Skip to main content
Skip to main content.

Frequently Asked Questions - Small Claims Mediation


1. What is small claims mediation?
2. Why use mediation?
3. What kinds of cases can mediation help with?
4. Do I have to pay for mediation?
5. Who will be my mediator?

1. 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).


2. 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.


3. 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


4. 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.


5. 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.


Was this helpful?

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.