Who are the mediators?
Mediators are community residents who have been trained under the guidelines set forth by the State Court Administrative Office.
A mediator is a neutral person that manages the mediation process. Mediators assist parties to both identify the issues of a dispute and discuss solutions to them.
A Mediator Does Not:
- Make suggestions
- Make decisions
- Take sides
- Force any party to reach an agreement
- Offer legal advice
Marquette Alger Resolution Center’s roster of qualified mediators represent a wide variety of professional disciplines. They have successfully completed a training course established by the Michigan Supreme Court.
MARS mediators are also required to complete advanced mediation training on an annual basis.
Mediation is affordable. Fees vary for services and are based on ability to pay. Please call for more information about our current fee schedule.
2017 Annual Report Highlights
MARS processed 165 cases and mediated 147 core cases (cases that are mediated with or without agreement) in 2017.
In 2017, of the 147 cases mediated, approximately 59% were mediated to full or partial agreement. 85% of cases were court-ordered. The average duration of a mediation session for 2017 was 63 minutes.
Number of Individuals Served in 2017
420 individuals were served in 2017.
Number of Children involved in mediation cases
112 children were served as a result of the mediation process in 2017.
Referrals from the Courts remained steady at 85% of total referrals for 2017. Additional referrals were made by legal organizations and self-referrals.
The highest dispute type for cases handled by MARS is in the area of contracts. This category covers a wide area of issues and includes disputes with banks, consumers and merchants, payday loan establishments and other types of consumer disputes. 59% of total cases for 2017 involved domestic issues including child protection, parenting time and custody, post-judgment issues, and divorces with and without minor children.
Days from Intake to Disposition
The number of days from intake to disposition is calculated by counting the number of days from the time the referral is made to the day the mediation is held. The average number of days from intake to disposition in 2017 was 17 days.
Permanency planning mediation (PPM) PROGRAM
Marquette and Alger Counties have provided PPM since 1999. The program is administered through MARS in cooperation with the Marquette County Probate Court, the Prosecutor’s office, the Marquette County Department of Health and Human Services and local private foster care agencies. This program is designed to improve child welfare processes and outcomes using facilitated mediation in some child abuse and neglect matters that come before the court. Although not every mediation session deals directly with the child’s placement, the name for this type of mediation reflects the ultimate goal of the program, which is to facilitate a process which can lead to a determination of a safe, permanent home for children in a timely manner. The case statistics for the PPM program for 2017 are as follows:
- Number of Cases: 33
- Number of Cases Mediated: 28
- Mediated to full or partial agreement: 64%
- Number of Individuals Served: 195
- Number of Children Involved: 46
Mars is funded, in part, by the State Court Administrative Office. The Community Dispute Resolution Program was established in 1988 by Public Act 260. MARS started providing mediation services in 1992. Since that time, MARS has received funding from the State based on core cases from the previous year. MARS is also funded through in-kind support from the Marquette County Probate Court as well as mediation fees from parties, donations, MDHHS and service contracts.
25 MARS mediators volunteered for a total of 281 hours in 2017. Based on a state assigned rate value of $150.00 per hour, this calculates to $42,150 in in-kind time donated to the mediation center.