Online Dispute Resolution Programs (ODR)
2022 NACo Achievement Award Winner
Los Angeles County, Calif., CA
Best In Category
About the Program
Category: Information Technology (Best in Category)
The Superior Court of State of California, County of Los Angeles (Court) created Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) programs for both Small Claims and Unlawful Detainer cases. These programs allow litigants to negotiate a binding agreement outside of court, on their own time, at their own pace, and without face-to-face contact, if preferred. ODR offers a virtual negotiation space to reach resolution conveniently and efficiently, without entering a courthouse; links to state and local resources for litigants (e.g., housing resources for landlords and tenants); and the ability to electronically file necessary court documents. Participating litigants can get free online mediation services from professional mediators. ODR is safe, efficient, and cost-effective, saving litigants the time and commuting costs usually necessary to attend court hearings. Making it easier for litigants to achieve mutually acceptable agreements on improves litigant satisfaction and allows the Court to focus scarce courtroom resources on cases in which judicial intervention is unavoidable. Program development costs were funded by the Court and the Los Angeles County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs (DCBA). DCBA staff provide free mediation services for participants, along with staff from the Center for Conflict Resolution (CCR).