The Riverside County Department of Community Action honored the volunteer mediators of the county's Dispute Resolution Center (DRC) with a luncheon November 8th, at the Canyon Crest Country Club. The event honored 100 mediators who are currently mediating in Small Claims Court, Superior Court, and community and police referred cases throughout Riverside County. Receiving special recognition at the luncheon were co-mediators of the year Peggy Shoup and Thomas Ostwald. Shoup, a mediator in the Moreno Valley and Riverside court volunteered over 300 hours mediating cases. While Ostwald volunteered 405 hours, mediating cases in the Palm Springs Court.
The Honorable Judge Richard Fields, Superior Court of California, Riverside County was the keynote speaker, speaking on the theme, Mediators: Peacemakers of the Future.
The volunteer mediators of the DRC are helping to elevate the backlog of case pending in the county’s small claim courts. Mediation is a win/win alternative to the small claims court process. Through mediation, disputants, with the help a neutral third party mediator come to a fair and agreed up settlement by each party. This year alone the 90 volunteer mediators of the DRC have mediated over 1800 cases and have dedicating over 3000 volunteer hours to provide Riverside County this much-needed service.