Dispute Resolution/Mediation Program

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Dispute Resolution/Mediation Program 2016-10-25T14:26:54+00:00

Mediation

Principles behind mediation

  • Mediation is a dispute resolution process in which a neutral third party assists the disputing parties to identify and discuss issues of mutual concern, explore solutions, and develop mutually acceptable settlements.
  • Voluntary Participation – Participants enter into the process of mediation freely and may withdraw from the process at any time.
  • Informed Consent – Disputants have the right of full access to information about legal and social service options available to them before entering into the mediation process.
  • Self –Determination – Disputants have the right to define their issues, needs and solutions and to determine their own terms of agreement without interference.
  • Impartiality – All participants have the right to fair, open and equal treatment, free from bias, prejudice or conflict of interest.
  • Confidentiality – All information will be kept within the Program, with any exceptions being agreed upon beforehand. Only a final agreement is released to directly concerned parties, which may include the court or agency referral source, if agreed upon by the parties prior to the mediation.

Please see Five Things You Should Know About Mediation (Hyperlink)

Conciliation
Conciliation is a process in which a neutral third party assists the disputing parties to settle a case by clarifying issues and assessing the strengths and weaknesses of each side of the case, and if the case is not settled, explores the steps which remain to prepare the case for trial.
Facilitation
Facilitation is a process in which a neutral third party helps a group work together more effectively. Facilitation services are offered to both small groups within an organization as well as representatives of different organizations who are working together in a collaborative or consensus building process.
Mediation and conciliation services are offered telephonically and through video conferencing as well as through more traditional face to face meetings.

Court-Connected Mediation (Conciliation)
Although BCRHA is approved to provide mediation and conciliation services in the Berkshire County District and Juvenile Courts as well as the Berkshire Superior Court, the agency primarily provides court-connected mediation and conciliation services in the Berkshire County District Courts. The specific types of cases or disputes that are appropriate for mediation include but are not limited to the following:

  • Landlord/Tenant disputes, including eviction cases
  • Small Claims disputes
  • Neighbor disputes
  • Property and real estate disputes
  • Contract and other commercial disputes
  • Consumer/Creditor disputes
  • Trespass and Nuisance disputes
  • Criminal Show Cause Cases, including bullying/cyber-bullying and harassment cases
  • Other civil disputes

Community Based Mediation
BCRHA is a community mediation program, providing both highly trained volunteer mediators and staff mediators to resolve a wide range of community based disputes, including but not limited to the following:

  • Landlord/Tenant disputes, including eviction cases
  • Neighbor/Neighborhood disputes
  • Property and Real Estate disputes
  • Contract and other Commercial disputes
  • Trespass and Nuisance disputes
  • School based disputes
  • Elder and estate planning related disputes

Real Estate Dispute Resolution System (DRS) for Buyer/Seller/Broker Disputes
BCRHA administers the Berkshire County Board of REALTORS® endorsed Dispute Resolution System (DRS) to resolve real estate disputes involving buyers, sellers, and/or brokers. The program is designed to improve the understanding between the real estate professionals and their clients and provide an alternative to burdensome and costly legal procedures. Parties do not forfeit their legal rights to arbitrate or litigate the dispute if mediation is unsuccessful. The fee for DRS mediations is $250/hour, which is split between the parties to the dispute.
(Request for Real Estate Mediation )