Lebanon Mediation Services
235 South 12th Street, Lebanon
Offered through Jubilee Ministries, mediators help people resolve conflicts peacefully. It isn't about winning or losing...bringing in witnesses...or stacks of evidence. It is not about proving anyone wrong. Instead it is about each person deciding what he or she needs in order to solve a problem - and coming up with a solution that everyone agrees will work.
Mediation allows parties to find their own solution without the costly expense of litigation. Here are is a basic understanding from the LMS coordinator:
What is mediation? Mediation is an informal, voluntary and confidential way to resolve disagreements. Trained mediators help people in conflict discuss their concerns and, when possible, decide on a fair solution to them. Mediation is one form of "Appropriate Dispute Resolution" (ADR)
What is a mediator? Mediators are neutral people who help the parties discuss their conflict. Mediators don't tell people what to do, or decide who "wins" or "loses." Decision-making power stays with the parties. Mediators guide the solution-making process.
What happens in mediation? The mediation process will vary depending on the mediator(s). Generally, the mediator will start by describing how the process works and explain the meeting's guidelines. Then each party will tell a short "story" about why they are in mediation. The mediator will help them identify the issues, discuss each party's needs, and help the parties talk about possible solutions. During the mediation, the mediator may meet with the parties together or separately. The parties are encouraged to ask any questions of the mediator. At the end of the mediation, a mutual agreement will be drafted for both parties to sign and each will get a copy for future reference.
What if a party will not participate? Mediation is voluntary. No one can be forces to mediate a dispute. The mediator coordinator will try to help the parties realize the value of mediating their dispute.
Do mediators draw up legal documentation following mediation? No. Agreements reached in mediation are not binding legal documents. Agreements are arrived at by the parties in a mediation and it is up to the parties to stick to them.
What does mediation cost? There is no cost for neighborhood mediation. LMS mediators are volunteers. However, there is a sliding scale fee for divorce mediation.
Where is an LMS mediation held? Most mediations are held in the bottom floor conference room of Jubilee Ministries. Some may be held in other neutral and safe, locations such as a church or other public meeting place.
Is mediation kept confidential? Absolutely! It is kept to the parties except when police are involved. If police are involved, a copy of the agreement is sent to the police department so it will know that an agreement was reached.
What are some of the benefits of mediation? There are many benefits, but to name a few: parties who negotiate their own settlements have more control over the outcome of their dispute than if it ends up in a lawyer's office, parties who mediate their differences are able to attend to the fine details of implementation, and improved relationships are created that are likely to continue over the years.
What would be examples of mediated disputes? Most of the mediations held in Lebanon County are the result of neighborhood disputes, which vary in nature. Some arise over barking dogs, neighborhood children or noisy neighbors. Many are a result of one neighbor living in a neighborhood for many years and a newcomer arrives and seems to change the neighborhood. Other disputes involve family concerns, such as the care of an elderly person who can no longer live alone. Decisions of costs and care must be worked out with an agreement that all can live with.
How would I know when I should consider mediation? Most civil complaints can be brought to mediation rather than to court. If you are not sure, call the LMS mediation line at 277-0111 and talk to the Mediation Coordinator, who will help you decide.