The local rules for Illinois' Circuit Court of Cook County.
Part 13- Domestic Relations Proceedings: Rule 13.4(e) refers to and provides rules regarding the Circuit Court of Cook County's Family Mediation Services.
Part 19 - Child Protection Mediation and Facilitation Program: This rule authorizes referral to mediation of active abuse, neglect or dependency cases. All contested custody and visitation issues must be mediated, and any matters that can impede determination of custody or visitation are deemed appropriate for mediation. Referral can be made at any point in the case after the temporary custody hearing. Judges have discretion as to which cases can be referred. The rule also addresses who may participate in mediation, the use of interpreters, termination of mediation, confidentiality, and mediator appointment, qualification and compensation.
Part 13 - Domestic Relations Proceedings: The rule orders each case in which child custody or visitation is contested to be directed to mediation and authorizes referral to mediation for matters involving removal. It also addresses confidentiality, outlines the mediation procedure to be followed, and discusses the appointment, qualification and compensation of mediators.
Part 18 - Mandatory Arbitration of Certain Civil Cases: This section applies to court-annexed arbitration in Cook County. The arbitration rules of the Illinois Supreme Court are referenced within. In this circuit, the amount in controversy must not exceed $30,000. The rule outlines the qualifications to be an arbitrator, procedures for the scheduling of hearings, discovery, administration of the hearings, and awards and judgments.
Part 20 - Law Division Major Civil Case Court-Annexed Civil Mediation: This amended rule applies to any contested civil matter pending in the Cook County Law Division. Under the rule, cases may be referred to the mediation by the court or by motion of the parties. Discovery is to continue throughout the mediation process. Mediators approved by the court have judicial immunity in the same manner and extent as a judge. Confidentiality extends to all oral and written communications with the mediator at any time. The rule also discusses the manner in which mediators are appointed, the compensation of the mediator, and the conduct of the mediation.
Part 21 - Chancery Division Court-Annexed Mediation: Under this rule, any contested matter filed in the Chancery Division may be referred to mediation by order of the court, by motion, or by stipulation. Mediators are selected and paid by the parties unless an appropriate case is referred to the Center for Conflict Resolution, which provides mediation services at no cost to the parties. The mediation procedures are outlined in the rule, which also states that the court shall decide on a case-by-case basis whether to stay or continue discovery during the mediation process. Also covered in the rule are confidentiality and the qualifications needed to be placed on the court's roster.
Part 24 - Probate Division Court-Annexed Mediation: Under this rule, estate, minor and adult guardianship matters pending in the Probate Division may be referred to mediation. The rules cover the appointing of mediators, mediator qualifications, and confidentiality.
Note: The Guardian Ad Litem Mediation Program, the Mediation of Criminal Misdemeanors in the Cook County Circuit Court Program, the Mediation of Juvenile Cases in the Cook County Circuit Court Program, the Non-Binding Arbitration in the Mechanics Lien Section Program, the Pretrial/Mediation (Calendar 14) Probate Division Program, the Small Claims and Landlord/Tenant Mediation in Cook County, and the Restorative Justice Community Court Program do not have corresponding court rules.