Mediation can be very cost-effective even for small claims matters. In Pennsylvania, claims for damages up to $12,000 can be heard in District Justice Court, also known as Magistrate's Court. Parties -- even corporations -- can represent themselves and retaining counsel is not necessary.
PA RESOLVE, like many other Mediation Services, offers reduced fees for telephone mediation of small claims matters up to $5,000. Under the PA RESOLVE Small Claims Mediation Fee Structure, these disputes can be mediated for as little as $75. Once the parties agree to mediation, a session can usually be scheduled within three business days.
Mediation of these claims makes good sense, especially when comparing the costs and risks of a District Justice action. The filing fees for DJ cases range from about $50 to $120, depending on the amount involved. The cost of service of the complaint needs to be paid as well, that can add another $50 to $75 to the cost, sometimes more. Attorneys fees can add another $150 to $1,200 to your cost, depending on location and experience of counsel.