Mediation is a confidential meeting between people who have a disagreement and a trained, impartial mediator who guides a discussion of issues toward a mutually acceptable agreement. In addition, it does not involve a decision by a mediator as they are not a judge, but rather a facilitator of dialogue. To contact Mediation, call 760-434-2868.
No. Mediators are not judges; it is their role to work with both parties to help determine a long term solution. The decision/agreement created is one that both parties have devised together. The final, signed written agreement is for your use and cannot be used in court.
Yes. Mediation is governed by California Evidence Code sections 1115-1128, which provides that statements made during mediation are confidential and inadmissible against another party in any subsequent non-criminal proceeding. Further, the mediators do not report back to the courts on the content of the mediation, nor are they available to testify as to what was said during mediation.
Mediation is generally a good option when trying to resolve matters peacefully with a neighbor or other party. In most circumstances you are living next door to this person and this is one of the most amicable ways to resolve it. In addition, by using the mediation process, the issue can be resolved quickly, as opposed to a longer process through the court system.
Not always. Many times the respondent is not aware that the situation exists and will make the necessary steps to address the problem on their own. We will give them a grace period to resolve the matter. We ask the initiator to follow up with us if it is not resolved. At that time, we will then touch base once again with the respondent and request formal mediation so that both parties can resolve the matter together.
When you arrive at the mediation location, which is noted on your confirmation email, you will be in a room with one or two mediators, the other party, and yourself. After introductions, the mediators will review the ground rules and explain the basics of the mediation process.
The mediators will begin by asking one of the parties to explain the situation from their side without interruption. Then, the other side will be given this same opportunity.
Through this process the mediators will work with both parties to hopefully find common ground. If it can be found, then the mediators will write up an agreement for both parties to sign.
Most importantly, know that virtually all mediations require some level of compromise on behalf of each party and that a cooperative nature on both sides is the cornerstone of success.
When both parties design a written agreement, a timeframe for correction should be written into the agreement. If the timeframe has passed and the issue has not been resolved, then the parties may treat the issue the same as if an agreement had not been made during the actual mediation session.
Because mediations are confidential, the integrity of the process is protected. It is preferred that only the initiator and the respondent participate in the mediation process. However, either party may bring one additional person who resides in their household, for a total of 2 per side, with them.
Please keep in mind that this is not a court proceeding and is not set up for a hearing or for seeing evidence. It is meant for both sides to work together to find a solution to the established issue. However, you may bring items that can help to further explain the issue such as a call log, a picture, etc.
The mediators were trained by National Conflict Resolution Center instructors. After attending a rigorous training, the volunteer mediators then shadowed other mediators during actual cases. Currently, these well-trained mediators usually co-mediate with two mediators working on a case together.