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, they may be able to settle the case on their own terms. If so, court appearances for this case may not be necessary.
Using ODR allows parties the opportunity to settle their case at their convenience. They can work online to negotiate from any location and at any time. 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.
To be considered for ODR, the following are required:
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.
Effective with filings on or after May 15, 2020, parties of most Brevard County small claims cases are required to use ODR to try to negotiate a settlement. These are cases in which the plaintiff is represented by counsel and the defendant is not represented by counsel. 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)
If you reach an agreement via ODR, and it is completed and electronically signed by both parties in ODR, you may not have to appear for the Pretrial Conference. If no agreement is reached, you must appear.
It is free! There is no charge to either party for ODR negotiation or for the assistance of a mediator.
The plaintiff (the person who filed the lawsuit) and the defendant (the person being sued) would sign onto the ODR platform and either one may send a message or submit an offer to settle the case. They do not have to be on the ODR platform at the same time. Negotiation is a process for parties to find common ground to reach a settlement that satisfies them both. After each party signs in, they should follow the instructions on the screen which guides them through the process. After an offer is made, there will also be a link for either party to request a mediator.
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.
Yes! The negotiations between the parties are not disclosed to the Court.
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. Our mediators are Florida Supreme Court Certified mediators.
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.
It is free! There is no charge to either party for a mediator.
ALL QUESTIONS REGARDING ODR SHOULD BE DIRECTED TO:
Non-Attorney Designation of Email Address 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
The Email designation form must be filed using one of these options:
Do not send the form to the Brevard ODR email.
General time frames are:
Approximately six weeks prior to your Pretrial Conference date:
BrevardODR@flcourts18.org including your name, case number, and Pretrial Conference date, informing us of the filing.
Approximately four weeks prior to your Pretrial Conference date:
Five calendar days prior to your Pretrial Conference Date:
ALL QUESTIONS REGARDING ODR SHOULD BE DIRECTED TO: BrevardODR@flcourts18.org