MEDIATION – CIVIL
Appropriate cases may, upon completion of necessary pleadings or motions, be referred by the Judge or Magistrate to a mediator for a mediation conference. Mediation of civil cases is generally ordered at the First Telephone Status Conference.
In civil cases parties and their counsel are required to attend. Defendants need not attend if the claim is within the policy limits of their insurance. In all cases in which a party is insured and the insurance carrier is providing a defense, a representative of the insurance company with full authority to adjust the claim must attend.
BEGINNING FEBRUARY 1, 2009, PLAINTIFF(S) WILL BE ACCESSED A $100.00 MEDIATION FEE. The fee is to be deposited with the Clerk of Court's Office within 30 days of the filing of the Civil Trial Order.
Mediations are generally conducted in the Court's Mediation Center in the basement of the Huron County Office Building, 12 East Main Street, Norwalk (immediately next to the Courthouse).
MEDIATION - DOMESTIC
(Local Rule 67.01)
All parties to cases in which custody or visitation is at issue generally are required to participate in the Court's domestic relations mediation program. Mediation provides parents the opportunity to meet with a neutral third party to discuss possible agreements regarding their children that they can live with – instead of having the Judge or Magistrate tell the parents what the custody or visitation arrangements will be.
There is no additional cost to participate in the mediation program. Mediation sessions typically are scheduled by the Judge or Magistrate at the first pretrial hearing on a divorce or post-divorce matter. To minimize inconvenience to parents' work or school schedules, mediation sessions usually are set on Fridays and Saturdays.
The Court's contract mediator is Sandusky attorney Barry Vermeeren. Since 2003, nearly 3 out of every 4 cases submitted to mediation have resulted in successful agreements by the parents for their children.
If parties previously have been granted a divorce or dissolution by the Huron County Common Pleas Court and issues arise later on custody or visitation, they may request mediation even BEFORE a motion is filed. Both parents, however, must agree to the mediation before contacting the Court to schedule a mediation session for those cases.
The Court has a brochure available which will answer most questions about mediation. Please contact a member of the Court staff to obtain a copy.
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