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In re K.W.F.

Court of Appeals of Texas, Fourteenth District

November 30, 2017

IN THE INTEREST OF K.W.F., A CHILD, Appellant

         On Appeal from the 25th District Court Colorado County, Texas Trial Court Cause No. 24072

          ABATEMENT ORDER

          PER CURIAM

         Appellant filed an unopposed motion for abatement and referral to mediation. We have determined that this case is appropriate for referral to mediation, an alternative dispute resolution process. See Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code §§ 154.021-.073. Accordingly, the motion is granted.

         Mediation is a forum in which an impartial person, the mediator, facilitates communication between parties to promote reconciliation or settlement. Id. § 154.023(a). Any communication relating to the subject matter of the appeal made by a participant in the mediation proceeding is confidential. See id. § 154.053. After mediation, the parties shall advise the court whether the case settled and, if not, whether any further negotiation efforts are planned.

         The court ORDERS the appeal ABATED through January 22, 2018 and refers the underlying dispute to mediation. Any party may file a written objection to this order with the clerk of this court within 10 days of the date of this order. See Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 154.022. If this court finds that there is a reasonable basis for the objection, the objection shall be sustained and the appeal reinstated on this court's active docket. See id.

         The court ORDERS that the mediation be held on or before January 22, 2018. The court ORDERS that all parties or their representatives with full settlement authority shall attend the mediation process, with their counsel of record. The court FURTHER ORDERS that within 48 hours of completion of the mediation, the parties shall advise the court in writing whether the case settled.

         If mediation fully resolves the issues in the case, the court ORDERS the parties to file a motion to dismiss the appeal, other dispositive motion, or a motion for additional time to file the dispositive motion, within 10 days of the conclusion of the mediation.

         The court ORDERS the appellate timetable in this case suspended through January 22, 2018.

         The appeal is ABATED, treated as a closed case, and removed from this court's active docket through January 22, 2018. The appeal will be reinstated on this court's active docket after January 22, 2018. Any party may file a motion stating grounds for reinstating the appeal before the end of the abatement period.

         Any party may also file a motion to dismiss the appeal or other dispositive motion at any time. Any party may file a motion to extend the abatement period for completion of mediation or to finalize a settlement.

         RULES FOR MEDIATION

         i. Definition of Mediation. Mediation is a process under which an impartial person, the mediator, facilitates communication between the parties to promote reconciliation, settlement or understanding among them. The mediator may suggest ways of resolving the disputes, but may not impose his own judgment on the issues for that of the parties.

         ii. Agreement of Parties. Whenever the parties have agreed to mediation they shall be deemed to have made these rules, as amended and in effect as of the date of the submission of the dispute, a part of their agreement to mediate.

         iii.Consent to Mediator. The parties consent to the appointment of the individual named as mediator in their case. The Mediator shall act as an advocate for resolution and shall use his best efforts to assist the ...


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