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Online Dispute Resolution

Did you receive a notice?

If you received notice from an Indiana court that your case is eligible for Online Dispute Resolution (ODR), choose the county hearing your case to get started:


What is online dispute resolution?

Online Dispute Resolution, or ODR, provides the two sides of a court case with a neutral, online space to solve their differences without having to go to court in front of a judge.

Right now, Online Dispute Resolution is available in Allen and Lake counties for small claims cases only.

How ODR works

ODR gives you and the other party in your case the chance to solve your dispute outside of court and possibly avoid appearing in court. Instead of waiting for the hearing date set by the court, you and the other party can chat online—in a neutral space not visible to the court or the judge—to discuss the claim and try to reach an agreement.

If you and the other party can agree, ODR provides a form for both of you to fill out and sign, then one of you can file the agreement form with the court. If approved by the court, the judge will sign the agreement, update your case that an agreement was made, and send a copy to both you and the other party.

At this point, the agreement becomes a binding court order.

Whether or not you participate in ODR is your choice, and the choice you make will not influence the court’s decision one way or the other. But if you and the other party are both comfortable participating and are able to agree, you might be able to solve the dispute faster than with a traditional court hearing. And it might be more convenient for you too, because the ODR system is available 24/7, so you can use it on your schedule.

Example agreements:

  • If you owe money to the other party, and you both agree on the amount owed, you could then agree on a payment plan
  • If you owe money to the other party, but you disagree on the amount owed, you could try to work out an amount acceptable to both of you and then agree on a payment plan
  • If you cannot come to an agreement on any terms, you still have the right to go to court
  • If a judgment has already been established by a court order, you may be able to negotiate a payment plan to satisfy the judgment

Trial

If you and the other party cannot come to an agreement using ODR—or one party opts out of ODR—the case moves forward to an initial court date and a trial. This court date is on the summons your received. Also, the court sends notification of the date, time, and place of the court hearing by email or mail to the address on file with the court clerk. If you do not attend the hearings, the court may rule against you without hearing your side of the dispute.