Requirements for cases filed on or after May 1,1996. Every
contested domestic matter shall be referred for mediation before
being placed on a trial calendar. Any contested civil matter may be
referred to mediation in the Superior, State, Probate, and Magistrate Courts. All domestic
relations cases, including divorce, custody, visitation,
modifications, contempt, legitimation and paternity are referred to
the ADR Office to be scheduled for mediation before any hearing in
Mediation must take place within 45
days of the day an Answer is due and must be completed within 55
days or before the case is scheduled on a Court Calendar.
Parties are required to select a
mutually agreed upon mediator or the ADR Office will appoint one
for the parties. Mediators are professionals who charge a fee for
their services. The hourly fees are registered with the ADR Office.
If the ADR Office appoints a mediator, the hourly fee is $100.00
not to exceed $400.00 per mediation session. The fee is split
equally between both parties. Parties qualifying as indigent will
have their fees waived. Application for waiver of fees must be made
prior to the mediation session.
In October, 1998, the ADR Office
began a Magistrate Court Mediation Program. Matters scheduled for a
civil/non-jury hearing before the Magistrate Court (i.e. small claims
cases) may be referred directly from the courtroom to mediation. If
the parties are unable to settle the issues, they will generally be
able to have the matter heard at trial on the same day. On a rare
occasion, when the mediation session is lengthy, the matter may be
heard on the next trial calendar. There is no cost to the parties
for this service.
9151 Tara Blvd, Suite 2DR01, Jonesboro, Georgia 30236
To schedule a mediation or more info call the ADR Office at
(770) 477-4575 or fax them at (770) 603-4179.