Mediation Program at the Tiffin-Fostoria Municipal Court is a process in which a third party promotes and facilitates communication between the parties to help them resolve their differences. Many civil and small claim disputes which reach the Tiffin-Fostoria Municipal Court could have been settled more quickly and easily through better communication. Mediation provides for informal communication in a relaxed atmosphere.

A mediated agreement not only saves valuable court time and resources, but also, and just as importantly, results in a disposition which the parties have made themselves -- as they have deemed most fair under the circumstances, and one which is more likely to be adhered to than a court imposed judgment.

The mediation procedure is voluntary and there is no additional fee for mediation. If the dispute is not settled in this manner, the claimant has lost nothing, and the case is referred back to the court for hearing or trial, or the parties are free to pursue any legal remedies as they might have before the mediation. If the case does settle at mediation, the inconvenience of a full-scale trial for plaintiff and defendant, and their respective witnesses is avoided. In addition, both sides win with neither side risking the loss of having the judge decide against them, saving the expense of attorney fees, and the time, effort, and money that could be spent gathering evidence.

All mediation sessions are scheduled through the court, with no additional fee to either party. As a final reminder -- if the matter is settled now, the parties will have the satisfaction of having solved their own problem(s) without regard to who won or lost -- all involved will be winners.

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Form Name Pages Size Link
Mediation Complaint Form 1 15 KB Download

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Frequently Asked Questions

Who can use the mediation services?
Mediation services are available to anyone contemplating or who has filed a civil or small claims case in the Tiffin-Fostoria Municipal Court.

Who are the mediators?
Trained volunteer mediators from outside the court system are used. The mediators have significant experience and expertise in mediation. The Deputy Clerk will assign the mediator.

How do I initiate a mediation?
If you have a concern that you think could be resolved through h mediation, the first step is to call the Clerk's Office at (419) 448-5413. The deputy clerk will share specific information about the mediation process with you. You will need to share information about the dispute that you would like to mediate in order to start the intake process.

What is the mediator’s role?
The mediators' role is not to decide who is right or wrong, who wins or loses. Rather, the mediator is a completely neutral party who facilitates the process to help the parties reach their own resolution to the matter.

How long will the mediation last?
Most mediation sessions will last 3-4 hours. Parties need to hold 4 hours to ensure adequate time for the meditation process. Some disputes may take multiple sessions to mediate. In these cases, additional sessions will be scheduled prior to the end of the first session.

What is the role of participants?
Participants initiate the process by requesting mediation. They agree to ground rules at the beginning of the session, describe the conflict, and agree on the list of issues to be discussed. Participants generate potential solutions, negotiate in good faith, and work towards mutually acceptable solutions.

What are the advantages of using mediation?
Mediation allows parties to develop their own solutions, rather than having others' solutions imposed on them. This creates greater ownership and commitment to the solution. Mediation is a very effective way to resolve disputes between parties who will continue to work together over time... it not only solves the problem at hand, but improves working relationships as well.

Is the settlement agreement binding?
This agreement is between the parties to the conflict, and it is your responsibility to follow through on your commitments.

If I agree to mediation, am I required to agree to a solution?
You can withdraw from the mediation process at any time, with no consequences to you. You are not required to agree to any particular solution. The parties themselves develop a solution that is acceptable to all parties to the mediation.

Who pays for the process?
It is a free service of the Tiffin-Fostoria Municipal Court.

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