Every contested domestic matter shall be referred for mediation before being placed on a trial calendar. Any contested civil matter may be referred to mediation in the Superior, State, Probate, and Magistrate Courts. All domestic relations cases, including divorce, custody, visitation, modifications, contempt, legitimation and paternity are referred to the ADR Office to be scheduled for mediation before any hearing in the matter, unless explicitly excused by the trial judge assigned to the case.
Mediation shall be scheduled within 45 days of the day an Answer is filed and must be completed at least 30 days prior to any scheduled court date.
Parties are required to select a mutually agreed upon mediator or the ADR Office will appoint one for the parties. Mediators are professionals who charge a fee for their services. The hourly fees are registered with the ADR Office. If the ADR Office appoints a mediator, the hourly fee is $100.00 not to exceed $400.00 per mediation session. The fee is split equally between both parties. Parties qualifying as indigent will have their fees waived. Application for waiver of fees must be made prior to the mediation session.
In October 1998, the ADR Office began a Magistrate Court Mediation Program. Matters scheduled for a civil/non-jury hearing before the Magistrate Court (i.e. small claims cases) may be referred directly from the courtroom to mediation. If the parties are unable to settle the issues, they will generally be able to have the matter heard at trial on the same day. On a rare occasion, when the mediation session is lengthy, the matter may be heard on the next trial calendar. There is no cost to the parties for this service.
9151 Tara Blvd, Suite 2DR01, Jonesboro, Georgia 30236
To schedule a mediation or more info call the ADR Office at (770) 477-4575 or send fax to (770) 603-4179.