Mandatory Mediation Starting April 27th

Posted By: Candy McVey Advocacy, Community, Industry,

Here is the language of the program:


§ 5702A. Residential eviction diversion program.

(a) (1) Not later than April 27, 2024, the Justice of the Peace Court or the Court’s designee shall establish a residential eviction diversion program to facilitate post-filing eviction dispute resolution between landlords and tenants, which must include all of the following:

a. An initial mediation conference between a landlord and tenant to facilitate an agreement for asserted rental agreement violations or nonpayment of rent.

b. A designated United States Housing and Urban Development certified housing counselor or other representative approved by the Justice of the Peace Court or the Court’s designee for the tenant that does all of the following:

1. Participates in the initial mediation conference.

2. Engages with the tenant before the initial mediation conference to educate and discuss available resources.

c. Any other dispute resolution methods established under the residential eviction diversion program.

(2) The Justice of the Peace Court or the Court’s designee may limit or otherwise modify the scope of services provided by the residential eviction diversion program to ensure that the cost of the program does not exceed the funding allocated to the program and to ensure that the number of staff required to run the program does not exceed the number of staff available.

(b) In designing and implementing the residential eviction diversion program, the Justice of the Peace Court or the Court’s designee may be guided by the Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Mediation Program established by the Superior Court under Superior Court Administrative Directive 2013-2 and any subsequent changes made by Superior Court.

(c) (1) Except as provided under paragraph (c)(2) of this section, after a landlord has filed an action for possession under this chapter, the case is to be scheduled for mediation. Mediation is to be scheduled during the period between filing and trial. A trial may not commence until the landlord has engaged in mediation, except in cases where a tenant fails to engage in mediation within 15 calendar days after service of process. Mediation must be scheduled and completed at least 48 hours before the trial date. A tenant’s failure to engage in or complete mediation may not delay the scheduling or commencement of trial.

(2) A landlord may not be required to participate in the residential eviction diversion program in a proceeding under §§ 5115 or 5513(b) or (c) of this title, or where the landlord alleges and by substantial evidence demonstrates to the Court that a tenant has caused or threatens to cause substantial or irreparable harm to landlord’s or other tenant’s person or property.