Code Section Group

Business and Professions Code - BPC

DIVISION 1. DEPARTMENT OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS [100 - 472.5]

  ( Heading of Division 1 amended by Stats. 1973, Ch. 77. )

CHAPTER 8. Dispute Resolution Programs [465 - 471.5]

  ( Chapter 8 added by Stats. 1986, Ch. 1313, Sec. 1. )

ARTICLE 3. Establishment and Administration of Programs [467 - 467.7]
  ( Article 3 added by Stats. 1986, Ch. 1313, Sec. 1. )

467.
  

(a) There is in the Division of Consumer Services of the Department of Consumer Affairs a Dispute Resolution Advisory Council. The advisory council shall complete the duties required by this chapter no later than January 1, 1989.

(b) The advisory council shall consist of seven persons, five of whom shall be appointed by the Governor. One member shall be appointed by the Senate Rules Committee, and one member shall be appointed by the Speaker of the Assembly. At least four of the persons appointed to the advisory council shall be active members of the State Bar of California, and at least four persons appointed to the advisory council shall have a minimum of two years of direct experience in utilizing dispute resolution techniques. The members of the advisory council shall reflect the racial, ethnic, sexual, and geographic diversity of the State of California.

(c) The members of the advisory council shall not receive a salary for their services but shall be reimbursed for their actual and necessary travel and other expenses incurred in the performance of their duties.

(Amended by Stats. 1987, Ch. 28, Sec. 1. Effective May 28, 1987.)

467.1.
  

(a) A program funded pursuant to this chapter shall be operated pursuant to contract with the county and shall comply with all of the requirements of this chapter and the rules and regulations of the advisory council.

(b) Counties may establish a program of grants to public entities and nonpartisan nonprofit corporations for the establishment and continuance of programs to be operated under the requirements of this chapter and the standards developed by the advisory council. The board of supervisors of a county in which, because of the county’s size, the distribution authorized by Section 470.5 is insufficient to establish a county program may enter into an agreement with the board of supervisors of one or more other such counties to establish a program authorized by this chapter on a regional basis.

(Amended by Stats. 2005, Ch. 75, Sec. 2. Effective July 19, 2005. Operative January 1, 2006, by Sec. 156 of Ch. 75.)

467.2.
  

A program shall not be eligible for funding under this chapter unless it meets all of the following requirements:

(a) Compliance with this chapter and the applicable rules and regulations of the advisory council.

(b) Provision of neutral persons adequately trained in conflict resolution techniques as required by the rules and regulations promulgated by the advisory council pursuant to Section 471.

(c) Provision of dispute resolution, on a sliding scale basis, and without cost to indigents.

(d) Provision that, upon consent of the parties, a written agreement or an award resolving a dispute will be issued setting out a settlement of the issues involved in the dispute and the future responsibilities of each party.

(e) Provision of neutral procedures applicable equally to all participants without any special benefit or consideration given to persons or entities providing funding for the programs.

(f) Provision that participation in the program is voluntary and that the parties are not coerced to enter dispute resolution.

(g) Provision of alternative dispute resolution is the primary purpose of the program.

(h) Programs operated by counties that receive funding under this chapter shall be operated primarily for the purposes of dispute resolution, consistent with the purposes of this chapter.

(Added by Stats. 1986, Ch. 1313, Sec. 1.)

467.3.
  

Programs funded pursuant to this chapter shall provide persons indicating an intention to utilize the dispute resolution process with a written statement prior to the dispute resolution proceeding, in language easy to read and understand, stating all of the following:

(a) The nature of the dispute.

(b) The nature of the dispute resolution process.

(c) The rights and obligations of the parties, including, but not limited to, all of the following:

(1) The right to call and examine witnesses.

(2) The right of the parties to be accompanied by counsel, who may participate as permitted under the rules and procedures of the program.

(d) The procedures under which the dispute resolution will be conducted.

(e) If the parties enter into arbitration, whether the dispute resolution process will be binding.

(Added by Stats. 1986, Ch. 1313, Sec. 1.)

467.4.
  

(a) An agreement resolving a dispute entered into with the assistance of a program shall not be enforceable in a court nor shall it be admissible as evidence in any judicial or administrative proceeding, unless the consent of the parties or the agreement includes a provision that clearly states the intention of the parties that the agreement or any resulting award shall be so enforceable or admissible as evidence.

(b) The parties may agree in writing to toll the applicable statute of limitations during the pendency of the dispute resolution process.

(Added by Stats. 1986, Ch. 1313, Sec. 1.)

467.5.
  

Notwithstanding the express application of Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 1115) of Division 9 of the Evidence Code to mediations, all proceedings conducted by a program funded pursuant to this chapter, including, but not limited to, arbitrations and conciliations, are subject to Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 1115) of Division 9 of the Evidence Code.

(Amended by Stats. 1997, Ch. 772, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 1998.)

467.6.
  

Each program shall maintain those statistical records required by Section 471.5, and as may be required by the county. The records shall maintain the confidentiality and anonymity of the parties.

(Added by Stats. 1986, Ch. 1313, Sec. 1.)

467.7.
  

(a) Unless the parties have agreed to a binding award, nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prohibit any person who voluntarily enters the dispute resolution process from revoking his or her consent, withdrawing from dispute resolution, and seeking judicial or administrative redress.

(b) In cases in which a criminal complaint has been filed by a prosecutor, other than for an infraction, the advice of counsel shall be obtained before any dispute resolution process is initiated. Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to preclude a defendant from knowingly and voluntarily waiving the right to counsel. A defendant who indicates a desire to waive the right to counsel shall be encouraged to consult with the public defender or private counsel before waiving that right.

(Added by Stats. 1986, Ch. 1313, Sec. 1.)

BPCBusiness and Professions Code - BPC3