DISPUTE RESOLUTION CENTER 


PROGRAM SUMMARY

The El Paso County Dispute Resolution Center is a project of El Paso County and the Rio Grande Council of Governments.  The Center provides an alternative in settling disputes through the process of mediation.  Mediation is less expensive, less time consuming, and can resolve a dispute so that each party benefits from the session.

The Dispute Resolution Center's Mission is to:

Provide Alternative Dispute Resolution services and promote resolution of disputes prior to, during, and in lieu of litigation to residents within El Paso County.

WHAT IS MEDIATION?

Mediation is a voluntary process where people meet with neutral mediators in a confidential setting, to resolve conflicts without having to utilize the court system to dispose of the disputes.  Attorneys for the parties may be present, but it is not necessary to have an attorney present.

WHO CAN BE HELPED BY MEDIATION?

Types of Civil Disputes Accepted:

·      Neighbors

·      Probate       

·      Threats/Assaults

·      Business     

·      Contracts

·      Uninsured Motorist

·      Families       

·      Personal Injury

·      Restitution 

·      Landlord/Tenant

·      Child Welfare Cases

·      Employers/Employees

·      Special Education Mediation

·      Consumer/Merchant

 


Mediations can be conducted in English and Spanish and the facilities in both offices are wheelchair accessible.

WHAT HAPPENS IN MEDIATION?

Mediations are scheduled at a convenient time for all parties.  Cases are heard on Tuesday and Thursday evenings in the Neighborhood Justice Office.  Cases that have been filed in court or have been court-ordered to mediation are heard during the daytime at the El Paso County Courthouse.

In mediation, trained pro bono mediators give everyone a chance to tell his or her side of the dispute without interruption.  The mediators then help the parties to design their own solutions to the problems.  The entire proceeding is confidential, and notes taken during the session are destroyed at the conclusion of the session.  Tape recording is not allowed.  Information or notes taken during the mediation are not to be used for the purpose of Discovery in litigation.  If an agreement is reached, the mediators will draft an agreement, and have the complainant(s) and respondent(s) sign the agreement.  The mediator(s) will sign the agreement and provide copies of the agreement to each party. 

WHY DOES MEDIATION WORK?

Mediation works because it is voluntary.  With the assistance of impartial mediators, the parties are able to come to a lasting agreement.  When parties shape the agreement themselves, they are more likely to comply with the terms of that agreement.  Each party wins because each party participates.

HOW MUCH DOES MEDIATION COST?

A $20.00 non-refundable filing fee is required at the time the mediation request is filed. There is no charge for a person who has already filed a lawsuit.  Family cases involving divorce, child custody or child visitation that have been court-ordered to mediation are assessed a $100.00 filing fee per spouse.

WHO WILL MEDIATE THE DISPUTE?

The El Paso County Dispute Resolution Center’s mediators are highly trained volunteers.  They include active and retired professionals from a variety of fields including education, business, law, government, and human services.  In accordance with Texas statute, mediators train for a minimum of 40 hours in basic mediation skills.  An additional 24 hours of training in Family Dynamics is required to mediate cases involving divorce, child custody, and visitation issues.  However, by local rules, a more extensive 32 Hour Family Mediation training is offered.   Mediators must also take the 4 hour of Children Cope With Divorce class offered by the YWCA.  Refresher courses are also required.

HOW DO I ARRANGE FOR MEDIATION?

Call 533-0998 or 546-8189 or come by the El Paso County Dispute Resolution Center offices.  Bring pertinent names, addresses and phone numbers that are necessary to arrange the mediation session.  All parties will be notified and the date and time of the mediation will be confirmed.

Neighborhood Justice Office

Court Annexed Office

Patriot Plaza     

El Paso County Courthouse

8037 Lockheed Dr., Ste. 100

500 E. San Antonio, Lower Level Ste. 112

El Paso, TX 79925

El Paso, TX 79901

Phone:  (915) 533-0998     

Phone:  (915) 546-8189

 Fax:       (915) 356-1698

Fax:  (915) 533-1321