Small Claims Mediation
Pierce County District Court Small Claims mediations are held by remote appearance (via Zoom)
~ updated 05/2022
Small Claims mediation is a quick and cost effective way to resolve money-related disputes that two parties have been unable to work out on their own.
In small claims court, one person may sue another person, a business, or — in some cases — the government for up to $10,000. Parties represent themselves instead of having a lawyer represent them. Spouses are allowed to be in the mediation room. There are no juries, no motions, and no objections. The person who sues pays a small fee for filing the lawsuit.
The goal of small claims mediation is to help work out a fair and reasonable solution to conflict. This mediation can save time, money, and the stress associated with actually going to Small Claims Court. This option also allows for the disputing parties to control the outcome rather than having a judge make the decision for them.
When you choose small claims mediation to settle your lawsuit, the meeting will occur at our Center and the court sets your mandatory court date. Any agreements reached are voluntary. The agreement is binding on both parties, and once the terms of the agreement are fulfilled, the case will be dismissed with no public record of a case.
Day of Small Claims mediation:
If you have trouble connecting to your mediation, immediately call us at 253.572.3657. If you are unable to get through, then email CDR’s Reception.
Contact the District Court directly with any court questions at 253.798.7487 or visit their website.
You will need to sign in to Zoom with your full name. The name that you enter should be easily associated with your case.
You have two ways to join the meeting:
- Zoom Meeting Link/website – best for computers or devices that have Video, Audio, and Screen Viewing capability
- Dial-in – best for telephone-only participation OR if your computer does not have speakers/microphone. Telephone-only is highly discouraged.
Go to: https://zoom.us/join and enter the Meeting ID and the Online Password listed below.
Meeting ID: 375 763 2051
Dial-In Only: (253) 215-8782 and enter the ID and Password above.
If you settle before your mediation date, or unable to attend on your scheduled mediation date, you must notify the court directly, Pierce County’s District Court: Small Claims Office located in the County City Building, Room 239 (930 Tacoma Ave. S.) or call the District Clerk at 253.798.7487
Mediation Trial Information and Guidelines
What To Expect – Mediation Process: (approx. 30-45 minutes)
- The mediator will welcome parties and explain the process.
- Each party will, in turn, explain their point of view to the mediator and the other party.
- The mediator will assist the parties in negotiating a resolution.
- The mediator may help generate options for settlement.
- If an agreement is reached, the mediator will write up the resolution on the Stipulation form, all participants will verbally confirm that the information in their agreement is correct. The agreement is binding on all litigants.
- If an agreement is NOT reached, the mediator will confirm parties’ emails /phone numbers on the Stipulation form and the parties will meet with the court clerk to set a trial date.
Other Information to Know:
- To test your mic or video at any time, go to zoom.us/test and click “join”
- You may want to create a new email address to use for communicating with the Court as email addresses or telephone numbers will be used on documents created during your mediation session and may become part of the public record.
- If you get disconnected during the mediation, please log back in or call back immediately.
- Any agreements reached or trial dates set will be emailed to parties by the court clerk within one business day of the mediation session. If you do not receive an email, please contact the court at: (253) 798-7487 or email: PCDCcivil@PierceCountyWA.gov
- If you are more than 15-minutes late to your scheduled mediation and have not notified the court, as a Plaintiff, your case may be dismissed; as a Defendant, a default judgment may be entered against you.
For more information or to file a claim online, please visit Pierce County’s District Court: Small Claims Office.