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Summons for pre-trial conf./med. with PRA

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okay, thank you! I did send a message to @lawkitty when I first found this forum, as her name appeared in nearly every thread similar to mine. Hoping she has a chance to respond - I'm battling against time

unsure of what to expect at mediation and how long to try to settle with PRA..

any advice / materials / etc. is VERY much appreciated!

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  • 1 month later...

For some reason the forum quit sending me email notification when I was tagged or got a PM so I hadn't been on here as much.  I don't know if I'm too late to help. They will just try to get you to agree to some type of payment plan in mediation. If you don't want to settle, don't let the plaintiff and mediator push you.  Any negotiations discussed in mediation can't come out in trial if you don't settle because it's confidential.  

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@LawKitty posts have been disappearing so I'll try again. If the defendant signs an agreement in the mediation hearing will that stick? This came up in Georgia Magistrate court ordered mediation where the Plaintiff JDB Atty brought in evidence that would normally be objected to in court. The Mediator didn't seem to be running things either. Defendant ended up signing an agreement. Their mediation rules state signed agreements are as binding as any others.

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11 hours ago, CCRP626 said:

If the defendant signs an agreement in the mediation hearing will that stick?

Yes.  Where the agreement is signed doesn't matter it is the fact that the Defendant entered into a consent judgment, which is what that agreement is.

As long as they don't sign anything and agree to a settlement ANYTHING they discuss is not admissible in court.  The key is not to get pressured into signing the agreement.

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For Florida, I'm not sure how/why the court ordered mediation for a debt related case although it wouldn't seem to be due to Plaintiff's request since the type of case should exclude it. Two outs to point to are bolded below.

Fl Statutes 44.102 Court-ordered mediation.

44.102 Court-ordered mediation.

(1) Court-ordered mediation shall be conducted according to rules of practice and procedure adopted by the Supreme Court.
(2) A court, under rules adopted by the Supreme Court:
(a) Must, upon request of one party, refer to mediation any filed civil action for monetary damages, provided the requesting party is willing and able to pay the costs of the mediation or the costs can be equitably divided between the parties, unless:
1. The action is a landlord and tenant dispute that does not include a claim for personal injury.
2. The action is filed for the purpose of collecting a debt.
3. The action is a claim of medical malpractice.
4. The action is governed by the Florida Small Claims Rules.
5. The court determines that the action is proper for referral to nonbinding arbitration under this chapter.
6. The parties have agreed to binding arbitration.
7. The parties have agreed to an expedited trial pursuant to s. 45.075.
8. The parties have agreed to voluntary trial resolution pursuant to s. 44.104.
(b) May refer to mediation all or any part of a filed civil action for which mediation is not required under this section.



http://www.flcourts.org/core/fileparse.php/254/urlt/ADRResourceHandbook2015.pdf (has all the various alternate dispute rules for the various courts, small claims aka county courts is ran a bit different and so-on)



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Generally the court-ordered mediation I've seen is in small claims debt cases only, or in family law cases.  Yes, if an agreement or stipulation is signed in mediation, it will be binding.  It may not be a consent to judgment, although that is possible that someone might get pressured into signing a consent if they can't make payments.  Normally they try to get you to agree to make payments and you sign a stipulation.  But if you fail to make one of the payments, the plaintiff can file an affidavit that you didn't make a payment, and then just get a judgment without further hearing or notice.  Basically if you sign any agreement in mediation, they don't have to prove their case.  That's why they like it.  And to be honest, most people do owe a debt, although it is usually to a creditor who has sold it off to a JDB and they have already written it off their taxes as a bad debt.  Because most people know they fell behind and owe a debt, they end up caving to the pressure of just making payments to a JDB and settling the case.  The problem is that what often leads someone to have trouble paying the debt in the first place makes it so they can't keep up with the stipulation payments and they end up with a judgment and then their bank account is drained one day or their wages get garnished. 

If you want to fight the case, then don't agree to making payments in mediation. 

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The board hasn't been that busy lately and Wednesday, I think, it was down, with posts disappearing, but I am glad you still responded.   You are absolutely right about mediation and the pressure put on defendants by the mediators, court personnel and the JDB to agree to a payment schedule.  Most just cave in to get it over with.

I mentioned you in "Motion to Compel Arbitration" in the Collections section, but as I told the OP, he probably needs to go through with arbitration now.

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