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Mandatory Arbitration | State of Illinois Office of the Illinois Courts

In Illinois, court-annexed arbitration is a mandatory, non-binding, non-court procedure designed to resolve civil disputes by utilizing a neutral third party, called an arbitration panel. Mandatory arbitration applies rules of evidence and procedure which are less formal than those followed in trial courts and usually leads to more timely and less expensive resolution of disputes. An arbitration panel can recommend, but not impose, a decision. In the exercise of its general administrative and supervisory authority over Illinois courts, Supreme Court rules prescribe actions which are subject to mandatory arbitration ( link for rules 86-95). The rules address a range of operational procedures including: appointment, qualifications, and compensation of arbitrators; scheduling of hearings; discovery process; conduct of hearings; absence of a party; award and judgment on an award; rejection of an award; and form of oath, award and notice of award. In the sixteen jurisdictions approved by the Supreme Court to operate such programs, all civil cases filed in which the amount of monetary damages being sought falls within the program’s jurisdictional limit, are subject to the arbitration process. These modest sized claims are amenable to closer management and quicker resolution by using a less formal alternative process than a typical trial court proceeding.

Part of the cost of operating the mandatory arbitration program is offset by fees paid by participants in the program. During Calendar Year 2019, the arbitration filing and rejection fees collected amounted to $4,227,284.62.  Illinois General Assembly - Illinois Compiled Statutes (


Past Arbitration Reports

Past Statistical Summaries