- A party must provide at least two business days notice to cancel or reschedule the mediation. If a party fails to provide said notice, they will be assessed a $75 fee.
- The Mediation Center will schedule one continuation at no charge. The continuation must be held within six months of the initial mediation date.
- For subsequent continuations, an additional $300 mediation fee per party will be charged.
- For a continuation scheduled six months after the initial mediation date, an additional $300 mediation fee per party will be charged.
Screening forms (for domestic mediation) and payment must be received at least one business day before mediation. Mediation will not proceed until these documents are completed, which will delay the start time of your mediation. Please be mindful that failure to complete these documents in a timely manner impacts all mediation parties.
Payment must be received one business day before the mediation. Payment can be made using this link: https://mediationsavannah.com/pay-mediation-fee/
Fee waivers and fee reductions may be provided for parties with a pro bono attorney or parties without an attorney.Information for Civil Mediation
Please ensure The Mediation Center has your client’s phone number and email address prior to virtual mediation.
You will receive the Zoom link 24-48 hours before mediation for virtual mediation.
Information for Domestic Mediation
Starting on January 1, 2021, a revised ADR Screening process is required by the Georgia Commission on Dispute Resolution. The revised screening process is designed to help better identify domestic violence cases, determine whether mediation can be conducted safely and free of coercion, and ensure that a specialized domestic violence mediator is assigned to the case when necessary.
Tier I Screening
All clients/citizens must complete Tier I screening prior to mediation. Tier I screening is conducted using an online questionnaire: https://godr.org/adr-screening/. This online questionnaire is in lieu of the hard copy Domestic Relations screening form that was used prior to January 1, 2021.
- Once a citizen has completed the questionnaire, the questionnaire responses are automatically routed to the Chatham County ADR Office (or appropriate ADR office for other county cases) for review. TMC will receive a client’s screening form approximately two business days after the form was completed. Questionnaire responses are not sent to the party, attorney, or others due to safety issues.
If you wait until the week prior to mediation for your client to complete the online screening form, it is possible the start time of your mediation could be delayed.
Tier II Screening
If indicators of domestic violence are found in Tier I, clients proceed to Tier II screening. The key question in Tier II Screening is: Can this mediation be done safely and free of coercion? Does the party being screened currently possess the capacity to advocate for their own interests during mediation (has the violence prevented them from being in a mind-frame conducive to mediation)?
- If there are concerns triggered by Tier I or there is a TPO in the TPO registry, GODR has authorized the party’s attorney to explain the mediation process and safeguards to their client and conduct the Tier II screening. The attorneys can notify TMC whether their client has decided to proceed with the mediation or opt-out due to safety reasons/DV issues. If the at-risk client wants to proceed, the attorney should sign a consent to mediate form and return it to TMC at least 5 business days BEFORE mediation.
If NO Tier I has been received before mediation, the case is automatically mediated with Domestic Violence protocol in place until it is fully screened. If a case is labeled Domestic Violence:
- the mediator MUST be a trained Specialized Domestic Violence mediator (this is an additional 14 hour training to be certified)
- mediation must be done in a secure location:
- Virtual and in separate break-out rooms for duration of mediation
- At a secure location, such as the Courthouse, with proper security (officers, metal detectors) and in different rooms the entire time and neither know the location of the other.
- A case labeled as Domestic Violence cannot be mediated at TMC offices (even if only 1 person wants to be at TMC) because there is no metal detector or security officers.
The Mediation Center’s process to ensure screening compliance:
One week before mediation:
- TMC will review case file to ensure parties have completed online screening form
- If the screening form is in the file, and there are no concerns, no further screening is required.
- If there are concerns triggered by Tier I or there is a TPO in the TPO registry, GODR has authorized the party’s attorney to explain the mediation process and safeguards to their client and conduct the Tier II screening. The attorneys can notify us whether their client has decided to proceed with the mediation or opt-out due to safety reasons/DV issues. If the at-risk client wants to proceed, the attorney should sign a consent to mediate form and return it to TMC at least 5 business days BEFORE mediation.
- TMC will perform Tier II screening.
- If the screening form isn’t in the file, TMC will call the attorneys to get the email address and phone number of the client.