Navigate Up
Human Relations Menu +
Home > Dispute Resolution Program Services > FAQ

FAQ'S

Last modified: 3/13/2012 11:59 AM

Mediation is a voluntary process where participants seek to reach mutual agreement. It is a win/win process where both parties have an opportunity express themselves and get their needs met. It is not about who is right or wrong, not about who is telling the truth and not about gathering evidence. Mediation creates an environment where people feel heard and are encouraged to communicate and cooperate.

One or both parties can initiate mediation. Neither party has to worry about scheduling with the other party. If you are willing to mediate, leave the rest up to us. At the mediation, each participant will share his or her point of view. Mediators will help the parties define their concerns and help determine the underlying needs. Next, parties will participate in problem solving and brainstorming for a solution. If they want, the parties may create a written agreement.

Mediation supports a cooperative solution rather than one imposed by a decision maker. Mediation encourages communication focused toward resolving the conflict. Mediation avoids high cost and time consuming litigation.

A mediator is a neutral third party who assists participants in creating and evaluating options to resolve the dispute. The mediator’s role is to facilitate communication between the parties, not to impose solutions. The mediator will work with the parties to help reach a mutually acceptable resolution.

Just about any type of conflicts: between tenants and landlords, families, neighbor, juvenile offenders, the workplace, employment, construction, real estate, consumer, business…

No, you do not need an attorney. This is because the parties are trying to work together to resolve the situation and not trying to convince a judge or arbitrator of their point of view. Moreover, mediation rules are few and straightforward, and don’t need the interpretation of an attorney. However, if you have an attorney you can still mediate.

Mediation provides a safe environment and the opportunity for your voice to be heard. Mediation helps restore relationships and enhance communication skills. Mediation allows you to be in control of the outcome. Mediation is fair, confidential and effective.

No. Santa Clara County mediation services are free.
Often no materials are necessary. After talking with the intake specialist, you will receive ideas about how to best prepare for the process. The intake specialist may ask you to send in some material before the mediation or ask you to bring them with you.
Mediation sessions are usually scheduled within a few weeks and last a few hours.

We ask the parties to allow one to three hours for each session.  The length of the mediation depends on the time needed to work through the issues.  If necessary we will schedule a second mediation.

Yes. Small Claims courts are encouraging parties to attempt to settle disputes through mediation. Whether you are suing or being sued in small claims, mediation is available to you.
Mediation takes place at the Office of Human Relations, located at 2310 North First St. Ste. 104, San Jose, CA, 95135. We also provide off site mediations at local community center, libraries, your work place and other Government locations.
Sometimes, but not often parties are unable to reach an agreement; the parties may use some other creative means or even decide that going to court is what they need.