June 9, 2023

What is small claims mediation?

Small claims mediation is a meeting between people in a small claims dispute with the help of a trained volunteer mediator. The mediator will help you think of ways to resolve your case.

The mediator does NOT:

  • take sides,
  • give anyone advice, or
  • decide the case.

Instead, the mediator will help you find a solution to the situation.

For mediation BEFORE your court date, please contact Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center at (650) 345-7272 (PCRC).


Why use mediation?

There are many reasons to use mediation:

  • It is free or very low-cost
  • It is private and confidential. There is no public record of a judgment.
  • You do not give up control of the result to a judge. YOU decide how to settle the case.
  • It can be less stressful than trial
  • It can be less hostile than trial
  • You do not lose your right to go to trial. But if needed, you can still have a judge decide the case.
  • You have more time to explain your needs.


What kinds of cases can mediation help with?

Mediation can help with many kinds of cases, including:

  • Business/Consumer
  • Construction
  • Consumer Complaints
  • Contract/Liability
  • Debt Collection
  • Employer/Employee
  • Family Conflicts
  • Landlord/Tenant
  • Neighbor to Neighbor
  • Practitioner/Client Relations
  • Property/Condo Association
  • Real Estate


Do I have to pay for mediation?

Mediation through the Small Claims Mediation Program is free. Mediation through Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center is low-cost.


Who will be my mediator?

Most mediators for small claims cases are volunteers who have special training in mediation and helping parties find solutions to their cases.


© 2023 Superior Court of San Mateo County