The Neighborhood Mediation Program (NMP) is a collaboration of the City of Stow, the City of Tallmadge, the City of Cuyahoga Falls and the University of Akron School of Law to provide citizens with an avenue to resolve conflict with neighbors. Everyone cherishes the sanctity of his or her own home. Occasionally, situations arise between neighbors that affect the health, safety, and welfare of the neighborhood and the peace of the community. The NMP provides a free, voluntary pathway to facilitate communications between disputing parties and provides a mechanism to reach a mutually agreeable resolution.
What is Mediation?
Mediation is where a third party facilitates and helps parties reach their own private resolution of a dispute.
In mediation, people decide for themselves how to solve their problem. The mediator does not make a decision or provide judgment, but assists the parties in listening and understanding the other’s positions.
What matters are for the Neighborhood Mediation Program?
Examples of matters that are usually appropriate for mediation include disputes as to: tree branches, use of easements, snow plowing, on-street parking, animals, noise complaints, disposal of rubbish, basic watercourse issues, other basic disputes that affect the health, safety and welfare of the neighborhood.
What matters are NOT for the Neighborhood Mediation Program?
Examples of matters that are not usually appropriate for this program include: pending or potential criminal violations of the Codified Ordinances, matters pending in Civil Litigation, property line disputes requiring a survey, items already acted upon by the referring city.
Police Departments, Law Departments, Zoning Departments, City Council, etc. may field an initial complaint from a citizen regarding a concern about a neighbor. If the matter seems appropriate for NMP, the complaint is referred to the Director of Law, and/or designated staff of the city of residence. The Director of Law will screen the initial complaint and initiate referral for participation in NMP. The Director of Law will attempt the coordination of a mutually agreeable date and time for mediation between the parties.
The mediator facilitates the mediation process in an attempt to resolve the parties’ dispute. At the conclusion of the mediation, it is the hope that the parties have reached a settlement that shall be reduced to writing by the mediator in the form of a memorandum of understanding.