I admit I haven’t been paying close attention recently, but I’m sort of shocked at this order from the Flordia Supreme Court terminating the mandatory mediation program for residential foreclosure cases.
To be sure, I had not been hearing that the program was anywhere near the success its proponents had hoped it would be. But this still seems very sudden. The reason given is this: “The Court has reviewed the reports on the program and determined it cannot justify continuation of the program. Accordingly, upon issuance of this administrative order, the statewide managed mediation program is terminated.”
Here’s the full text of the order:
IN RE: MANAGED MEDIATION PROGRAM FOR RESIDENTIAL MORTGAGE FORECLOSURE CASES
A statewide managed mediation program for residential mortgage foreclosure cases was established in 2009 by In re: Final Report and Recommendations on Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Cases, AOSC09-54, (Dec. 28, 2009). Program requirements were clarified in 20 I 0 by In Re: Guidance Concerning Managed Mediation Programs for Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Cases, AOSCIO-57 (Nov. 5,2010). The program was established as a means for the court system to address the overwhelming number of mortgage foreclosure cases coming into the system. The Court has reviewed the reports on the program and determined it cannot justify continuation of the program. Accordingly, upon issuance of this administrative order, the statewide managed mediation program is terminated.
Cases already referred to and pending in a mediation program on the date of this order pursuant to the statewide managed mediation program will remain in the program through completion of mediation. After the date of this order; no new cases may be referred to mediation pursuant to the statewide managed mediation program.
Circuit chief judges are vested under article V, section 2(d), Florida Constitution, with responsibility for the administrative supervision of their circuits. Section 43.26, Florida Statutes, authorizes circuit chief judges “to do everything necessary to promote the prompt and efficient administration of justice.” These authorities empower the circuit chief judges to adopt or employ any measures permitted by statute or court rule to manage pending and new residential mortgage foreclosure cases, including referral of cases to mediation on a case-by-case basis pursuant to section 44.102, Florida Statues, and Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.700(a).
DONE AND ORDERED at Tallahassee, Florida, on December 19, 2011.
As the order makes clear, judges can still order mediation on a case-by-case basis.
Anyone know the background to this?