The DRC of Yakima and Kittitas Counties provides mediation services, training and other ways for people to peacefully solve disputes themselves.


The Process


Setting up a Mediation:

  • • One party in the dispute or conflict contacts the Dispute Resolution Center to request assistance in resolving it.
  • • A DRC staff person talks with the party about the situation and takes down information about how to contact this individual and others involved in the conflict or dispute
  • • A DRC staff person sends letters to the other parties in the dispute (with a copy going to the initiating party). The letter explains the mediation process, information about the request to mediate and encourages the other party to call the DRC office.
  • • A DRC staff person calls the other party(ies) or takes the call from them to discuss the mediation process, their perspective on the conflict and their interest in trying to resolve the situationIf both (all) parties are willing to mediate, the DRC staff work with everyone to find a date and time when the parties and mediators are available. The mediation is set up.
  • • A confirmation letter is sent out with information on the mediation location and fees.
  • • The parties pay their fees before the mediation session

The Mediation Session:

  • • The mediators explain the mediation process, respond to questions and have the parties sign an agreement to mediate.
  • • The parties each have an uninterrupted chance to tell the mediators about the dispute/conflict. They also have a chance to respond to what the other party has said. The mediators confirm that they have understood the parties’ perspectives and key concerns.
  • • The parties and mediators develop a list of things that need to be worked out in order for the dispute to be resolved.
  • • The parties, with the mediators’ help, talk about and negotiate on these topics.
  • • When agreements are reached, the mediators record them and, with the parties, work out the details. These agreements form the parties’ settlement.

Agreement:

  • • The parties sign the written settlement agreement and commit to following through on its provisions. Each party is given a copy.
  • • The mediators make closing comments and congratulate the parties.
  • • Sessions usually last 2-3 hours. Multiple sessions may be necessary for the parties to work through all the issues and develop agreements.

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