Dispute Resolution Program

The Dispute Resolution Programs Act of 1986 (DRPA) provides for the establishment and funding, at county option, of local Dispute Resolution Programs. The purpose of the DRPA is to encourage the establishment and use of local dispute resolution services as an alternative to formal court proceedings.

On November 12, 1991 the Orange County Board of Supervisors authorized a three dollar ($3) increase in court filing fees effective January 1, 1992 to help finance dispute resolution programs. On May 25, 1993 the same OC Board of Supervisors approved a resolution increasing the DRPA proportionate share of civil filing fees from $3 to $8.

The Dispute Resolution Program has proven to be a cost effective and efficient method of resolving various types of conflicts. Conflicts are immediately resolved, rather than having the disputants wait for the mandatory period (up to six months) before an initial civil hearing date is scheduled. The out-of-pocket costs to both the disputant and respondent are applied on a sliding fee basis, as opposed to paying attorney fees and civil filing fees that may include a filing fee, motion fee(s), and an answer fee. In addition to the savings in time and expenses for the disputant and respondent, there is no need for disputants to take valuable time off from work in order to get their conflicts resolved. Mediations have the flexibility to be scheduled during evenings or weekends at a time and place that is mutually convenient for all parties. Proceedings are initiated on most cases within 30 days of first contact with a DRPA agency.

Mediation services can be used to settle disputes between landlord/tenant, neighbor/neighbor, consumer/merchant, business/business and employer/employee or juvenile misdemeanors and minor felonies and small claims cases.

For more information on the Dispute Resolution Program please contact: Jolie Sheppick, Contract Administrator at 714-480-6423.