Complaints Procedure - Ontario Mandatory Mediation Program

I. PURPOSE

Under Rule 24.1 of the Rules of Civil Procedure, each Local Mediation Committee (LMC) is responsible for receiving and responding to complaints about mediators. The following guidelines shall be used by each LMC to ensure that complaints are handled consistently, fairly and in the public interest.

II. SCOPE

The parties to a mediation under the Mandatory Mediation Program (MMP) and their lawyers, if the parties are represented, have a right to make a complaint regarding the conduct of a mediator who is on a roster of mediators in accordance with Rule 14.1 of the Rules of Civil Procedure.

III. ADMINISTRATION

  1. The Chair of the Local Mediation Committee may appoint a Complaints Subcommittee to respond to complaints in accordance with this complaints procedure. Where a Complaints Subcommittee has been appointed, any responsibility of the LMC Chair under these procedures shall be deemed to be the responsibility of the Complaints Subcommittee.
  2. A complaint shall be made in writing to the Local Mediation coordinator.
  3. On behalf of the LMC Chair, the Local Mediation Coordinator will maintain records of all complaints received and any records related to a complaint for a period of two years following the resolution or conclusion of the complaint.
  4. The LMC Chair has the discretion to extend the time limits set out in these procedures where appropriate.

IV. MAKING A COMPLAINT

  1. At any time during a mediation and up to 60 days after the last day of a scheduled mediation, a party or the party's lawyer may make a written complaint to the Local Mediation Coordinator about the conduct of the mediator.
  2. The Local Mediation Coordinator will advise the mediator and the LMC Chair in writing of the nature of the complaint within 15 days of its receipt
  3. The mediator will have 15 days to respond in writing to the complaint.
  4. Where the mediator referred to in (1) is the LMC Chair or LMC member, the Local Mediation Coordinator shall transfer the complaint to the Local Mediation Coordinator and LMC Chair of a different court jurisdiction for administration and investigation.
  5. The Local Mediation Coordinator and/or the LMC Chair will attempt to facilitate an informal resolution of the complaint and take appropriate action in a timely fashion.

V. INVESTIGATION OF COMPLAINTS

  1. The LMC Chair may direct the Local Mediation Coordinator or any other person to investigate a complaint.
  2. The investigator will review any available documents. The investigator may request information from the complainant, the mediator and any other appropriate person, but has no authority to require that such information be provided. The investigator may invite the complainant and the mediator to present information by telephone, in writing or at an informal meeting.
  3. Following the investigation, the investigator will make a recommendation to the LMC Chair. Based on the recommendation, the LMC Chair may decide whether or not further action is required. The LMC Chair will notify the complainant and the mediator in writing of this decision.

VI. REVIEW BY COMPLAINTS PANEL

  1. If the LMC Chair decides that further action is required, the LMC Chair will appoint a Complaints Panel of three LMC members to review the complaint.
  2. The Complaints Panel will review the results of the investigation and may give the complainant and the mediator an opportunity to present additional information concerning the complaint. The Complaint Panel may conduct the review in any manner it deems appropriate.
  3. Following the review, the Complaints Panel may make one or more of the following dispositions:
    • take no further action, if the complaint is without merit or has been dealt with appropriately;
    • counsel the mediator verbally or in writing;
    • reprimand the mediator verbally or in writing; or
    • remove the mediator from the roster.
  4. The Complaints Panel will inform the complainant and mediator of its decision, with reasons in writing.