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Polk County Justice Center
222 5th Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50309
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What is Mediation?

Mediation is a confidential and “out-of-court” procedure which gives parties involved in a dispute a chance to meet and negotiate a resolution to their conflict with the assistance of a trained mediator.

Agreements that are reached during the course of a mediation session could include: repair, return or replacement of property, acceptance of social service referrals, payment of medical expenses, or arrangements to modify or cease specific behavior.

In most cases, the mediation process can be very healing as it allows participants to address the underlying issues that gave rise to the dispute, without the formalities or restrictions of the courtroom.

Mediation is where two or more people, who are in conflict, get together to discuss their problems, trying to resolve them with the help of a neutral person - the mediator. The mediation session provides a structured, confidential setting designed to assist persons in working out their own problems. The purpose of mediation is not to judge guilt or innocence, but to help parties get at the root of their problems and devise their own resolution to them.

The difference between mediation and court processing are significant. In a court case, guilt or innocence must be proven. In mediation, however, proof is not required; the objective instead is to resolve a dispute by reaching a settlement that is agreeable to both parties.

Mediation allows participants to address the underlying issues that caused the dispute without the formality or restrictions of the courtroom. Therefore, mediation can be very healing. Mediation is not bound to the rules of a formal system and disputants retain the responsibility to make the final decision regarding the outcome of their complaint.

Mediation has proven effective when:
Filing Your Complaint

You may file your complaint by telephoning the Restorative Justice Center at (515) 286-3057. The intake worker will record all of the information you provide such as dates, times, names and addresses.

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