Everything you need to know about court connected family mediation in Toronto in 2022-23!
We have our year-end stats and they tell a great story.
Our onsite case loads dropped during the pandemic by far less than the provincial average. We believe this is because we were able to pivot quickly to effective online mediation in all three courts. (361 University for the Superior Court of Justice, and 311 Jarvis St and 47 Sheppard Ave for the Ontario Courts of Justice.).
Almost all mediations took place via Zoom, though we are now mediating in person in each court when needed.
Our onsite mediations are fairly complex with most involving more than one issue. Settlement rates are far higher than the provincial average in both OCJ courts, and just below the provincial average in the SCJ, largely, we believe, due to the matters mediated there.
In both the SCJ and at 311 Jarvis, referrals from the bench are higher than the provincial average; at 47 Sheppard referrals come equally from the bench, advice and duty counsel and first appearance.
Not surprisingly, the number one issue mediated in all three courts is parenting time. Issues commonly mediated in the SCJ include property division, child support and spousal support whereas in the OCJs they include contact, child support, s. 7 expenses and travel.
Referrals being made to us are generally appropriate for mediation: our rate for closing files at intake due to matters being inappropriate for mediation in all three courts is considerably lower than the provincial average.
All in all, it was a great year thanks to a wonderful team of onsite mediators and information and referral coordinators supporting them!
Here is a quick overview of the statistics across the province:
- Judges are the #1 referral source for court-connected mediation in Ontario (35.9%), followed by parties self-referring (18.5%) and then lawyers in third place.(17.8%)
- The largest percentage of cases are mediated at the case conference stage, (33%) followed by at the first court date (17.4%), and then at a settlement conference.(12.7%)
- Most mediations take place in the OCJ courts, followed by the UFC, then a much smaller percentage in the SCJ.
- 19 % of all files are closed at intake, the main reason being one or both parties were not interested (40.2%). In distant second place is “other” followed by too high conflict. A very small percentage are closed at intake due to family violence.
- Parenting time is the most commonly mediated issue (24.3%) followed by child support, (16.8%) decision-making responsibility, (15%)“other”, section 7 expenses and travel.
- Almost 55% of all files are fully resolved, with 25% reaching a partial agreement.
Here is a summary of how we did!
- We mediated 79 files, each averaging two issues. 42% were fully resolved, and 25 % partially resolved, for a 67% rate of one or all issues being resolved.
- We have a higher judicial referral rate than the Ontario average ((56%) and also a higher lawyer-referral rate at 19%.
- Our rate of files closed at intake is considerably lower than the provincial average (just 4% compared to 19%).
- Matters are referred at case conferences 30% of the time, settlement conferences 25% of the time and trial management conferences 16% of the time.
- We mediate a broad range of issues in the SCJ including ‘other’ (22%); parenting time (17.6%), child support, property division, (both around 12%); and contact, spousal support and decision-making at around 6-7% each.
OCJ: 311 Jarvis St.
- We mediated 55 files, each file presenting about two issues. We have an incredible full settlement rate of 72% at 311 Jarvis!
- 40% of referrals are from the bench, followed by 25% from counsel and 13% self-referred.
- Only 4% of all files are closed at intake.
- 52% of mediations occur at the case conference stage, 19% at a settlement conference and 14% at a trial management conference.
- The main issues mediated are parenting time (28%), “other” (14%), and contact child support, decision-making and travel each about 12%.
OCJ: 47 Sheppard Ave
- We mediated 114 files, each with over two issues per file.
- Our full settlement rate is almost 71%, with another 19% partially resolved, representing a total 91% full or partial settlement rate.
- Referrals at 47 Sheppard are divided more or less evenly among Advice/Duty counsel, First Appearance court, counsel, the judiciary and self-referrals.
- 46% of mediations occur at case conferences, followed by 31% at first appearance and 10% at settlement conferences.
- About 12% of files are closed at intake.
- The issues mediated at 47 Sheppard are 25% parenting time, 19% other, 12% contact, followed by decision-making, child support, s. 7 expenses and travel.