This Court-annexed program was started by Judge Montgomery in 2011 and handles mediation of contested cases that fall within the jurisdiction of the Probate Division of the Common Pleas Court, or General Division cases which are assigned to the Probate Judge for adjudication. Mediation is available for will contests, asset concealment actions, estate inventories and exceptions to accounts, land sales, name changes, guardianship disputes, trust disputes, fiduciary litigation, attorney fee disputes, civil actions, and wrongful death settlements. Any contested case at the Court can be evaluated and/or referred to mediation by the Court, or upon the motion of one or more parties. The Program operates pursuant to Superintendence Rule 16, Local Rule 78.5 and the Uniform Mediation Act. Program specialties include mediating complex, protracted and high conflict cases, including elder law matters. Typically, the facilitative mediation model is utilized, but in appropriate cases, evaluative mediation is employed.
Fees: No fee for Court-employed mediators. Panel mediators may charge fees, which should be verified in each case.
Neutrals: In this Court-annexed program, attorney-mediators employed by the Court provide the services. As the program develops, the Court will maintain a panel of outside mediators who may be referred cases by the Court.
Users: Attorneys, plaintiffs, defendants, fiduciaries including guardians, executors, administrators, relatives of parties, and pro se litigants.
All mediators in this Court-annexed Program are experienced attorneys with additional training in ADR/mediation. Court-employed mediators have relevant undergraduate degrees, law degrees, Ohio bar admission, academic training in ADR, basic mediation training, training as facilitators and have been observed and evaluated as mediators prior to being placed into service. Panel members may not be attorneys, but will have significant education, training and experience in mediation and knowledge of family law and probate matters.
Mediation is done at the Probate Court in conference or hearing rooms. Outside mediators determine the location in consultation with the parties.