IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE TENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT, IN AND FOR HARDEE, HIGHLANDS AND POLK COUNTIES, FLORIDA

ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER NO. 3-8.0

COUNTY COURT CIVIL MEDIATION PROGRAMS

 

WHEREAS, Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.050(a) & (b) (3) establishes administrative responsibility in the chief judge of the circuit court and directs the chief judge to develop a plan for the most efficient administration of all courts in the circuit, and

WHEREAS, alternative dispute resolution programs, both in the state of Florida and nationally, have proven to be effective methods for relieving caseloads and providing parties with a more efficient and satisfying alternative to the traditional judicial process; it is, therefore,

ORDERED AND DIRECTED that:

1. The County Court Civil Mediation Program is hereby established in Polk County.

2. The purpose of the County Court Civil Mediation Program is to facilitate discussions between parties to civil actions in an effort to reach an agreement acceptable to the parties which resolves their dispute without necessity of a court hearing and to provide parties to civil actions with a fair, efficient, and more satisfying alternative to the traditional judicial process.

3. The County Court Civil Mediation Program shall be governed by a county court mediation committee which shall adopt rules and policies to implement the program and to recruit, train, and supervise volunteer mediators.

4. County Judge Robert A. Young shall be initial chairman of the mediation committee and shall appoint the other committee members. The committee shall include in the rules it adopts provisions governing the future appointment and composition of the mediation committee.

5. The County Courts for Hardee and Highlands Counties are hereby authorized to establish county court civil mediation programs under this rule provided they first establish a civil mediation committee, which shall adopt rules and policies consistent with this order. Each such mediation committee shall be chaired by a county judge of the county in which the program is to operate.

DONE AND ORDERED at Bartow, Polk County, Florida, this 4th day of September, 1986.

WILLIAM A. NORRIS, JR., CHIEF JUDGE

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