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.
Prior to the beginning of the mediation, a Pre-Mediation Orientation Meeting that both parties attend together may be scheduled. While not generally preferred, in some cases the orientation may be held separately with each party. There is no charge for the orientation and it typically lasts one to two hours. During the orientation, the parties will:
- Meet the mediators who will be assigned to the case
- Discuss questions/concerns related to the mediation process
- Discuss parties’ personal goals for the outcome of the mediation
- Discuss the implications of agreements reached through mediation
- Discuss cost of services and sign a Service Agreement if a mutual decision to proceed
- Schedule the first mediation session and discuss preparations for mediation
A Pre-Mediation Orientation Meeting is not necessary and may be skipped at the request of both parties.
Mediation Fee and Payment Information
Each party will be charged a one-time $15 Administrative Fee at the time they contract for services. In addition, each party will be charged separately for their portion of the cost of mediation services provided. Parties will only be charged for the time they are in attendance at mediation sessions. Any casework performed by the mediators outside a mediation session will be provided at no additional charge.
The cost to each party is determined on a sliding fee scale based on the annual income of the party. If the annual income of party is $14,000 or less, there will be no additional charge for up to 8 hours of mediation. If a party does not qualify for free services, they will be charged for mediation services per hour as outlined below.
- Orientation: No Charge
- Administrative Start-Up Fee: $15 per party/case (may be waived under some circumstances)
- Mediation session(s): Cost per hour based on fee scale below (Time rounded to nearest half hour)
|Income||< $14,000||$14,000 -$18,000||$18,001- $24,000||$24,001- $30,000||$30,001- $36,000||> $36,000|
NO ONE WILL BE TURNED AWAY BASED ON THEIR INABILITY TO PAY
Non-Profit Rate: $115/hr/party
Government Rate: $125/hr/party
Business Rate: $150/hr/party
If parties decide to contract for services after attending the free orientation session, OC Human Relations will provide the parties with any paperwork necessary to start their case and schedule and collect the fees for the first mediation session ($15 Administrative Fee plus cost at hourly rate for a 3-hour mediation session). Fees for any subsequent sessions will be collected at the time they are scheduled. If sessions do not last the full scheduled time, parties will carry forward a credit to the next mediation session or receive a refund for time that was not used. There will be no charge for mediation sessions that are cancelled or rescheduled with 24 hours advance notice to the Community Mediation Program. Cancelations with less than 24 hour notice or no-shows will be assessed a cancelation fee of $25.
Complete and Submit an Online Intake Form
If you are interested in scheduling a mediation or a free orientation, please complete the confidential intake form below. A mediator will then contact you to move forward with the case.
Obtain More Information
If you have any questions or if you would like to complete your intake over the phone please contact Marco Ortega at [email protected] or at 714-480-6575.