Skip to Content

Dispute Resolution

People shaking hands

Department Mission Statement

To provide arbitration, mediation and business mediation services to the Court.

Plaintiffs and defendants are offered alternative methods of dispute resolution to effectively resolve litigation. It is the policy of the Court to encourage the use of Dispute Resolution methods per Local Rule 21.2. In keeping with this policy, the court has developed and administers several Dispute Resolution methods.


Why Dispute Resolution?

  • Promotes settlement
  • It's more cost-effective for taxpayers and litigants than going to trial
  • Helps expedite the resolution of cases
  • Provides an opportunity for litigants to be heard and participate in the proceedings, providing greater litigant satisfaction
  • Allows for the opportunity for creative solutions to resolve disputes.

General FAQs

Please call the Dispute Resolution Department to discuss any scheduling issues. Many issues can be resolved by working with the Department directly, but in some cases you may need to file a motion with the Court.

Arbitrations last between one and two hours. The length of a mediation depends upon the complexities of the issues. Most civil and business mediations are around two hours, but can take longer. Foreclosure pre-mediation conferences are around 20 minutes and most foreclosure mediation hearings take between 1/2 an hour to an hour.

Yes. A core principle of mediation is that there is a benefit to bringing parties together, face to face, to discuss their interests, concerns and the issues that separate them. The general requirement for the Court’s mediation programs is parties and their attorneys, if they have one, appear in person. The one exception is if you are in foreclosure mediation and have an attorney, your attorney can appear without you for the pre-mediation conference. You are required to appear in person for any other foreclosure mediation hearing, even if you have an attorney.

Civil Mediation, Business Mediation, and Arbitration FAQs

Blank Pre-Mediation Summary forms can be found by clicking this link. You also can call the Dispute Resolution Department.

Pre-Mediation Summary forms are due 14 days before the mediation hearing and can be faxed, emailed or dropped off at the Dispute Resolution Department.

Cases are referred by the judge assigned to the case and scheduled by the Dispute Resolution Department. For additional information, please see the “What to Expect” tab for each program.

Foreclosure Mediation FAQs

An Answer is a legal document filed by a defendant in response to the plaintiff’s Complaint. An Answer must be filed within 28 days of service of the Complaint on the defendant. A Request for Foreclosure Mediation is a form filled out by a party to a foreclosure proceeding requesting the Dispute Resolution Department consider setting the matter for mediation. A Request for Foreclosure Mediation is not a legal document and can be submitted anytime up to seven days before a scheduled foreclosure sale.

Answers are filed with the Civil Division of the Cuyahoga County Clerk of Courts, located on the 1st Floor of the Justice Center. Requests for Foreclosure Mediation are faxed, emailed or dropped off at the Dispute Resolution Department.

You are not required to have an attorney. Many homeowners go through foreclosure mediation without one; however, the mediator cannot give legal advice. An attorney is the only one, other than yourself, that can advocate for you.