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|
Acceptable methods of payment for in-person mediation (not currently available due to COVID-19):
- 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
- All disputed small claims actions shall go to mediation before going to trial, except for good cause acceptable to the Court.
- 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.
- Agreement reached while in mediation shall be signed by the parties and filed as a stipulated order.
- 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
The court has ordered that disputed small claims actions shall go to mediation before going to trial, except for good cause acceptable to the court. 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 unless you have a written Power of Attorney, except if spouses are both parties to a case, one spouse may appear on behalf of both spouses in mediation with written consent of the other spouse; or if the appearing spouse declares under penalty of perjury that the other spouse consents.30186
Your mediator will help you write up a Mediated Agreement. The agreement is enforceable but will not appear as a judgment unless there is non-compliance with the agreement and a general judgment by default is entered.30186
The mediator will help you get a trial scheduled. The trial will usually be 4-8 weeks after your mediation date.30186
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. The only exception is that when spouses are both parties to a case, one spouse may appear on behalf of both spouses in mediation with written consent of the other spouse; or if the appearing spouse declares under penalty of perjury that the other spouse consents. People who are not named parties may be part of the mediation only if all the parties agree.30186
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.30186
If you need assistance due to a disability, please contact us.30186
If you have any kind of no contact order with someone else involved in the case, please contact us.30186
Remote Mediation Information
Pre-Mediation Client Procedures
Please follow the link above and read the Client Procedures carefully as it will answer most questions.
- Client Procedures Document for Circuit Court
- Client Procedures Document for Justice Court
- Consent for Services and Confidentiality Agreement
To Appear For Your Mediation
You will need the following items to appear for your court ordered Small Claims Mediation. We encourage you to do these things a few days before your scheduled mediation in order to avoid complications at the time of your session.
- Fill out this brief intake form.
Our staff will review your form and send you the zoom link within one business day, or 30 minutes before your scheduled mediation, whichever is first. Our office is open for business Monday - Thursday..
- Circuit Court Cases only: Pay your mediation fee here.
- Payment for mediation is separate from the filing fee you paid to the court.
- Payments for mediation services are made any time prior to your session
- Choose “Small Claims Mediation” as “Payment Type”
- Enter your small claims court case number in the “Other” Field.
- The fee is $50 for claims $2500 or less, and $90 for claims over $2500.
- You will receive a confirmation number by email after you have paid. Please have the last 4 digits of number ready when you join your mediation. You will be asked for it before beginning your mediation.
Information For After Your Mediation (not needed in every case)
- Circuit Court
- Justice Court
- Noncompliance Paperwork