Frequently Asked Questions
What is the online Small Claims Resolution Center?
Am I required to use this online Resolution Center?
What are the advantages in using this online Resolution Center?
If I use this Resolution Center, do I still have to go to Court for Pre-Trial Conference?
Is there a charge for the Resolution Center?
How do I negotiate a settlement using this online Small Claims Resolution Center?
Do I need an attorney to negotiate a settlement using the Resolution Center?
Are negotiations in the Resolution Center confidential?
Is there anyone else who would assist me if I use this Resolution Center?
What is mediation?
What is the Role of a Mediator?
What are the qualifications of the mediators?
What are the advantages of mediation?
Is mediation required?
Is there a charge for mediation?
Who participates in the mediation session?
Is the mediation confidential?
What happens if an agreement is reached?
What happens if an agreement is not reached?
- What is the online Small Claims Resolution Center?
It is an online platform that can be used by parties to a Small Claims lawsuit to negotiate a settlement. 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 Pre-Trial Conference at the courthouse.
- Am I required to use this online Resolution Center?
- What are the advantages in using this online Resolution Center?
Using this Resolution Center allows you the opportunity to settle with the other party at your convenience, using your computer, tablet, or smartphone. You can work online to negotiate from any location and at any time, including evenings and weekends. If you reach an agreement using this option, and it is filed with the court as required, you will not have to appear in court on your Pre-Trial Conference date.
- If I use this Resolution Center, do I still have to go to Court for Pre-Trial Conference?
- Is there a charge for the Resolution Center?
- How do I negotiate a settlement using this online Small Claims Resolution Center?
- Do I need an attorney to negotiate a settlement using the Resolution Center?
- Are negotiations in the Resolution Center confidential?
- Is there anyone else who would assist me if I use this Resolution Center?
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.
- What are the qualifications of the mediators?
Our mediators are Florida Supreme Court Certified County 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 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?
- Is there a charge for mediation?
No, there is no charge to either party for Small Claims mediation, either via the Resolution Center or during the Pre-Trial Conference in the courtroom. (Please note there is a transaction fee for the online negotiation via the Resolution Center, which is paid by the plaintiff.)
- Who participates in the mediation session?
- Is the mediation confidential?
Yes. This mediation is governed by FL Statute 44 and its Mediation Confidentiality and Privilege Act. All communications made during mediation are confidential, except where disclosure is required or permitted to be reported by law. Exceptions may include, but not be limited to, a signed written agreement reached during mediation, unless the parties otherwise agree; child or vulnerable adult abuse; other criminal activity. The mediator does not share information or make recommendations to the judge.
- What happens if an agreement is reached?
If an agreement is reached, the parties will complete a document reflecting the terms of the agreement and ask the parties and their attorneys, if applicable, to sign it. The mediator may assist as needed.
- What happens if an agreement is not reached?
If an agreement is not reached, the parties shall attend the scheduled Pre-Trial Conference for this case.
PLEASE NOTE: This information should not be considered legal advice. If you need legal assistance, you are advised to consult with an attorney.