Civil Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Program

Overview of Programs

A civil dispute is a disagreement between two or more principle individuals or organizations. Civil disputes are of all natures that are not criminal. This is the area of disputes most commonly between two parties. Disputes relating to civil wrongs, contracts, and property is part of the civil dispute resolution. A civil wrong or wrong is a cause of adverse actions of another person resulting in physical, emotional, or financial damages.

The purpose of civil dispute resolution is obtaining compensation for injury, neglect, and damages. The civil alternative dispute resolution program address concerns related to civil wrongs; contract and property disputes; class action and complaints against the city; and court-ordered disputes.

Court-Ordered Disputes

The Paula Stephenson Group accepts court-ordered referrals.

Court-Ordered dispute resolution consists of civil and small claims court ordered mediation. Civil mediation is dispute resolution of all matters excluding family disputes. Civil mediation arise out of two or more parties with a clash of interest and are court-ordered by a judge to mediation. Its almost always include a dollar amount but on occasion an apology is acceptable to settle the conflict. Depending on the dollar amount, the dispute may be a small claims dispute (see the following small claims paragraph). The civil mediation process is where an impartial professionally trained mediator facilitates negotiation between those in dispute.

Small claims disputes involve financial compensation from conflict arising out of breach of contract, personal injury, intentional harm, or breach of warranty. Small claims disputes are under a certain amount, depending on the state. Most small claims limits fall between $3,000 and $15,000. Small claims alternative dispute resolution is especially useful when your dispute is with a friend, neighbor, customer, partner, or anyone else with whom you want to keep good ongoing relations. Because small claims alternative dispute resolution is a low-cost mechanism, it’s a good method of resolving disputes in a more amicable manner.

Small claims disputes include but not limited to: 1) the repayment of a loan; 2) failure to repair property correctly; 3) the return of a security deposit; 4) damaged property; and 5) personal injury matters (although some are resolved between insurance companies).

Other court-ordered disputes entail, but not limited to: and 6) failure to meet the terms of a service contract (for example, properly remodel a kitchen or install a new roof); 7) professional malpractice; 8) contract fraud; 9) non-disclosure agreement (NDA) disputes; and 10) consumer contract disputes.