Community Mediation True Story
The Following is a true story of a conflict resolved through mediation:
Bill and Tina
Bill and Tina were longtime neighbors and friends before they came to mediation at the recommendation of the Baltimore County Police Department. Tina had done some remodeling in her backyard which included laying a concrete slab. This concrete slab encroached on Bill’s property line.
Tina and Bill had many strong emotions about what was the best way to resolve this property line dispute. For Tina it was only a few inches. But for Bill it was a very important few inches. During the first mediation session, information was shared indicating that by law, an individual could lose rights to their property should a neighbor maintain that land for a minimum number of years. These neighbors were quickly approaching the deadline.
Bill, concerned about maintaining his current property rights, insisted that Tina remove the concrete. Tina felt that in the spirit of being good neighbors the inch should be overlooked. On top of the current issue, Bill still felt betrayed that Tina had called the code enforcement agency on him a few months earlier. Tina was confused by, and fearful of, Bill’s reaction to that call. Tina had called code enforcement to get help with the property line issue. While investigating the property line, the code enforcement agent noticed an old boat on Bill’s property. Bill was forced to get rid of the boat he loved but couldn’t afford to repair right then. Bill blamed Tina. Tina hadn’t meant for that to happen. Now she understood Bill’s anger towards her.
In the final stage of the mediation, Bill and Tina made several apologies to one another for these past transgressions. Tina agreed to move encroaching concrete. Bill agreed to help Tina find a contractor if she needed help in scheduling the repair. As a result of the mediation, Bill and Tina were spared the expense of court, and more importantly, returned to being cordial neighbors!