Pro Se and Alternative Dispute
Resolution Guidelines and Information


Proceeding without an attorney is called “pro se” a Latin meaning for “for oneself”, or sometimes “in propria persona” meaning “in ones own proper person”.  Following court procedures by representing yourself in a lawsuit can be complex, time consuming, costly and you risk the possibility of losing your case.

The Superior Court Judges of the Macon Judicial Circuit and their staff are unable to give you legal advice or participate in any aspect of your case.  We encourage you to seek legal advice or contact a legal aid center who can discuss the case with you.


What is Alternative Dispute Resolution?

Alternative Dispute Resolution or “ADR” refers to any method other than litigation for resolution of disputes. ADR methods may include Mediation, Arbitration, and Early Neutral Evaluation. ADR uses a third neutral person to facilitate negotiations between other parties who are in conflict. In Mediation, the Mediator will attempt to assist you in working out a solution that is fair, reasonable, and acceptable as a way to resolve the dispute. It is not about who is at fault but rather what can be done to settle the problem. In Arbitration, the Arbitrator will issue an award after a hearing at which both parties have an opportunity to be heard. Arbitration is non-binding unless the parties agree otherwise. Early Neutral Evaluation “ENE” is a process in which a lawyer with expertise in the subject matter of the litigation acts as a neutral evaluator of the case.

Should the parties attend court ordered mediation sessions?

All parties must meet and participate in good faith to resolve the dispute.  Attorneys must petition the court to rescind mediation order or extend deadlines.   Pro se parties may contact the ADR office for assistance.

Is there a cost for ADR?

Yes. We encourage each party to select a neutral and agreed upon fee prior to the ADR session. If a neutral fee is not selected the ADR office will assign a Mediator from the rotation list.  If you are unable to pay the mediation fees or need assistance, please contact the ADR office immediately to request an Application for Waiver of Fees. All applications must be fully completed and received by the ADR Office no later than 3 days prior to any scheduled ADR session. Applications will not be granted once the ADR session has begun.

What are the necessary steps to complete the mediation process?

  • Contact the ADR office upon receipt of your referral letter from the court.
  • A mediator will be assigned to your case.
  • Bring all financial documentation with you to mediation.
  • Complete the mediation conference in good faith.

Who should I contact for mediation assistance?

Please direct all questions concerning mediation to the Alternative Dispute Resolution Program, 577 Mulberry Street, Suite 907, Macon, GA 31201, telephone number 478-751-4137, fax number 478-751-4138.  This office is committed to providing quality alternative dispute resolution assistance to the circuits that we serve.

* Please note that our office cannot give legal or financial advice. *


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