Mediation is a way to try to resolve your case without a judge. It gives you a chance to meet and talk with the other side, and with a neutral person who can help you both reach a solution together.
You can try it before you file your case, while you are waiting to go to court, or on your court date.
Mediation in Small Claims
Why is mediation good?
- It is voluntary.
- It is private and confidential.
- Can be free or very low cost.
- It is more flexible than court and you can come up with an agreement that fits your situation better.
- It is less stressful than court.
- You have more time.
- It can be faster because you may potentially resolve your case in mediation days or weeks before your hearing date (subject to availability).
- You do not give up your right to go to court.
- Because both of you agree, you are more likely to get paid.
- It is non-adversarial. It can help you save your relationship with the other side, like your neighbor or a friend.
The San Mateo Court's Small Claims Mediation program is free. Mediators are trained volunteers who will help you resolve your case. To take advantage of the program, just tell the judge when you go to your court hearing. Mediators are available then to help you.
To learn more visit the web page for the Small Claims Mediation program or call:
- 650-261-5075 or
If you want to try mediation before your court date, the Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center (PCRC) can help you for a low-fee. Visit the website or call: 650-345-7272.
If you have resolved a small claims case, and want to dismiss the case, click for Dismiss a Small Claims Case (California Courts website).