What Is Mediation?
Mediation is a problem solving process in which a neutral professional (the mediator) facilitates communication between household or family members involved in a conflict. The mediator does not determine guilt or innocence. The mediator helps the participants make agreements and develop a plan to resolve their situation.
Yes. The juvenile has been charged with the crime of domestic violence. The prosecutor has reviewed the filing and recommended the case for mediation. The case will only be referred to mediation if the victim, the youth charged, and the youth’s legal custodian want mediation and agree that mediation is appropriate.
The purpose of mediation is to give the participants the opportunity to 1) Identify when the household is becoming unsafe, 2) Develop a safety plan, 3) Consider resources they family may benefit from utilizing, and 4) Discuss any other issues they would like to discuss.
The mediator does not make any decisions for the participants. The mediator helps the participants come to an agreement that works for them.
The Mediation process begins when Mediation Services receives a case referral from either a prosecutor, a judge, or a magistrate. A Mediation Services staff member speaks with the individuals involved and schedules the case
On the day of the mediation, all participants come to the Mediation Services Department on the 3rd Floor at 373 S. High Street to meet with the mediator. The mediator begins by explaining the mediation process and laying grounds rules for the discussions. Each person is given an opportunity to be heard and to respond to the other in the mediation.
Each person gives his or her view of what happened and answers questions about the incident. As needed during a session, participants may meet individually with the mediator. The mediator assists the participants in generating and exploring options to resolve issues in a mutually agreeable way. If the participants agree on a resolution, the mediator writes up the agreement, and the participants sign the agreement. Each participant receives a copy of the signed agreement.
The only information the mediator shares with the Court is the outcome of the mediation. The mediator is not permitted to share other information with the Court or give the Court a copy of the Agreement reached in mediation without the consent of all the participants. The only exception is that a mediator may be required to report new allegations of abuse or neglect of a child, threats of bodily harm and information about certain crimes.
The mediation session will last anywhere from 2-3 hours, depending on the issues that are being mediated. The participants may meet for only one session or may be asked to return for additional sessions.
Any agreement that is reached must be voluntary on the part of all of the participants. No agreement will be signed unless all of the participants are satisfied with all statements contained in the agreement.
If no agreement is reached, the case will be returned to the Court. Parties would need to attend their next scheduled hearing.
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