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Delaware Begins Using ODR to Work Through Backlog of Landlord/Tenant Cases

Nicole Wilmet, November 24th, 2020

As a result of COVID-19 and various moratoriums on evictions, Delaware’s Justice of the Peace Court is facing a backlog of landlord/tenant cases. In an effort to address this backlog, the Court recently announced that on November 2, 2020, all landlord/tenant cases filed on or after July 1, 2020, would be automatically referred to a new online dispute resolution (ODR) program. Delaware’s new ODR program operates on the Matterhorn platform and is free for parties. Participation in the ODR program is mandatory, provided the parties have an active email address, have access to the internet and are at least 18 years old. 

Through the ODR platform, parties will be able to review and respond to messages from the other party at their own convenience. The goal is for parties to utilize the ODR platform and find ways to resolve their disputes on their own. However, parties will have the option to access a mediator in the event that either (1) the parties are unable to reach an agreement on their own or (2) the parties do reach an agreement on their own but prefer to have a mediator prepare their agreement. In a Frequently Asked Questions resource from the Court, the Court notes that the mediators for the program are either specially trained Justice of the Peace Court Judges or members of the Delaware Bar Alternative Dispute Resolution section. 

In an effort to further assist parties, the Court has created ODR “How to” registration videos for landlords and for tenants. Those interested in additional information on the program may visit the Court’s website

Recently Added Resources to RSI’s Research Library

Nicole Wilmet, November 19th, 2020

Did you know that RSI’s Resource Center is the most comprehensive and respected source of information on court ADR anywhere? Housed within the Resource Center is the Research Library which has an extensive annotated collection of court ADR resources such as articles, studies, court rules, statutes and court forms. 

As RSI’s Resource Center Director, I regularly review and add new resources to the Research Library. The following list highlights a few of the resources that have recently been added. 

The Maryland Standards of Conduct for Mediators by the Maryland Mediation and Conflict Resolution Office

Kentucky Mediation Guidelines for Court of Justice Mediators by the Supreme Court of Kentucky

Alabama Code of Ethics for Mediators by the Supreme Court of Alabama

Kansas Supreme Court Rule 918: Ethics by the Supreme Court of Kansas

Texas Online Dispute Resolution Proposed Policy Framework by the Office of Court Administration, Civil Justice Committee 

Kirwin Institute Implicit Bias Module Series by the Ohio State University Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity

I hope these resources are helpful to you in your work!

Recently Added Resources to RSI’s Research Library

Nicole Wilmet, November 4th, 2020

Did you know that RSI’s Resource Center is the most comprehensive and respected source of information on court ADR anywhere? Housed within the Resource Center is the Research Library which has an extensive annotated collection of court ADR resources such as articles, studies, court rules, statutes and court forms.

Each month I review and add new resources to the Research Library. The following list highlights a few of the resources that have recently been added.

I hope these resources are helpful to you in your work!

Ohio Launches Mortgage Modification Mediation Program

Nicole Wilmet, October 30th, 2020

At the start of October, the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Ohio adopted the Mortgage Modification Mediation Program (“the MMM Program”) for all bankruptcy cases. The MMM Program is optional but is available for debtors and creditors to use when a debtor’s property is at risk of foreclosure or other adverse action. The goal of the program is to facilitate communication and exchange of information between the parties with the hope that they will be able to create a beneficial agreement. 

The debtor must request participation in the MMM Program and if ordered by the court, then deadlines are set for both parties to provide documents, information, and reports through the program’s online portal. The program uses the Default Mitigation Management LLC (“DMM”) DMMPortal which specializes in loan modifications and online loss mitigation services. Upon the order directing mediation, the parties will have 150 days to work with a facilitator and attempt to reach an agreement. The MMM Program’s website provides extensive information on the program’s procedures, the mandatory forms, and general timeline for the program. The website also features an application for facilitators as well as a registry of certified program facilitators. To be eligible as a facilitator for the program, an applicant must be an Ohio attorney who has been admitted to practice for at least five years and has received at least eight hours of training specific to mortgage modification mediation. 

New to RSI’s Resource Center

Nicole Wilmet, September 30th, 2020

Did you know that RSI’s Resource Center is the most comprehensive and respected source of information on court ADR anywhere? Housed within the Resource Center is the Research Library which has an extensive annotated collection of court ADR resources such as articles, studies, court rules, statutes and court forms that cover a wide variety of topics.

RSI’s Resource Center Director Nicole Wilmet regularly adds new resources to the Research Library and the following list highlights a few of the resources that have recently been added.

We hope these resources are helpful to you in your work!