Delaware’s Justice of the Peace Court has begun an Online Dispute Resolution program, with the goal of resolving disputes before parties go to court. The courts had been working on the service since before the pandemic.
Initially, the online dispute resolution program focuses on landlord-tenant disputes. Debt cases will also be incorporated, and eventually all civil matters will go through the ODR process before a trial is necessary.
“We are excited to offer this new service. We have been working on developing this since before the pandemic struck – similar to other alternative dispute/mediation programs in other courts – but as it turns out, this is the perfect tool to help people resolve their differences without having to come to court and the potential exposure of being at a courthouse,” Chief Magistrate Alan
If the parties cannot resolve their differences, an online mediator would take part in the online conversation to help each side consider an acceptable compromise or resolution. If that fails, the matter would go to trial before a JP Court judge.