MEDIATION PROGRAMS

In the Otsego County Courts there are two types of mediation programs available. The first program is VOLUNTARY mediation and the second type is COURT ORDERED MEDIATION

VOLUNTARY MEDIATION

What do you do when...

  • Barking dogs, noise, garbage, abandoned cars, boundary disputes or parking problems put you at odds with your neighbors?
  • You have arguments that never seem to get resolved with family, house mates or coworkers?
  • You are having trouble with your landlord/tenant over security deposits, repairs or damages?
  • You are involved in any relationship and need help resolving differences?

Community Mediation Services is a program to help you find solutions to your problems. It can be an alternative to the hassle and expense of going to court. It is a way to solve arguments and disputes through mediation.


Community Mediation Services is a mediation program funded by community donations and by a grant from the Michigan State Court Administrative Office.


Community Mediation Services helps people find ways to settle their own problems in mutually-acceptable ways. You and those with whom you are disputing can all agree to meet with a neutral person (a mediator) in a confidential manner and place.


During the meeting, the disputants will have the opportunity to explain the problem as they see it and present ideas for settling the dispute.


The mediator will listen carefully to all parties. S/he is not a judge. S/he does not decide who is right and who is wrong in the matter. S/he will only assist the parties involved in reaching and writing a settlement which is agreeable to everyone.


Mediators are volunteers from the community who have completed a state-approved training program and are certified. Mediators have been trained to help people hear each other's points of view and to help disputing parties reach common ground.


If mediation takes place, each party is asked to make a $20 donation or whatever s/he can afford to help cover operational costs. NO ONE will be turned away if s/he is unable to make a donation.

TO CONTACT COMMUNITY MEDIATION SERVICES

Call 1-800-8-RESOLVE (1-800-873-7658). Your call will be automatically transferred to the intake person for community mediation in your county.


Community Mediation Services is not intended for disputes involving serious violence, alcohol or drugs, or those requiring legal assistance such as filing lawsuits, criminal defenses, wills, etc.


If your dispute is not suited for Community Mediation Services, you will be provided with other referrals in the community which might be better suited to help you.

COURT ORDERED MEDIATION

The Court may submit to mediation any civil action in which the relief sought is primarily money damages or division of property.


After a lawsuit is filed in court and an answer is filed with the Clerk of the Court, mediation of tort cases filed in the Circuit Court is mandatory. The judge orders a case to mediation at the pre-trial hearing. The Court may except for action from mediation on motion for good cause if it finds that mediation of that action would be inappropriate.


Mediators under this program are qualified attorneys for mediation.


The mediation clerk assigns mediators to panels based on a blind draw system.


After a case is mediated, each party has 28 days to either accept or reject the mediation finding. If the parties accept the mediation finding, the case is settled and closed. If the mediation finding is rejected, the case will proceed to trial before the assigned judge.


The COURT ORDERED mediation clerk can be contacted at 989-731-0224.