Frequently Asked Questions about Mediation
What is mediation?
Mediation is a voluntary and confidential way for people to resolve their disagreements. During mediation, people meet at a safe and neutral place to discuss their options for effectively resolving their problem. One or two mediators guide the process to help keep communication respectful.
Why should I try mediation?
Mediation can be an effective first step in trying to resolve a conflict. It saves time, money, and energy that might otherwise be spent tangled in a frustrating legal process. In mediation, people in conflict decide for themselves the solution that is right for them. Mediation helps people clear the air so they can preserve their relationship, which otherwise might be damaged if they went to court.
What situations can be mediated?
- Neighbor issues: property-line disputes, animal noise, shared walls, trees
- Landlord/tenant problems: money owed, payment plans, deposits, refunds, back rent
- Family conflicts: decision making about care of aging parents or other family members, communicating with teens
- Real estate disputes: earnest money, non-disclosure of damage
- Small claims: property damage, money owed
- Business issues: partner disagreements, client complaints
- Employee conflicts: office issues, coworkers who don’t get along
- Personal injury claims: auto accidents, premises liability
- Domestic relations: divorce and child custody
- Group decision making: neighborhood associations, community organizations, schools, clubs, boards of directors
What does a typical mediation look like?
Participants meet with one or two mediators, who explain the process and ask them to agree to some guidelines for respectful communication. Each participant will have an opportunity to share his or her side of the story, what the participant wants, and what he or she is willing to do to help solve the problem. The mediator(s) will listen and ask questions, making sure that the participants are clearly hearing and understanding each other. If the participants reach an agreement, the mediator(s) will help ensure that it is fair and specific.
Who are the mediators?
Mediators are a diverse group trained to be unbiased and neutral. They help people communicate effectively but do not take sides or review evidence.
Is mediation legally binding?
Participants create a written agreement and each receives a copy. Some agreements reached in mediations involving money, personal injury claims, business disputes, domestic relations, or real estate can be legally binding. Mediation agreements reached in other less formal disputes (such as animal noise complaints) may not be enforcible in court. Nonetheless, statics show that most of these informal agreements remain in force long after they were entered into by the participants.
How long does a mediation take?
Most mediations sessions are scheduled for two to four hours.
Who/what should I bring to the mediation?
Participants bring only themselves, though they may bring a spouse or partner who is affected by the problem as well. You may bring information such as logs or photos that you can use to help the other participant understand your point of view. Other people who might be helpful to the mediation may attend, but only with prior approval of both participants. Attorneys sometimes attend mediations arising from formal disputes. Where the disputes is more informal the participants normally represent themselves.
How much does a mediation cost?
It depends on the organization doing the mediation and the type of dispute between the parties. Private mediators generally charge an hourly fee. Mediation services offered through the court system or a community mediation service are often available for free or at a nominal charge.
I’m having a conflict with someone in another state. Can mediation be done via phone?
Yes, mediation services often can be provided via conference call or web-based video conferencing platforms.
Will the mediator discuss my case with anyone else (attorneys, law enforcement, case workers, etc.)?
The entire mediation process is protected by law as confidential. Except for unusual circumstances such as actual or threatened violence during the mediation, or evidence of abuse of a minor or vulnerable adult, mediators are prohibited by law from discussing your case with anyone without your permission. Mediators and their case files may not be subpoenaed without a court order.
Contributing Attorney: Dan Westerburg is one of many volunteer mediators at The Center for Community Dialogue a program of Our Family Services in Tucson.
how long do i have to hold on to an ex tenants property?
I own my trailor but rent the property and we have had Rats on property for over 20 years I have lived there for 10 plus years can I go after the owner of the property if I got bit by a rat why I was sleeping
I have a signed lease that states my rent is $680 for my student apt. Before moving in the apartment was changed and the new rent became $50 more per mo. I paid this, but never signed an adendum to the original lease - this is my first apt rental. Do I have any recourse to ask for the $50/mo back (now totaling $250) since the amount was never part of my lease or because I paid it, does it mean implied acceptance and binding. They are charging me a break lease fee and I'm trying to get them to come down on the amount. I feel I was taken advantage of since I'm young.
I am a disabled female residing in an apt. complex which has been in poor condition since I moved in over 2 yrs. ago. Repairs are RARELY made and I now have a mice, termite, tick, and either a chigger or bedbug infestation which is a MAJOR health issue and an emotional one as well. I've asked the landlord for assistance as I am on SSDI and live month to month. Despite ALL my efforts, she continues to ignore me. Isn't it the Realty company's responsibility to assist with an exterminator? PLEASE HELP ME!
I the home owner. I had a management co. The renter tried to fix stuff on his own. EX. tub faucet was taken off and the pipe was caped off with looks like a lotion top. Internal parts of toilet was removed and not replaced. Just to name a few. The never contacted the company to have them fixed. The CO is now telling me stuff I can't charge for the renter for failing to have them so the repairs. They are also telling me that a plumber costs to much & she has a handy man that can do the job instead of the plumber. She is also said doors that have dents can be patched instead of a new door.
Hi what are my rights in regards to living in a motel ? We have been here for over 2 months , now we don't have enough to pay we need some time , how long do we have before they can kick us out . urgent mess please respond
In my lease it states I have to provide 30 days written notice (email will comply). My landlord told me I have to give notice for the full rent cycle and is trying to tell me we are obligated to pay another full moths rent. Do I have to give 30 days notice, or a full rent cycle notice? My intention is to move after the 1st of the next month but prior to month ending. Can I do so and provide a pro-rated amount of rent to my landlord or do I have to be out by the 1st?
All of my move out discussions have been verbal, with a start date of Saturday 2/11. Are the written letters absolutely required to pursue violated law by the landlord?
Over the weekend my apartment flooded but not just water. Feces flooded both showers and kitchen into the entries of the bedrooms, actual pieces of feces are seen floating around. Management is only going to get the carpets cleaned. I have never experienced this and seeking advice. I strongly feel the carpet needs to be replaced. Its feces! not just water flood. I have kids as well playing and running around on the floors. I feel disgusted at this point. Please Help!!
My former landlord has not filed a satisfaction of judgment for a matter that was completed 2 yrs ago. She has not responded to my attempts and I can't get an answer as to what I need to file.
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