FAQ

Who are Community Boards’ mediators? All of our mediators are trained and highly qualified volunteers, who donate their time and skills to help people like yourself find solutions to shared problems.

How long does it take to schedule a mediation? It can take about 10-15 business days from opening a case to the actual mediation.

How long are the mediations? We ask people to schedule three hours for their mediation.

Where are the mediations held? Most mediations are held at our office in Opera Plaza, 601 Van Ness Avenue, though we can make special arrangements in some cases.

How much does a mediation cost? We charge a $40 case opening fee for our neighborhood mediations, which is sliding scale or waived if you are unable to pay.  The mediation itself is free-of-charge.  We do ask for donations so we can continue to help others.

What information do you need about the other party? We will ask for as much contact information you know about the other person:  name, mailing address, telephone number, email. The more contact information we have, the easier and faster it is to schedule your mediation.

Are the mediations confidential?  Will my privacy be protected? All information disclosed during the mediation is protected by California state law.  Before the mediation begins, everyone in the room (including the mediators) sign a legally-binding confidentiality statement.  All notes and paperwork are shredded afterwards.

Can I bring someone with me?  Do I need a lawyer? Since our mediations are not legal proceedings, there is no need for “evidence,” testimony, witnesses or lawyers.  You can bring someone with you, as long as all parties agree to it before the mediation.

I know the other person would never want to mediate.  What can Community Boards do? We ask people to be open-minded and not assume the other person would be unwilling to mediate without first being asked.  Remember, this is a voluntary process.  We have a good success rate bringing people together, even in situations with a lot of anger and hostility.  We work hard to make all mediations safe and respectful.

What if I mediate and things don’t work out later, can I still take legal action? You lose no legal rights by attempting mediation, or if the terms in your final agreement are not fulfilled by the other party.  You can pursue any legal remedy you want.  You may also try to mediate the problem a second time with Community Boards.