Small Claims Mediation

In mediation, both sides of a case will meet with a mediator who will help you have a conversation about ways to settle your case that might be better for you than going to trial. You make the decisions, including whether you settle and what the settlement terms are.

Our mediators are trained and experienced volunteers who donate their time to help others resolve conflicts. They will help you have a conversation with the other side, but will not make recommendations or give legal advice. More information about each of our mediators is available, including their background, training and experience. Our mediators follow the ethical guidelines in the Oregon Mediation Association Core Standards of Mediation Practice.

Fees for Circuit Court Cases

There is a fee for mediation separate from the fee you paid to the court. This fee is payable to Clackamas County and is not a court fee.

The fee is:

Fee per side Original claim amount
$50  $2,500 or less
$90 more than $2,500

If your court filing fees have been waived by a judge, your mediation fee is also waived.

Acceptable methods of payment:

  • personal check signed by the person whose name appears on the check
  • money order or cashier's check
  • Master Card, Visa or Discover Card only (not American Express, etc.)
  • cash (Exact change is appreciated. We have very limited change on hand)

The fee is due when you check in for mediation. Please do not send the fee in advance.

A Message From The Court

Clackamas County Circuit and Justice Courts each have a rule requiring all small claims cases to try mediation before trial. The Circuit Court rule is SLR 12.005: Mediation in Small Claims Actions; Failure to Comply with Settlement

  1. All disputed small claims actions shall go to mediation before going to trial, except for good cause acceptable to the Court.
  2. The Court may, subsequent to an opportunity for a hearing, enter a judgment against any party not appearing for mediation in the amount of any claim against the non-appearing party, and for the adverse party’s costs and disbursements.
  3. Agreement reached while in mediation shall be signed by the parties and filed as a stipulated order.
  4. Failure of either party to abide by the stipulated order will be grounds for the opposing party to file an Affidavit/Declaration of Non-Compliance and obtain a judgment on the original claim

Frequently Asked Questions

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The court has ordered that all small claims cases must go to mediation before trial. All parties named in the case must appear. If you do not appear for your scheduled mediation, a judgment may be entered against you. You cannot have anyone appear for you, including your spouse, unless you have a written Power of Attorney filed with the court.

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Your mediator will help you write up a Mediated Agreement. The agreement is enforceable but will not appear as a judgment on a debtor’s credit report unless there is non-compliance with the agreement and a general judgment by default is entered.

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The mediator will help you get a trial scheduled. The trial will usually be 4-8 weeks after your mediation date.

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All parties named as Plaintiff(s) or Defendant(s) on the Claim and Notice of Claim must appear at the mediation hearing. If you are a party named in the small claims case you must be present. People who are not named parties may be part of the mediation only if all the parties agree.

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Your mediators will not make any decisions for you so you do not need to bring witnesses. However, you should bring all documentation to support your claim: such as records, documents, bills, original contracts, photos, estimates, etc. We often find that when parties can see and exchange information, they can answer eachothers’ questions about the situation and are more likely to find a way to resolve their case. If your case is not resolved at mediation you must provide the other side with copies of the any evidence you plan to present at trial by at least 14 days before your trial.

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If you need assistance due to a disability, please contact us.

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