Mediation is a mandatory process in many jurisdictions before civil suits go through the court system to allow the parties to come to a settlement, mainly because suits tend to get settled later on in the court process, wasting valuable resources and clogging up the court system.
This week, Hough’s lawsuit was heard in court, and a judge referred the matter to mediation for the parties to see if it can be settled or if they still wanted to pursue it in court.
Hough, who was the rape victim in the 1994 case that saw Petty going to jail for raping her, sued Petty and his now-wife Nicki Minaj for unspecified damages claiming that the couple had harassed her by attempting to entice her with money and gifts to recant her rape allegation and allegedly intimidated her with threats and caused her emotional distress.
Minaj was later dropped from the lawsuit, but Petty and Hough remain in court and will now go through court-mandated mediation as directed by Judge James R. Cho.
“The case is referred to Court-annexed mediation,” the judge noted in the orders granted, according to Allhiphop. “Parties to select a mediator by 12/20/2022 and complete mediation by 3/6/2023. Parties may participate in the mediation remotely.”
The plaintiff and defendant will need to submit a “joint status report” two weeks after completing the mediation before or by March 20, 2023.
During this time, the judge’s order noted that the parties will also attempt to discuss a settlement of the matter and would be allowed to have “limited written discovery that would facilitate settlement discussions.”
If they are unable to find common ground or settle the case, the matter will then go to trial.
In the meantime, the judge also set court dates for disclosure on January 9, 2023, and in the meantime, as mediation goes on, discovery, expert witnesses, and other evidence must be concluded by September 5, 2023.
In the meantime, Petty has maintained that he was innocent of the charges and did not get a fair trial due to his age and being unrepresented. Earlier this year, an audio recording from Hough was also leaked, where she appeared to confirm the claims by Petty.
The husband of Nicki Minaj and father of her son, Petty Kenneth, is now suing the State of New York for his wrongful conviction. The rape case has been an albatross on Petty’s neck as he has been haunted by the regulations as a sex offender. Petty was sentenced to 1 year of suspended sentence at home due to failure to register as a sex offender when he moved from New York to California in 2019 to be with his wife.