Alternative Dispute Resolution

Duval County Courthouse
501 West Adams Street, Room 2169
Jacksonville, Florida   32202

MISSION STATEMENT

The mission of The State of Florida's Fourth Judicial Circuit Alternative Dispute Resolution Unit is to help parties reach fair, timely and cost-effective out-of-court resolutions.
In providing the above services, The State of Florida's Fourth Judicial Circuit Alternative Dispute Resolution Unit will at all times demonstrate fairness through our commitment to the following principles in every case we handle:
 
            IMPARTIALITY: To ensure each party is treated fairly and equally.
           
            RESPECT: To show respect to each party for each party’s position.
 
            PATIENCE: To ensure each party has had a meaningful and adequate opportunity to be heard.
 
            CONCERN: To the extent humanly possible, to see that justice is served.
 

GOALS AND OBJECTIVES

Mediation is an informal process whereby a neutral and impartial third person acts to encourage and facilitate a mutually acceptable agreement made by the parties. The Alternative Dispute Resolution Unit, in the 4th Judicial Circuit of Florida, is a court-connected mediation program. The goal of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Unit is to provide pre-trial alternative dispute resolution services to litigants who are involved in County, Family and Dependency cases that have disputed issues. The Alternative Dispute Resolution Unit strives to ensure that alternative resolution services are available to litigants with limited income, provide an efficient and economical alternative to resolving contested issues in cases filed with the court, provide litigants with an opportunity to negotiate a settlement agreement in a non-adversarial environment, reduce the financial and emotional costs of litigation and to support mediation and alternative dispute programs in the community.
                                        

Family Mediation                                              

All self-represented (pro se) litigants, as well as qualifying attorney-represented litigants, who file a family law case that involves contested issues will be court ordered to attend mediation at the Alternative Dispute Resolution Unit.  Mediation is a confidential court process.  If the parties self-determine and are able to reach an agreement concerning issues of the case, a typed mediation agreement will be crafted by the mediator and signed by all involved parties.  The signed mediated agreement will be filed with the court. The Fourth Judicial Circuit serves Duval, Clay, and Nassau counties.

DUVAL and NASSAU COUNTY SCHEDULING: (904) 255 -1120; FAX (904) 255-1121
CLAY COUNTY SCHEDULING: (904) 278 -3783
HOURS: Monday through Friday 8:30am - 5:00 pm

County Mediation 

County Mediation offers a forum for solving conflicts before going to court.  Mediation is offered during the Pre Trial sessions of Small Claims in Duval, Clay and Nassau Counties.  Cases are referred by the Judge at that time.  The parties may also request that their case be heard by a mediator.
County Mediation has a group of volunteers that have been trained and certified by the Supreme Court of Florida to assist the Fourth Judicial Circuit by mediating cases during the Pre Trial Session, there are no mediation fees for Small Claims cases, this service is offered free to the parties.
The County Mediation Program also mediates County Civil Cases which are referred by and order from the presiding Judge.  These cases are scheduled and an order and a scheduled date and time is mailed to the parties.

DUVAL and NASSAU COUNTY SCHEDULING: (904) 255 -1090; FAX (904) 255-1121 
CLAY COUNTY SCHEDULING: (904) 278 -3783
HOURS: Monday through Friday 8:30am - 5:00 pm
                                                                                                                                                               

CANCELLATION POLICY:  
A 48 hour prior notice of settlement or cancellation is required. 
If less than 48 hours the mediation fee will
be charged and due by the parties.