Welcome to the Alternative Dispute Resolution Program
In recent years, courts across the country have experienced increasing demand for alternatives to litigation. Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) methods such as mediation, settlement facilitation and arbitration have proven successful in resolving a wide variety of disputes. By using these methods, people not only can save time and money, but also become more directly involved in the resolution of their dispute.
The Third District Court administers four ADR programs: one Domestic Relations Mediation program, and three civil programs including Settlement Facilitation, Arbitration and Water Law Mediation. The Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) administers the Children’s Court Mediation Program with the Regional Coordinator housed at the Third Judicial District Court.
In each ADR program, the pool of mediators/settlement facilitators consists of both practicing and non-practicing attorney as well as non-attorneys.
The court’s Local Rules: LR3-703 through LR3-710 outline the ADR Programs. All parties are required by the court to follow the local rules in pursuing their case.
Cases Generally Not Referred to ADR
The following case categories are generally not referred to the ADR Programs: 1) Student Loan; 2) Foreclosure with other issues; 3) Conservatorship; 4) Guardianship; 5) Adoption; 6) Petitions pursuant to the Mental Health and Development Disabilities Code; 7) Elections; 8) Tax; 9) Appeals, license suspensions, revocations and restorations; 10) Writ actions; 11) Cases where an order of protection was filed pursuant to the Family Violence Protection Act.
In special circumstances, where no party seeks relief other than a monetary judgment, not in excess of twenty-five thousand dollars, the court may refer the case to the ADR Programs.
For more information on the above programs please contact Lisa Betancourt at (575) 523-8267.