Help Keep Our Programs Alive!

Help us keep our community programs alive!

Why Choose Community Mediation?

Mediation makes sense – In mediation, you are in control.  You make your own decisions about what is best.  The solution is determined by the people who will live with the consequences.  

Mediation is voluntary – Participants only mediate if they choose to and have the option to stop at any time.

Mediation is confidential – Sessions are held in private, and mediators will not disclose what is said in a mediation session.  No records are kept of the discussion except the agreement (if there is one) that is reached by the participants.

Mediation is quick – We can schedule mediations within one to two weeks, and most require only one or two sessions.

Mediation is convenient – We can schedule mediation on weekdays in the morning, afternoon, evening and occasionally on Saturdays. 

Mediation is cost-effective – Our low-cost community mediation fees are based on the dollar amount of the dispute (if there is one).

Mediation can improve relationships! – Mediation fosters respect for differences in beliefs and backgrounds.  The process helps people to preserve and maintain ongoing relationships. Having a negative relationship with a neighbor, business associate, consumer, landlord or tenant, etc. can cause stress, reduce personal levels of happiness and satisfaction.

Mediation works! – Mediation has helped many in resolving seemingly intractable disputes.  The success rate for mediation is about 70 percent.

Who are the Mediators?

The NVMS corps of mediators are trained and experienced in mediation skills.  Our mediators are drawn from the community and often bring additional professional skills to the mediationNVMS can also provide mediation in Spanish.

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Community Mediation

Community mediation helps individuals resolve disputes constructively outside the court system.  A mediator will act as an impartial third party to assist people in conflict in finding a mutually acceptable solution to their dispute. It is both voluntary and confidential.

Landlord-Tenant Mediation, VACCR from Steve Poulson on Vimeo.

What happens in Community Mediation?

Our highly experienced and state-certified mediators will work with participants to have a productive conversation around the issues and work towards a resolution that is satisfactory to everyone involved.

 Process

Examples of community disputes include those between or among:


 

  • Neighbors- These types of disputes can involve a very broad range of issues such as property line issues, trees, shrubs, fences, parking, use and maintenance of driveways, pets and animals, cars, uses of the home and lot, noise and bright lights, party-walls, trash disposal, basketball hoops, homeowners associations, etc. For example, two neighbors in a dispute over a fence being built between properties can work through their disagreement in mediation and come to an agreement on research, cost and placement of the fence.   

  • Contract/Debt- There can be many situations that involve formal or informal contracts between parties that have not been satisfied. These often include financial agreements between friends or even a debt owed to another person or organization. Mediation allows for the creation of a payment plan or other imaginative means to satisfy both parties.

  • Roommates- Issues such as sharing of facilities, responsibility for utility payments, noise and lifestyle differences are common in roommate disputes. One example would include a disagreement over responsibility of chores within the apartment. A mediator could help facilitate the conversation between the roommates to come up with a roommate agreement that satisfies both parties.

  • Consumers/Merchants- Many relatively small disputes between consumers and merchants are not easily susceptible to settlement through the courts either because of the cost or the difficulty of implementing a court judgment. For example, a consumer might purchase a used car from an independent used car dealer or just someone selling their car. Shortly after purchase, the car blows a gasket. This is actually fairly typical for older cars, costing only a few thousand dollars. Both the seller and the buyer could be persons of limited financial resources. If they go to court neither may be able to collect on their judgment. The seller cannot readily refund the purchase price. In mediation parties can work out the kinds of solution beyond what the court can and are only limited by their imaginations.

  • Landlords/Tenants- Frequent problems can arise with their tenants concerning such issues as return of the security deposit, responsibility for damage, presence of pets and additional people in the unit, care and upkeep of the property, relations with neighbors who may complain of noise, trash or other issues, etc. An example would include if a tenant and landlord were in disagreement over whether or not they would receive the deposit back after the tenant had moved out. Mediation can help open the lines of communication between tenant and landlord to come up with the best solution for the issue.

  • Contractors/Homeowners- There are numerous issues that can arise between contractors and homeowners, including financial, time and management issues. An example of this being a homeowner who is a dispute with the contractor over the time it is taking to remodel their porch and the price. Mediation provides the opportunity for homeowners and contractors to be creative in their approach to an agreement.

 

 

How much does it cost?

We offer low-cost services on an adjustable, sliding scale to ensure that they are accessible to you. Please click here to see our sliding scale fee schedule.

 

How to get started:

All it takes is a genuine interest in resolving your dispute!  Please complete and submit the following inquiry form or fax to (703) 246-8992. Our staff will review your request and contact you to answer questions and begin the intake process.