Year started: 1995
Neutrals: Judges or attorneys with court approval.
Eligibility: Civil cases involving monetary disputes between $5,000 and $50,000.
Free Mediation Services Available?: No
With the Supreme Court's approval of Rule 20.00. Mandatory Arbitration, the 12th Judicial Circuit launched its mandatory arbitration program in December 1995. Civil cases in which there is only a monetary claim in an amount over $5,000, but not exceeding $50,000, are assigned to arbitration at the time of filing with the Circuit Clerk. If a case does not get assigned at the time of filing, it may be ordered to arbitration on a motion of either party or by Court Order at the status call or pre-trial conference.
The Arbitration Administrator 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 as an arbitrator by the Supervising Judge of the Arbitration Center, applicants must be retired judges or Illinois-licensed attorneys who have at least one year of experience. 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. Applicants must also file an approved application, complete the required arbitrator training seminar, and attorneys must practice law in the 12th Circuit.
Hearings take place at the Arbitration Center in front of a panel of three arbitrators, at least one of whom 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 are limited to 2 hours; however, either party may request additional time by filing a motion with the Circuit Court Clerk. If a party fails to appear at the hearing, the arbitration panel may enter an award in favor of the other party. The court then decides whether to enter this award as judgment against the absent party. 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.
The program's average caseload between fiscal years 2007 and 2011 was 3,086 cases. The average disposition rate for this time period was 72%. In fiscal year 2011, 3,763 cases were referred or pending and 2,838 (75%) of the cases were settled or dismissed. Of the 146 arbitration hearings held in 2009, 34 awards were accepted (23%) and 63 rejected (43%). No award was entered for 49 cases; these cases either settled before an award was entered or were pending at the end of the fiscal year. Seventeen cases filed in the program proceeded to trial, less than 0.5% of the year's caseload.
Aug. 3, 2009
Abstract: This rule discusses the actions subject to mandatory arbitration, qualifications to be an arbitrator, procedures for the scheduling of hearings, discovery, conduct of the hearings, default of a party, awards and judgments. Also, it describes the admi...
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.
2001 Annual Report
2002 Annual Report
2003 Annual Report
2004 Annual Report
2005 Annual Report
2006 Annual Report
2007 Annual Report
2008 Annual Report
2009 Annual Report
2010 Annual Report
2011 Annual Report
2012 Annual Report
2013 Annual Report
2014 Annual Report
2015 Annual Report
2016 Annual Report
2017 Annual Report
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.
Kurt SangmeisterTrial Court Administrator
12th Judicial Circuit Court
phone: (815) 774-4575