Online dispute resolution tool goes live in Washtenaw and Livingston Counties

The Michigan Supreme Court Office of Dispute Resolution recently announced the availability of its MI-Resolve online dispute resolution tool in Washtenaw and Livingston counties.

MI-Resolve provides an efficient and accessible way of resolving disputes that are typically filed as small claims, general civil, or landlord-tenant cases in the district court. Now available in 62 counties, the online service is scheduled to be expanded to all 83 counties by the end of June, making Michigan the first state to have an online dispute resolution system for every citizen in the state.

“Keeping the virtual doors of justice open to everyone in Michigan has never been more important. Confronting the COVID-19 crisis makes closing the justice gap all the more urgent,” said Chief Justice Bridget M. McCormack. “Opening up online dispute resolution to Washtenaw and Livingston county residents represents a huge step toward achieving that goal.”

Through MI-Resolve, parties can go online to negotiate directly with the other party, or have a Community Dispute Resolution Center (in this case, The Dispute Resolution Center) mediator help them resolve their dispute. If the dispute is resolved, the system produces the necessary court forms for filing in the individual courts. Also, the service is free, involving no cost to the parties or court.

The service is a game-changer for people who are busy with work or children and can benefit from mediation without leaving home, particularly as the state continues to operate under a shelter-in-place order.

Types of cases that have been managed through MI-Resolve, to date:

• Repayment of vehicle and personal loans.

• Non-delivery or quality of goods and services.

• Car accident (attempts to collect the deductible).

• Landlord/Tenant (return of security deposit and disputes over the amount of security deposit withheld, completion of repairs on rental homes).

• Return of private property between parties ending a domestic relationship.

• Completion of repairs or home improvements (contractor/home repairs).

• Neighbor use of property that doesn’t belong to them; building fence on neighbor lot.