Frequently Asked Questions for County Court Mediation
- QContact Information
- County Court Mediation
Dade County Courthouse, Room 1701
73 West Flagler
Miami, Florida 33130
Phone: (305) 349-7337
Fax: (305) 349-7339
- QWhat to Expect?
- All County Court cases need an order from the judge to be referred to our
in-house County Court Mediation Division. The referral process depends on the
type of case filed, as follows: Landlord/Tenant cases - claims of nonpayment of
rent, evictions and other disputes between landlords and their tenants : If you
receive an “Order of Referral to County Court Mediation and Order for Trial
(Landlord/Tenant)”,you must comply with all the conditions of this order. This
includes attending a mediation conference that will be scheduled on the same day
as your trial date. You will first attend your court-ordered mediation
conference. If your case does not settle during mediation, you must then go
directly to the judge’s office (chambers) and your case will be heard in court.
Small Claims cases - claims of $5,000 or less: Small Claims cases are
set for Pre-Trial Hearing and may be referred to mediation on the same day. You
will first attend your Pre-Trial Hearing. If your case does not settle during
Pre-Trial, onsite mediators are available to conduct mediation session with all
parties to assist in resolving the case. If an agreement cannot be reached, you
will be sent to the judge’s office to get a trial date.
Landlord/Tenant cases: are mediated just prior to trial, on the same date as
their trial date
Other County Civil cases - claims of $5001 - $15,000 and
Commercial Landlord / Tenant Cases:
• During a court hearing, if the judge
feels that mediation is needed to help resolve the disputes in your case; or,
• If one or both parties, or their attorneys, request an Order of Referral
to County Court Mediation and the judge agrees that this is appropriate. If you
cannot resolve your disputes through mediation, your case will be set on the
judge’s calendar for trial.
- QWhere do I go for my County Court Mediation conference?
- AMost County Court Mediation sessions are conducted in:
The Dade County
73 West Flagler Street Room, 1701
Miami, Florida 33130
If your case is being handled at one of our six District Courts, your
conference will most likely be held there. Please read the Order of Referral
carefully for location and other specific information, and contact County Court
Mediation at (305) 349-7337 if you have any questions.
- QHow much does County Court Mediation cost and how do I pay?
Landlord Tenant disputes and Small Claims cases are free of charge. Other County
Civil cases: $120 for a one-hour mediation session, to be paid equally 50% by
Plaintiff(s) and 50% by Defendant(s). Payment must be made at the Clerk’s Office
seven days before your scheduled mediation conference. If the mediation is
longer than the one-hour session, the balance will be paid at the conclusion of
your conference. If you cannot afford to pay these mediation fees and qualify
for indigent status, the Court may waive payment for your court-ordered
mediation conference. To qualify for non-payment of mediation fees, each party
must obtain a Affidavit of Indigency from the Clerk's Office. The Mediation
Division will hen ne notified that no payment is required.
- QMay I hire a private mediator?
- Yes. If you wish to hire a private mediator, you must file a written stipulation
(agreement), signed by all parties, with the Clerk’s Office within 10 days of
your Order of Referral to County Court Mediation. Copies of this and all other
pleadings relating to mediation must be served upon the Mediation Division. Your
Order of Referral provides detailed information on the proper procedures.
- QHow long will County Court Mediation take?
- Almost all County Court matters are resolved within a one-hour mediation
session. However, your conference will continue until the matter is settled,
adjourned or the mediator declares an “impasse” if it is determined that no
agreement can be reached.
- QWho must be present at the conference?
- It is required that the conference be attended by plaintiffs, defendants and
trial counsel, if any, and defendants or representatives of insurance carriers,
if this applies in your case. Absence of any of these parties may only be
approved by court order before the date of the conference.
- QWhat if an interpreter is needed during County Court Mediation?
- When an interpreter is needed in County Court Mediation, the judge decides
whether the Court or the parties will pay for this service. A free interpreter
may be assigned only if the judge determines that the parties are indigent and
cannot afford the fee. Otherwise, you must bring a certified interpreter with
you. Family members or friends are not allowed to interpret during mediation.
- QWhat if I need to reschedule or cancel my mediation conference?
- No change or cancellation of your scheduled conference date is allowed without
prior approval of the County Court Mediation Division or the judge. If
rescheduling or cancellation is granted less than 72 hours before the conference
(except for weekends and court holidays) parties must pay the mediation fee,
unless the Court orders otherwise under exceptional circumstances.
- QWhat happens if I fail to appear at mediation?
- If you fail to appear at the mediation conference, your case will be referred to
the judge for further action.
- QWhat if I settle my case before the mediation conference?
- Our mediators’ valuable time is scheduled to accommodate your case and assist
you in resolving your disputes without going to trial. Please contact County
Court Mediation at (305) 349-7337 as soon as possible to advise that your case
has settled and the conference is no longer necessary.
- QIs County Court Mediation confidential?
- Yes. Mediation is privileged and confidential, with certain exceptions noted
inChapter44 of the Florida Statutes. Court reporters are not
allowed to attend. If your case does not settle during mediation, the mediator
only reports to the judge that mediation was unsuccessful without further
comment on your case.
- QPersons with Disabilities
- If you need assistance to participate in a court proceeding, program or service,
please contact the ADA Coordinator,
(305) 349-7175 (Voice mail)
(305) 349-7174 (TDD)
(800) 955-8770 (Florida Relay Service)