What is ODR?
Online Dispute Resolution (or ODR) is a tool to help you start the process of negotiating a small claims case. It gives you and the other person a chance to resolve your dispute before the in- person Pretrial Conference/Mediation date. In most situations, it takes less time than a trial!
How does ODR work?
If your small claims case qualifies, you will need to ensure that your email address is on file with the court. Email ODR@ ocnjcc.org for instructions on how to update your email address.
If both parties have an email address on file, and your case qualifies for ODR, the court will send you an email to let you know that you can use ODR to resolve your case. The email will also provide instructions on how to register with the Online Dispute Resolution Center.
Next, the plaintiff will answer some questions about the case. Then the court will send the defendant an email. The defendant should review the information and provide a response.
If you can’t find a solution with the other person, either of you can ask for help from a mediator. A mediator is a certified specialist trained to help you reach a resolution.
You will not need to appear for your Pretrial Conference Mediation date if you reach a signed agreement using the Online Resolution Center.
Timeliness matters in this process! You must complete the process at least 10 calendar days before your Pretrial Conference Mediation date. If you do not complete the process by the deadline you will need to appear for your Pretrial Conference Mediation date.
Check your email for a message from firstname.lastname@example.org.
How much does it cost?
It’s free! The Ninth Judicial Circuit Court provides the Online Resolution Center at no cost to you!
What if we don’t reach an agreement?
If you do not reach an agreement you will have to appear for your scheduled Pretrial Conference Mediation date.