In 1986, the General Assembly enacted legislation authorizing the Supreme Court to establish a pilot program for court-ordered, non-binding arbitration of claims for money damages of $15,000 or less. On January 1, 1987, a controlled experiment in arbitration began in the three pilot sites: Judicial Districts 3, 14, and 29. Based on the success of the pilot, the General Assembly enacted legislation during the 1989 Session authorizing arbitration statewide. As funding has been appropriated, arbitration has been expanded and is now available in 71 counties.
On January 1, 2012 the Supreme Court enacted revised arbitration rules. The revision included changes to several rules and a numerical reorganization.