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Circuit Court District Division Small Claims Mediation

What is mediation?
Mediation is a confidential process in which both sides meet with a neutral, court-contracted mediator. The mediator is trained to discuss the case with you and assist you in working out a resolution. The mediator will listen to both you and the other side to help you look at things in a way that may allow you to find a solution that meets both your needs. The mediator cannot give you legal advice, but can help you identify information that would assist you in making decisions.

What are the outcomes of mediation?
In mediation, the decision about whether to settle your case, and what you agree to, are in your control. If you do reach an agreement, your agreement will be written down and presented to a judge. If the judge approves it, the agreement will become a court order. If at any point during the mediation you are unhappy about how it is going, you can end the process, and have your case heard by a judge at a later date. The conversation you had in mediation cannot be brought up during your trial.

Is mediation required?
In cases where the amount requested is $5,000 or less, mediation is voluntary. The court will offer mediation as an option to you when you come to the court date listed on your Notice.

In cases where the amount requested is greater than $5,000, attendance at mediation is required. That means you must attend mediation at the court date listed on your Notice before a judge hears your case. It does not mean you are required to settle.

In either situation, if you choose not to settle, you have met the requirement and you can end the mediation. The court will schedule a hearing with a judge at a later date.

Does mediation cost money?
There is no additional cost. Mediation is offered as a service to the parties.
Questions? Read the law (RSA 503) or court rules (Rule 4) related to small claims or contact the Office of Mediation & Arbitration at:


Address:

 

1 Granite Place, Suite N400
Concord NH 03301

Telephone:

 

(603) 271-6418

Email:

 

mediation@courts.state.nh.us

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