Court Referral

So you’ve been referred by a court in Dutchess County and are looking for help. We’re here for you. To best support you, we want to be as transparent as possible.

First things first: how does mediation work?

Mediation brings you and the other party together for a face-to-face conversation. During that conversation, an impartial mediator will help you both identify your challenges and explore solutions. The process is fully voluntary and confidential. 

The mediator will not weigh evidence or make any official ruling. Their role is to support both of you in expressing yourselves and empowering your decision-making. 

At MCDC, we practice transformative mediation, an approach that prioritizes your voice and ability to make choices. 

And what does it cost?

Most mediations are free or offered on a sliding scale fee. These services are made possible by the Unified Court System, donations, and grants from charitable foundations. 

What should I expect?

To begin, we’ll need some information from you. Here’s what you can expect:

  • Our quick, confidential quiz will ask for basic information and convenient call times
  • Once you’ve submitted the quiz we’ll be in touch to discuss your case; typically we respond within one business day.
  • When we call, we’ll 
    • Confirm the details you provided
    • Confirm the names of all parties and if applicable, any attorneys
    • Describe our mediation process
    • Answer any questions you may have
    • Schedule next steps

If your case is eligible, we’ll set up a time for both parties to come face-to-face for mediation. Once the mediation process begins, everything shared will be kept confidential and legally protected. Our expert mediators will facilitate the process and support both parties in exploring solutions.

Here are some of the ways mediation typically plays out:

You find a solution.

If you and the other side reach an agreement through mediation, then we’ll provide notification and the written agreement to the judge ruling on  your case to review.

You gain clarity.

Maybe you’ll decide the matter doesn’t belong in court.  Maybe you’ll realize you need a lawyer.  Maybe you’ll realize what options are available to you.  Maybe you’ll realize what resolution would look like so you can move on from this situation.  Through dialogue, you can determine what’s best and what comes next.

You decide to resolve in court.

If you do not reach an agreement through our mediation process – you’re no worse off.  You’ll still have your court date, and we will not disclose any information shared during the mediation session to the judge.

Are you ready? Click here to begin.