Alternative Dispute Resolution

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is a way to settle a civil disagreement without a court trial. The Superior Court of California, County of Kern encourages parties in a civil case to explore and use Alternative Dispute Resolution. ADR includes a variety of resolution processes that are alternatives to lawsuits. ADR includes, but is not limited to: Mediation, Neutral Evaluation and Arbitration

  1. Mediation:
    Mediation is a process where a neutral person helps the parties communicate so they can settle the dispute themselves. The parties have a greater chance to participate than in a trial or arbitration. The Superior Court of California, County of Kern does not have a court mediator or neutral evaluator program.
  2. Dispute Resolution Program Act:
    The Superior Court of California, County of Kern does have a California Dispute Resolution Program Act (DRPA). Through DRPA, mediation services are provided the day of your settlement conference, hearing or trial in such cases as limited civil, unlawful detainer, civil harassment, family law, and guardianship.
  3. Arbitration:
    Arbitration is a process where a neutral person, rather than a judge or jury, conducts a hearing, receives evidence, and decides the outcome of the dispute. You can request Arbitration or the Judge can order Arbitration usually before the first case management statement is filed. Arbitration can be binding or non-binding. The Arbitrator will issue a written decision called an award. The arbitration award is final and is entered as the judgment in the case unless a party requests a trial. The Superior Court of California, County of Kern does use arbitrators in civil cases where the amount in controversy as to each individual plaintiff is $50,000 or less. See Local Rule 3.14

Arbitration Resources:

  1. Court approved Arbitrator Panel
  2. How to become an Arbitrator for the Kern County Superior Court
  3. Judicial Branch California Courts - Arbitration Process
  4. ADR Coordinator

Mediation Resources:

  1. Better Business Bureau
  2. Kern County Bar Association
  3. California Bar Association
  4. California Department of Consumer Affairs – Mediation
  5. Judicial Branch California Courts – ADR
  6. Kern County Superior Court ADR Information Packet