would do so at their own expense.
The rules prohibit judges from referring cases for possible ADR resolution where there are allegations of a history of domestic violence, child abuse or where there is a "severe imbalance of power" between the parties.
Comments must be received by Feb. 4 via email to OCAmatrimonialADR@nycourts.gov or in writing to John W. McConnell, Counsel, Office of Court Administration, 25 Beaver St., 11th Floor, New York, N.Y., 10004.