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House Journal: Page 958: Thursday, March 23, 2000

17 assembly finds that mediation should be utilized to
18 the greatest extent possible in the resolution of
19 domestic relations disputes in this state.
20 Sec. 2. Section 598.7A, Code 1999, is amended by
21 striking the section and inserting in lieu thereof the
22 following:
23 598.7a MEDIATION.
24 1. The district court may, on its own motion or on
25 the motion of any party, order the parties to
26 participate in mediation in any dissolution of
27 marriage action or other domestic relations action.
28 Mediation performed under this section shall comply
29 with the provisions of chapter 679C. The provisions
30 of this section shall not apply to actions which
31 involve domestic abuse pursuant to chapter 236. The
32 provisions of this section shall not affect a judicial
33 district's or court's authority to order settlement
34 conferences pursuant to rules of civil procedure. The
35 court shall, on application of a party, grant a waiver
36 from any court-ordered mediation under this section if
37 the party demonstrates that a history of domestic
38 abuse exists as specified in section 598.41,
39 subsection 3, paragraph "j".
40 2. The supreme court shall establish a dispute
41 resolution program in family law cases that includes
42 the opportunities for mediation and settlement
43 conferences. Any judicial district may implement such
44 a dispute resolution program, subject to the rules
45 prescribed by the supreme court.
46 3. The supreme court shall prescribe rules for the
47 mediation program, including the circumstances under
48 which the district court may order participation in
49 mediation.
50 4. Any dispute resolution program shall comply

Page 2

1 with all of the following standards:
2 a. Participation in mediation shall include
3 attendance at a mediation session with the mediator
4 and the parties to the action, listening to the
5 mediator's explanation of the mediation process,
6 presentation of one party's view of the case, and
7 listening to the response of the other party.
8 Participation in mediation does not require that the
9 parties reach an agreement.
10 b. The parties may choose the mediator, or the
11 court shall appoint a mediator. a court-appointed
12 mediator shall meet the qualifications established by
13 the supreme court.
14 c. Parties to the mediation have the right to
15 advice and presence of counsel at all times.

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