CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE
1775. The Legislature finds and
(a) The peaceful resolution
of disputes in a fair, timely, appropriate, and cost-effective manner
is an essential function of the judicial branch of state government
under Article VI of the California Constitution.
(b) In the case of many disputes, litigation culminating
in a trial is costly, time consuming, and stressful for the parties
involved. Many disputes can be resolved in a fair and equitable
manner through less formal processes.
(c) Alternative processes for reducing the cost, time, and
stress of dispute resolution, such as mediation, have been effectively
used in California and elsewhere. In appropriate cases mediation
provides parties with a simplified and economical procedure for
obtaining prompt and equitable resolution of their disputes and
a greater opportunity to participate directly in resolving these
disputes. Mediation may also assist to reduce the backlog of cases
burdening the judicial system. It is in the public interest
for mediation to be encouraged and used where appropriate by the
(d) Mediation and similar alternative processes can have
the greatest benefit for the parties in a civil action when used
early, before substantial discovery and other litigation costs have
been incurred. Where appropriate, participants in disputes
encouraged to utilize mediation and other alternatives to trial
for resolving their differences in the early stages of a civil action.
(e) As a pilot project in Los Angeles County and in other
counties which elect to apply this title, courts should be able
to refer cases to appropriate dispute resolution processes such
as judicial arbitration and mediation as an alternative to trial,
consistent with the parties' right to obtain a trial if a dispute
is not resolved through an alternative process.
(f) The purpose of this title is to encourage the use of
court-annexed alternative dispute resolution methods in general,
and mediation in particular. It is estimated that the average
cost to the court for processing a civil case of the kind described
in Section 1775.3 through judgment is three thousand nine hundred
forty-three dollars ($3,943) for each judge day, and that a substantial
portion of this cost can be saved if these cases are resolved before
The Judicial Council, through the Administrative Office of the Courts,
shall conduct a survey to determine the number of cases resolved
by alternative dispute resolution authorized by this title, and
shall estimate the resulting savings realized by the courts and
the parties. The results of the survey shall be included in
the report submitted pursuant to Section 1775.14. The programs
authorized by this title shall be deemed successful if they result
in estimated savings of at least two hundred fifty thousand dollars
($250,000) to the courts and corresponding savings to the parties.
1775.1. (a) As
used in this title:
means a superior court or municipal court.
(2) "Mediation" means a process in which a neutral
person or persons facilitate communication between the disputants
to assist them in reaching a mutually acceptable agreement.
(b) Unless otherwise specified in this title or ordered by
the court, any act to be performed by a party may also be performed
by his or her counsel of record.
1775.2. (a) This
title shall apply to the courts of the County of Los Angeles.
(b) A court of any county,
at the option of the presiding judge, may elect whether or not to
apply this title to eligible actions filed in that court, and this
title shall not apply in any court
which has not so elected. An election under this subdivision
may be revoked by the court at any time.
(c) Courts are authorized to apply this title to all civil
actions pending or commenced on or after January 1, 1994.
1775.3. (a) In
the courts of the County of Los Angeles and in other courts that
elect to apply this title, all at-issue civil actions in which arbitration
is otherwise required pursuant to Section 1141.11, whether or not
the action includes a prayer for equitable relief, may be submitted
to mediation by the presiding judge or the judge designated under
this title as an alternative to judicial arbitration pursuant to
Chapter 2.5 (commencing with Section 141.10) of Title 3.
(b) Any civil action
otherwise within the scope of this title in
which a party to the action is a public agency or public entity
be submitted to mediation pursuant to subdivision (a).
1775.4. An action
that has been ordered into arbitration pursuant
to Section 1141.11 or 1141.12 may not be ordered into mediation
this title, and an action that has been ordered into mediation
pursuant to Section 1775.3 may not be ordered into arbitration
pursuant to Section 1141.11.
1775.5. The court
shall not order a case into mediation where the
amount in controversy exceeds fifty thousand dollars ($50,000).
determination of the amount in controversy shall be made in the
manner as provided in Section 1141.16 and, in making this
determination, the court shall not consider the merits of questions
of liability, defenses, or comparative negligence.
1775.6. In actions submitted to mediation pursuant
to Section 1775.3, a mediator shall be selected for the action within
30 days of its submission to mediation. The method of selection
and qualification of the mediator shall be as the parties determine.
If the parties are unable to agree on a mediator within 15 days
of the date of submission of the action to mediation, the court
may select a mediator pursuant to standards adopted by the Judicial
1775.7. (a) Submission of an action to mediation pursuant
to this title shall not suspend the running of the time periods
specified in Chapter 1.5 (commencing with Section 583.110) of Title
8 of Part 2, except as provided in this section.
(b) If an action is or
remains submitted to mediation pursuant to this title more than
four years and six months after the plaintiff has filed the action,
then the time beginning on the date four years and six months after
the plaintiff has filed the action and ending on the date on which
a statement of nonagreement is filed pursuant to Section 1775.9
shall not be included in computing the five-year period specified
in Section 583.310.
1775.8. (a) The
compensation of court-appointed mediators shall be the same as the
compensation of arbitrators pursuant to Section 1141.18, except
that no compensation shall be paid prior to the filing of a statement
of nonagreement by the mediator pursuant to
Section 1775.9 or prior to settlement of the action by the parties.
(b) All administrative
costs of mediation, including compensation of mediators, shall be
paid in the same manner as for arbitration pursuant to Section 1141.28.
Funds allocated for the payment of arbitrators under the judicial
arbitration program shall be equally available for the payment of
mediators under this title.
1775.9. (a) In
the event that the parties to mediation are unable to reach a mutually
acceptable agreement and any party to the mediation wishes to terminate
the mediation, then the mediator shall file a statement of nonagreement.
This statement shall be in a form
to be developed by the Judicial Council.
(b) Upon the filing of
a statement of nonagreement, the matter shall be calendared for
trial, by court or jury, both as to law and
fact, insofar as possible, so that the trial shall be given the
same place on the active list as it had prior to mediation, or shall
receive civil priority on the next setting calendar.
1775.10. All statements
made by the parties during the mediation shall be subject to Sections
703.5 and 1152, and Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 1115) of
Division 9, of the Evidence Code.
1775.11. Any party
who participates in mediation pursuant to Section 1775.3 shall retain
the right to obtain discovery to the extent available under the
Civil Discovery Act of 1986, Article 3 (commencing with Section
2016) of Chapter 3 of Title 3 of Part 4.
1775.12. Any reference
to the mediation or the statement of nonagreement filed pursuant
to Section 1775.9 during any subsequent trial shall constitute an
irregularity in the proceedings of the trial for the purposes of
1775.13. It is
the intent of the Legislature that nothing in this title be construed
to preempt other current or future alternative dispute resolution
programs operating in the trial courts.
1775.14. On or
before January 1, 1998, the Judicial Council shall submit a report
to the Legislature concerning court alternative dispute resolution
programs. This report shall include, but not be limited to,
a review of programs operated in Los Angeles County and
other courts that have elected to apply this title, and shall examine,
among other things, the effect of this title on the judicial arbitration
programs of courts that have participated in that
(b) The Judicial Council
shall, by rule, require that each court
applying this title file with the Judicial Council such data as
will enable the Judicial Council to submit the report required by
any other provision of law except the provisions of this title,
the Judicial Council shall provide by rule for all of the following:
(a) The procedures to
be followed in submitting actions to mediation under this act.
(b) Coordination of the procedures and processes under this
act with those under the trial Court Delay Reduction Act, Article
5 (commencing with Section 68600) of Chapter 2 of Title 8 of the
(c) Exceptions for cause from provisions of this title.
In providing for exceptions, the Judicial Council shall take into
consideration whether the civil action might not be amenable to