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Frequently Asked Questions

Last modified: 3/14/2012 11:27 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.

In addition to providing personal support for hate crime victims hate incident and hate crime victims, one of the best responses is to assist victims in reporting. Contact

 

Telephone Directory

Emergency ​911

Santa Clara County District Attorney

http://www.santaclara-da.org/

​(408) 299-7400
Anti-Hate Hotline​ ​(408) 279-0111
​Fair Employment & Housing Commission ​(800) 884-1648
Victim-Witness Assistance​ ​(408) 295-2656

Local Police Department

California Highway Patrol (408) 277-1800
Campbell Police Department​ ​(408) 866-2121

Gilroy Police Department​

​(408) 848-0350
​Los Altos Police Department ​(650) 948-8223
​Milpitas Police Department ​(408) 942-2400
Morgan Hill Police Department​ ​(408) 779-2101
Mt. View Police Department​ ​(408) 903-6395
​Palo Alto Police Department ​(408) 329-2406
San Jose Police Department
 
​(408) 277-8900
Santa Clara Police Department​ (408) 261-5300
Sunnyvale Police Department​ ​(408) 730-7110
Sheriff's Department​ ​(408) 299-2673

Help victims to understand that providing information may increase the chances that the perpetrator of hate incidents and hate crimes will be identified and prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Reporting a hate incident or hate crime often provides victims with the chance to express their concerns, fears, anger, or other emotions. It will also facilitate the victims' realization that they are not alone or responsible for the incident or criminal act perpetrated against them. These important steps also enable victims to begin the healing process.
 
* The Network for a Hate Free Community recognizes that fear of reprisal may be a real concern for the victim or the witness of a hate incident or hate crime. Therefore the Hotline Network for a Hate-Free Community and the Human Relations Commission will accept anonymous calls with the understanding that an investigation and supportive follow up may be very limited.

Department
(408) 299-2673
 
Help victims to understand that providing information may increase the chances that the perpetrator of hate incidents and hate crimes will be identified and prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Reporting a hate incident or hate crime often provides victims with the chance to express their concerns, fears, anger, or other emotions. It will also facilitate the victims' realization that they are not alone or responsible for the incident or criminal act perpetrated against them. These important steps also enable victims to begin the healing process.
 
​Hate incidents are activities of a non-criminal nature, such as: name calling, speech making, demonstrations, distribution of printed materials that are intentionally designed to defame individuals of a group because of their race, ethnic background, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age or disability.
 
​The term “hate crime” describes any of various crimes of violence against a person, threats of violence against a person or property damage because of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, gender or sexual orientation, or because there is a perception the person has one or more of those characteristics.
 
​Assault is a common occurrence in our communities, today. An assault that takes place during a robbery however is not a hate crime. But an assault that is accompanied by derogatory reference to the race, ethnic background, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age or disability of the victim is deemed to be motivated by bigotry, and is considered a hate crime.
  
  • ​Call the police and/or someone on the Community Referral List for help.
  • Seek medical attention for injuries.
  • Document the exact words spoken to you by the criminal as soon as practical.
  • Photograph property damage.
  • Save any evidence that might aid in the apprehension and prosecution of the criminal.
  • Inform members of your community.
Recognize that victims of hate tend to feel especially vulnerable because they have been attacked simply because of who they are. Hate incidents and hate crimes penetrate the very heart of an individual's sense of self by saying "Who you are is not acceptable." It is up to each of us to assure victims that they are valued members of our community.
 
Visit or call hate incident and crime victims to show that you are concerned about them and want to help. If the crime includes damage to property, coordinate a neighborhood repair and cleanup effort. This not only demonstrates support for victims, but also lets the perpetrators see that bigotry and intolerance are not accepted in the community.
 
In cases involving injuries to the victim, offer to assist with activities of daily living until the victim can resume his or her normal activities.
 
Respond to hate incidents and crimes that occur on school campuses through a coordinated effort the school principle or president. A presentation or facilitated dialogue on the harmful effects of bigotry and intolerance could heighten community understanding and healing.
Hate incidents and hate crimes penetrate the very heart of an individual's sense of self by saying "Who you are is not acceptable." It is up to each of us to assure victims that they are valued members of our community.
 
Visit or call hate incident and crime victims to show that you are concerned about them and want to help. If the crime includes damage to property, coordinate a neighborhood repair and cleanup effort. This not only demonstrates support for victims, but also lets the perpetrators see that bigotry and intolerance are not accepted in the community.
 
In cases involving injuries to the victim, offer to assist with activities of daily living until the victim can resume his or her normal activities.
 
Respond to hate incidents and crimes that occur on school campuses through a coordinated effort the school principle or president.