Delaware Justice of the Peace court may be the first in the nation to launch an online platform for landlords & tenants to resolve their case without going to court in person. This Landlord-Tenant ODR system is built by Matterhorn (a Court Innovations company).

The ODR system allows for online mediation. In some cases it might be required by the judge. They may order the parties to participate in the ODR platform before a trial can be heard.

Here is how the ODR system works, according to the court description:

You talk to each other in writing using ODR

  • The process does not take place in real time
  • You review and respond to messages from the other party at your own convenience
  • Documents and other evidence may be uploaded to ODR

Your ODR conversations are confidential

If you reach an agreement on your own:

  • You and the other party complete the written agreement yourselves in ODR, or
  • You ask the Court to assign a mediator who will prepare the agreement

If you and the other party can’t reach an agreement on your own, you may request the assistance of a mediator

  • The Court will assign a mediator
  • The mediator initially works with each party separately
  • The mediator may talk to both parties at the same time if they think it will produce an agreement
  • The mediator documents any agreement in ODR and sends it to the Court for approval

If there is no agreement, you go to trial

Here is how the ODR system works for a landlord:

Here is how it looks for a tenant:

Ideally there will be evaluation of the ODR performance, in terms of the settlement agreement rates, and the types of settlement terms agreed to.

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