The 33rd District Court has adopted a Mediation Program for certain General Civil and Landlord/Tenant cases. Mediation is an effective method of resolving disputes that provides parties with the opportunity to reach mutually-satisfactory agreements in a non-adversarial manner.
Please read the following information about the 33rd District Court’s Mediation Program, including a description process, a procedural overview and a summary of your procedural options.
What is Mediation?
The Michigan Court Rules define “mediation” as a process in which a neutral third party (mediator) facilitates communication between parties, assists in identifying issues, and helps to explore solutions to promote a mutually-acceptable settlement. Unlike litigation, where one party wins and one loses, mediation helps parties reach their own mutually-satisfactory resolution in a non-adversarial manner.
Benefits of Mediation
The decision-making process belongs to you. You decide how to best resolve your dispute; unlike going to court, no one judges your problem and tells you what to do.
It works. Thousands of cases have been successfully mediated to all parties’ satisfaction. Mediation is a “win/win” rather than a “win/lose” solution. In court, someone wins and someone loses.
It’s effective. About 80% of all mediated cases end in agreement. In fact, the likelihood of settling a dispute to both parties’ satisfaction through mediation is much higher than in small claims court. Mediation also reduces the likelihood that the problem will occur again.
Who Will Mediate My Case?
The 33rd District Court has a referral agreement with the Wayne Mediation Center to conduct mediation. There is a $75 fee to each of the parties for mediation conducted by the Center, payable at least thirty (30) days prior to the date Mediation is scheduled. Indigent parties may qualify for waiver of filing fees under MCR 2.002.
All mediators used by the Center meet or exceed the qualifications required under the Michigan Court Rules. Mediators have completed a 40 hour training program approved by the State Court Administrative Office and either are attorneys or have a graduate degree in conflict resolution or have 40 hours of mediation experience over a two-year period.
The parties may agree upon a mediator of their choice. The parties must notify the Court within 14 days from the date of the Order for Mediation the name of the mediator selected. A copy of the list of qualified mediators from the Mediation Tribunal is available upon request.
What Happens at Mediation?
When you appear at the Court on the date scheduled for Mediation, the mediator will review the case with you. Both sides will have an opportunity to discuss their views about the case. The mediator will assist in negotiations to find a solution that satisfies the needs of all parties. Mediators may speak with each party privately to explore alternatives, if it is reasonable or necessary.
Mediation is confidential and mediators can neither be called as witnesses nor have their records subpoenaed if the case is not resolved at mediation.
Parties appearing on this date must have authority to settle the case. If the parties agree to a settlement, the mediator will write the terms of the settlement on a judgment form and ask both sides to sign it. The judge will review the judgment and sign it, thereby making the agreement binding upon both parties.
If both sides do not agree to a settlement, the case will proceed to trial before the judge.
If you have any questions about the 33rd District Court Mediation Program,
please contact the Civil Division at 734-671-0225