Settle a dispute amicably sometimes avoids lengthy and costly procedures of the judicial system. Citizens can be assisted by a judicial mediator in civil disputes or an Ombudsman for administrative disputes.
The Ombudsman in civil matters
The judge of civil litigation has the right to propose to the parties to mediation. This procedure aims to ease tensions between the parties to reach a satisfactory compromise solution, on the whole case or only a portion.
Do not confuse this method with the conciliation.
How to appeal to a judicial mediator?
The judge initially offers mediation of the dispute.
If it is accepted by the parties, the judge assigned the case to a person (specially trained for this purpose) or association for a period of 3 months. The mediator may request the renewal of this time period.
Is the judicial mediation free?
No. The remuneration of the mediator (between €200 and €800) is determined by the judge at the end of his mission. The parties agree on the allocation of costs of such remuneration.
Failing agreement, the judge also allocates these costs on the two parties, unless it considers that this distribution is unfair to a party, in which case the fixed depending on the resources of each party.
What is the mission of the judicial mediator?
The mediator attempts to bring the parties to an agreement. It receives them, invites them to express their point of view and to listen to the other part. It has no powers of investigation. It can nevertheless, with the agreement of the parts and for the needs for the procedure, to hear the people who agree to it.
The mediator is bound to secrecy. We also expect him to make demonstrate neutrality. The mediator can not testify and thus reveal information that would collected in the mediation process. However, it is required to inform the court in case of difficulties related to the execution of his mission. The judge may decide to terminate the mission of the mediator.
Mediation may also be terminated at the request of the parties or the mediator, a judge’s decision initially.
What happens next?
When the mission is completed (either because of the occurrence of the delay or by decision of the judge), the mediator informs the judge of the solutions at which the parts arrived and, if necessary, of the absence of agreement between them.
In case of agreement between the parties, the judge approves it. The parties are now required to comply with the terms of the agreement and to fulfill the obligations contained therein.
Failing agreement, the judge takes the case on hand.
What are the benefits?
The Ombudsman is the equivalent of mediators for conflicts between administration and service with a mission of public service and individuals.
It is responsible for resolving disputes that could not reach an arrangement.
It can even contact the administration an injunction to comply with a court order and propose the amendment of certain texts.
Who can benefit?
The people in conflict with an administrative service when the malfunction of a service, of an unfair decision or refusing enforcement of a court decision.
It is necessary to have exhausted all the usual remedies and encountered a refusal of the administration in question before the Ombudsman.