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Alex J. Esq.
Alex J. Esq., Attorney at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 16558
Experience:  Licensed experienced Attorney
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I initiated a small claims lawsuit after asking ex to return

Customer Question

I initiated a small claims lawsuit after asking ex to return my personal items from his home and he refused. Ex and I signed a confidential mediation agreement on items between us after our marriage was annulled. Additional personal items are in ex's father's possession and I asked ex's father to return, as ex had told me that his father would take care of it. Ex's father would not return my personal items. Now ex is trying to use the confidential mediation agreement in court trying to prove that I am harrassing his father, that there is a signed agreement between he, that our money issues are settled...I don't even know why ex is involved at this point as the items are in the possession of his father. Can you tell me if the confidential mediation agreement can be used like he is doing? Thank you.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Alex J. Esq. replied 5 years ago.
Hello. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will be happy to answer your question.

Does the agreement that was reached during mediation clearly states that it is confidential?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Yes, the mediation agreement states that anything said during, notes were collected, not to be used in any further legal matters, mediator can't testify, neither party can testify in a court proceedings about any discussion; AZ state law also states that confidential mediation agreements can't be used...there is a state statute
Expert:  Alex J. Esq. replied 5 years ago.
Well the agreement is a legally binding contract.

So while anything that was said or exhibited during the mediation can not be used as evidence in court, the actual agreement itself if breached, would not be confidential, because if it was it would have no binding effect on the parties who agreed to it, as the agreement would not be admissible in court.

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Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Ok, I don't know if I understood that answer....at first I an interpreting the drafted agreement could be used, but at the end of your answer I interpret that it can't. Maybe this will help for my own clarification.

 

The first line under the Confidentiality statement is a statement that says that the mediation is confidential: communications made, materials created for and acts ocurring the mediation are confidential...I'm assuming that is indicating that the agreement, as it was a material created, is not admissable in any further court proceeding.

 

A judge should automatically not accept this, correct? Attorneys should know this, correct? So why would an attorney include in discovery documents along with ex trying to get it admitted?

Expert:  Alex J. Esq. replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for asking me to clarify my answer.

While any negotiations and other facts and materials related to the mediation process are confidential and not admissible in court, the AGREEMENT that was entered into as a result of the mediation is legally binding and admissible in court.

If you are satisfied with my answer, I would appreciate if you would click on the accept button.
Please keep in mind if you already made a deposit or on a monthly subscription plan you will not incur any additional charges, but I will only be compensated for my time and effort only if you click on ACCEPT.

Bonus and positive feedback are always greatly appreciated!
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

 

Well, then we go to one final question....if the mediation agreement is with my ex and his father has possession of my personal items does the mediation agreement have any bearing on my lawsuit of getting my items returned from ex's father?

Expert:  Alex J. Esq. replied 5 years ago.
Yes, if it can be reasonably shown that the items over which you are suing your ex's father are covered under the agreement that was made between you and your ex.

If you are satisfied with my answer, I would appreciate if you would click on the accept button.
Please keep in mind if you already made a deposit or on a monthly subscription plan you will not incur any additional charges, but I will only be compensated for my time and effort only if you click on ACCEPT.

Bonus and positive feedback are always greatly appreciated!
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

 

Ok, I'm sorry, I don't understand again...if my ex left me a voicemail stating that his dad had possession of my truck and my jet ski, these items can still be challenged---these items were/are in a totally different location where his father is and he is not....does that make a difference, or is the agreement that I signed during mediation going to preclude me from getting the items returned...that's what I think you may be indicating.

Expert:  replied 5 years ago.
Unfortunately you are asking me for specific legal advice based on an agreement that I have never seen or read, not counting the fact that I am strictly prohibited from providing JustAnswer.com customers with any type of legal advice/opinion and as a legal expert I am only able to offer an answer contaning legal information based on the common principal of law, as had been disclosed to you and you have agreed to before viewing my answer.

So I would suggest that you consult with a local attorney who would be able to review the agreement that you entered into at mediation and determine whether in that attorney's view the contract is relevant or not to your current claim against the ex's father.

If you are satisfied with my answer, I would appreciate if you would click on the accept button.
Please keep in mind if you already made a deposit or on a monthly subscription plan you will not incur any additional charges, but I will only be compensated for my time and effort only if you click on ACCEPT.

Bonus and positive feedback are always greatly appreciated!

Alex J. Esq. and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

 

 

Oh, didn't realize that I was asking for that specific of advice...agreement states that ex and I have nothing of each other's and do not owe each other any money. If I had ever thought that included my items in his father's possession I would never have signed...Thank you for your time. :)

Expert:  Alex J. Esq. replied 5 years ago.
No problem. Also keep in mind that you will be able to have your day in court and to state your position to the judge and I wish you best of luck!

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