ADR/Mediation Programs

ADR/MEDIATION PROGRAMS


FAMILY CASE MEDIATION

Mediation is available to all parties and, where appropriate, will be Court ordered, requiring parties to attend mediation with a Court-appointed Mediator/ADR Practitioner.  Mediation is a cooperative problem-solving process facilitated by a neutral professional that affords the parties the opportunity to reach an agreement and resolve many contested issues, such as custody, access, child support, property, and/or financial issues in family cases.  

Court-Appointed Mediation

Many cases will be Court ordered to ADR/Mediation with a mediator from an approved list designated by the County Administrative Judge and maintained by the Assistant Court Administrator based on the requirements outlined in the Maryland Rules.  These ADR / Mediation sessions are held outside of the Courthouse, usually in the ADR Practitioner’s office or another location of mutual agreement.  All ADR/Mediation sessions are confidential.  However, any agreement reached through mediation may be incorporated into an Order issued by the Court.  The cost of Court Appointed (non-In-House) ADR/Mediation is $400.00 per 2 hour session which is normally divided equally among the Plaintiff(s) and Defendant(s).  However, there may be a different allocation of responsibility for payment outlined in the Court Order for Mediation, based on the parties’ income.  The total fee for any 2-hour mediation session will not exceed $400.00, if court-ordered.

In-House Mediation 

There is availability for income qualified parties to participate in mediation through the In-House Mediation Program at the Circuit Court.  For litigants with limited or no income, the Court may refer and order ADR/Mediation sessions through the Court’s In-House Family Mediation Program.  The In-House Mediation Program is conducted by trained mediators, some of whom are practicing attorneys with substantial expertise in family law and who have met the requirements outlined in the Maryland Rules.  All sessions held through this Program are held at the courthouse and are confidential.  However, any agreement reached through In-House mediation may be incorporated into an Order issued by the Court.  The Program may require proof of income even after referral.

 

Parties may voluntarily elect to engage privately with a mediator at any time (before or after filing with the court).  However, the Court’s fee schedule as outlined above will not apply to any mediation engaged in that is not court-ordered.  To find a mediator, you may select a mediator from the Court Panel of Family Case Mediators or you may contact the Assistant Court Administrator at 301-600-1467.

CIVIL CASE MEDIATION

Mediation is available to all parties and, where appropriate, will be Court ordered, requiring parties to attend mediation with a Court-appointed Mediator/ADR Practitioner.  Mediation is a cooperative problem-solving process facilitated by a neutral professional that affords the parties the opportunity to reach an agreement and resolve many, if not all, contested issues.  

Court-Appointed Mediation

Many cases will be Court ordered to ADR/Mediation with a mediator from an approved list designated by the County Administrative Judge and maintained by the Assistant Court Administrator based on the requirements outlined in the Maryland Rules.  These ADR / Mediation sessions are held outside of the Courthouse, usually in the ADR Practitioner’s office or another location of mutual agreement.  All ADR/Mediation sessions are confidential.  However, any agreement reached through mediation may result in the dismissal of the case or a consent judgment being entered.  The cost of Court Appointed ADR/Mediation is $400.00 per 2 hour session which is divided equally among the Plaintiff(s) and Defendant(s).  However, for complex cases (which are normally specially assigned to a judge) the cost is $500.00 per 2 hour session which is divided equally among the Plaintiff(s) and Defendant(s).  Additionally, pursuant to MD Rule 17-202(f) the parties in any case may file an objection to court-appointed mediation or request substitution of the mediator within thirty (30) days of the date the original Mediation Order is issued.

Parties may voluntarily elect to engage privately with a mediator at any time (before or after filing with the court).  However, the Court’s fee schedule as outlined above will not apply to any mediation engaged in that is not court-ordered.  To find a mediator, you may select a mediator from the Court Panel of Civil Case Mediators or you may contact the Assistant Court Administrator at 301-600-1467.

CINA/TPR CASE MEDIATION

An order for Dependency Mediation may be issued in CINA or TPR cases requiring the parties to attend mediation with a court-appointed Mediator/ADR practitioner.  This is a cooperative process facilitated by a neutral professional that affords the parties the opportunity to reach an agreement with regard to a permanent arrangement in the best interest of the child(ren).  The mediator is chosen from an approved list designated by the County Administrative Judge and maintained by the Assistant Court Administrator based on the requirements outlined in the Maryland Rules and the person’s expertise in child welfare cases.  Court-ordered ADR/Mediation sessions are held at the courthouse and are confidential.  However, any agreement reached through mediation may be incorporated into an Order issued by the Court.  There is no fee for service for court-ordered Dependency Mediation.