District Criminal Court Mediation
See Video by NC Bar Association & NC Dispute Resolution Commission:
The District Criminal Court Mediation Program provides an opportunity for those involved in a court case to sit down with a mediator to try and talk through their dispute.Those who participate in mediation will have an opportunity to tell their side of the story, to hear the other side, and to search for ways to settle their disagreements.
Participation in mediation is voluntary. If a judge or district attorney or your attorney does not suggest mediation, you may request it at the docket call in court.
- You may save time and avoid court appearances and the need to testify
- The charges against the defendant are typically dismissed
- Since mediation is confidential, you may be able to settle your dispute privately rather than in open court
- You are involved in the resolution of the issues; if you cannot come to an agreement, you can return to court without losing any of your rights
- You may have an opportunity to repair a damaged relationship
What are the Most Frequent Charges that are sent to Mediation?
- Assaults & Affrays
- Communicating Threats (in person or cyber)
- Harassing Phone Calls
Is There a Charge for Mediation?
- Yes, there is a $60 fee to be paid to the Clerk of Superior Court for successfully completing the mediation and requesting a dismissal of charges payable to the cashier at the courthouse.
- Your mediator will discuss the fee with you and allow time for the payments.
- If your case goes to court and the defendant is convicted, it is likely that the court will impose costs of $180 or more, plus other fees for probation and community service. A conviction may affect your employment and many other areas of your life.
Do I Have to Reach An Agreement in Mediation? No. Sometimes cases cannot be settled in mediation and a mediator should never try to force you to agree to terms that are unacceptable to you. If you are not comfortable with a proposed agreement, do not sign it.
Who Are the Mediators? Mediators are employees or volunteers of Piedmont Mediation Center, Inc. All mediators serving this important program have met education and training requirements set by the North Carolina Supreme Court and have shown they are of good character. All are certified, or are in training to be certified, by the North Carolina Dispute Resolution Commission. More importantly, your mediator is there because he or she wants to help!
How Can You Help Mediation Work? Be positive. Have confidence you can talk through your dispute with the other person.
- Be willing to listen. Often times in heated or difficult situations it is easy to get carried away and see only your side of the dispute.
- Be courteous. Raising your voice or calling the other side names will not help.
- Be honest. Being untruthful or exaggerating the truth will not lead to a productive discussion.
- Be creative. Think about ways that you can work things out.
- Be open to compromises. Mediation is about working together to reach a solution that benefits everyone involved.
- Be willing to apologize and to make amends, if appropriate.
- Be prepared to move forward. It is normal to be distressed when you’re in the middle of a conflict. Mediation can help everyone involved move beyond the upsets of the past.