The local rules for Illinois' 17th Judicial Circuit serving the Boone and Winnebago Counties.
Rule 2.07 Mandatory Arbitration: This section includes actions subject to mandatory arbitration, qualifications to be an arbitrator, procedures for the scheduling of hearings, discovery, administration of the hearings, awards and judgments.
Rule 2.08 Court-Annexed Mediation: This section outlines actions eligible for court-annexed mediations, scheduling mediations, mediation rules and procedures, which includes information on the confidentiality of communications and mediator qualifications.
Rule 2.09 Court-Annexed Small Claims Mediation: This rule authorizes referral to mediation of small claims cases involving pro se litigants. All such litigants shall be offered the opportunity to participate in mediation at the first return date; however, mediation can take place at any time in the small claims process. The rule provides for confidentiality and creates a peer review process for mediators.
Rule 2.13 Mandatory Arbitration for Small Claims Actions with Jury Demands: This rule mandates that small claim actions with timely filed jury demands shall be subject to Mandatory Arbitration unless otherwise assigned.
Rule 2.14 Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Mediation Program: The clerk of the court is required to automatically schedule all residential foreclosure cases filed on or after Aug. 1, 2010, for mandatory pre-mediation conferences. The clerk must also provide a form notifying defendant borrowers about the foreclosure mediation program along with the summons. The plaintiff's counsel, the defendant borrowers and a certified mediator are required to attend the pre-mediation conference. To be certified by the court, mediators must be a retired judge or attorney with at least five years of foreclosure litigation experience.
Rule 14.08 Mediation Program for Child Custody, Visitation and Removal: This rule authorizes the referral of all issues of child custody, visitation and removal to mediation except when one of the parties is unable to participate competently. It outlines the qualifications and duties of mediators, including advising the parties to obtain independent legal counsel and terminating mediation if the best interests of the children are not being considered. It also describes the referral process and provides for confidentiality. The rule authorizes the creation of an advisory committee to advise the Chief Judge as to rules of procedure, standards for mediators, and evaluation of the program.
Rule 14.09 Financial Mediation Pilot Program: This rule authorizes the referral of property and financial disputes to mediation. Referred cases may not proceed to a judicial hearing on contested issues without leave of court or until the mediation process has been concluded and its outcome has been reported to the court. The rule outlines the referral process, the qualifications of mediators, and the mediation process. It also imposes a duty to assess the parties for impairments and to terminate the mediation when the impairment affects safety. Also discussed are confidentiality, attendance, entry of judgment, and evaluation.