Court-Annexed Mandatory Arbitration Program - 11th Judicial Circuit (Ford and McLean Counties)
Year started: 1996
Neutrals: Judges or attorneys with court approval.
Eligibility: Civil cases involving monetary disputes between $5,000 and $50,000.
Free Mediation Services Available?: No
The Illinois Supreme Court approved court-annexed mandatory arbitration in the 11th Judicial Circuit on March 26, 1996. The program is governed by Supreme Court Rules 86-95 as well as by local court rules, Rule 106. Court-Annexed Mandatory Arbitration, and is administered by a Supervising Judge for Arbitration and an Administrative Assistant.
A civil case involving only monetary claims between $5,000 and $50,000 is subject to arbitration. Once such a case is filed with the Circuit Clerk's office, it is assigned to arbitration. Cases also may be ordered to arbitration upon the request of either party, by agreement of the parties, or by the court at a status call or pretrial conference.
The Administrative Assistant maintains a list of approved arbitrators, as well as arbitrators who are approved to serve as chairpersons, to be appointed to serve on a random basis. To be certified by the Chief Judge as an arbitrator, applicants must be Illinois-licensed attorneys who have engaged in the active practice of law for a minimum of one year or retired judges. Applicants must also file an approved application, complete the required arbitrator training seminar, and maintain a law office or residence in the 11th Circuit. An applicant requesting certification as a chairperson must certify that he or she has been engaged in the active practice of law for at least five years or be a retired judge.
Hearings take place at the Arbitration Center in front of a panel of three arbitrators, at least one of which must be certified as a chairperson. The parties may request a two arbitrator panel, and members of a firm or office may not be appointed to the same panel. Arbitration sessions tend to last two hours or less. A party who fails to appear and participate in the hearing my have an award entered against him/her upon which the Court may enter judgment. The panel renders its decision and enters an award on the same day as the hearing. It is then filed with Clerk of Circuit Court. To be compensated, the arbitrators must file a voucher to be submitted to the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts.
In Ford County, 28 cases were pending or referred to arbitration in fiscal year 2011. Of those, 5 cases (18%) settled or were dismissed. Only one arbitration hearing was held, and the award was accepted. This was a significant decrease in activity from fiscal year 2010, when 58 cases were pending or referred. Fifty of those cases (86%) were settled or dismissed that year, and two arbitration hearings were held. In the 2011 annual report on the state's mandatory arbitration programs, the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts ascribed the decrease to a new reporting structure used by the court.
A similar drop in activity was seen in McLean County, where 492 cases were pending or referred in fiscal year 2011. Ninety-one cases (18%) were settled or dismissed, and seven arbitration hearings were held. Five awards were accepted, and two were rejected. No cases proceeded to trial. In contrast, 1,459 cases were pending or referred in fiscal year 2010. Of those, 1,043 cases (71%) were settled or dismissed. Sixty-six arbitration hearings were held, with 48 awards accepted and 19 rejected. Three cases proceeded to trial. Again, the AOIC attributed the changes to the new reporting structure.
Resource Type: Rules - Court
Abstract: These rules govern Illinois 11th Judicial Circuit serving Ford, Livingston, Logan, McLean, and Woodford counties. Rule 104 covers the Court-Annexed Civil Mediation Program operated in the Ford and McLean Counties. The rule addresses actions eligible...
Resource Type: Rules - Court
Abstract: The rules apply to actions subject to mandatory arbitration within judicial circuits in Illinois. They include the procedures for the appointment, qualification and compensation of arbitrators, the scheduling of hearings, discovery, conduct of the he...
Summary: These annual reports summarize activity for all Illinois court-annexed mandatory arbitration programs. Programs featured in the report include the: 3rd Circuit*, 11th Circuit, 12th Circuit, 14th Circuit, 16th Circuit, 17th Circuit, 18th Circuit, 19th Circuit, 20th Circuit, 22nd Circuit*, and the Circuit Court of Cook County mandatory arbitration programs.
The report provides statewide statistics per fiscal year for each arbitration program and covers case types, caseload, average award amount, and average number of days that cases began in arbitration through final resolution. The report also features individual circuit profiles.
*Please note that reports on the 3rd Circuit mandatory arbitration program appear in the 2008-2016 annual reports and that reports on the 22nd Circuit mandatory arbitration program appear in the 2007-2016 annual reports. Reports on the remaining circuits can be found in each of the 2001-2017 annual reports.
Publication: Illinois Bar Journal
Summary: This article discusses Illinois' mandatory arbitration program and gives both pros and cons of arbitration. It also discusses the Illinois Supreme Court 'Cruz' ruling, in which it laid down the rules governing attorney fees in mandatory arbitration.
Rachel BunnerArbitration Administrator
11th Judicial Circuit 200 West Front Street Suite 400B Bloomington, IL 61701 phone: (309) 827-7584 fax: (309) 827-9700