After the Applicant has moved the case to the Mediation Stage, the case will be assigned to a CAT Mediator, who will join the case.
CAT Mediators are experts in mediation and alternative dispute resolution (ADR) who will help the Users try to reach a settlement. They can do this in different ways by using the CAT’s online system. For example, Mediators can send messages to both Users (or just to one User), they can give Users their thoughts about the case, and they can give suggestions about how the Users could agree on a settlement of the case.
The online system for Stage 2 – Mediation is like Stage 1 – Negotiation in many ways. For example, in Mediation, the Users can continue to send messages to each other and make settlement offers.
The Mediation process may be different for each case. The Mediator will decide how they want to conduct the Mediation and what to say to the Users.
In addition to the information below, the CAT has developed a guide to help Users understand and use the CAT’s online system in Stage 2 - Mediation.
The Mediator can do many things to help resolve the case, including:
As in Negotiation, Users can continue making settlement offers to each other in Mediation.
If a User accepts a settlement offer, the CAT-ODR system will automatically create a Settlement Agreement and provide a copy to both Users. The case will then be closed.
In Mediation, the Mediator can also suggest a possible settlement to the Users.
If both Users agree to the Mediator’s suggested settlement, the Mediator will write a CAT Order that says what the Users have agreed to do. The CAT will send the Order to the Users, and the case will then be closed.
This document is called a Consent Order. Consent Orders are legally binding (just like a CAT Decision) and can be enforced through the courts.
As in Negotiation, there is no limit to the number of offers that the Users can make, but the Users must take turns. This means that you cannot send a second offer or new offer until the other User has responded to your first offer.
It is important to note that as soon as you make an offer to the other User, you cannot take it back. You should think very carefully about the offers that you make.
If the Users cannot agree on a settlement during the Mediation stage, the next step is for the Applicant to move the case to the Tribunal Decision Stage (Stage 3).
The Applicant can only move the case to Stage 3 after the Mediator has allowed them to do this. There is a non-refundable $125.00 fee for Stage 3.
After the Applicant has moved the case to Stage 3, the Mediator will prepare a Stage 2 Summary and Order. This document will summarize the issues and include any orders about procedures that must be followed in Stage 3.