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Frequently Asked Questions


What is Online Dispute Resolution (ODR)?
Why is the Court using ODR?
Am I required to use ODR?
What are the advantages in using ODR?
If I use ODR, do I still have to go to court for the Pretrial Conference?
Is there a charge for ODR?
How do I negotiate a settlement using ODR?
What is the role of an attorney in ODR?
Are negotiations in ODR confidential?
Is there anyone else who would assist me when I use ODR?
What is mediation?
What is the Role of a Mediator?
Is there a charge for mediation?
What are the qualifications of the mediators?
What are the advantages of mediation?
Is mediation required?
What do I need to participate in ODR?


What is Online Dispute Resolution (ODR)?

It is an online platform that is used by parties in a small claims lawsuit to negotiate a settlement by communicating directly with each other. To use ODR, parties and attorneys use their smartphone, computer, or tablet at any time prior to the Pretrial Conference, including evenings and weekends. By using this platform, you may be able to settle your case and file the agreement with the Court. If that is done, you would not be required to attend the Pretrial Conference at the courthouse.

Why is the Court using ODR?

The Florida Supreme Court established goals to promote the use of innovation and alternative dispute resolution processes.  It also is modernizing court processes through automation and expanded self-service options for court users.  ODR is also consistent with the judicial branch’s vision that justice will be accessible, fair, effective, responsive, and accountable.

Am I required to use ODR?

Effective with filings on or after May 15, 2020, parties of most Brevard County small claims cases are required to use ODR in an attempt to negotiate a settlement. These are cases in which the plaintiff is represented by counsel and the defendant is not represented by counsel.  PIP actions or lawsuits involving an insurance carrier are excluded from this requirement. Each party may opt out of ODR by filing a motion with the Court for the Judge’s approval.  (Reference Brevard County Administrative Order 20-26B below)

ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER NO.: 20-26-Bopens PDF file

What are the advantages in using ODR?

Using ODR allows parties the opportunity to settle their case at their convenience, using their smartphone, computer, or tablet. They can work online to negotiate from any location and at any time, including evenings and weekends. If an agreement is reached using ODR, and it is filed with the court as required, neither party will have to appear in court on the Pretrial Conference date.

If I use ODR, do I still have to go to court for the Pretrial Conference?

If you reach an agreement via ODR, and the agreement is promptly E-filed by the plaintiff, you do not have to appear for the Pretrial Conference. If no agreement is reached, you must appear at your Pretrial Conference.

Is there a charge for ODR?

It is free!  There is no charge to either party for ODR negotiation or for the assistance of a mediator.

How do I negotiate a settlement using ODR?

The plaintiff (the person who filed the lawsuit) and the defendant (the person being sued) would sign onto the ODR platform and submit an offer to settle the case.  They do not have to be on the platform at the same time.  Negotiation is a process for parties to find common ground to reach a settlement that satisfies both of them.  After each party signs in, they should follow the instructions on the screen which guides them through the process. There will also be a link to request a mediator by either party.

What is the role of an attorney in ODR?

If a party is represented by an attorney, that attorney would negotiate on behalf of his/her client.  Parties do not need an attorney to use ODR. However, parties have a right to retain independent counsel.

Are negotiations in ODR confidential?

Yes, the negotiations between the parties are not disclosed to the Court.

Is there anyone else who would assist me when I use ODR?

A mediator is available to assist both parties as a facilitator of the negotiation. A mediator can aid in the communication between the parties but does not give legal advice or represent either party.


What is mediation?

Mediation is an informal, non-adversarial process in which a neutral, third party (mediator) facilitates and encourages the resolution of a dispute. Parties have an opportunity to actively participate in the decision-making process. If they reach a settlement, they can avoid the expense and uncertainty of a trial in which a judge decides the result.

What is the Role of a Mediator?

The mediator guides the communication process between the parties. Conflicts are discussed and various solutions are explored in an effort to reach a satisfactory agreement. The mediator may offer suggestions and help parties develop options to resolve the issues, but the final decisions are made by the parties.

Is there a charge for mediation?

It is free!  There is no charge to either party for a mediator.

What are the qualifications of the mediators?

Our mediators are Florida Supreme Court Certified mediators. They have achieved this certification by attending a mediation course and mentoring with other certified mediators. They are required to have continuing mediation education every two years to maintain their certification. Many mediators have multiple certifications and a broad range of business experience, consistent with the types of cases they mediate.

What are the advantages of mediation?

The mediation process is voluntary, and typically encourages better communication between the parties. Mediation is confidential. Parties actively participate in the decisions that will affect them. Mediation can often save the time, money, and stress that is usually associated with a trial. Parties determine the outcome of the case, and they can avoid the uncertainty of a trial.

Is mediation required?

No, mediation is optional in the ODR platform. Parties may choose not to participate in mediation while in the ODR platform. However, at Pretrial Conference, the Judge may require mediation.

Questions concerning ODR should be directed to: BrevardODR@flcourts18.org.

What do I need to participate in ODR?

To be considered for ODR, parties need the following:

  1. A Small Claims case filed in Brevard County, FL
  2. Access to a smartphone, computer, or tablet
  3. Each party, or attorney if represented, must file a proper Email designation form.

For litigants who do not have an attorney, the Non-Attorney Designation of Email Address form should be filed with the Clerk of Court within 10 days of service of the summons. The form is included with the summons package and may also be found at http://www.brevardclerk.us/index.cfm/small-claims-forms.

The Email designation form must be filed using one of these options.

Do not send it to the Brevard ODR email.

E-File via the Clerk of Court portal: myflcourtaccess.com.

Step-by-step instructions are below.

  1. Email to Clerk: civilefilingassistant@brevardclerk.us
  2. Fax to Clerk: 321-637-6557. 
  3. Mail to Clerk: Rachel M. Sadoff, Clerk of Court, P. O. Box 219, Titusville, FL 32781-0129
  4. Hand deliver to any of their office locations; see website for details – brevardclerk.us

Approximately six weeks prior to your Pretrial Conference date:

  • After the Email Designation is filed, send a courtesy email to BrevardODR@flcourts18.org including your name, case number, and Pretrial Conference date, informing us of the filing.
  • Allow up to 10 business days for processing and entering your case into ODR.

Approximately four weeks prior to your Pretrial Conference date:

  • Look for an invitation email from no-reply@flcourts18sc.modria.com in your inbox or spam/junk folders. The invitation email will contain a link to access your case in the ODR platform.
  • Begin productive communications with the other party by following the prompts in the platform.
  • If an agreement is reached, a payment stipulation will be populated in ODR. Each party should review and electronically sign it if they agree with its terms.
  • Access to your case in ODR is 24/7 until 12:00 AM of your ODR deadline date.

Five calendar days prior to your Pretrial Conference Date:

  • Access to your case in ODR will be closed.
  • If there is no agreement between the parties using ODR, parties must attend Pretrial Conference as scheduled.

HOW TO E-FILE YOUR NON-ATTORNEY DESIGNATION FORM:

Questions about E-filing must be directed to the Clerk of Court at 321-637-5413.

Step 1: Go to myflcourtaccess.com. Click File Now.

Click file now button

Step 2: If you already registered, enter your log in information. If you are not already registered, register as a Self-represented litigant.

Step 3: When you’ve logged in, it should bring you to the e-filing map. If not, select ‘E-Filing Map’ in the upper right corner of the browser.

efiling button

Step 4: Select the blue bar labeled ‘File Now’.

Step 5: Under ‘Case Information’, enter the county BREVARD; the division COUNTY CIVIL; year of your case 20??; sequence 0????? (6-digit number in the case number); and court type SMALL CLAIMS. Click Search. Confirm that your case appears under the headline PLEADING ON EXISTING CASE at the top of the site.

Step 6: Click ‘Next’.

Step 7: Under ‘Documents’, click on ‘Add’. Then scroll/click through the pages until you find non-attorney email designation. Select that option. Upload your document. Then, click ‘Save’.

Step 8: Confirm that your document is uploaded.

Step 9: Under ‘Service List’, select all whom you would like served electronically, if any (usually the other party is served). Click ‘Next’.

Step 10: Under ‘Review and Submit’, click ‘Submit’. You should see a confirmation in a few seconds that says your document was successfully uploaded and a confirmation number.

submission button