The Alternative Dispute Resolution Department of the Eighth Judicial Circuit facilitates the use of mediation and other alternate means to resolve court cases for litigants in Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Gilchrist, Levy, and Union counties. Mediation is an informal and non-adversarial process in which parties involved in a disputed matter meet with a neutral third party, the mediator, in an attempt to resolve their differences in a mutually agreeable manner. In mediation, the decision-making authority rests with the parties and they, not the judge, determine the ultimate resolution of the dispute. The mediator does not make a decision for the parties but helps them to reach their own decisions.
The Eighth Judicial Circuit supports mediation as a way parties can solve differences without the intervention of the Court. The Eighth Judicial Circuit currently has mediation services available in the following divisions: County Civil, Dependency, and Family.