Their training consists of twenty (20) hours of mediator training. The funding was derived from the State of Alabama Community Service Grants program.
In Alabama, the mediators in Small Claims Court works towards settlement of cases up to $3,000 before the cases proceed to a judge. With a mediator, both parties can resolve their dispute without taking it to court.
The mediation service is open to all parties whether or not they have a lawyer. The process is voluntary and can end before settlement is reached. If a settlement is not reached, then both parties go before a judge.
The mediation service will also help the court system as docket backlogs are reduced and more cases are resolved through mediation.