The local rules for Illinois' 22nd Judicial Circuit serving McHenry County.
Part 7.08. Small Claims Voluntary Pro Se Mediation: Under these rules, pro se litigants in small claims court will be given the option on their return date to immediately mediate their case. The mediations are to be conducted by volunteer lawyers who have received basic mediation skills training. The rule also calls for the use of a confidentiality agreement.
Part 17. Mandatory Arbitration Rules: 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 hearing. Small claims cases in which a jury demand is filed are also subject to this rule. The rule calls for the case to be heard by a panel of three arbitrators, who are paid by the court. It outlines the qualifications necessary to be placed on the court's roster. Also discussed are the procedure for filing the award and for rejecting the award. The rule also imposes sanctions upon a party who rejects the reward, proceeds through trial and does not achieve a verdict better than the arbitration award.
Part 18. Family Division Mediation Program Rules: This rule orders court-referred mediation for issues of child custody, visitation and removal except where an impairment exists. It outlines the referral and mediation process as well as the qualifications and duties of mediators. The rule addresses confidentiality and outlines the method by which fees will be paid. It also authorizes the Presiding Judge to establish an advisory committee whose role is to advise him or her in establishing and implementing administrative policy consistent with the Family Division Mediation Program rules.
Part 20. Civil Division Mediation Program Rules: Under this rule, any contested civil matter with a value greater than eligibility for the Mandatory Arbitration Program may be referred to mediation. Such referral may be by order of the court or stipulation of the parties. The rule calls for parties to compensate the mediator, who they select from a list of those approved by the court. Mediator qualifications and training are outlined in the rule, which also discusses the duties of the referring judge. The mediation process, including deadlines for completion of specified steps, is also covered. The rule provides immunity for the mediators, and makes all oral and written communications that take place in mediation confidential.