MEND NYC is a new citywide initiative to provide free mediation and conflict resolution services to address quality-of-life issues that impact both New York City residents and businesses in the hospitality industry, which includes bars, clubs, restaurants or live music venues .The program is a collaboration between the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings' Center for Creative Conflict Resolution (CCCR) and the Office of Nightlife at the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment and was launched in summer 2020.
The goal of MEND NYC is to use mediation and facilitative processes to create an opportunity for New York City residents and businesses to connect directly and establish a respectful ongoing dialogue to better determine for themselves how to live together peacefully in their communities.
Mediation is a constructive conversation between people in conflict facilitated by an impartial third-party professional, a Mediator. It is a voluntary and confidential process that provides participants an opportunity to collaboratively design creative solutions and repair relationships. Participants, not mediators control the outcome of mediation. Mediators simply help participants communicate their concerns and interests. Mediation is based on the premise that when parties are able to create their own resolutions to conflict based on their needs and interests, the resolutions tend to be more lasting and satisfactory.
If you are a New York City resident experiencing a chronic or urgent quality-of-life issue that you believe is related to a neighboring hospitality business, then MEND NYC may be a solution for you. Additionally, if you are a hospitality business experiencing a heavy volume of complaints from a neighboring resident or business, or have ongoing issues with your landlord, you may also wish to pursue conflict resolution through MEND NYC. For the relationship to MEND, both parties must be willing to participate in the mediation process.
*If the conflict is between two residents, and does not involve a bar, restaurant, or other hospitality venue, then the conflict does not qualify for MEND NYC.*
If the parties are already engaged in an adversarial or formal litigation process, this conflict may also not qualify for MEND NYC.
Businesses should note that although MEND NYC is a program being administered by OATH's Center for Creative Conflict Resolution, participating in the MEND NYC program does not absolve or clear summonses that may have already been issued as a result of the conflict with your neighbor. This applies even if the summons was issued as a direct result of a complaint the neighbor made. If you have an upcoming hearing at the OATH Hearings Division, you must still participate in that hearing regardless of your participation in MEND NYC. It also means that if you have unpaid violations, participating in the MEND NYC program does not erase that debt.
While the MEND NYC program is distinct from the hearing process related to summonses issued by the City's inspection agencies, mediation between neighbors to discuss and work toward solutions can help prevent future complaints. If parties can resolve their disputes quickly and directly, it will save everyone, time, frustration and resources.
Please email us at MendNYC@oath.nyc.gov to learn more about whether your case may be MENDable and how to request mediation for your ongoing issue. *In your email, please include a phone number where you can be reached.*
The Office of Nightlife is a non-enforcement liaison between the City, nightlife industry and community. For education and support to assist with compliance, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org