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Small Claims & Landlord-Tenant Mediation

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

​Mediation is a voluntary process wherein an impartial third person assists parties to discuss their perspectives of a dispute. The mediator does not give legal advice or make a decision for the parties.  Instead, the parties are responsible for the decision and the mediator's role is to help the parties identify their concerns and to formulate a resolution which is mutually satisfactory.

​Mediation significantly reduces judicial caseloads; parties report high satisfaction and statistics show that parties are much more likely to perform terms of a mediated agreement than terms of a court judgment.

​Mediators are volunteers.  To be a mediator, one needs to have good communication and language skills, an ability to remain impartial, and commitment to a collaborative approach for resolving conflict.  Volunteer mediators have found their work to be very gratifying; and they also have found their new skills to apply beneficially in their personal and professional lives.

​There is no educational prerequisite to becoming a mediator nor is there any preference for occupational background. In order to qualify as a mediator there is an intensive 32 hour course in mediation skills and 6 hours of training in court procedures. Completion of this initial training qualifies the mediator for small claims cases.  There is an additional 8 hour training for landlord-tenant cases. In addition, all of the mediators will have served an apprenticeship, observing mediations and conducting supervised mediations. Training is provided at no cost to volunteers, in exchange for a commitment to mediate two cases per month for one year.

How to volunteer: Persons interested in becoming a mediator and volunteering in this program are invited to call the mediation coordinator.


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