People gathered around happy in front of the image of City of charlotte

Dispute Settlement Program

The courtroom isn't always the best place to solve a problem. Since 1983, the CRC's Dispute Settlement Program (DSP) has been providing mediation and conciliation services to Charlotte-Mecklenburg residents.

What is Mediation?

Mediation is an informal process of dispute resolution where a neutral third party (the mediator) assists two or more parties in reaching a mutually acceptable resolution to their dispute. The ultimate decision-making authority rests with the parties themselves. The mediator is not a judge, lawyer or counselor; rather, the mediator is a skilled facilitator who assists the disputants in:

  • Defining and clarifying issues

  • Reducing obstacles to communication

  • Exploring possible solutions

  • Reaching a mutually satisfactory agreement

Benefits of Mediation

For disputing parties:

  • Provides disputants with an opportunity to make their own decisions

  • Can be an avenue for payment of restitution for damages or losses

  • Is an alternative to court conviction or other court actions

  • Offers disputants an opportunity to talk openly and have questions answered

  • Saves court costs and the disputants’ time

To the community:

  • Empowers the community to solve some of its own problems

  • Offers hope for a more peaceful community by introducing conflict resolution as a means to resolve disputes

  • Reduces taxpayer costs by removing cases from court dockets

  • Expedites more serious cases through the criminal justice system

Types of Disputes Mediated

DSP provides mediation services in cases involving:

  • Misdemeanor criminal complaints, including those that involve juvenile offenders, such as damage to property, larceny, assault, communicating threats and harassments

  • 50C No contact orders

  • Neighborhood conflicts

  • Consumer complaints

  • Conflicts between co-workers

  • Employer/employee disputes

  • Student issues/truancy

  • Landlord tenant concerns

  • Medicaid appeals

  • Miscellaneous conflicts

Services and Programs

​Dispute Settlement Team

Additional Resources

​This handbook provides information for renters as well as residential rental property owners and managers in the City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. Having access to essential information about state and local maintenance codes, dispute resolution and the code enforcement process, and an understanding of the connections between health and housing, are all key components to healthy rental housing. This handbook offers helpful tips and information about ways to ensure rental units and homes are maintained and the legal issues involved with renting property.


The Dispute Settlement Program (DSP) has been providing mediation and conciliation services to Charlotte-Mecklenburg residents since 1983. Mediation is offered through DSP for free and can be a quicker and more thorough resolution to a variety of disputes. Learn more about DSP services by downloading our brochure.