Low Cost Legal Resources

Contra Costa County is served by the Congress of Neutrals, which offers mediation services in small claims, civil harassment and unlawful detainer actions at no charge to the parties. The Congress of Neutrals is also available to conduct private mediations and other alternative dispute resolution services in cases involving homeowner associations, landlord-tenant disputes, competing businesses, neighborhood, elder and family disputes. Their fees are negotiable and services are often available at community rates. Since 2010 the Congress of Neutrals has worked in conjunction with the Contra Costa County law libraries in recruiting attorneys to provide guidance to self-represented litigants.

Similar to the Congress of Neutrals, SEEDS (Services that Encourage Effective Dialogue and Solutions) operates in Alameda County to “increase the capacity of individuals, groups, and organizations to build healthy relationships and to restore relationships in the face of conflict.” SEEDS does this through mediation, facilitation, training, and coaching.

Community Boards in San Francisco offers community mediation at an initial fee of $45-$100 per case. Mediation itself is provided at no charge; nobody is turned away due to an inability to pay. This non-profit organization provides parties with a mediator who can help in resolving many of the kinds of disputes that consumers are typically involved in such as:
-Landlord & tenant disputes
-Roommate disagreements
-Family and domestic conflicts
-Neighbor issues
-Communication breakdowns
-Noise disturbance
-Pet problems
-Parking issues
-Property repairs
-Tree and vegetation care

Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center (“PCRC”) provides (among other things) conflict resolution training and mediation of conflicts in the greater peninsula community at no charge.4