SMALL CLAIMS AND SUMMARY PROCESS
Before going to court, you might want to consider speaking with us to see if there is a way to help you resolve your issue. Often, issues that are mediated first can be resolved respectfully and successfully without having to go to court. There is no charge to speak with us, so please contact us if you are interested in trying mediation before you file in court.
In the Courts
MetroWest Mediation Services offers mediation, free of charge, for people who file Small Claims and Summary Process cases in the Concord, Framingham, Marlborough and Natick Courts.
How it Works
In the courtroom, on the day of the trial, the clerk will call the list of cases. After the list is called, the clerk or the mediator, will make an announcement about mediation, telling everyone in the courtroom that:
- Mediation is voluntary so both parties need to agree to participate
- The mediators are neutral and do not act as advocates or judges
- Mediation is confidential, which means that everything discussed in the mediation will not be shared by the mediators with anyone outside the program. This also means that mediators cannot be called to testify if the case goes back to trial.
- Mediation is "risk-free" in that if the parties do not come to an agreement, they will still have their trial on the same day.
- The mediators help the parties discuss their issues in a respectful and safe way and consider options to resolve the matter.
- If there is an agreement, the mediators can write it up in the parties’ own words. The magistrate or judge will then review the agreement with them.
The clerk will then call each case that might be appropriate for mediation and ask if both parties want to participate. If both parties agree, they will go to a private room to meet with the mediators.
If you have a consumer complaint, we are available to help you resolve it. MWMS is a member of the Attorney General’s Face-to-Face Mediation Program that provides free mediation to Massachusetts’ consumers. If you and the other party are willing, we will work with you both to see if there is a way to resolve the problem. Contact us if you have a consumer issue.
HOW DO I GET STARTED?
If you are going to court in Concord, Framingham, Natick or Marlborough for a small claims or summary process case and want to do mediation on your court date, you don't need to contact us in advance. Mediators will be in the courtroom on the day of your trial to assist.
If you would like mediation before going to court, please call us at 508-872-9495 or fill out the form below. We're happy to answer any of your questions and discuss our mediation services. During our initial conversation, we will gather information about your needs and assess if your case is appropriate for mediation. We will then schedule a mediation session at a date and time that works for all parties.