The Use of Mediation in Small Claims Courts
40 Pages Posted: 20 Mar 2008
This article examines the use of mediation in small claims courts in the United States as a whole, and more particularly, in California. It specifically assesses whether these programs have been successful, analyzes potential problems with these programs, and makes recommendations on how small claims courts can better use alternative dispute resolution. The article asserts that advance planning and a critical assessment of needs and purposes are the most important elements in determining the form of small claims ADR that will work best in a particular setting. The resources available will also play a major role in shaping the ADR program. Because filing formal civil complaints is still perceived as necessary to induce bargaining, the article concludes by noting that it is important that mediation procedures be tied into small claims courts as well as being made available independently of such courts.
Keywords: Alternative dispute resolution, mediation, small claims courts, California courts
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation