The Office of Dispute Resolution (ODR) coordinates alternative dispute resolution services of the State Court Administrative Office. The office's primary purposes include: increasing the awareness of dispute resolution options among the legal system's many constituents, assisting judicial stakeholders to integrate dispute resolution processes within the traditional litigation system, administering the Community Dispute Resolution Program, and identifying and developing specialized dispute resolution programs and services.
ODR is responsible for developing dispute resolution practices and protocols for the trial courts, providing technical assistance to the trial courts, implementing dispute resolution practices mandated or permitted by court rule or statute, evaluating dispute resolution systems, and providing recommendations to the state court administrator for improving dispute resolution services for Michigan citizens. The office provides technical assistance to other divisions of the SCAO in designing collaborative dispute resolution systems and in designing and presenting training programs.
ODR oversees the administration of the legislatively created Community Dispute Resolution Program (CDRP). Through this program, grant funding is made available to non-profit and government agencies to provide mediation for disputants in a wide variety of dispute types. Primary services include: developing training programs and materials, publishing reports and public education materials, and grant administration. Additional information about CDRP and its specialized services follows:
Community Dispute Resolution Program
A statewide network of non-profit organizations providing free or low-cost mediation and dispute resolution services on a wide variety of dispute types.
Child Protection Mediation Program
Provides mediation of disputes arising in child protection cases involving parents, caseworkers, attorneys, and others.
Parenting Time Mediation Program
After parents have divorced, it is fairly common that disagreements arise over implementing the original orders for parenting time and custody. Sometimes one parent is denied parenting time. While that parent can file a complaint with the Friend of the Court, another option is to try to reach an agreement with the other parent that reinstates or increases the parenting time of the non-custodial parent.
Mediation is very effective in resolving parenting time disputes, with parents reaching agreements nearly 75 percent of the time. To learn more about this service, contact one of the Community Dispute Resolution Program centers or your local Friend of the Court. The service is supported in part by the Department of Human Services Access and Visitation Grant Program.