Mediation Services

Community Mediation

Utilizing funding made available through the Dispute Resolution Programs Act (DRPA), OC Human Relations identifies, trains, and supervises community volunteers to provide mediation services to parties who are involved in disputes.  Orange County residents can receive up to 8 hours of mediation at no charge

Mediation provides parties in conflict with an alternative to litigation. Parties work together in a non-adversarial process facilitated by the mediator to resolve conflicts. Mediation allows parties to focus on their unique set of circumstances and explore creative solutions in areas of disagreement.

Mediation Sessions

The goal of the Community Mediation Program is to help parties overcome communication obstacles that are preventing them from working together effectively to reach their own agreements. The mediator does not make decisions, suggest solutions, or provide any legal advice to the parties. Mediation sessions typically range from 2 to 3 hours. The mediator’s role in the process is to provide a safe place for the parties to:

  • Communicate individual needs and concerns effectively
  • Consider issues from different perspectives
  • Explore options for resolving difficult issues
  • Find mutually agreeable solutions

The length of a particular mediation varies depending on the complexity of the issues to be addressed and the emotional elements associated with the dispute. All communications during and associated with the mediation (including the initial intake and Orientation Meeting) are confidential. While there is no guarantee that mediation will result in agreement on all issues, experience shows that parties benefit greatly from the cooperative climate of mediation. At the conclusion of the mediation process, the mediator will prepare a Memorandum (Agreement Form) listing the specific agreements the parties have reached.

Service & Clientele

The Dispute Resolution Program provides services to all residents of Orange County regardless of race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, age, income or disability. We specialize in inter-ethnic and inter-group relations. Bilingual service is available.

Types of conflict that can be mediated:

  • Family Mediation – Dissolution of marriage, child custody, spousal support, property division, parent/child disputes, etc.
  • Landlord/Tenant – Security deposits, non-payment of rent, repairs, evictions, apartment entry, lockout, etc.
  • Neighbor/Neighbor – Noise, pets, nuisances, use of common property lines, parking, etc.
  • Consumer/Merchant – Refunds, warranties, repairs, deposits, service.
  • Employer/Employee – Contracts, wages, dismissals (where no unions involved).
  • Domestic/Household – Roommates, adult siblings, elder parents/elder care disputes, etc.
  • Police/Community – Misunderstandings, rudeness, harassment, insensitivity, etc.
  • Other – Homeowners associations, mobile home park issues, school, community, business, accidents, harassments, etc.

Reasons to Use Mediation:

Voluntary – Mediation is a voluntary method of dispute resolution in which the parties settle their dispute with the aid of a trained mediator or co-mediator team, through effective communication, negotiation, compromise and exploration of options. Any dispute may be brought to mediation, as long as both sides agree to attempt a mediated solution.

Confidential – All parties sign a confidential agreement to ensure that information discussed in the mediation session remains private.

Speedy – Most mediations are scheduled within two weeks of the initial request for service. Most disputes can be resolved in one session.

Effective – Statistics demonstrate that 90% of the disputes resolved through voluntary mediation leave the parties with better feelings, have longer lasting results and the agreements are more acceptable than court imposed solutions.

Inexpensive – Orange County residents can receive up to 8 hours of mediation at no charge.

Mediation services are offered in English and Spanish. Other languages may be accommodated based on ability and availability of volunteer translators upon request.

Obtain More Information

Please contact Lenora Forschner at (714) 480-6581 or [email protected] for more information.

Mediation Training

Our Dispute Resolution Program also offers training for those interested in becoming certified as mediators. Trainings are held at various points during the year and are taught in accordance with the Dispute Resolution Programs Act. We offer both Basic Mediation Training and Divorce Mediation Training. MCLE credits are available for both.
>Learn more about our Basic Mediation Training.
>Learn more about our Divorce Mediation Training.

Give the Gift of Mediation

Help us offer more hours of no-cost mediation to low-income community members:

Gift of Mediation ›




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OC Human Relations
1801 E. Edinger St, Suite 115
Santa Ana, CA, 92705
(714) 480-6570

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