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Community Mediation Basics
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What is Mediation? 


Mediation is a conversation between two or more people that disagree, led by a trained, neutral mediator. Mediation is a less expensive, time-saving alternative to court. In mediation the disputing parties have the chance to settle their differences in a safe, confidential and efficient manner. Mediation helps people get what they need, whether it’s peace and quiet, family unity, a financial settlement, or just a chance to be heard. Community mediation center mediators include staff members and community volunteers who are professionally trained and committed to promoting peace in our communities.  



What is a Community Mediation Center?


Community Mediation Centers are Characterized by, and/or Committed to:A private non-profit or public agency or program thereof, with mediators, staff and governing/advisory board representative of the diversity of the community served. The use of trained community volunteers as providers of mediation services; the practice of mediation is open to all persons. Providing direct access to the public through self­-referral and striving to reduce barriers to service including physical, linguistic, cultural, programmatic and economic. Providing service to clients regardless of their ability to pay. Providing service and hiring without discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, age, disabilities, national origin, marital status, personal appearance, gender orientation, family responsibilities, matriculation, political affiliation, source of income. Providing a forum for dispute resolution at the earliest stage of conflict. Providing an alternative to the judicial system at any stage of a conflict. Initiating, facilitating and educating for collaborative community relationships to effect positive systemic change.  Engaging in public awareness and educational activities about the values and practices of mediation  



How Much Does Community Mediation Cost?


All community mediation centers either offer free or low-cost services on a sliding scale. The best way to find out the exact cost is to contact your local community mediation center.  



What Types of Disputes Can Be Handled by a Community Mediation Center?


Almost any dispute may be appropriate for mediation. However, please call your local community mediation center for more details. Here are some of the typical cases handled by community mediation centers: Neighbor disputes such as noise

  • Divorce 
  • Custody and visitation
  • Civil matters – debt, personal and business
  • Criminal matters – assault, property damage and menacing
  • Breach of contracts
  • Property disputes
  • Landlord/Tenant disputes
  • Co-workers
  • School conflicts – student to student conflicts
  • Parenting issues such as discipline, truancy
  • Harassment
  • Special Education Mediation
  • Other Conflict Resolution Services  



How Can I Sign Up for Mediation?


Contact your local community mediation center. You can find your local community mediation center on our "Find Your Location" page.  


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