Civil mediation cases involve people or money or both.
Regular Civil Cases:
Typically one person sues another person or business for damages by filing a complaint in court. These may be property disputes, contractor issues, outstanding debt, business contract issues, landlord/tenant disputes, real estate contract problems and almost anything that is not a family/domestic issue or a criminal infraction. A typical civil mediation case at CMS is generally worth less than $25,000. If a formal complaint has been filed in court, the judge may order the parties to mediation to try to work out a solution without going to trial. However, individuals can request mediation directly without filing a complaint, if both parties agree to sit down and negotiate their interests. This can save a lot of time and money. If no agreement is reached, the parties still have litigation as a further option.
Some examples of Civil claims are: collecting or rebutting a claim of unpaid accounts; landlord/tenant problems; problems with contractors; property issues, small claims (under $6,000). Click here for more information on landlord/tenant disputes.
Small Claims Court:
Small Claims Courts are only used for getting a money judgment on problems valued at less than $6,000. Different counties handle their Small Claims cases slightly differently. Attorneys are not allowed in Small Claims Court in any county. This is a great explanation of Small Claims Courts in Michigan. This site allows you to search by county for the process used to settle small claims.
If a suit is filed against you, an answer to the complaint in writing is always requested. It is your chance to tell your side of the story in writing. Click here for guidance on writing an answer to submit to the court in a civil suit. You may also be ineligible for collection on a debt under certain circumstances. Click here for more information about being uncollectible. You may still have to go to mediation but there is never a charge for this service if your only income is some type of public assistance.
Civil Mediation (below $25,000): $100 each party
No Show/Less than 48 hour cancellation: $100
The following individuals are eligible for full fee waivers for mediation services: 1) those who receive public assistance for housing, food stamps, or Medicaid; 2) those whose only source of income is Veteran’s Benefits or Social Security; 3) those whose income is less than 125% of federal poverty guidelines. Proof of income is required for fee waivers. For all others, the listed fee schedule applies. Payment plans are available for up to three months.
Other Fee Information:
- The CMS Board of Directors reserves the right to change fees at any time.
- Individuals who fall below the minimum income guidelines will have all fees waived. Proof of income is required. For all others, payment in full expected at the time of mediation. Payment plans for up to three months are available, if needed.
- The Executive Director reserves the right to adjust fees under special circumstances. Any such change will be documented in the CMS data base as well as the case file.
- Effective March 20, 2018