ADR: Paths to Settlement
Frequently Asked Questions
Until further notice, all mediations are held on Zoom. You can also email MCMP directly at email@example.com or call us at 505-750-0321 for more information.
What is mediation?
If you are involved in a lawsuit at a Magistrate Court, you may be able to resolve it by participating in Mediation.
Mediation is one way for people to settle disputes. In Mediation, the people involved in a dispute talk about solutions that might work for them. The people who help them work out a solution are called Mediators.
Mediators do not decide who’s right or wrong or who wins or loses. The purpose of a Mediation is to find solutions that meet the needs of the people involved in the dispute.
What can mediation do for me?
Mediation can help you resolve the problem that has brought you to Court. The best resolution to any problem is usually the one worked out by the people involved. Through mediation, people have more control over the outcome of their case than if a judge or jury decides the outcome.
Mediation is an informal process, although the mediator does provide structure. Most people find it a comfortable and productive process. Many people prefer to take an active part in solving their own problem, rather than waiting for a Judge and/or Jury to impose a solution.
Is mediation available at my court?
More Magistrate Courts are adding remote (zoom) mediation services all the time. You can call the court where your case is filed to ask about referring your case to mediation.
Do I have to mediate?
The judge has ordered your case to mediation and you are required to show up to the mediation just as you would be required to show up for a hearing or trial. However, no one will be forced to agree to anything they do not want. If you don’t reach agreement during mediation, your case will go on to trial.
Can I request a reasonable accommodation?
Yes, please contact the Magistrate Court Mediation Program at 505-750-0321 / firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do our best to work with you.
Can I reschedule my mediation?
Only the court can reschedule mediations. You will need to contact the court and ask them how to get the mediation rescheduled.
How do I join the remote mediation?
Until further notice, all mediations are held remotely via zoom. You can join the meeting with a desktop computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone by accessing the website in your Notice of Mediation Hearing and typing in the included Meeting ID number.
Can I mediate by phone?
Yes. Your Notice of Mediation Hearing includes a call-in number. You’ll have to enter the Meeting ID number as well to join the correct meeting.
What will happen if I don't show up to the mediation?
If mediators have not been notified by the court that a mediation will not take place, then they will report to the court that the mediation did not take place because one or both parties did not show up. It is then up to the court/judge to decide what to do – whether to reschedule the mediation or to schedule it for a hearing. If you were not able to attend the mediation due to unforeseen circumstances/circumstances beyond your control, you should contact the court where your case is filed and ask them what to do.
How long will the mediation last?
We schedule 2 hours for each mediation session.
Who will attend the mediation?
Mediation works best when only the parties directly involved in the dispute are at the mediation. If anyone else is to be involved, their attendance must be approved by the parties as well as by the mediators.
Who will be the mediator(s)?
The Magistrate Court Mediation Program has a pool of professionally trained Mediators who offer their services free of charge. Mediators are not employees of the Court.
Mediators do not take sides and they know how to deal with situations that can sometimes be tense or emotional. They DO NOT give legal advice, provide legal services, decide who’s right or wrong, or decide who wins or loses.
Is mediation confidential?
Yes. Whatever is said in Mediation (offers, etc.) cannot be used as evidence in Court. Also, the mediators cannot be called as witnesses in court.
What will happen at the mediation?
You and the other party will have the opportunity to talk about what has happened and what is important to you. You will talk about different ways the case might be resolved. The Mediators will ask questions, try to help clarify issues, and try to make sure each party is understood and acknowledged.
If you resolve your case through Mediation, an Agreement will be signed by all parties and will become part of the case file unless the parties want the Agreement to be confidential. The case will not have to proceed to Trial, and a Stipulation of Dismissal will be signed.
What should I bring to the mediation?
Bring all documents you have pertaining to your case; they can be shared with the other party to help them understand your view, but please note that the mediators will not review or evaluate them.
What if the other party does not abide by the agreement?
Most times, people follow through on their Mediated Agreements. If the Mediated Agreement is not followed, a party may, within five years of the Dismissal, file a Motion for Judgment and Statement of Non-Compliance, together with a copy of the Mediated Agreement to have a Court reopen the case and seek a judgment against the other party.
What happens if we don't agree/Mediation doesn't work?
The case will be sent on to the assigned Judge and set for hearing or Trial. The mediators will not tell the Judge what happened in the mediation. They will simply report that a mediation was held, but no agreement was reached.