Mediation is a free service at HMP. Here's how to access it.

If you decide to try mediation, contact the program's Case Coordinator, who will talk with both parties about the mediation process and help you decide whether mediation is appropriate in your case. Provided both parties are willing to try it, the Case Coordinator will set up a mediation session at a time and place convenient to you with two trained volunteer mediators from HMP. The mediators listen to all sides of the dispute and do not decide who is right or wrong. Instead they assist the parties involved to reach their own agreement by getting a sense of each person’s perspective, listening to each person’s concerns', and helping individuals identify mutually acceptable solutions.


Shiona Sommerville
Case Coordinator
Harvard Mediation Program

Types of disputes that can be good for mediation

  • Consumer
  • Landlord and tenant
  • Family or couples
  • Roommates
  • Neighbor or community
  • Employer/employee
  • Property co-owners
  • Minor criminal or advanced civil

Court-based services

    Small Claims and Eviction

HMP mediators mediate small claims cases in five District Courts in the Greater Boston area: Brookline, Cambridge, Chelsea, Malden, and Quincy as well as in the Roxbury Division of the Boston Municipal Court. HMP also mediates eviction cases in Chelsea District Court. Cases are mediated on the day of trial and if agreement is reached in mediation, it is filed with the court and carries "the weight of the court." If an agreement is not reached the case will be returned to the court to be heard by the magistrate or judge the same day. You can request a mediator at the court when your case is scheduled to be heard.

    Harassment Prevention Orders

HMP offers mediation for Harassment Prevention Orders in the Quincy District Court.  Harassment Prevention Orders (HPOs) are civil restraining orders.  The HPO cases which HMP mediates involve neighbors, family members, ex-boyfriends/girlfriends, and tenants.  Cases are screened by a judge for appropriateness and are not domestic restraining orders (209A).

Tenant-Tenant Services

HMP receives case referrals from local housing authorities, subsidized housing, and co-housing communities in the greater Boston area. Tenant-to-tenant cases are coordinated by Shiona Sommerville, HMP’s Case Coordinator, who schedules HMP mediators to mediate disputes between tenants.


Last modified: September 03, 2013