The Delaware County Common Pleas Court General Division is piloting a mediation program for civil cases.  The details of the program are listed below.  The court intends to assess the pilot program to determine whether it should be implemented as a continuing program at the court. The pilot mediation program could be modified, suspended, or terminated by the court at any time.

Local Rule 41: The court, parties, and mediators will comply with all the provisions set forth in Local Rule 41

Referral for Mediation: Any civil case may be referred to mediation based on a party’s motion and the approval of the court.  The party’s motion should expressly reference the parties’ intention to participate in the court’s pilot mediation program.  The assigned judge may also refer any civil case for mediation.  Parties may suggest a mediator from the approved mediator list, but the court will make the final selection and appointment of the mediator.

Screening Process: The parties interested in participating in the mediation pilot program should submit the pre-screening mediation questionnaire by emailing, faxing, or mailing it to the appointed mediator.  The answers to this questionnaire will be kept strictly confidential and will not be shared with the court, attorneys, or other parties.  This screening is conducted to comply with Sup. Rule 16.24.  Additionally, the mediator will conduct a verbal screening the day of the mediation.

Mediator List: The court will maintain and make available to interested parties a list of approved mediators.

Timeline for Mediation: After a case has been referred to mediation, the mediation should be completed within 90 days.  Mediators should report the result of the mediation within 10 business days following the mediation session.

Cost of Mediation: The court will pay the approved mediator for the actual time spent in the matter, up to 8 hours of mediation time.  In the event the mediator or the parties would like to request that the court pay for additional mediation time, they may file a motion with the court prior to incurring those expenses. 

Private Mediation: This program does not prevent parties from utilizing a private mediator at their own expense. In order for the mediation cost to be covered under this pilot program, the parties must file a motion, receive approval from the court, and utilize a mediator from the court-approved mediator list.