Improve the effectiveness of the Denver justice system by providing the highest quality mediation services to the community and the courts.
“Less Risk, More Control”
Our core values are:
*Empowering parties to build their own just resolutions
*Making mediation services accessible to all parties
*Educating the public, the judiciary and the legal community on the value and process of mediation
The program, originally known as Court Annexed Mediation Services (CAMP), began on February 13, 2001. On February 24, 2010, the program name was officially changed to Court Mediation Services (CMS) and was approved by the DBA Board of Directors as a “stand alone committee” of the DBA. CMS is staffed and operated by trained and experienced mediators. Program funding relies in large part upon the nominal fees collected for some mediation services.
CMS provides mediation services to the Denver County Civil, Small Claims, Probate, Protection Order and Domestic Relations Courts at 1437 Bannock St. Denver Co. 80202. The majority of CMS’s cases come from Denver’s Civil and Small Claims Courts.
CMS operates in six courtrooms 104, 159, 170, 175, 186 and 224. Courtroom 104 handles small claims cases. Courts 159, 175 and 186 handle county court civil cases, excluding protection orders.
By request of the Court, CMS has currently expanded its services to Rule 365 and Domestic Violence Protection Order Mediations, in which mediators are required to have training in Domestic Violence and High Conflict procedures. The Protection Order Courtroom is in 170. Probate Court cases may involve decedent’s estates, guardianships, conservatorships, trusts or other Probate matters. Probate court is on the second floor in courtroom 224 on the northeast corner. In addition CMS operates in the Domestic Relations Division, located on the 3rd floor of the Denver City and County Building.
The CMS program now provides scheduled mediations (those not handled on-site the same day they are referred by a Courtroom) and has a pilot program for “pre-filed” cases, meaning those cases not yet filed in court.
CMS operates with the express approval and assistance of the County Court Judges and Magistrates under the guidance of the Presiding Judge, and the Denver Probate and Domestic Relations Judge.
Fees for Services
Although, our first and foremost obligation is to work effectively with the Courts, CMS mediators do charge a nominal fee to the litigants for cases. (Please refer to the program brochure for fee schedule). Nominal fees are paid by cash, check (payable to the DBA), and Credit Card (Visa, MasterCard, and American Express). Of the total amount collected on such cases, 50% is paid by the DBA to the lead or solo mediator, who handled the case and 50% is retained by the DBA to defray the expenses of CMS. Some mediators defer their portions of the fee, contributing it to the DBA for the CMS program. Fee schedules my very depending on the type of mediation.
Schedule and Location
Mediation services for Denver County Courts are provided by CMS daily. On site mediations are conducted in conference rooms and jury rooms of the Denver City and County Building, 1437 Bannock St., Denver, CO and the CMS office is located at room 167. The Small Claims Court operates from Monday through Thursday. The County Courts operate Monday through Friday.
CMS provides mediation in protection orders on Wednesdays or by prior arrangement. Probate cases will be scheduled by prior arrangement at the convenience of all participants. Domestic Relations cases are mediated on most Tuesday mornings, or at the request of the Court.
Mediations scheduled upon request of the parties or their counsel after first calling CMS. Scheduled Mediations will usually be conducted at the Denver City and County Building(or other agreed-upon location).
Amount in Controversy
The jurisdictional limit of the County Court is $15,000. The limit in Small Claims Court is $7,500. Most cases filed in these Courts involve far less than the jurisdictional limits. Our fees are intentionally set low in order to accommodate these juridical limits and save the expense of costly litigation. Fees can be reduced or waived at the discretion of the Program Chair, Executive Director and Division Directors.
CMS experiences a high volume of requests to join the program. Although, we welcome all qualified mediators to our program, we do ask that you are willing to commit to the required timeline and procedures, as described below. CMS has determined that it can provide mediation opportunities to mediators who have.
a) Satisfy all requirements necessary to become an approved lead mediator for CMS and be available to serve as a lead mediator at least once a month for 12 months once they have been so approved; or
b) Provide other time commitments and services approved in advance by the CMS Director and/or Co-Chairs.
Any person who has not already satisfied these requirements or been approved to be a lead mediator for CMS agrees, by signing up to mediate for CMS, that they will meet this commitment.
Reflective Practice and Discussion groups
Mediators participate in periodic CMS reflective practice review sessions, and are encouraged and may be required to attend continuing training meetings and CBA ADR Topical Luncheons at which speakers address issues regarding ADR. CLE credits are sometimes available.
Discussion groups are held to collect feedback from our mediators. They are held periodically on varying topics. We encourage all mediators to participate so that we can better serve you, the courts and the community.
Other Benefits to Mediators
Mediators are welcome to attend monthly CBA DR section meeting, located 1900 Grant St. 9th floor, on the first Friday of every month from 12:00-1:00pm. Active CMS mediators are associate member of the Bar Associations, are thereby provided insurance coverage.
Jeanne Busacca, Program Chair
Lisa Hughes, Executive Director
DBA Court Mediation Services
1. The Denver County Courts provide reimbursement for mediators’ parking and light rail charges.