The Community Dispute Resolution Program utilizes trained volunteers from the community to mediate minor disputes. Mediation is often the preferred option for cases that involve people with ongoing relationships such as neighbors, friends, relatives, and co-workers. Mediation is available to every resident of this community.
Meaning of Mediation
Mediation is a structured and confidential form of negotiation which gives you control of the outcome in your case. Negotiation is something you do every day with co-workers, neighbors, and family, to reach agreements about all types of issues. If a serious problem develops with a neighbor or another person, mediation may be a helpful way to resolve your problem without relying on the court.
In court, you do not negotiate and you do not decide what happens to your case. The judge, in accordance with the law and the strict rules of the court, makes a decision.
In order to have a productive exchange of information, it is required that you cooperate with the mediator during the session. You and the other party must listen carefully to each other The list of ground rules you will be expected to follow during the mediation session include:
- Only one person may speak at a time. Each person will be given a chance to give their explanation of what has happened without interruption. If you feel the need to interrupt while the other person is talking, simply write your thoughts down on the paper provided and you will be given a chance to speak later. The use of name-calling, profanity, or threats is absolutely prohibited.
- All things said during the mediation session are confidential. The mediator and the people involved may not discuss the details of the mediation session with others.
- The mediator may need to speak with each person separately. These meetings may be helpful in attempting to solve the problems that you and the other people are facing. Anything said during this private meeting or caucus is confidential unless you agree that the information may be shared with the other party.
Once all persons involved in the problem come to an agreement, the mediator will put it in writing and everyone will sign it and get a copy. The mediators will specify in the agreement that the matter will be held open for a period of 15, 30, maximum 60 days. If there is a breach of the agreement during that time it should be reported to the Court Administrator, who will explain how you should proceed.
If There Is No Agreement
If the cases were court-referred, the mediator will return it to the court for further formal proceedings. If you have not gone to court, you may wish to file a complaint with the Court Administrator. The mediator can answer your questions about the next step.
If an Agreement Was Reached but Is Broken
If your case was court referred, you may notify the court administrator to determine what further action should be taken. If you have not gone to court, you may file a complaint with the court administrator
Community Dispute Resolution Panel meets the first Wednesday of the month at 7 pm
If you need further information, you may contact:
Hunterdon Co. Administration Building
73 Main Street
Flemington, NJ 08822
Alternate Phone: 908-231-7623