SB336 (2022) Detail

Relative to family mediator interns.


SB 336  - AS INTRODUCED

 

 

2022 SESSION

22-3084

07/04

 

SENATE BILL 336

 

AN ACT relative to family mediator interns.

 

SPONSORS: Sen. Prentiss, Dist 5; Sen. Watters, Dist 4; Sen. Whitley, Dist 15; Sen. Soucy, Dist 18; Sen. Gannon, Dist 23; Sen. Kahn, Dist 10; Sen. Cavanaugh, Dist 16; Sen. Sherman, Dist 24; Rep. Nordgren, Graf. 12; Rep. Gordon, Graf. 9

 

COMMITTEE: Judiciary

 

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ANALYSIS

 

This bill establishes the qualifications and appropriate instances of inclusion of qualified family mediator interns.

 

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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

22-3084

07/04

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Twenty Two

 

AN ACT relative to family mediator interns.

 

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

 

1  Family Mediators; Definitions.  RSA 328-C:2 is repealed and reenacted to read as follows:

328-C:2  Definitions.  In this chapter:

I.  "Board" means the board of family mediator certification established by RSA 328-C:4.

II.  "Certified family mediator" means a person certified under the provisions of this chapter to act as a family mediator.

III.  "Certified family mediator training program" means a program that has been certified under this chapter to provide the instructional training required for certified family mediators.

IV.  "Contracted supervisor" means a supervisor who has contracted with the court to participate in court-referred mediation.

V.  "Family mediation" means a process by which an impartial third person or persons, with the consent of the parties, assists and enables the parties to a divorce or parental rights and responsibilities case to work together to reach a mutually satisfactory settlement of the issues involved in such case.

VI.  "Family mediator" means an impartial third person who, with the consent of the parties to a divorce or parental rights and responsibilities case, assists and enables the parties to work together to reach a mutually satisfactory settlement of the issues in a dispute.

VII.  "Qualified intern" means a person authorized under the provisions of this chapter to participate in mediation under the direct supervision of a certified family mediator.

VIII.  "Supervisor" means a person who has been a certified family mediator for at least two years, has mediated at least thirty-six divorce cases, and commits to comply with RSA 328-C:5, VI.  

2  New Paragraph; Family Mediators; Duties of the Board; Qualified Interns.  Amend RSA 328-C:4-a by inserting after paragraph VII the following new paragraph:

VIII.  Establish procedures, fees, standards, and other requirements for qualified interns.

3  Family Mediators; Qualifications; Qualifications of Qualified Interns.  Amend RSA 328-C:5 to read as follows:

328-C:5  Qualifications.

I.  To be eligible for certification, conditional certification, reinstatement of certification, renewal of certification and temporary renewal of certification as a family mediator, an applicant shall be of good character.

II.  To be eligible for certification or conditional certification as a family mediator, an applicant shall meet the following requirements:

(a)  Satisfactory completion of a program of instruction approved by the board and at least 48 hours in length, including at least 8 hours in domestic violence, and components in family dynamics and relevant law.

(b)  Completion of an internship approved by the board and at least 20 hours in length with a certified family mediator or certified family mediation program.

(c)  Submission of a completed application to the board.

(d)  Submission of at least 3 recommendations satisfactory to the board from persons who have participated with the applicant in family mediation work.  These recommendations shall meet any additional requirements established by rules adopted by the board pursuant to RSA 541-A.

III.  Notwithstanding subparagraphs II(a) and (b), the board may accept applicants found to have training and internship experience equivalent to the programs of instruction and internship approved by the board.

IV.  Qualified interns shall meet the requirements of RSA 328-C:5, I and II(a) and (c).

V.  A supervisor shall plan the responsibilities of the intern prior to beginning a mediation and spend time with the intern in pre-mediation planning and post-mediation debriefing.  The debriefing shall include a critique of the intern’s part in the mediation.

[IV.] VI.  Certification of a mediator or a mediator training program shall be valid for 3 years from the date of issuance, and shall expire 3 years from the date of issuance, unless renewed pursuant to rules adopted by the board pursuant to RSA 541-A.

[V.] VII.  If timely and sufficient application has been made in accordance with board rules for renewal of certification, the existing certification shall not expire until the board has taken final action on the application for renewal.  If the application is either untimely or insufficient, it shall lapse and be subject to reinstatement in accordance with rules adopted by the board pursuant to RSA 541-A.

4  Family Mediators; Confidentiality of Information; Qualified Interns Included.  Amend RSA 328-C:5-a, I to read as follows:

I.  Unless waived by the person to whom the information pertains, the following information relative to certified family mediators, applicants for certification, qualified interns, and formerly certified family mediators which may be in the possession of the board shall be confidential and shall not be subject to disclosure, except as provided in paragraph II, absent an order of the court:

5  Family Mediators; Disciplinary Action; Qualified Interns Included.  Amend RSA 328-C:7, II to read as follows:

II.  The board shall investigate and resolve complaints against certified family mediators, qualified interns, and certified family mediator training programs.  The board shall hold a hearing in compliance with rules adopted under RSA 541-A prior to taking any disciplinary action specified under this section.  In the alternative, the board may informally resolve complaints by agreement of the parties.

6  Family Mediators; Disciplinary Action; Qualified Interns Included.  Amend RSA 328-C:7, IV to read as follows:

IV.  The board shall establish disciplinary procedures, penalties, and sanctions for certified family mediators and qualified interns which may include revocation of certification or qualification, suspension of certification or qualification, written warning, fine, written reprimand, imposition of supplemental training requirements or supervised training requirements, supplemental education, treatment and counseling, including treatment and counseling for alcohol and substance abuse.

7  New Paragraph; Family Mediators; Rulemaking Authority; Including Qualified Interns.  Amend RSA 328-C:8 by inserting after paragraph II the following new paragraph:

III.  The board may adopt rules for qualified interns pursuant to RSA 541-A, relative to the all matters that it may for certified family mediators.

8  Family Mediators; Fees; Inclusion of Qualified Intern Fees.  Amend RSA 328-C:11, I(a) to read as follows:

(a)  Applications, certification, conditional certification, qualification of interns, renewal of certification, temporary renewal of certification, and reinstatement of certification.

9  Annulment, Divorce, and Separation; Mediation; Definitions.  Amend RSA 458:15-c, I to read as follows:

I.  In this section:

(a)  "Contracted supervisor" means a mediator meeting the requirements of RSA 328-C:2 and RSA 328-C:5, VI who has contracted with the court to participate in court-referred mediation under this chapter.

[(a)] (b) "Mediation" means a process in which a neutral third party facilitates settlement discussions between parties.

[(b)] (c) "Mediator" means a family mediator, certified pursuant to RSA 328-C, who has contracted with the court to participate in court-referred mediation under this section.

(d)  "Qualified intern" means a person meeting the requirements of RSA 328-C:2 who participates in mediation under the direct supervision of a contracted supervisor.

10  Annulment, Divorce, and Separation; Service on Correspondent; Allowing Qualified Interns.  Amend RSA 458:15-c, II to read as follows:

II.  The court may order the parties to participate in mediation upon the request of either party or at the discretion of the court.  If the parties are ordered to participate in mediation under this section, all issues relevant to their case, including but not limited to property settlement and alimony also shall be mediated unless the court orders otherwise.  Mediation may not be ordered pursuant to this section if the case involves minor children and the parties are eligible for mediation under RSA 461-A:7. If the mediator is a contracted supervisor, a qualified intern may participate in the mediation.

11  Parental Rights and Responsibilities; Definitions; Including Contracted Supervisors and Qualified Interns.  Amend RSA 461-A:1 to read as follows:

461-A:1  Definitions.  In this chapter:

I.  "Contracted supervisor" means a mediator meeting the requirements RSA 328-C:2 and RSA 328-C:5, VI who has contracted with the court to participate in court-referred mediation under this chapter.

[I.] II. "Decision-making responsibility" means the responsibility to make decisions for the child.  It may refer to decisions on all issues or on specified issues.

[II.] III. "Mediation" means a process in which a neutral third party facilitates settlement discussions between parties.

[III.] IV.  "Mediator" means a family mediator, certified pursuant to RSA 328-C, who has contracted with the court to participate in court-referred mediation under this chapter.

[IV.] V.  "Parental rights and responsibilities" means all rights and responsibilities parents have concerning their child.

[V.] VI.  "Parenting plan" means a written plan describing each parent's rights and responsibilities.

[VI.] VII.  "Parenting schedule" means the schedule of when the child is in the care of each parent.

VIII.  "Qualified intern" means a person meeting the requirements of RSA 328-C:2 who participates in mediation under the direct supervision of a contracted supervisor.

[VII.] IX. "Residential responsibility" means a parent's responsibility to provide a home for the child.

12  Parental Rights and Responsibilities; Mediation of Cases Involving Children; Use of Qualified Interns.  Amend RSA 461-A:7, III to read as follows:

III.  In all cases involving disputed parental rights and responsibilities or grandparents' visitation rights, including requests for modification of prior orders, the court may order the parties to participate in mediation.  If the parties are ordered to participate in mediation under this section, all issues relevant to their case, including but not limited to child support and issues relative to property settlement and alimony under RSA 458, shall also be mediated unless the court orders otherwise.  If the mediator is a contracted supervisor, a qualified intern may participate in the mediation.

13  Office of Mediation and Arbitration; Inclusion of Qualified Interns.  Amend RSA 490-E:5 to read as follows:

490-E:5  Immunity From Civil Liability.  No mediator, arbitrator, or other neutral party involved in dispute resolution under contract with the New Hampshire judicial branch or qualified intern acting under the direct supervision of a supervisor under contract with the New Hampshire judicial branch shall be held liable for civil damages for any aspect of judicial branch dispute resolution processes, unless such person acted willfully.

14  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.

Links

SB336 at GenCourtMobile

Action Dates

Date Body Type
Jan. 25, 2022 Senate Hearing

Bill Text Revisions

SB336 Revision: 34366 Date: Dec. 14, 2021, 4:26 p.m.

Docket


Jan. 13, 2022: Hearing: 01/25/2022, Room 100, SH, 01:00 pm; SC 3


Dec. 15, 2021: To Be Introduced 01/05/2022 and Referred to Judiciary; SJ 1