San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

January 29th, 2010
County to open dispute resolution office

STAFF REPORT

The Hays County Dispute Resolution Center (DRC), approved last summer by the Hays County Commissioners Court, will officially open the doors to its offices on Feb. 9.

The county has invited the public to learn more about the DRC’s operation and services while enjoying refreshments and meeting the mediators, officers and directors.

“We’re here because the leaders of Hays County wanted residents to have a way to resolve disputes in an efficient and cost-effective way for those situations where it makes sense to try to do so outside of the court system,” said Anna Bartkowski, executive director of the DRC. “Mediation allows folks to sit down with one another in a comfortable, informal setting and figure out the best way to solve their issue, whether it’s family-related like divorce, custody or child support, a neighborhood quarrel or a business-consumer disagreement.”

Dispute resolution, provided at low cost or free depending on the financial situation of the persons involved, is open to the general public as well as the court system in Hays County.

Although just now moving into official offices, the DRC has already settled 10 cases, eight of which were already pending as civil lawsuits in the court system, since beginning operation Nov. 1, Bartkowski said. Typically, DRCs in Texas have a settlement rate of between 75 and 85 percent, she noted.

The leased office space at 829 North LBJ Drive, No. 108 in San Marcos will provide mediation conference rooms and offices. The open house is from 5 to 7 p.m. on Feb. 9. For more information about dispute resolution services or the open house, contact the DRC at (512) 878-0382.

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