Alternative Dispute Resolution/Mediation

Alternative Dispute Resolution Program

The Alternative Dispute Resolution Program in the Fourteenth Judicial Circuit facilitates the use of mediation to resolve court cases for litigants in Bay, Calhoun, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson , and Washington counties.

All programs may not be available in each county. Listed below are the programs and their availability by county:

County Mediation: Bay, Jackson, Holmes and Washington

Family Mediation: All Counties within the 14th Circuit / For questions regarding family mediation or to schedule a mediation, please email: mediation@jud14.flcourts.org

Dependency Mediation: All counties within the 14th Circuit

What is Mediation? Mediation is an informal, confidential meeting between the parties and a neutral third party , a certified mediator. With the assistance of a mediator, the parties attempt to work out a solution to their conflict. The non-adversarial process is designed to assist the parties in reaching a mutually acceptable and voluntary agreement.

Mediation is conducted prior to trial date or final hearing in an effort to the give the parties time to negotiate and resolve their case without the added expense and stress of a trial.

If an agreement is reached, the mediator prepares an agreement for the parties and their attorneys (if represented) to sign. If there is no agreement, then the parties have reached what is called an “impasse.” The outcome is reported to the court and the appropriate judicial hearing is scheduled thereafter.

Mediators used in all the mediation programs within the circuit are trained and certified by the Supreme Court of the State of Florida.

Mediation is meant to be a non-adversarial process by which the parties can attempt to resolve their dispute with the assistance of a neutral third party, the mediator.

Carol A. Dunaway, Alternative Dispute Resolution Director