Stage 2 – Mediation
When a case moves forward to Stage 2 – Mediation, the case will be assigned to a CAT Mediator. CAT Mediators are experts in mediation and dispute resolution, and they will work with the Users to try to resolve the issues in dispute.
The Mediation process may be slightly different for each case. The Mediator will decide how to conduct the Mediation and will let the Users know what to do when they join the case.
The CAT has developed a guide to help Users understand and use the CAT’s online system in Stage 2 – Mediation.
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Role of the Mediator
CAT Mediators can do many things to help resolve the case, including:
- Helping to clarify the issues in dispute
- Helping Users understand their rights and responsibilities
- Helping Users identify things they can agree on
- Communicating with the Users, either together or separately
- Giving their thoughts about each User’s arguments or position
- Suggesting possible settlements to the Users
Once the Mediator has had a chance to review the case and hear from the Users, the Mediator uses the Settlement Offers tab to propose possible ways to resolve the issues to the Users. Users can review proposals made by the Mediator in this tab and can let the Mediator know their thoughts.
Unlike in Stage 1 – Negotiation, during Mediation, only the Mediator can propose ways to resolve the dispute.
If the Users can agree to resolve the issues in dispute, the Mediator can close the case in two different ways:
- By releasing a Settlement Agreement, or
- By issuing a Consent Order.
There are three important differences between Settlement Agreements and Consent Orders:
1. What they contain
A Settlement Agreement is an agreement between the parties, and it can include anything that they are willing to agree to.
A Consent Order is an order issued by the CAT Mediator and can only include things that the CAT has the legal authority to order the Users to do.
Sometimes, the CAT may not have the legal authority to order the parties to do the things they are willing to agree on. In these cases, your Mediator may suggest that you resolve your case by the way of a settlement agreement, rather than a consent order.
2. What happens if the Users don’t follow them
If a party doesn’t comply with a settlement agreement, then the another party can file another case with the CAT asking for an order that requires them to comply.
If a party doesn’t comply with a consent order, then another party can enforce the order through the courts.
3. Whether they are published
Settlement Agreements are private and confidential and will not be published by the CAT.
Consent Orders are orders of the Tribunal and will be published and made publicly available by the CAT.
Moving to the Stage 3 – Tribunal Decision
If the Users are unable to resolve the issues in dispute with the help of the Mediator in Stage 2 – Mediation, the Mediator will allow the Applicant(s) to move the case to Stage 3 – Tribunal Decision.
The Applicant(s) can move the case to Stage 3 – Tribunal Decision only after the Mediator has given them permission. The primary Applicant must pay the $125 non-refundable fee to move the case to Stage 3 – Tribunal Decision.
If there are multiple Applicants, anyone can propose to move the case to Stage 3 – Tribunal Decision under the Questions and Requests tab. If all the other Applicants agree to move the case forward, then the Primary Applicant (the person who filed the case) can pay the $125 to move the case forward.
After the Stage 3 payment has been made, the Mediator will prepare a Stage 2 Summary and Order. This document will summarize the issues in dispute and may include any orders about procedures the Users must follow in Stage 3. The Stage 2 Summary and Order will not include any private or confidential information from the Mediation.
Stage 2 – Mediation
If you tried contacting an inactive Applicant but they aren’t responding, please contact the CAT by sending us an email at CATinfo@condoauthorityontario.ca.