Mediation is a confidential and informal way to resolve a dispute with the help of a neutral third person (mediator). 

 

“Mediation works because it places the people most affected by the problem in charge of the solution.”  – Chief Justice Thomas Moyer, Supreme Court of Ohio (1987-2010)

 

37.01 When Ordered

Pursuant to Ohio Revised Code 3109.052, at any time after service of summons in any action in which the allocation of parental rights and rights and responsibilities of minor children is in issue, at any time on a petition to modify or allocate parental rights and responsibilities and/or to terminate a shared parenting plan approved by the Court, or in any other action in which the Court has jurisdiction over children under O.R.C. 2151.23, the Court may require some or all the parties to participate in a mediation assessment. If it is determined that the parties qualify for mediation, the Court may order any or all of the parties to participate in mediation. In addition, the Court may at any time order the parents of minor children, and any other interested parties to the case, to participate in mediation when the parties are unable to agree upon a specific schedule of parenting time for the children.

The mediator works with both parties to help them reach a mutually agreeable solution to their differences. Mediation proceedings are confidential and informal. The mediator can’t force the parties to resolve their differences. But the mediator can help the parties reach a solution agreeable to both.

  • Mediation Concepts
  • Self-Determination
  • Empowerment
  • Confidentiality
  • Facilitation
  • Impartiality
  • Neutrality
  • Consensus

Types Of Mediation

Abuse Neglect Dependency Mediation

The goal in Dependency Mediation is to offer parties the opportunity to explore safe and appropriate parameters of parent/child contact where the child has been removed from the home of one or both parents.

  • Referrals in Dependency cases are made directly by the Court on a case by case basis.
  • The mediator schedules mediation at a time convenient to all parties, with priority given to the Guardian ad Litem’s and custodian’s schedule. All parties and all counsel and agencies involved in the case receive a Notice of Mediation.
  • At the mediation, the mediation process is explained and all parties and other attendees sign an Agreement to Mediate.
  • If the parties are able to reach an agreement, partial or full, the mediator prepares a Mediation Agreement and sends copies to the parties and agencies for review. Counsel, if any, also receive a copy of the Agreement.
  • Following the mediation, the mediator prepares an Outcome Report, including whether the parties have paid court ordered mediation costs, and files it with the clerks. The mediator also files a sealed copy of the Mediation Agreement, if any, at the same time.

Juvenile Offender Mediation, Including Victim Mediation

The goal in Juvenile Mediation is to offer an opportunity for first time offenders to understand their offenses and receive consequences for their actions without having their charges formalized in the court. Juvenile Mediation is also an opportunity for offenders to express concern for their actions and choices with others involved and explore better decision making for the future.

Victim Mediation is designed to bring the victim and their offender together in a safe environment. The goal is to give the victim a voice and also give the victim the opportunity to have input in the mediated terms and outcome of the case.

Process:

  • Intake personnel will determine appropriate cases for mediation using the following approved criteria:
    • General eligibility—case by case basis:
      • Assault
      • Criminal damaging
      • Criminal trespass
      • Disorderly conduct
      • Home/school unruly
      • Minor theft
  • Cases determined to be appropriate are presented to the mediation department, with a completed Mediation Referral Form and accompanying police report.
  • If the mediator determines that mediation is appropriate, the victim is contacted and the mediation process is explained. If the victim agrees, the case is scheduled for mediation. Both victim and offender will receive a Notice of Mediation. The notice to the offender requires that a parent participate also; the notice to the victim requires parent participation if the victim is a minor. The mediation should be conducted within four weeks of referral.
  • Upon arriving at the mediation session, parties will sign an Agreement to Mediation/Confidentiality Form.
  • The victim is given the opportunity to propose to ther offender the terms that would make the victim feel whole.
  • If the dispute is resolved, a Juvenile Contract containing the terms of the agreement is written by the mediator and signed by the offender and the offender’s parents. The offender and the offender’s parents receive a copy of the Juvenile Contract.
  • After the juvenile has completed the terms of the Contract, the mediator prepares a Mediation Outcome Report that notes the fulfillment of the Contract and delivers the same with the police report to the referring department.
  • If an agreement is not reached or the juvenile does not complete the terms, the mediator prepares a Mediation Outcome Report that notes the failure to complete and delivers the same to the referring department. Intake then determines how the case will be handled.
  • Terms of the Juvenile Contract may include but are not limited to letter of apology, community service, victims awareness class, restitution, voluntary no-contact, and non-violence agreements.

Probate Mediation

The goal in Probate Mediation is to offer parties the opportunity discuss and explore resolution of the issues that have resulted in a case in Probate Court. Typical types of cases are guardianships and estate disputes.

  • Referrals for Probate Mediation are made by the Probate Court on a case by case basis. The Probate Court issues an order requiring the parties to contact the Mediation Department within ten (10) days.
  • The mediators schedule mediation at a time convenient to the parties. All parties and counsel receive a Notice of Mediation.
  • At the mediation, the mediation process is explained and the parties sign an Agreement to Mediate.
  • If the parties are able to reach an agreement, partial or full, the mediator prepares a Mediation Agreement and sends copies to the parties for review. Counsel, if any, also receive a copy of the Agreement.
  • Following the mediation, the mediator prepares an Outcome Report, including whether the parties have paid court ordered mediation costs, and files it with the Probate Court. The mediator also files a sealed copy of the Mediation Agreement, if any, at the same time.

Truancy Mediation

Truancy Mediation is a program designed to be a collaborative effort involving the Delaware County Juvenile Court, Delaware county schools, Delaware City schools, students, and their parents to address the student’s truancy issues and collaboratively develop a plan of action:

Goals:

  • Improve school attendance and decrease absenteeism.
  • Return habitually truant students to a regular schedule of school attendance.
  • Increase students’ academic performance by improving attendance.
  • Teach skills that will improve family communication.
  • Provide skills that will enable students to be successful in school and in life.

Benefits:

Students and parents participating in the Truancy Mediation will benefit in the following ways:

  • Avoid a referral to the court system for both parent and child at this time.
  • Learn the law regarding truancy and how it affects parent and student.
  • Learn communication, listening and negotiation skills.
  • Improve communication between parents and children.
  • Gain insight from student regarding the factors that contribute to truancy and strategies to help improve school attendance.

Process:

  • Cases are referred by the county or city school liaison.
  • Mediator contacts appropriate school personnel and school liaison to schedule truancy mediation. Mediations are usually held at the school requesting the mediation; however, they may be held at the Juvenile court.
  • The student and the student’s family are sent a letter containing notice of the mediation.
  • Upon arriving at the mediation session, parties will sign an Agreement to Mediation/Confidentiality Form.
  • If parties agree upon a plan, a Mediation Agreement is written by the mediator and is signed by the parties. Copies of the
  • Mediation Agreement are given to parties; mediator does not keep a copy.
  • The mediator submits a Mediation Outcome Report to the referring school liaison
  • If an agreement is not reached, the referring school and liaison will determine how the case will be handled.

 

Contact Mediation

Dodie Davenport
Mediator
(740) 833-2640
ddavenport@co.delaware.oh.us

April Nelson
Mediator
(740) 833-2610
anelson@co.delaware.oh.us