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17th Judicial Circuit Court launches eviction mediation program

Emergency Eviction Legal Services, or EELS, is a new program designed to assist renters who are...
(Pima County)
Published: Sep. 16, 2021 at 10:29 AM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - The program is free and available to housing providers and tenants with pending residential eviction court cases. In addition to providing mediation, the program will refer parties to appropriate services, including rental assistance programs.

Mediation sessions will occur virtually.

Chief Judge Eugene G. Doherty says, “The Illinois Supreme Court has encouraged each judicial circuit to establish early resolution programs to allow for alternative dispute resolution of eviction cases. The court is pleased to be in a position to offer a platform that allows Winnebago County residents involved in eviction court an opportunity to reach an agreement that meets their respective needs.”

The Circuit partnered with the nonprofit organization Resolution Systems Institute (RSI), who will coordinate the program and deliver virtual mediation programming. RSI’s mission is to strengthen access to justice by enhancing court alternative dispute resolution systems. RSI was awarded a grant to support this program offering from the Illinois Equal Justice Foundation, with funding provided by the Illinois Department of Human Services.

For more information on the eviction program, you can send an email Program Coordinator Olga Ivari at ivari@aboursi.org or call at (312) 772-4493.

If you are a skilled mediator and wish to learn about serving the program, please contact RSI’s Eric Slepak at eslepak@aboutrsi.org.

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