The Mediation Process
Not everyone goes to court to work out the details of a conflict. The mediation process has assisted many people in our community to work out their differences through focused discussion and negotiation. The goal is to help people to work out mutually acceptable arrangements in a co-operative setting.
Whether your issue is in connection with a relationship breakdown or a business dispute, it may be possible to resolve the personal as well as the legal aspects of that dispute through mediation without ever going to court or even making an application to a court. You and the other party(ies) to your issue can reach an agreement facilitated by Akwesasne Mohawk Court’s trained community member mediators.
The Akwesasne Mohawk Court Register Mediators are not decision makers and will not take sides or give legal advice. What goes on in a mediation session is kept confidential.
How To Get The Mediation Process Started:
- Call or visit the Akwesasne Mohawk Court and explain the situation that needs resolving.
- The Court Clerk will let you know if it is an appropriate issue for mediation and can prepare a letter to the other party(ies) requesting that they attend a mediation session with you.
- If it is agreed, arrangements will be made to meet in a location convenient for everyone. This could be in Kana:takon, Kawehno:ke, or Tsi:Snaihne. It does not usually take more than a week to make all arrangements.
Prior to scheduling a mediation session, the Akwesasne Mohawk Court Administration will screen parties and the selected roster mediator to avoid potential conflicts of interest. Mediation services may be requested whether or not you are otherwise involved with the Akwesasne Mohawk Court.
Consider The Benefits
- Mediation can reduce the cost of disputes and produce quicker resolutions than court processes
- The process of mediation can help to maintain, or even improve, the relationship between the parties
- Agreements achieved through mediation are more likely to last, because the parties themselves guide the making of the agreement
- The Akwesasne Mohawk Court provides a forum to keep community members’ disputes in the community
We Can Help With Family Conflict
Family conflict is different from other types of conflict. First, family members are already highly emotionally attached. These emotions can quickly deepen conflict. Second, family members are involved in long-term relationships and often have to interact with each other daily. Finally, families often obey their own rules and resist outside interference.
These characteristics can lead to long, tangled, painful conflicts. It is difficult for family members to see long-term conflicts clearly. At this point, a third party may be needed, such as a mediator, to help reconstruct family dynamics, or to settle issues of child custody and access, child support, spousal support and division of property and debt.
What If You Are Involved In A Court Process?
As long as all parties agree, mediation can still take place. Akwesasne Mohawk Court managed mediations shall be “without prejudice” and confidential, meaning that nothing said or done during the process can be used against a party in court or arbitration proceedings if negotiations fail. Nor can the mediator be asked to go to court to talk about the process or what happened.
Cases that have required court involvement may require the terms of the mediated agreement be incorporated into the legal paperwork and filed with the court.
Can Lawyers Attend Mediation?
The AMC mediation process is meant to be a personal negotiation between equal parties. Talk to Akwesasne Mohawk Court Administration about the possibility of including an observer advocate.
A lawyer cannot act alone on your behalf during Akwesasne Mohawk Court Managed Mediation.
Is A Mediated Agreement Legally Binding?
Once it is signed, any written agreement can be binding. As result, it is important for each party to fully participate and to bring all issues in dispute to the table. Neither party should agree to anything without full consideration of long term implications. It is not uncommon for disputes of all kinds that have lingered for months, or even years, to reach full agreement in a matter of hours with mediation. At times this expediency can be overwhelming, so be prepared.
Depending on the nature of the agreement and the dispute, if there is a breach of the agreement, the other party can file a claim in court. You will be advised of the option to bring your agreement terms to a lawyer before making it binding by signing it.
Will Mediation Work?
Mediation is different from just talking things through. Akwesasne Mohawk Court mediators are trained to keep all involved focused on solutions, and will work with you until you get to an agreement that each of you can live with. Many people have benefited from mediation within our community.
What types of issues can be mediated?
All types of issues between individuals of more or less equal bargaining power can be mediated by the Akwesasne Mohawk Court’s Register Mediators, with the exception of land disputes.
The Akwesasne Mohawk Court Administration can help find the right dispute resolution process for your situation – just ask.
Mediation Service User Fees
Fair and affordable fees will be charged, according to a fee schedule set by the Akwesasne Department of Justice. Most sessions will cost $35.
Court Administrator: Cheryl Jacobs
Contact Info: 613-575-2250 Ext. 1025
Court Clerk: Kim Loran
Contact Info: 613-575-2250 Ext. 1026