Tigard, OR Mediation Program
Tigard's Mediation Program is designed to help individuals and businesses resolve disputes through the services of trained volunteer mediators.
Hours of Operation:
The Dispute Resolution Center is open Monday - Thursday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
What is Mediation?
Mediation is a negotiation process where people involved in a dispute meet with a neutral person (a mediator) and work together to solve the problem.
A mediator does not decide who is right or wrong in a disagreement, or force any of the disputing parties to reach agreement. During mediation, it is the responsibility of the disputing parties to develop and mutually agree upon a realistic solution to their disagreement. Mediation aids them in this process. Over 90 percent of the people who come to mediation are able to solve their own problems, without the intervention of the courts. People who reach agreement at mediation are twice as likely to keep those agreements than those who go to court.
If no agreement is reached at the mediation session, all legal options are still available to the disputing parties.
What Issues are Handled by the Dispute Resolution Center?
Neighborhood disputes including:
- Property maintenance
- Fences and hedges
- Landscaping and trees
- Pets and children
- Property damage
- Money and personal property claims
- Elder rights and concerns
- Consumers and merchants
- Students and teachers
- Landlords and tenants
- Manufactured dwelling parks
- Contract disputes
- HOA (Home Owner Association) issues
- Cultural differences and language barriers
How Does Mediation Work?
- An individual or business involved in a dispute contacts the Dispute Resolution Center. The problem is presented to an intake specialist who then forwards the issue to a mediator.
- A mediator will contact the complainant first, and then all other person(s) involved in the dispute, to understand the concerns, identify issues involved and explain the process.
- After your initial discussion with the mediator, you may choose to work out a resolution on your own (see "10 Easy Steps to Resolution"). Many people find that with helpful information and a little encouragement, they CAN resolve problems themselves.
- When all parties involved in the dispute have agreed to participate in mediation, a mediator will assist the parties in resolving their disputes. The mediator will not decide who is right or wrong, he/she will only help the parties to negotiate an agreement on their own.
- If an agreement is not reached, the Center will assist parties in exploring other options of dispute resolution.
Who are the Mediators?
Dedicated community members who are professionally trained under the guidelines set by the Oregon Dispute Resolution Commission.
Why Try Mediation?
- Fast, efficient, and satisfying
- Simple solutions
- Preserve relations
- Save time and money
- Compromise and have it your way
- Diffuse problem situations
Mediation resolves disputes before they reach a level of seriousness that requires the use of police, attorneys or the courts.
Mediation allows parties to create their own solutions to problems.
Mediation resolves disputes quickly, with the potential for more creative and satisfying results than are often available through the courts.
Mediation preserves and improves valuable personal and professional relationships.
Mediation is FREE!
10 Easy Steps to Resolution
1. TALK DIRECTLY - Conversation with the people directly involved in the issue of concern is the first step to resolution. Meet face to face or speak over the phone to explain your concern in a positive and respectful manner. Don't assume that the other person is aware of your concern. Help them to understand that a problem exists and invite them to help you find a solution you both can live with.
2. CHOOSE A GOOD TIME - Find a convenient moment to bring up your concern, and allow enough time for a thorough discussion. Try to talk in a quiet place where you can both be comfortable and uninterrupted. Consider a time when the other person will be most receptive. Don't ambush someone as they leave or arrive home from work.
3. PLAN AHEAD - Think about what you want to say in advance. You may want to write out your concerns and questions to use as a guide. Try to explain your perspective—the problem as you see it—and how it affects you.
4. BE CALM AND FOCUSED - Antagonizing the other person only makes it harder for him or her to hear you and understand your concerns. Focus on what you have observed and how it affects or impacts you. Remain open to hear a different perspective than your own.
5. AVOID BLAME AND ACCUSATIONS - Don't interpret the other person's behavior: "You are blocking my driveway just to make me mad!" Instead, give information with a focus on your own feelings: "When cars block my driveway, I get angry because I can't get to work on time."
6. LISTEN - Give the other person a chance to explain his or her view, describe their own concerns, and share their own feelings. Try to listen and understand their perspective.
7. SHOW THAT YOU ARE LISTENING - Although you may not agree with what the other person is saying, tell them that you hear their concerns and that you are glad to be discussing the problem together. Listening does not mean that you agree with the speaker's point of view. In order to find a solution you must first fully understand the problem.
8. TALK IT ALL THROUGH - Once you start, get all the issues and feelings out in the open. Don't ignore the part that seems too "difficult" or "minor". Your resolution will be durable if everyone's issues are considered and addressed.
9. WORK ON A SOLUTION - When you have discussed all the concerns and share a common understanding of the issues you can begin to focus on a solution. Two or more people cooperating to find a creative solution are much more effective than one person demanding that the other make a change. Be specific, and include timelines for all tasks. Ex: "I will turn my music off at midnight on Friday and Saturday evenings." "I will buy the fence on Wednesday and you will bring your tools on Thursday morning so we can make the repairs."
10. FOLLOW THROUGH - Agree on when and how you will check in with each other to monitor your progress. Communicate immediately about any changes, or if your solutions are not having the desired results.
NOW CONGRATULATE YOURSELF for working together to resolve the problem!