Mediation and Early Informal Resolution
Complainants and Respondents may agree to resolve issues raised in the complaint through mediation. Mediation (sometimes called conciliation) is a process for parties to work together with the aid of a neutral facilitator (mediator or conciliator) who assists them in reaching a settlement. No party is required to settle. To be eligible for mediation, all parties, must agree to a mediation track and be willing to discuss and negotiate a settlement.
The parties may reach a settlement through the services of a professional independent mediator. Cuyahoga County has partnered with the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association (CMBA) to provide mediation services at no cost to the parties. In mediation, a neutral third party known as a mediator helps the parties reach a voluntary, negotiated resolution. The mediator does not take sides or decide who is right or wrong. Instead, the mediator is impartial and neutral.
- If the dispute is resolved in mediation, the parties will sign a settlement agreement and the case will be closed. In the event the case does not settle and the mediation is terminated, the case will be sent back to the Commission and an administrative hearing will be scheduled. Even if the case is not referred or sent back, the parties can always attempt to negotiate a resolution of the case at any time.
- Discussions at a mediation conference are confidential and do not become part of the Commission’s process.
- Written settlement agreements that come out of formal mediation resolve the complaint and are enforced by the Commission if the terms of the agreement are later violated.
- A complainant and respondent may also voluntarily enter a private agreement to resolve their dispute.
- CCCHR Consent to Mediation and Confidentiality Agreement
- Sample Settlement Agreement
Mediation must be completed within 60 days of the filing of the Complaint unless an extension is granted. All other deadlines and proceedings are suspended and postponed during the mediation process.