Alternative Dispute Resolution

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Arbitration is a form of alternative dispute resolution utilized in certain civil cases in Winnebago County and Boone County to expedite resolution and avoid trial. Arbitration is a mandatory process in which the parties and their attorneys appear before a panel of three trained attorneys and present their evidence and arguments. The cases sent to arbitration will fall within a set range of moderate monetary damages. The hope is that the parties will come to a mutually satisfying agreement outside of court.

Alternative Dispute Resolution Center

The arbitration process is quite similar to a traditional court proceeding. Once the parties have presented their arguments, the arbitrators begin their deliberations. In order for a decision to be made, two of the three arbitrators must agree. Their decision will be made available to the parties later that day at 815-987-7739. The parties can then accept or reject the decision. If the decision is accepted by all sides, a court date is set so a judge can confirm the award. If the decision is rejected, a court date is set so the matter can proceed to trial.

The Winnebago County Alternative Dispute Resolution Center (ADRC) is located in Stewart Square; 308 West State Street, Suite 25, Rockford, Illinois 61101. The Center was the first of its kind in the State of Illinois. Since the center was established in 1987, it has handled an average of 1,000 civil cases each year. Many of these cases are settled before the set arbitration date.

Handbook - What is Aribtration

Eligibility Standards

  • The case must be a civil, not criminal, matter seeking only money damages.
  • The monetary sum being sought must be over $10,000 but no more than $50,000.

For additional information on Winnebago County’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Center please call Christine Hawley at 815-987-7739 or email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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400 W State St
Rockford, IL 61101