Anyone may self-refer a matter to mediation by contacting CDSS. It is not necessary for a dispute to be pending in court.
- If your dispute is outside of the legal system or some broader process (such as an employment grievance process) participation is voluntary – CDSS cannot compel people to attend a mediation session.
- In cases where lawsuits are pending, the court may order the parties to attend a mediation session.
Who Participates In Mediation?
Where Do Mediations Take Place?
You may be able to mediate at our offices.
Civil Superior Court cases can be held at our offices or at an attorney's office.
District Court case mediations are conducted in the courthouse.
We will work with you to determine the most suitable location for your mediation.
How Long Will Mediation Take?
The length of the process is largely determined by the issues
brought by the parties.
There is no time limit for mediation – some mediations take just a few hours while others may require multiple sessions.
What Should I Bring ?
Be sure to bring any documents or materials you feel would be helpful to explain your issue to the mediator and to other parties.
We will work with the parties to decide if there is a need to share documents or other materials to facilitate a settlement.
Remember that mediation is non-adversarial and the mediator does not take these materials as evidence.
How Much Will Mediation Cost?
The fees assessed for your mediation will depend on the nature of the dispute, the context of the mediation, and the selection of mediator.
For most civil court-related matters including family cases, the mediator’s fee ranges from $150 – $250 per hour split between the parties.
CDSS charges a one-time administrative fee of $150, which is also split between the parties.
Low-income families and individuals may use our sliding scale fee schedule. Rates vary depending on the income of each participant and range from $50 – $100 per hour with a one-time administrative fee of $50.
How Do I Schedule Mediation?
Contact CDSS and let us know the dates and times preferable to you.
We will contact the other party to explain the mediation process.
Mediations can usually be scheduled within five to seven business days depending on the availability of the parties and the selected mediator.
What If I Need to Postpone or Cancel My Mediation?
If you have a family court, civil superior court, or clerk of court mediation, postponement and cancellation fees are governed by the rules of each program as listed on the NC Dispute Resolution Commission’s website.
For other CDSS cases, in the event of a cancellation, the fee with ten day's notice is $150.00 plus the administrative fee and with seven day's notice is $200.00 plus the administrative fee.
Cancellation fees shall be paid by the party requesting the postponement/cancellation unless the parties agree otherwise.
If a case is rescheduled no cancellation fee applies.