What types of cases are mediated?
Minor types of criminal charges such as trespass, telephone misuse, malicious destruction of property, certain types of assault, before trial and; intra-family disputes in which present or former spouses, boyfriends, girlfriends, siblings, parents or extended family members are caught up in domestic difficulties and incidents arising out of a multitude of neighbor disputes prior to criminal charges being filed.
What happens in a mediation session?
At a reserved time, the mediator listens to both parties tell their side of what happened in an effort to understand how the dispute came about and to learn how each party would like to see the problem resolved. Referrals may be made to agencies in Anne Arundel County to assist the parties in building skills that may be lacking (parenting, budgeting, etc.) or to experts in the field of individual or family counseling. The mediator does not decide who is right or wrong. He or she merely assists the parties in coming to an acceptable solution.
What about lawyers or witnesses?
Parties may bring their lawyer if they've retained one. The sessions are informal and may last an hour or two depending on the issues involved.
Once the mediation is complete, the mediator will let the Assistant State's Attorney know that the parties were able to reach a resolution and then the Assistant State's Attorney will make a recommendation for a disposition of the case. All mediation results are subject to review by the Office of the State's Attorney.
What is the cost?
This service is provided by the Office of the State's Attorney. There is no cost to you.