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Mediation

We have a Mandatory Arbitration Program page which you can visit to find out information about the program.

WHO IS THIS INFORMATION FOR?

Disputing people: Mediation may be useful whether or not you filed a lawsuit.  If you do file, this sheet should be given to the other party along with the other court papers.
Attorneys: ORS 36.185 requires attorneys filing a civil action to provide this information sheet to clients and to serve it on the other parties.


WHAT IS MEDIATION?

Mediation can help people in conflict. The parties meet with a mediator who helps them talk together and find a solution.  At the end of mediation, the mediator assists the parties write an informal or a formal agreement that covers all parts of the conflict.  If an agreement is not reached in mediation, in a court case, the case will be heard in front of a judge or jury. >


WHAT IS A MEDIATOR?

A mediator is trained to help people conflict. The mediator is neutral, does not take one side or the other, and does not make decisions for the parties. The mediator listens to both parties and helps them listen to each other so that solutions can be found that both parties agree to. >


WHAT MEDIATION IS NOT:

It is not a court hearing (no witnesses are used). It is not counseling or therapy. It is not a process to determine guilt or innocence.  (Finding solutions, not placing blame, is the focus of mediation.) >


MEDIATION IS VOLUNTARY:

Choosing to mediate is voluntary for all parties and you are free to stop mediating at any time. >


MEDIATION IS CONFIDENTIAL:

Discussions and written work produced in mediation are normally confidential.  If the parties choose, a legally binding non-confidential agreement can be created to end the dispute. >


USING ATTORNEYS AND ADVISORS IN MEDIATION:

You are encouraged to obtain individual legal advice and individual legal review of any mediated document prior to signing.  You may wish to have an attorney or other advisor present during mediation. Often, however, consultation with legal advisors before, during, and/or after mediation sessions can be sufficient to ensure comfort and confidence in representing your own interests in mediation.  You, your attorney, and the mediator may wish to discuss whether your attorney participates in mediation sessions. >


COURT CONNECTED MEDIATION:

Mediation can be used as a way of resolving a dispute prior to filing a court action, or at any time during the court case.  There are private mediators in the area who can be obtained to help you resolve your dispute. >

After a case is filed with the court there are some mediation options and programs in place. If your case is filed in circuit court and it is $50,000 or under and the only claim is for money or damages the case will qualify for court-connected mediation. The cost is $75.00 per hour, not to exceed 4 hours per case. The parties share the cost and the fee is to be paid directly to the mediator.

Domestic Relation cases will use mediation if child custody issues need to be resolved.  Parties will be referred to the mediation department of the Douglas County Mental Health Department.  There is no additional cost for this service.

Forced Entry Detainer cases (eviction) will be offered court-connected mediation at the time of the first appearance.  There is no additional cost.

All Small Claims cases will be referred to a mediation orientation where the parties will be given the option to mediate their cases. There is no additional cost.