Year started: 1990
Neutrals: Licensed attorneys with at least three years of experience
Eligibility: All civil cases valued between $10,000 and $50,000, and small claims cases in which a jury demand has been filed
Free Mediation Services Available?: No
Mandatory arbitration began in McHenry County in 1990, when it was part of the 19th Circuit. Under this program, all civil cases valued between $10,000 and $50,000 are automatically transferred into the arbitration program by the court clerk, as are small claims cases in which a jury demand has been filed. A case so valued that has not been assigned to the arbitration calendar by the clerk for any reason may be referred to arbitration at a status call or pre-trial hearing.
Once a case is transferred to the arbitration program, the Arbitration Administrator assigns three arbitrators by rotation and schedules the arbitration, which takes place at the Arbitration Center. The arbitrators are licensed attorneys who have at least three years of experience. The panel includes a chairperson, who must have five years of experience. To be placed on the court's roster, the arbitrators must attend a 6-hour training program. The arbitrators are paid a flat fee per case by the court.
Discovery is limited for arbitrations, and hearings average about two hours. After the hearing, the arbitrators decide the award. The parties then have 30 days to decide whether to accept or reject the award. If the award is rejected, they can continue to negotiate settlement while awaiting trial. At trial, the party who rejected the award must achieve a better result than awarded at arbitration or face sanctions by the court.
Between the 2007 and 2011 fiscal years, the average annual caseload for the program was 1,631 cases. In 2011, 1,470 of 1,973 cases were settled or dismissed (75%). Of the 88 arbitration hearings held in 2011, 34 awards were accepted (39%) and 37 were rejected (42%). Only 15 cases, less than 1% of the year's total caseload, went to trial.
Illinois Supreme Court. Illinois Supreme Court Rules, Jun. 4, 2008
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...Jan. 1, 1970
Abstract: Under this rule, all cases valued between $10,000 and $50,000 are transferred to mandatory arbitration at filing. Other cases so valued but not transferred by the clerk may be referred to the program by the court at a status conference or pre-trial h...
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
Agnes KretowiczArbitration Adminstrator
Nineteenth Judicial Circuit
22nd Judicial Circuit Mandatory Arbitration Program
400 Russel Court, Suite 6
Woodstock, IL 60098