Online dispute resolution tool live in all counties

The Michigan Supreme Court Office of Dispute Resolution this week announced the availability of its MI-Resolt online dispute resolution tool in all 83 Michigan counties.

Michigan is the first state to have an online dispute resolution system for every citizen in the state, according to court officials.

They say MI-Resolve provides an efficient and accessible way of resolving disputes that are typically filed as small claims, general civil or landlord-tenant cases in the district court.

“By expanding online dispute resolution access statewide, we have taken a huge step toward closing the justice gap,” said Chief Justice Bridget M. McCormack.

“This kind of access — particularly during a time of crisis — sends a message that the virtual doors of justice are open to all Michigan residents,”  she added.

The final counties to go live, as of Wednesday, were:

• Genesee, Arenac, Bay, Clare, Gladwin, Midland, Ogemaw, Roscommon, Saginaw  — Community Resolution Center;

• Jackson, Calhoun, Hillsdale, Lenawee, Monroe  — Southeastern Dispute Resolution Services;

• Ingham, Clinton, Eaton, Gratiot, Isabella, Shiawassee — Resolution Services Center of Central Michigan;

Through MI-Resolve, parties can go online to negotiate directly with the other party or have a Community Dispute Resolution Center mediator help them resolve their dispute.

If the dispute is resolved, the system produces the necessary court forms for filing in the individual courts.

Also, the service is free, involving no cost to the parties or court.

The service is a game-changer for people who are busy with work or children and can benefit from mediation without leaving home, particularly as the state continues to operate under a shelter-in-place order, according to court officials.

Types of cases that have been managed through MI-Resolve include:

• Repayment of vehicle and personal loans

• Non-delivery or quality of  goods and services

• Car accident (attempts to collect the deductible)

• Landlord/Tenant (return of security deposit and disputes over the amount of security deposit withheld, completion of repairs
on rental homes)

• Return of private property between parties ending a domestic relationship

• Completion of repairs or home improvements (contractor/home repairs)

• Neighbor use of property that doesn’t belong to them; building fence on neighbor lot

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