The Bexar County Dispute Resolution Center (BCDRC) mediates matters such as:
- Business disputes
- Child visitation issues
- Non-payment of money owed
- Consumer/Merchant disputes
- Non-payment of wages
- Employer/Employee disputes
- Landlord/Tenant disputes
- Neighbor disputes
Typical relationships involved in the cases mediated include:
Court-Ordered Litigation Mediation
Cases are referred to the BCDRC for mediation by the Bexar County District Courts, Bexar County Courts-at-Law, Bexar County Probate Courts, the 4th 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 refer the parties to mediation at the BCDRC.
The Center mediates post-divorce and paternity matters involving 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 General's 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 such as graffiti, vandalism, or a minor assault. The respondent in the case is the victim of the misdemeanor. Parents also participate in the mediation with the youths.
CPS-Children's Court 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 12 months. As a means of resolving these cases in a timely manner, the CPS-Children's 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.
Multiparty Public Dispute Mediation
The Center provides a forum through which government agencies, business entities, neighborhood associations, and public interest groups can work together to resolve controversial public issues such as:
- Air quality
- Education issues
- Environmental protection
- Health care
- Land and water use
- Waste management
Information and Referral Program
The BCDRC Information and Referral Program is the initial point-of-entry for an individual or business with a dispute. Referrals to the BCDRC come from a multitude of sources: family, friends, public service announcements, the Attorney General's Child Support Division, the telephone book, and websites. In addition to offering mediation services, the BCDRC also offers referrals to other appropriate governmental, legal, social service, and community resources that might prove helpful in resolving the conflict.