What is mediation?
Mediation is a process in which two or more people involved in a dispute meet in a private, confidential setting with trained, neutral mediators to find a solution to the problem. The mediators do not judge who is right or wrong. They are there to assist the parties involved to reach their own solution.

During the mediation, each party explains how he/she sees the dispute, as well as explains how she/he thinks the dispute can be resolved. The mediator’s job is to keep the parties focused on the real issues causing the problem and to help find a workable solution.

Why should I try mediation?
There are eight good reasons to give mediation a chance:

  • You will have the opportunity to explain the situation from your own point of view and to hear the others parties’ explanations from their points of view.
  • Unlike the courts where one person must lose, mediation is a “win/win” situation. The goal is to reach an agreement that is satisfactory to everyone.
  • About 80% of all mediations end in an agreement.
  • Mediations can be held to accommodate your schedule.
  • Everything said at mediation is confidential.
  • Unlike litigation, mediation is non-confrontational. In mediation, the parties are working together to find a solution, rather than working against each other.
  • Mediation often serves as a deterrent to future disputes between the parties.

How much does mediation cost?
Northern Community Mediation charges a nominal administrative fee. For details, see Fee Policies under Services & Programs.

How is a mediation set up?
For cases that are self-referred, when you call Northern Community Mediation (NCM), you will speak with a staff person who will take down some basic information and will answer any questions you have about the process. We will then contact the other party to find out if he/she is willing to participate in mediation. If so, then the mediation will be scheduled as soon as possible.

For cases referred by other agencies or other individuals, a staff person from NCM will contact the parties involved and take down some basic information and answer any questions they may have. If all of the parties are willing to “come to the table,” a mediation will be scheduled as soon as possible.

When a case is court ordered/referred, a staff person will follow the above described process. In these cases, however, the parties must participate in mediation. If someone refuses to do so, NCM notifies the court of that individual’s decision, and the court may find her/him in contempt of court.

Who are the mediators?
Our mediators are volunteers who have completed an extensive state-approved training and internship. Many of them have completed additional specialized and advanced training. Our mediators give of themselves and their varied talents to help their community by mediating disputes.

For 2008, the value of their services was determined to be worth $153,185.

The backgrounds of our mediators are varied, ranging from attorneys, to psychologists, to business people, to teachers, and the list goes on. The one thing they all have in common is a desire to help people resolve their conflicts in a non-adversarial manner.

How does Northern Community Mediation get its cases?
The majority of the cases (85%) that NCM facilitates are court ordered or referred. The remainder of the cases are self-referred, or referred by organizations or individuals, such as social service agencies and attorneys.