DEALERS AND SALESMEN LICENSING
49-1617A. MEDIATION of disputes. (1) All disputes between a manufacturer or a distributor and a new vehicle dealer alleging a violation of any provision of this chapter or any other provision of Idaho law are subject to mediation as provided for in this section. A demand for mediation must be served on the adverse party before the filing of the objection, protest, complaint, or petition or the bringing of the action. A demand for mediation must be in writing and served on the adverse party by certified mail, return receipt requested, or by overnight delivery service that provides proof of delivery at an address designated for the party in the records of the complainant. The demand for mediation must contain a brief statement of the dispute and the relief sought by the complainant filing the demand.
(2) Within twenty (20) days after the date a demand for mediation is served, the parties shall mutually select an independent mediator and meet with that mediator for the purpose of attempting to resolve the dispute. If the parties are unable to agree on a mediator, a party may apply to a district judge of the district court for the county in which the dealership is located for appointment of a mediator. The meeting place must be within this state in a location selected by the mediator in proximity to the place of business of a party domiciled in this state. The mediator may extend the date of the meeting for good cause shown by either party or on the stipulation of both parties.
(3) The service of a demand for mediation under subsection (1) stays the time for the filing of any objection, protest, complaint, or petition with the department or for bringing an action until the representatives of both parties have met with a mutually selected or appointed mediator for the purpose of attempting to resolve the dispute. If an objection, protest, complaint, or petition is filed before the meeting, the department or the court shall enter an order suspending the proceeding or action until the meeting has occurred and may, on the written stipulation of all parties to the proceeding or action that they wish to continue to mediate under this section, enter an order suspending the proceeding or action for as long a period as the department or court considers to be appropriate. A suspension order issued under this subsection may be revoked on motion of any party or on motion of the department or the court.
(4) The department shall encourage dealers, manufacturers, and distributors to establish a panel of mediators who have the character, ability, and training to serve as mediators and who have knowledge of the motor vehicle industry.
(5) A mediator shall be immune from civil liability for any good faith act or omission within the scope of the mediator’s performance of the mediator’s powers and duties under this chapter. An act or omission of a mediator is presumed to be a good faith act or omission. This presumption may be overcome only by clear and convincing evidence.
[49-1617A, added 2023, ch. 122, sec. 4, p. 354.]