The New York State Unified Court System is committed to ensuring a quality process for all participants in a court-referred mediation. As a part of this commitment, this Mediator Complaint Process is available for anyone who has concerns about their court-referred mediator. Please follow the steps outlined below to make a complaint about your court-referred mediator.
- Contact the Court’s ADR Coordinator. The Coordinator will help you with your concern. The Coordinator may discuss your complaint with other court staff and with the mediator. If the Coordinator cannot help you to resolve your concern in a way that you agree with, then you can make a written complaint. Find the email address for your ADR Coordinator.
- Make a Written Complaint Using the Mediator Complaint Form. You may request the complaint form from the ADR Coordinator or access it on the court’s website. Return the completed and signed complaint form to the ADR Coordinator by email or U.S. Mail. When the Coordinator receives the Form, the Coordinator will notify you and share a copy of it with your mediator and the local District Administrative Judge.
Please do not use this complaint process if your complaint is about the mediator’s fee; about something other than the mediator’s behavior or actions; or if it is after 60 days from the date that you last mediated or spoke with your mediator.
Exception to the 60-day restriction: if you discovered the mediator misconduct after the 60 days, you can make your complaint and also explain why you were unable to discover the alleged misconduct until after 60 days from the date you last mediated or spoke with the mediator.
The District Administrative Judge will review your complaint and make a decision in a way the District Administrative Judge thinks is appropriate. The District Administrative Judge may contact the mediator, you, the other person in your case, court staff, or the local ADR Coordinator. The District Administrative Judge can also ask a committee of mediation experts for recommendations.
Types of Decisions
The District Administrative Judge can decide that the mediator should:
- Take further training; and/ or
- Be observed mediating by an experienced mediator; and/ or
- Stop mediating for the court until the mediator gets more training, experience or guidance; and/ or
- Stop mediating for the court completely;
The District Administrative Judge can also make other decisions about the mediator.
After the District Administrative Judge Makes a Decision
Once the District Administrative Judge makes a decision, the Coordinator will notify you. The District Administrative Judge’s decision is final.