Dispute Settlement Program

The courtroom isn't always the best place to solve a problem. Since 1983, the CRC's Dispute Settlement Program (DSP) has been providing mediation and conciliation services to Charlotte-Mecklenburg residents.

What is Mediation?

Mediation is an informal process of dispute resolution where a neutral third party (the mediator) assists two or more parties in reaching a mutually acceptable resolution to their dispute. The ultimate decision-making authority rests with the parties themselves. The mediator is not a judge, lawyer or counselor; rather, the mediator is a skilled facilitator who assists the disputants in:

  • Defining and clarifying issues
  • Reducing obstacles to communication
  • Exploring possible solutions
  • Reaching a mutually satisfactory agreement

Benefits of Mediation

For disputing parties:

  • Provides disputants with an opportunity to make their own decisions.
  • Can be an avenue for payment of restitution for damages or losses.
  • Is an alternative to court conviction or other court actions?
  • Offers disputants an opportunity to talk openly and have questions answered.
  • Saves court costs and the disputants’ time.

To the community:

  • Empowers the community to solve some of its own problems.
  • Offers hope for a more peaceful community by introducing conflict resolution as a means to resolve disputes.
  • Reduces taxpayer costs by removing cases from court dockets.
  • Expedites more serious cases through the criminal justice system.

Types of Disputes Mediated

DSP provides mediation services in cases involving:

  • Misdemeanor criminal complaints, including those that involve juvenile offenders, such as damage to property, larceny, assault, communicating threats and harassments
  • 50C No contact orders
  • Neighborhood conflicts
  • Consumer complaints
  • Conflicts between co-workers
  • Employer/employee disputes
  • Student issues/truancy
  • Landlord tenant concerns
  • Medicaid appeals
  • Miscellaneous conflicts