What is Mediation?
Mediation is a confidential, usually voluntary, process
of shared decision-making in which one or more impartial persons,
called mediators, assist people, organizations and communities
in conflict to work toward a variety of goals.
Mediation encourages parties to:
- Improve communication, understanding and empathy
- Improve relationships
- Avoid or improve involvement with the legal system and
- Reach their own decisions
- Resolve underlying issues and conflicts
- Prevent future problems
Who Do We Serve?
The Dispute Resolution Center serves the East Metro area of
the Twin Cities, which includes anyone who, lives or works
in Ramsey, Dakota and Washington Counties. We provide services
to individuals, families, neighbors, government agencies,
businesses, municipalities and community groups to resolve
a variety of issues.
What Is the Role of the Mediator?
The primary responsibility for any resolution rests with parties.
The mediator is neutral and does not decide who is right or
wrong or give opinions on the issues. The mediator ensures
that the session is conducted in a safe and respectful manner
and that everyone has a chance to be heard.
A mediator assists people in conflict to make practical, informed
decisions by working to:
- Help define and clarify their ideas, issues and goals
in the session
- Facilitate communication and explore mutual understanding
of the issues and feelings in a conflict
- Explore options and alternatives for resolution and reach
a satisfactory agreement
What Type of Disputes Do We Handle?
- Neighborhood - noise, pets, relationships, parking,
property lines, nuisances, vandalism…
- Landlord-Tenant - rent, deposits, repairs, evictions,
- Family - post-divorce visitation schedules, parent/child
issues, truancy, communication…
- Small Claims - accidents, money owed, property
- Business-Consumer - refunds, faulty merchandise,
dissatisfaction with service…
- Public Policy - zoning, land use and development,
traffic, parking, road construction…
Why Use Mediation?
The Dispute Resolution Center provides an opportunity for
people to work together in good faith to resolve their disputes.
People are more satisfied with agreements they help create.
They are also much more likely to follow through on the agreement
than if a third party imposes a settlement or solution. Mediation
can improve relationships and prevent problems from escalating.
- Voluntary - Each person has the opportunity to
choose whether to try mediation
- Quick - Sessions can usually be scheduled within
- Convenient - Sessions can be arranged in a neutral
location at a time that fits each person's schedule
- Confidential - Information shared in the session
is private and protected
- Self-Determined - Parties decide for themselves
the best way to resolve the issues.
What is Restitution?
and offenders decide together during the mediation session
what is fair and just compensation. Contracts often include
an agreement to repay a cash amount to replace the victim's
losses, community service, personal service work and other
creative plans for restitution that both parties agree to.
This provides the offender an opportunity to repair the harm
they have caused by committing the offense.
How Does It Work?
A case can
be referred through the juvenile court system or by anyone
in the community. Once a case is referred for mediation, a
mediator is assigned to each case to assist victims and offenders
through the process. The mediators contact both parties to
learn the details of the incident and to explain the program
procedures. If both parties agree, the mediator will set a
date for them to meet. During the mediation, specific rules
are employed which help to ensure safety and fairness for
all participants. Parties generally close the mediation session
by agreeing to a contract that details a plan of repayment
for the offense.
Do I Get Assistance?
us at 651.292.7791 and we will ask you questions to help you
determine if mediation is your best option.
What We Do:
- We will ask you about the situation and what issues you
would like to discuss
- We will contact the other people involved, explain the
Dispute Resolution Center's services, and ask them if they
wish to participate
- When everyone involved has agreed to mediate, we will
schedule a session at a time and place convenient for all
- If an agreement is reached, the mediator will write down
the terms of the agreement and provide a copy to each person
- If no agreement is reached, parties are free to pursue
all other options available to them
- If we cannot help you we will refer you to other resources
What's the cost?
Fees are dependent upon the type of case and number
of participants involved. Sliding fees are available for those
who meet income guidelines. No one is denied service for inability
to pay. Please call (651) 292-7791 for more information.