Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County, Small Claims Division

Small Claims Online Dispute Resolution

Frequently Asked Questions

What is online dispute resolution (ODR)?

ODR is a way to resolve your case online without having to appear in court. With ODR:

  1. You may be able to negotiate the amount requested on the claim.
  2. You have the ability to set up a payment plan.
  3. You may request assistance from a mediator at no additional cost.

What are the benefits of ODR?

  1. Time - You may be able to resolve your small claims dispute without needing to appear at a court hearing.
  2. Convenience - You can participate anytime, day or night, and from anywhere on your computer, tablet, or smartphone.
  3. Cost - There are no additional fees to participate in ODR.

Does using ODR affect my legal rights?

No, you do not lose or gain any rights by using ODR.

How does ODR work?

ODR allows parties to exchange information with each other. You can discuss ways to settle your dispute, including payment plans. You may also request a mediator to help you reach an agreement.

Who are the mediators?

Our mediators are impartial and trained. They will act as a go-between to assist in reaching an agreement.

Is there an additional fee to request a mediator?

No, mediators are provided at no cost.

What is the best approach to resolving a dispute online?

  1. Communicate honestly by expressing your needs.
  2. Listen to what the other party needs.
  3. Be cooperative and flexible.
  4. Have a positive attitude.
  5. Consider new ideas or suggestions.
  6. Work towards an agreement, do not place blame or seek revenge.