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Mediation is the process that uses a neutral person, known as a mediator, who meets with the parties to assist in identifying issues and help to explore ideas for a mutually acceptable settlement. If the parties reach a settlement, then they submit a Stipulation for Entry of Consent Judgment instead of having a hearing before a Tribunal judge to decide the case. If the mediation is not successful, then the case proceeds to a hearing before a Tribunal judge. The mediation process is voluntary, and the Tribunal will not refer a case to mediation unless the parties agree to participate in mediation and file proper notification of this agreement, known as a Stipulation for Mediation. The mediator may charge a separate fee for their services. The Tribunal maintains a roster of approved mediators. For more information about the Tribunal's mediation process, please see:

Information for Petitioners and Respondents

Information for Mediators


Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is mediation?

    Mediation is an alternative to a hearing and a settlement process. It is process in which a mediator facilitates communication between parties, assists in identifying issues, and helps explore solutions to promote a mutually acceptable settlement.

  2. Is mediation voluntary?

    Yes, Mediation is voluntary. The Tribunal cannot refer a case to mediation.

  3. Is a mediator like a judge?

    No. A mediator cannot provide any legal advice and cannot make a decision in your case. A mediator will facilitate the conversation and settlement negotiations between the parties.

  4. Who can attend mediation sessions?

    The parties to the appeal, the parties’ attorney or authorized representative, anyone else involved in the dispute or may have to be bound by the Consent Judgment, if the case is settled.

  5. How do I request referral to mediation?

    The parties must agree to mediation and file a stipulation with the Tribunal.

  6. What information does the Stipulation for Mediation have to include?

    The parties must identify the name of the mediator, state that the mediator is certified by the Tribunal, state that the mediator has disclosed any potential basis for disqualification, and state that the parties and the mediator have agreed to compensation of the mediator and payment of the compensation.

  7. What happens after a Stipulation for Mediation is filed with the Tribunal?

    If the parties have filed a proper Stipulation for Mediation, the Tribunal will issue an Order for Mediation along with an order holding the case in abeyance. The Order will provide the deadline for the completion of mediation and require the mediator to file a Mediation Status Report within seven (7) days of completing mediation.

  8. What is a Mediation Status Report?

    A Mediation Status Report is a document filed by a mediator stating whether the mediation was completed or whether it was deemed inappropriate, identifying the mediation participants, whether the case was settled, and whether further mediation is necessary.

  9. How do I become a mediator?

    An individual desiring to be a certified mediator with the Tribunal must file a mediation application. The fee for the filing of the application is $50.00. If you qualify, you will be included on the Tribunal’s published list of mediators for one year.

  10. What are the qualifications to become a certified mediator with the Tribunal?

    There are two qualifications:

    (1) have at least five (5) years of state and local tax experience within the seven (7) years immediately preceding submission of the application and

    (2) be qualified as a general civil mediator under the Michigan Court Rules.

  11. What happens if we successfully mediate our case?

    The parties must file a stipulation for entry of consent judgment, with appropriate filing fee, and a consent judgment may be entered if the stipulation is found to be acceptable to the Tribunal.

  12. Am I required to settle the case if my case is ordered to mediation?

    No. If the parties are unable to settle their case through mediation, the Tribunal will remove the case from abeyance and proceed with the case.