About the ADR Program
Before any civil action can be taken regarding a dispute relating to governing documents of a common-interest community (homeowners association), the disputing parties must complete the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) process under Nevada Revised Statues (NRS) 38. Further, if a homeowner association provides a scheme of dispute resolution, that procedure must be exhausted before submitting an ADR claim to the Nevada Real Estate Division, Office of the Ombudsman.
The ADR programs include:
• The Referee Program
1. The Referee Program – The referee program allows disputing parties to present their case to an independent referee. Both parties must agree to participate in the program in order to proceed. The referee can bring the parties together, listen to both sides of the dispute, review the evidence and governing documents and then make a non-binding decision on the matter. The referee is authorized to make monetary awards of up to $7,500. The referee may not award attorneys’ fees. The parties may then proceed to civil court if they wish to pursue the matter further.
2. Mediation – As of October 1, 2013, NRS 38 mandates that mediation is the default method of resolution, should both parties not agree to participate in the referee program. The parties to the mediation provide the mediator a statement and relevant documents pertaining to the dispute, including a statement concerning an acceptable resolution. The mediator works with the parties to resolve the dispute with a written agreement.
3. Non-Binding or Binding Arbitration –This option is available if mediation fails and both parties agree to proceed through either form of arbitration in lieu of initiating a claim through civil court. Each of the parties has an opportunity to present his or her case and witnesses, if any. The arbitrator upon conclusion of the hearing renders a decision, after which either party may proceed to civil court.
For detailed instructions on the ADR process, go to Form 523 – Residential Common Interest Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Overview. Also posted are all other forms utilized in the ADR process .