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Bexar County
Dispute Resolution Center

 

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Mediation:

 

Types of Disputes Appropriate for Mediation:

 

About the Mediators:

 

  • Involves you in the process
  • Is based in fairness
  • Is a community service provided at no cost to you
  • Deals with feelings and issues
  • Is faster than court
  • Offers a win-win solution
  • Consumer Problems
  • Child Visitation
  • Neighbor Complaints
  • Workplace Issues
  • Property Damage
  • Money Owed
  • Landlord & Tenant
  • Real Estate & Property
  • Animal Nuisance
  • Family Matters
  • Auto Repair
  • Small Claims

There are approximately 150 volunteer mediators.

  • Sixty-eight percent of the Centerīs volunteers hold postgraduate degrees.
  • Thirty-five percent of the volunteers speak Spanish.
  • Two percent are bilingual in other languages.
  • Mediators provide their services pro bono (at no cost)
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Mediation Programs:

 

Mediation is a structured process in which an impartial person, the mediator, facilitates communication between the parties to promote reconciliation, settlement, or an understanding between them.  If the parties reach a mutually acceptable understanding, the mediator guides them in developing a written agreement.  Mediation sessions are scheduled at the convenience of the parties involved and generally occur within 2-3 weeks from the time we receive your complete application.

Mediation is not a substitute for legal advice or representation.

The Center provides mediation services on a wide variety of issues and types of disputes.  The Center has several mediation programs: 
 

Community-Based Mediation:

 

The Dispute Resolution Center mediates disputes involving such issues as broken promises, money owed, harassment, borrowed goods, noise levels, and destruction of property.  Typical relationships involved in the cases mediated include:

  • Neighbors
  • Friends
  • Relatives
  • Landlord/Tenant
  • Consumer/Merchant
  • Business/Business
  • Employer/Employee
     

Court-Ordered Litigation Mediation:

 

Cases are referred to the Center for mediation by the Bexar County District Courts, Bexar County Courts-at-Law,  Bexar County Probate Courts, the Fourth Court of Appeals and Justice of the Peace Courts.  Cases typically involve matters of personal injury, contract disputes, divorce matters, personal property, and real estate.  If a lawsuit has already been filed, either party may request that the judge order the case to mediation at the DRC.
 

Family Mediation:

 

The center mediates post-divorce and paternity matters involving family issues such as visitation and non-payment of medical expenses.  Some of these cases may be referred to the Center by the Child Support Division of the Attorney Generalīs Office, Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid, and local law enforcement agencies.
 

Juvenile (Victim-Offender) Mediation:

 

Juvenile Cases are referred to the Center by the Bexar County Juvenile Probation Department.  These cases are not court ordered, however, mediation is scheduled in lieu of court.  Juvenile cases referred to the Center usually involve first-time offenders who have been charged with a misdemeanor of some sort such as graffiti, vandalism or a minor assault.  The respondent in the case is the victim of the misdemeanor.
 

Child Abuse and Neglect Mediation:

 

Texas law mandates that children who have been removed from their home and placed in temporary foster care by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (TDFPS) must be placed in a permanent home within twelve months.  In most cases, within one year, a Texas court must issue a final order to return the child to the parents, appoint TDFPS or another person as managing conservator, or terminate the parentsī rights.  As a means of resolving these cases in a more timely manner, the Child Abuse and Neglect Court orders some of these cases to the Center for mediation.
 

Justice of the Peace Courts Mediation:

 

The Center mediates small claims disputes on-site at some of the Justice of the Peace Courts on predetermined days.  If the presiding judge determines that a small claims case is appropriate for mediation, the judge will order it to be mediated immediately.  Upon completion of the mediation session, the outcome is presented to the judge who then issues a final decision.

Some Justices of the Peace also order cases to be mediated at the BCDRC office.
 

Multiparty Public Dispute Mediation:

 

The Center provides a forum through which government, industry, neighborhood associations, public interest groups, and others can work together to resolve controversial public issues and disputes.  Types of public issues appropriate for mediation include land and water use, air quality, education issues, waste management, health care, and environmental protection.
 

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What issues are NOT appropriate for Mediation?

 

  • Child support other than medical expenses
  • Cases in which a lawsuit has been filed
    (Unless the mediation is ordered by a judge)
  • Divorce matters prior to filing of the divorce petition
  • Criminal cases
 

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Resolving conflicts, rebuilding relationships.

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