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Arbitration Center

What is Arbitration?

Court-annexed arbitration was established in Illinois as a mandatory, but non-binding, form of alternative dispute resolution. The program is a deliberate effort on the part of the judiciary, bar and public to reduce the length and cost of litigation in Illinois.

The program applies to all small claims jury proceedings and all civil cases seeking money damages exclusively greater than $10,000 and less than the jurisdictional limit approved for that particular circuit by the Illinois Supreme Court. In DuPage County the limit is currently $50,000. Cases may also be transferred to the arbitration calendar from other court calls or divisions.

These arbitration eligible cases are litigated before a panel of three attorney/arbitrators in a hearing resembling a traditional bench trial. Each party makes a concise presentation of its case to the panel of arbitrators who then deliberate the issues and make an award on the same day as the hearing.

The parties to the dispute then have thirty (30) days to decide whether or not to accept the arbitrators' award. In the event one of the parties is not satisfied with the panel's decision, he or she may, upon the payment of the proper fee, the filing of the proper form with the Clerk of the Circuit Court, and the giving of notice to all other parties, reject the award. The parties will then proceed to trial before a judge as if the arbitration hearing had never occurred.

The Arbitration Program has provided a speedier resolution of small civil lawsuits than had previously been possible. The parties accept the vast majority of the arbitration awards. In addition, the members of the DuPage County bar, as arbitrators, have played a major role in helping to reduce the length and cost of litigation in this circuit.

Arbitration Hearing Information

All Arbitration Hearings are proceeding over Zoom per Administrative Order.

If you have any questions please email arbitration@18thjudicial.org or call the DuPage Arbitration Center at 630-407-2870.

For Attorneys and Self-Represented Litigants:

  • Information regarding your arbitration hearing date and time, as well as your post-arbitration status date and time are on your court order that scheduled the arbitration hearing. All details regarding your hearing as ordered by the Judge shall be followed.
  • Please visit our Question & Answer Booklet for helpful resources located below in Arbitration Resources.
  • The 90(c) packet, list of witnesses and operative pleadings are due to the arbitration center via email 2 business days prior to the arbitration hearing. Email your submissions to arbitration@18thjudicial.org.
    • Please label the subject of your email with the case number, hearing date and time
  • Zoom Links for the arbitration hearing may be obtained by visiting www.18thjudicial.org and selecting "remote court proceedings" and then enter the case number. The Zoom link is available after 12:00 p.m. (Noon) one business day prior to the hearing. Zoom Links change daily and our office does not provide the zoom link via email.
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Arbitration Resources7 documents

  • View List of Certified Court-Appointed Mediators as of May 2016
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  • View Arbitrator's Bench Book As of October 2011
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  • AOIC Uniform Arbitrators Reference Manual
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  • 2011 Question and Answer Booklet
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  • Arbitrator Application
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  • Arbitrator Chairperson Application
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  • Supreme Court Rule 222 Arbitration Disclosures
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