Our mission is to encourage all residents of Dukes County – fulltime, part-time, and seasonal – to resolve conflicts through mediation and other constructive dispute resolution tools. We do this by providing education and outreach as well as mediation services. Our secondary mission is to relieve congestion in the court system. We’re committed to making our services affordable for all Vineyarders.
The Martha’s Vineyard Center for Dispute Resolution, d/b/a Martha’s Vineyard Mediation Program, Inc., was founded in 1984 by Judge Herbert Tucker and Clerk Magistrate Thomas Teller. The Program was known as the Edgartown District Court Mediation Program and modeled after the Urban Mediation Project in Dorchester, Massachusetts. The Program was court-based, taking only cases referred by the Edgartown Division of the District Court. In 1990, the Program expanded to accept cases from the community of Dukes County and under Articles of Incorporation became a 501(c)3 not-for-profit.
Today, the Program is still approved by the State as a court-annexed mediation program, able to handle cases referred by the District Court, the Probate and Family Court, and the Superior Court on the Island. Our mediators also work on community conflicts involving neighbors, landlords and tenants, homeowners and contractors, business owners, parents and children, partners, and spouses, and Elders.
We also offer facilitation for large or small meetings, as well as coaching and training in conflict skills for individuals and groups. In 2008, reflecting our expanded services, we became the Martha’s Vineyard Center for Dispute Resolution.