Oct 17, 2020

Court Refuses to Order Mediation Despite Parties' Agreement

Otte v Otte, 2020 BCSC 1408 (CanLII)

In Otte v. Otte 2020 BCSC 1408 the parties agreed to retain a specified arbitrator to conduct a med/arb.

When the husband later declined to participate, because of a lack of financial information, his wife brought an application to the court to enforce their agreement, and to waive the necessity of a Judicial Case Conference (“JCC”), a mandatory settlement conference with a Supreme Court Judge or Master.

The Rules of Court provide that no applications, with a few urgent exceptions, may be brought to the court, until a JCC has taken place.

The Court refused the wife’s application to waive the JCC noting that their current dispute did not bode well for a successful med/arb, and that to forgo an alternative, free, settlement conference was not appropriate.

The Court also declined to enforce the agreement to attend med/arb stating that mediation is a consensual process, refusing to make an order compelling mediation.