Frequently Asked Questions
What is Mediation?
An opportunity to discuss your case and resolve it without a public trial. A trained mediator will help all parties try to reach a fair settlement agreement.
Who are the Mediators?
Community Action Partnership’s Mediators are volunteers who are trained and certified in conflict resolution and mediation.
What do the Mediators do?
- Mediators ask questions about your case and what is important to you; help everyone understand the strengths and weaknesses of their case; and record an agreement that is fair to both parties.
- Mediators do not give legal advice.
- Mediators do not decide who wins/loses the case.
Will the Mediator discuss my case or the mediation with anyone?
No, Mediators do not share any information about the case to anyone. All mediation sessions are confidential.
Why should I try Mediation?
- The judge controls the outcome. He or she may not see the facts and evidence your way. You could lose, win, or win less than you want.
- You may only get a few minutes to present your case. The judge may not let you present all your evidence.
- The parties control the result. You may not get 100% of what you want, but you can try to reach a fair compromise and avoid the risk of losing 100% at trial.
- There is more time for each side to tell the whole story, including facts and evidence that the judge would consider irrelevant or not admissible.
Settlement agreements vs. judges’ decisions: People are usually more likely to keep agreements that they themselves help create.
Credit reports: You may be able to protect your credit even if you agree to pay money.
When should parties not go to mediation?
- If one party has physically or emotionally abused the other party.
- If you want your “day in court” to present your case in a public trial.
How long will the mediation last?
About 30 - 60 minutes, depending on the situation.
What if we reach an agreement but one side violates it?
You are able to request a new community mediation case or take your case to court.
When does mediation take place?
The Mediation Program Administrator will work with both parties to schedule a mediation session at a convenient place and time.
How much does mediation cost?
There is no fee at this time.
How can I prepare for the mediation?
Think about these things:
- What are some ways to resolve the dispute that would work for everyone?
- What are the most important points to tell the mediator about your case?
- What questions do you want to ask the other party?
- Are there any weaknesses in your case? (Facts, evidence, proof, witnesses, law?)
- Bring any items you would like to share including documents, pictures and letters.
- Mediation focuses on solving the problem in a practical, realistic way rather than proving who’s right or wrong. Can you help solve the problem?
- Hostile tactics don’t work in mediation. Courtesy, respect, listening and keeping an open mind do work. People often “agree to disagree” on certain points to reach a deal. Can you try to understand your opponent even if you don’t agree with him/her? Many people are pleasantly surprised at the agreements they reach in mediation.