Mediation may help you get a better result more quickly, more easily, and less expensively than having a judge decide whether to make a restraining order. In mediation, both sides talk with one or more neutral people called mediators who are specially trained to help people resolve their disputes. Everyone works together to reach an agreement, instead of having the judge decide. If the Protected Person or the Restrained Person is not comfortable being in the same room with the other, he or she can meet separately with the mediator.
And, either person can bring a relative or friend as a support person. But, mediation may not be appropriate if a dispute involves violence or serious threats of violence. Civil harassment mediation is a voluntary process. The mediator will not decide how to resolve the dispute or force anyone to reach an agreement. Whether you decide to resolve your dispute, and how you resolve it, is up to you. If you can’t agree, you can still have the judge decide. There’s almost nothing to lose by trying mediation, and there is a lot to gain.
No matter which side of a civil harassment dispute you are on, there are lots of reasons why it may be a good idea to mediate. BOTH PEOPLE may be more satisfied with mediation because Mediation can resolve civil harassment disputes more quickly, more easily and less expensively than a court hearing. Mediation is less formal and less stressful than a court hearing. Rules of evidence and other complicated legal procedures that may apply in a court hearing do not apply in mediation. Mediation is private and usually confidential. The forms filed in civil harassment cases are public records.
Civil Harassment Chapter 4 Mediation
That anyone can find and read. Hearings about whether to make a permanent restraining order are in a public courtroom, and anyone can hear all the details of the dispute. In mediation, you can discuss what is important to you, including the reasons for the dispute and how it might be resolved. A court hearing is usually limited to whether the Restrained Person did something that the law says is civil harassment. In mediation, both people agree to any solution, so they have control. Mediation avoids the uncertainty about what the judge will decide.
No one can know whether the judge will make restraining orders, or what they might be, until the hearing is over. And, the person who loses may have to pay the other person’s lawyer’s fees. In mediation, the people with the dispute have more options. The law limits what the judge can order, but there are few limits on what the people with the dispute can agree to. An agreement made in mediation may be more likely to solve the problem than a judge’s decision. The judge does not know as much about the situation as the people with the dispute.
And, the judge must make a decision based only on the law and the evidence at the hearing. People are often happier with agreements they make in mediation than with a judge’s decision. People may be more likely to follow an agreement they make in mediation. If you are the Protected Person, you may also benefit from mediation because it can be difficult to prove civil harassment the way the law requires. If you do not meet the tough legal requirements, the judge cannot make a permanent restraining order. If you are the Restrained Person, you may also benefit from mediation because,.
If the court makes a restraining order You will not be allowed to own or possess a gun or ammunition. It may be harder for you to get a job or a loan, or to rent property. You can be arrested and charged with a crime if someone says you violated the order. You can be fined and sentenced to jail if a judge or jury decides you violated the order. But remember, even with all these benefits, not all civil harassment disputes are suitable for mediation. A lawyer or staff at the court, selfhelp center, or mediation program.
Can help you decide whether mediation is right for your civil harassment dispute. You can go to mediation any time you are having a dispute. If you feel harassed by another person, consider suggesting mediation before asking the court for a restraining order. If you do request a restraining order, ask the court if it has a civil harassment mediation program and how you can participate. If someone has requested a civil harassment restraining order against you, ask the court about mediation before or when filing a response. You can also ask the court about mediation at the hearing.
Some mediators and mediation programs will call the other person for you, explain mediation to them, and encourage them to mediate your dispute. Be careful not to violate any existing restraining order by asking for or participating in mediation. Preparing for mediation is a lot like preparing for a court hearing. It is important to know and organize the important facts and to understand the law that applies to your case. If you are going to mediation before or instead of a hearing, here are some things you should do to prepare.
Be realistic about what the judge would decide. If possible, talk with a lawyer who can advise you about this. Think about whether you or the other person is angry or has hurt feelings, and why. Consider what you and the other person would really like to accomplish. Think about whether something other than, or in addition to, a restraining order might help satisfy you or the other person. Come up with a list of things that you and the other person might agree on to avoid a public court hearing,.
The possibility of losing, and the possibility that the judge’s decision may not solve the problem. At the mediation, present your point of view clearly, and listen carefully to the other person’s point of view. Make suggestions for how to resolve the dispute, but also listen openly to other ideas. Remember that mediation is about give and take. Although you may feel like you’re 100 right, you may learn things that help you better understand the problem and resolve the dispute. You can resolve a civil harassment dispute in many different ways,.
Depending on what is important to you and the other person. For example, you can agree that one or both people will stop calling, emailing, or sending text messages to the other person stay away from the other person or from specific places stop talking about the other person stop doing other specific things that seriously bother the other person. If you settle your dispute, the mediator may encourage or help you to prepare a written agreement. This document should clearly explain what everyone has agreed to. Many counties have dispute resolution programs that provide.
Free or low cost mediation before or after a civil harassment case is filed. To find a program near you ask your court for a list of mediation programs in your area, or look at the program listing on the California Department of Consumer Affairs website at dca.ca.govconsumermediationprograms Some courts offer free or low cost mediation, either before or on the day of the civil harassment hearing. Ask the court whether it has this kind of mediation program. Private mediators are available in many communities, and they often advertise in the yellow pages, in newspapers, and on the Internet.