Navigate Up
Sign In


If you are involved in a legal dispute with another person or entity, you may be able to resolve it without filing a lawsuit. If your community has a mediation program, you and the person you are having a dispute with can try to work the problem out with the help of a neutral mediator. If you cannot resolve your problem informally through mediation, you can file a lawsuit. See more details about mediation and community dispute resolution programs.

Mediation is a process in which two or more people involved in a dispute meet in a private, confidential setting and attempt to work out a solution to their problem with the help of a trained neutral person. Mediation is fast, either free or low cost, and effective in resolving many disputes, including landlord-tenant, consumer/merchant, and neighborhood disputes. In most cases, a mediation meeting can be set up within 10 days, and 90% of all cases in which both parties to a dispute agree to use a mediation service result in agreements acceptable to all sides. If you can work out your dispute in mediation, you may not need to go to court. Ask the clerk of your local court if a mediation program is available in your area, or call 1-800-8RESOLVE.

Filing a lawsuit in court should be used as a last resort. Make sure you have discussed your problem with the person or business you are thinking about suing. In many situations, people and businesses do not know that someone has a dispute with them until they receive court papers. If talking the problem over does not work, consider using mediation instead of going to court