Welcome to Alternative Dispute Resolution Programs

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.

Directions to Mediation Rooms

(Do Not Go To Judges' Courtroom)

Enter at Main Courthouse Entrance.

Turn right and proceed down the main hallway to the Domestic Clerk's Office to check in.

After checking in, turn and go back down the main hallway (as if you were leaving the building) and turn left at the first door/entrance after the restrooms to get on the elevator (or take the stairs) to the second floor. Go down the hallway in front of you, take a seat and someone will assist you.  

Payment of Fees

Each parent pays for three (3) hours of mediation which is non-refundable. If mediation lasts more than three hours, each parent pays the additional fee in one-hour increments. "Gross Income" equals all income before any withholding or deductions. District Court cannot accept personal checks. Payment may be made with cash, money order, or cashier's check at the time of the mediation session. There is no ATM in the Courthouse.

Mediation Sliding Fee Scale

Per Parent-Gross Income: Hourly Fee Rate:
If Less than $10,000 $5.00 per hour
$10,000 or more $10.00 per hour
$15,000 or more $15.00 per hour
$20,000 or more $20.00 per hour
$25,000 or more $30.00 per hour
$30,000 or more $40.00 per hour
$35,000 or more $50.00 per hour
$40,000 or more $60.00 per hour
$50,000 or more $70.00 per hour