Justice Court Mediation Volunteer Program


Guest speaker: Tamra Facciola -- Justice Court Mediation Program

Value of having an alternative dispute resolution process for six areas -- evictions, traffic, etc.

Not all the courts use mediation but a lot of them do. It depends on the JP.

Always looking for committed volunteers to help with mediation.  Law students at ASU Mediation Law Clinic are required to do 12 mediations but that is not enough to meet need.

Typical cases have been credit card and collection disputes recently. Contract disputes between individuals and businesses; business and business; roommate disputes.

General civil aspect of the justice courts is $10,000 excluding attorney's fees.

Small claims courts use mediators -- that is $3,500 and below.

There is also a hearing officer volunteer program but these are not mediation cases.

To be a volunteer mediator at the justice courts you must complete a 40 hour mediation training. Mediation is not regulated so you receive a certificate of completion.  Have to go through fingerprinting and background check, need to be at least 16 years of age.

Why 40 hours of training as a standard?  Because the initial training was supposed to be 75 hours but the space was only available for 40.

The Justice Court administration office from Superior Court provides Justice Courts with the list of mediators to the justice court.

When first assigned, it is as a co-mediator as people increase experience.

Where to get training:  Superior Court used to provide training but with funding cuts this program was discontinued.  Attorney General Civil Rights Division stepped up and provides training.  They are the only no-cost community provider in the state.

Community Colleges have offered the program in the past as a one credit course for $84.

Leadership Center provides 40 hour mediation training for $500.

Next training is in Prescott starting August 20 by the AG's office.

People like to do it because they can manage how much time they want to commit to the program. It can be frustrating because mediator may be prepared to mediate and then the parties settle and it is canceled with little or no notice, but if people have flexibility it can be fun.

Question: can the mediator become an arbitrator if the disputants cannot resolve things? generally, no. If the mediation is not successful, they are advised to go back to the clerk of the court and set a court date with a judge or hearing officer.

 TAMRA FACCIOLA, HR Business Partner/HR Solutions Center Bio

Tamra Facciola is a member of the HR Solutions Center’s Diversity and Inclusion team at the Maricopa Community College’s District Office.  Prior to joining the MCCCD community, Tamra worked for 18 years as a private practice attorney in the Valley, focusing on all aspects of employment law and for many of those years, taught as an adjunct faculty member at the ASU College of Law in the Lodestar Mediation Clinic.  Tamra received her juris doctorate degree from Arizona State University College of Law and her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Arizona.

As an adjunct faculty member in the mediation clinic, Tamra worked with second and third year law students in both academic and clinical settings, conducting training for students who desired to become mediators.  As part of the clinical training, students in the program are required to serve as volunteer mediators in the various Maricopa County Justice Courts’ mediation programs.

As a law student, she interned at the Arizona Agricultural Employment Relations Board, served as a Judicial Clerk to the Honorable Armando de Leon, was the first recipient of the National Law Student Award by the Gruter Institute for Law and Behavioral Research for her paper Male Sexual Jealousy as Motive in Physical Violence and Homicide Against Women, and volunteered with the Arizona Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Tamra has also worked as an adjunct faculty member at Phoenix College, Mesa Community College, and was a faculty member and Director of Paralegal Studies at Metropolitan College in Phoenix.  She has presented a variety of continuing education programs and has served as a member of the Executive Council of the Arizona State Bar’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Section.

Below is the contact info for folks interested in obtaining a 40 mediation training through the AG's office and/or thinking about volunteering at the Justice Courts.

·       Volunteer Mediator Program or Volunteer Hearing Officer Program minimum requirements & application process
·      Complete a basic 40 hour mediation training and have clinical practice – usually means having anywhere from 5-10 mediations with a co-mediator (this can be done at the Justice Courts)
·       Fingerprint check
·       Background check
·       At least 16 years of age to volunteer in any capacity at the Justice courts
To volunteer in the Justice Courts, request an application at:
Maricopa County Justice Court Administration
Attn: Volunteer Program Coordinator
222 North Central Ave, Suite 210
Phoenix, Arizona 85004
The Justice Court Administration Office downtown at the Maricopa County Superior Court manages Justice Court volunteers
Volunteer Program Coordinator    602-506-8530 (Whitney)
Info on-line at:
www.Justicecourts.maricopa.gov – far right side, click on volunteer or go to


Where to get a basic 40 hour mediator training in Arizona
At no cost  - through the AZ Attorney General’s Office
Civil Rights Division – Conflict Resolution Program
Kathy Plitt 602-542-7657  is the coordinator for training


Current scheduled training – Prescott

Aug 20, 21, 22, 27, 28


The AG's training is the current model and accepted training for the Justice Court volunteer mediation program.  However, other mediation training programs may also be accepted - contact Whitney (the Volunteer Program Coordinator) at the Justice Court Admin Office for details on which mediation trainings other than the AG's office training are acceptable