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NCJ Number: 66985 Find in a Library
Title: RESOLUTION OF HOUSING DISPUTES OUTSIDE THE COURTS - A GLIMPSE OF 5 PROJECTS (FROM RESOLUTION OF MINOR DISPUTES, 1979 - SEE NCJ-66984)
Author(s): A B DREW; L A WILLIAMS
Corporate Author: US Congress
House Subcommittee on Courts, Civil Liberties, and the Admin of Justice
United States of America

US Congress
House Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Finance
United States of America
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 10
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
US Congress
Washington, DC 20515
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: FIVE PROGRAMS IDENTIFIED IN A NATIONWIDE SURVEY EMPLOY SUCH DISPUTE SETTLEMENT MECHANISMS AS ARBITRATION, MEDIATION, AND SPECIAL PANELS TO AVOID THE LITIGATION OF HOUSING-RELATED DISPUTES.
Abstract: INFORMATION WAS OBTAINED FROM DIRECTORS OF 170 PROGRAMS VIA TELEPHONE INTERVIEWS AND SUBSEQUENT WRITTEN QUESTIONNAIRES. THE PURPOSE OF THE SURVEY WAS TO (1) PROVIDE A PICTURE OF THE HISTORY, STRUCTURE, PROCESS, AND SUBSTANCE OF THE PROGRAMS SELECTED; (2) EXAMINE THE STRENGTHS AND POSSIBLE PITFALLS OF THE PROGRAMS; (3) PROVIDE A MORE SCIENTIFIC FOUNDATION FOR ADDITIONAL RESEARCH ON NONJUDICIAL HOUSING DISPUTE SETTLEMENT; (4) IDENTIFY THE TYPES OF HOUSING DISPUTES CURRENTLY BEING HANDLED AND CONSIDER POSSIBLE DIRECTIONS OF EXPANSION; AND (5) OBTAIN SOME PERCEPTIONS OF VARIOUS GROUPS, I.E. THE BAR, COURTS, TENANTS, LANDLORDS, COMMUNITY GROUPS, TOWARD THESE MECHANISMS. THE FIVE PROGRAMS ARE THE NIGHT PROSECUTOR'S PROGRAM, COLUMBUS, OHIO; DADE COUNTY'S CITIZEN DISPUTE SETTLEMENT CENTER, MIAMI; AMERICAN ARBITRATION ASSOCIATION COMMUNITY DISPUTE SERVICES PROJECT, ROCHESTER, N.Y., THE URBAN COURT PROGRAM, DORCHESTER, MASS.; AND THE OFFICE OF THE RENTALSMAN, VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA. IN GENERAL, IT WAS FOUND THAT TENANT ORGANIZATIONS WERE LESS POSITIVELY DISPOSED TOWARDS THESE PROJECTS BECAUSE OF HOUSING SHORTAGES WHICH REDUCE LANDLORDS' MOTIVATION TO HAVE CASES MEDIATED. ABOUT 11 PERCENT OF THE AGENCIES' CASELOADS WERE HOUSING DISPUTE MEDIATIONS. THE MOST COMMON TYPES OF DISPUTES INVOLVED LANDLORD-TENANT SECURITY DEPOSIT, PROPERTY DAMAGE, AND NEIGHBORHOOD ASSAULT AND HARASSMENT CASES. EVICTION AND DISCRIMINATION CASES WERE GENERALLY CONSIDERED TOO DIFFICULT FOR THIS TYPE OF MEDIATION. SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENTS BY THOSE INVOLVED INCLUDED APPOINTMENT OF MEDIATORS WITH GREATER EXPERTISE IN LEGAL MATTERS AND USE OF SOME KIND OF MECHANISM TO ENFORCE JUDGMENTS. THE PROJECTS' MAJOR STRENGTHS WERE INFORMALITY AND SPEED; THEIR WEAKNESSES, LACK OF FUNDS AND INADEQUATE PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE ABOUT THE SERVICE FOR HOUSING-RELATED ARBITRATION. THE LATTER COULD BE IMPROVED THROUGH NEIGHBORHOOD OUTREACH AND ADVERTISING. TABULAR DATA ARE APPENDED. (MRK)
Index Term(s): Alternative dispute settlement; British Columbia; Florida; Landlord-tenant courts; Massachusetts; Mediation; Neighborhood justice centers; New York; Ohio
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=66985

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