Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Students mediate Harassment Prevention Orders

By Chris Pochon ‘13

HMP student board members and HPO program participants Olga Kamensky ’13 and Chris Pochon ’13

On a brisk, sunny morning in April, dozens of people crowd into the tiny Second Session courtroom at Quincy District Court. Some are represented by lawyers, but most are not. They are here because they are parties in Harassment Prevention Order (HPO) cases. Some are asking the judge for an order to stem the tide of animosity between neighbors that has been festering for years while others are asking the judge for an order to prevent former friends and/or family members from harassing them at their homes, places of work, or on social media. Because HPO cases almost always involve complex personal relationships and high emotions, they are some of the most difficult cases for judges to handle.

Today, though, the judge has a unique option at his disposal to assist parties seeking an HPO. Sitting at the edge of the courtroom are two student mediators from the Harvard Mediation Program (HMP). They are here as part of the court’s HOP mediation pilot program.

Read the full article on the HLS News website.