• FAQs and Helpful Articles

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    Are your services confidential?

    Written and verbal communications with our program are considered to be dispute resolution center case records, and are confidential and privileged per RCW 7.75.050. Records of mediations may also be confidential and privileged under RCW 7.07.030, and mediators generally cannot be summoned to appear in court.

    What is conciliation?

    Conciliation is a phone process where an impartial, trained telephone coach facilitates communication, helps understand the interests of the parties involved, and enhances creative problem solving to help people reach their own solutions.

    How is mediation different than a lawsuit?

    Mediation and conciliation are alternatives to going to court. Unlike a court case, mediations are free and do not require attorneys. Mediators do not act as judges, but help the parties to have a conversation about whether there is a solution that everyone can agree to live with.

    What if the other side breaks the agreement they made in mediation?

     Written signed mediation agreements are binding contracts and can be enforced in a court just like any other type of contract. Verbal agreements may also be binding but are generally more difficult to prove.

    Can you tell me what the law is regarding my issue?

    Mediators and conciliators are not able to give out legal advice though some may also be lawyers.

    Do you work with other departments in the City of Bellevue?

    Cases are referred to us from many City of Bellevue departments, particularly code compliance, police and fire, land use, city manager's office, neighborhood outreach, affordable housing, utilities and parks.

    How long will it take to arrange for a mediation?

    Once both parties have agreed to mediate, it usually takes up to two weeks to arrange a mediation.

    Where do mediations take place?

    Conciliations take place on the phone. Mediations take place at City Hall. We do not send mediators to people's homes, court or places of business.

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