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About Mediation & Diversion Services



See individual mediation programs for descriptions.



Established as the Citizen Dispute Settlement Program in 1978, staff mediated civil complaints such as municipal ordinance violations, consumer complaints, and neighborhood disputes.  The services were offered to the public as an alternative to the formal judicial process and to assist the court in reducing the caseload. 


The Thirteenth Judicial Circuit's Dependency Mediation Program began in November of 1994 with an Innovative Program Award grant provided by the Dispute Resolution Center. The funding was used for mediator training and fees.


In 1984, the Family Mediation Program was added to the already established Citizen Dispute Settlement Program in 1978.  The Family Mediation program was created to address post-judgment custody and visitation disputes (AO 1984-57).  Two years later in 1986 the Office of Family Court Services under the supervision of the Court Administrator was established to handle Family Mediation and assistance with child support related matters  (AO 1986-51).  Later that year, it was approved where the mediation of child support and alimony issues would occur prior to being brought to court in post-judgment cases  (AO 1986-97).  In 1987, Mediation & Diversion Services was established to provide for the mediation of certain civil disputes (AO 1987-11).  Becoming more and more apart of procedure, in 1989, any contested family law matter could be ordered to mediation by the court on its own motion or the motion of a party.  Also  AO 1989-28, required that parties seeking to schedule a trial for post-judgment action for modification of child support, alimony, parental responsibility or visitation to first participate in mediation within 30 days.  Further expanding, in 1990 pre-judgment and post-judgment issues could be referred to mediation by court order, and pre-judgment mediations could also be scheduled by voluntary requests as authorized by AO 1990-159. 


Guardianship Mediation began in 1995 with an awarded Ann Arbor Michigan Guardianship Grant.


The Criminal Mediation program was created in 1985 for adult misdemeanor violators.  Then in 1988, the 13th Judicial Circuit was part of a pilot project that established Circuit Civil Mediation as a viable means of resolving cases.  Also, that year the County Civil Diversion Program (small claims less than $2500 and County Civil between $2500 and $10,000) was established  by AO 1988-44. The Small claims jurisdiction was raised to $5000 in 1997 by the Supreme Court. 

Performance Measures

None at this time.