Nurnberg: a pilot project aims to resolve disputes outside the courts

Nurnberg: a pilot project aims to resolve disputes outside the courts

Anna M. Fed up: the neighbor in the apartment above her just doesn’t seem to have any respect. 100 times she pointed out to him that he should listen to his music at room volume and not walk through the apartment with his clacking shoes in the evening. But neighbor peter S. He sees it differently: when he finally comes home from work, he needs a rest. And music is the best way to help him switch off. The fact that the neighbor under him makes claims, although she herself does not work, and blobbed him in front of other tenants and the property management, goes him gehorig on the nerves.

Anna M. Has peter S. Already addressed, other neighbors involved and the property management informed. But no one seems to be paying any attention to her concerns, and she now feels isolated. But clearing the field and moving out is not an option, especially since she cannot afford another apartment in nurnberg as a recipient of unemployment benefit II. Going to court and applying for legal aid seems too time-consuming for her.

Mediation should help

There is still a way to resolve the conflict, says the german mediation foundation. She now wants to popularize the instrument of out-of-court settlement in nurnberg with a pilot project. "We want to improve the litigation culture in germany, explains andrea zechmann, regional manager for central franconia at the foundation. For example, with regard to the neighborhood conflict she described. Such disputes are not only "highly emotional", but overtaxed the courts already purely numerically.

Mediation is a method of conflict resolution "a confidential and structured process in which parties, with the help of a mediator, voluntarily and autonomously seek a mutually agreeable resolution of their conflict", the mediation act of 2012 states. It is considered effective, but there is little demand for it. Because in practice, people can hardly imagine anything about it. Zechmann recently had to explain the difference between "mediation" and "arbitration and "meditation explain.

Costs can be reimbursed

The mediation foundation offers "mediation cost assistance" in its nurnberg pilot project for people in need. Recipients of unemployment benefit II or basic security (hartz IV) can have their share of the costs of the mediation process reimbursed up to 500 euros per case. But zechmann concedes: "it must be possible to loosen the trap". Therefore, separation and divorce cases and related issues are excluded.

In addition to landlord-tenant disputes, typical cases include conflicts within the family. For example, siblings who get into each other’s hair when it comes to housing a parent with dementia. According to zechmann, the purpose of cost assistance mediation for the needy is to "eliminate a social imbalance". Those in need have the experience of mediation: "here I am still being heard." this increases self-confidence.

Zechmann works as a postdoc at the chair of psychology, economic and social psychology at the university of erlangen-nurnberg. For her doctorate, she conducted a study on "psychological suffering due to unemployment" investigates. People with employment are better off because their psychological needs are met through work and contacts at the workplace.

1000 mediators in germany

A conflict pilot supports clients in applying for and finding one of 1,000 mediators nationwide. A mediator must not pronounce an arbitration verdict, but must use the structured procedure to "break down cemented positions", so that the parties themselves can find a way out. There is "no better or worse" here, declares zechmann. The parties involved in the conflict – zechmann refers to them as "mediators" – will have to agree on this, explain himself and his attitude. The solution is not simply dropped on the table.

In the end, a positive result could be recorded in a mediation agreement. And if no agreement can be reached, there is still the option of going to court. The one-year nurnberg pilot project started in september. So far, however, there has not yet been a cost assistance case.

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