Welcome to the Carroll County Mediation Center's official website. The Carroll County Mediation Center is a division of the Coweta Judicial Circuit and serves the Superior Court, State Court, Probate Court, Magistrate Court, and Juvenile Court. In 1990, the Georgia Supreme Court established its Commission on Alternative Dispute Resolution to begin implementation of a statewide, comprehensive ADR system in keeping with the Georgia Constitution’s mandate that the judicial branch provide “speedy, efficient, and inexpensive resolution of disputes and prosecutions”.
Mediation is an opportunity for parties and attorneys to meet privately to discuss issues of the case, and parties are empowered to have some input in the outcome of their case with the mediator drawing up an outline for settlement in the session. After signing with attorneys present, an agreement is binding.
The merits of mediation are the privacy and confidentiality and the opportunity to discuss needs and interest in the outcome of their case rather than let a judge or jury make the decisions.
Mediation is used in all courts in Carroll County and most courts in Coweta Judicial Circuit.
The mediators are trained neutrals registered with the Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution, and some may be attorney/mediators.
Mediation is used in most courts in Georgia, and there are just some cases that are best settled in the mediation atmosphere. Parties are not required to settle in mediation, and if the case is not resolved in mediation it proceeds through the regular court process. Mediators cannot be subpoened or testify to any details of a case.
Carroll County is fortunate to have these services provided for the citizens of Carroll County as method to resolve disputes
ABBREVIATED PROCEDURES AND POLICIES
Procedures and Policies
Case Initiation Form
The Mediation Initiation Form should be completed in full and mailed or faxed to the Coweta Circuit ADR Office in LaGrange. The case should be initiated a minimum of 45 days prior to an anticipated final hearing or trial date. ADR staff will conduct an intake process with parties and answer questions. If attorneys plan to attend the mediation session, this must be indicated on the initiation form in order for their schedules to be taken into consideration during scheduling process.
NOTE: Not all cases are appropriate for mediation. If any party has questions or concerns about whether a case is appropriate for meidation because of allegations of domestic violence, child abuse, or any other special circumstances, please advise the ADR Office of those concerns. Additional screening may be necessary to decide as to whether mediation is appropriate. Please contact this office if you need any additional information or need assistance in this area.
Mediator Assignment/Selection and Fees:
The ADR Office assigns mediators to cases on a rotational basis from its list of program-approved mediators. Parties may select their own mediator and negotiate a fee, provided the mediator is registered with GA Office of Dispute Resolution. If the parties have selected a mediator, this must be indicated in writing and attached to the initation form when case is submitted to the ADR Office.
If the ADR Office assigns the mediator, the minimum fee for the initial 2.5-hour session will be $150.00; additional hours will cost $75.00 per hour. The parties are to share the cost equally and must be prepared to pay the mediator at the time of the session. Requests for fee reduction or waiver due to a party's inability to pay must be made to the Coweta Circuit Office prior to the session on the appropriate form (copies are available from the ADR Office).
The ADR Office schedules the case and notifies all parties and attorneys in writing as to the date, time, and location of the session. Consideration will be given to parties' and attorneys' desired dates and times during the scheduling process. If scheduling conflicts arise, however, the ADR Office will set the appointment; once the session is scheduled, no unilateral canceling or rescheduling is permitted. If an appointment must be changed due to legal conflict, notice pursuant to Uniform Superior Court Rule 17.1 must be presented to the ADR Office. If a party fails to appear at a duly noticed mediation session or fails to give 48 hours notice of cancellation, said party may be responsible for the mediator's fee, not to exceed $150.00.
Special Instruction and Information:
In domestic cases, pursuant to U.S.C.R. 24.2, the parties are required to bring copies of their financial affidavits if the issues of child support, alimony, property division or attorney's fees are to be mediated. If children's issues (custody, support, visitation) are to be mediated, the parties are required to attend the parent seminar prior to scheduling the mediation session.
All relevant information pertinent to the issues to be discussed should be brought to the session. Failure to bring the required information may cause adjournment of the first session and rescheduling at a time when the information is available.
Someone with full authority to settle the dispute must be present at the session. Attorneys of record are welcome at the mediation session, but are not required. No legal or financial advice is given by the mediator or program staff. It is the party's decision as to whether their attorney attends the mediation. Unless otherwise noted in the agreement, parties unrepresented by counsel during the mediation will have 3 days to have any agreement reviewed and approved by counsel
Elmira B. Barrow,
Carroll County Mediation Coordinator and Coweta Judicial Circuit ADR Programs Coordinator
Carroll County Magistrate Mediation Coordinator
Carroll County Courthouse
311 Newnan Street
Carrollton, GA 30117
P.O. Box 338
Carrollton, GA 30112
Phone & Fax:
Phone: (770) 830-5993
Fax: (770) 830-0434
Hours: 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM