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Post subject: Hearings
Posted: Mon 26 Jan , 2009 12:01 am
Grumpy cuz I can be
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Posts: 6642
Joined: Thu 09 Dec , 2004 3:07 am
As most of you are aware, there will be two hearings taking place over the next few days.
I want to take this opportunity to remind the members of what this entails.

The Jury Room Forum will soon be viewable to all members, and posting rights will be turned on for those that are participating in the hearings.

As a reminder, the charter specifically states interruptions to a hearing will not be tolerated.

Taken from Article 3: Rangers (Administrators) :
Charter of b77, ¶5: Special and Emergency powers of Rangers wrote:
• Temporarily suspend posting rights or restrict access to a forum:
1. In the Jury Room, if poster has interfered with a Hearing on a Ban, board-wide posting rights can be suspended until the Hearing is concluded
If you have posting rights in the Jury Room, refrain from posting except in the hearing you are assigned to and only for specific business related issues. This is to include the posters whom the hearings are for.

The following is an excerpt from the charter referencing the procedures on hearings:

Taken from Article 5: Dispute Resolution in the Outside Forum:
Charter of b77 wrote:
¶4: Procedure for Hearings

The violation of by-laws is called to the attention of the Rangers, either because they observe it themselves or because a member reports it.

If the Rangers intend to convene a Hearing, they must do so within ten days of the time that the violation of by-laws comes to their attention. If a thread has been edited or deleted, the date signature of the Ranger will be taken as the date when the violation came to their attention and they will have until midnight GMT ten days later to convene a Hearing if they intend to do so. After that, the member may not be called to a Hearing and no penalty may be imposed.

If action has already been taken by a Ranger, such as restriction of posting rights, the Ranger notifies the member at that time that a hearing will be held, and the hearing should be convened within three days.

If the problem is brought to the attention of the Rangers by another member, two Rangers must agree that a hearing is required and the member in question must be notified by email no less than twenty-four hours before the hearing is opened.

The posting rights of the member in question will not be restricted over the course of the hearing on the strength of another member’s report. Only a Ranger observing a violation of by-laws directly, or a Jury after hearing a case, may impose a penalty on a poster.

When the twenty-four hour notification period has passed, a thread is started in the Jury Room, titled with the nature of the hearing, for example, “Hearing on Disruption of the RP Forum.”

The first post of that thread will state the reason for the hearing. If two Rangers convened the hearing, either one may start the thread but both names should appear at the end of the first post. Full names should be given so that PMs can be sent with ease.

The names of the Jurors will be edited in to the first post of the thread and their posting rights will be enabled. The full name should be used so that PMs can be sent with ease.

Ideally, no more than three days should be spent selecting the Jury, so that from the first action taken (suspension of rights or appeal from a member) to the opening of the hearing, no more than seven full days should pass in which the posting rights of a member are curtailed without recourse. Rangers and Jurors should strive to act promptly and avoid delays.

Once the Jury is selected and their names posted in the thread, the Ranger(s) may remove themselves from the case and allow the Jurors to take over. Rangers should remain alert to the need for changes of permission and deletion of posts that do not belong.

The member for whom the hearing is held may state their side of the case and the Jurors may ask questions.

Either posters or Jurors may request that witnesses be allowed to post in the thread.

Members who are called as witnesses participate voluntarily but should respond promptly to the request.

When the Jury has sufficient information to decide the case, they may call an end to the hearing. They will post in the thread that the hearing is coming to an end twenty-four hours before actually beginning their deliberation so that the member has time to agree or present any additional information.

The purpose of the Jury deliberation is to decide whether the member has in fact violated the by-laws or committed a bannable offense beyond any reasonable doubt, and if so, to impose a penalty not to exceed the penalty provided in the by-laws. If no maximum penalty is specified in the by-laws the Jurors may use discretion based on the range of penalties contained in the by-laws for similar offenses.

Jury deliberations may be held in private, by PM or email. Jurors should strive to reach a decision within ten days. Agreement by four of the six Jurors that a by-law has been violated is required for imposition of a penalty. Four of the six Jurors must agree on the duration of the penalty, otherwise the lesser of all penalties considered by them will be imposed.

When the Jurors have reached a decision, they will email their decision to the member and then post their decision in the thread twenty-four hours later. Anything they have taken into consideration should be presented honestly when they state their decision.

Any Juror holding a minority position may express it in their post.

If the Jury has decided that the offense was not committed or that no additional penalties should be imposed, any suspended posting rights will be restored to the member within twenty-four hours.

If a penalty is imposed, a Ranger will change the necessary permissions within twenty-four hours. Time limits on penalties will be maintained by the Mayor and it is the responsibility of the Mayor to notify Rangers when the time limit on a penalty has expired.

If the decision of the Jury is to require something of the member, such as removal of a signature picture, the member will comply within twenty-four hours. Members who refuse to abide by a Jury decision may be considered for banning.

As soon as the Jury has posted their decision and that decision has been implemented, the thread will be locked. At the request of the member, it may be deleted.

Elements of the case may be summarized and preserved in the Archive with the name(s) of the involved member(s) and witnesses deleted.

A Jury may request that an independent member provide procedural oversight of their hearing to ensure that proper procedure is followed and to act as a resource for hearing participants, allowing the participants to concentrate on substantive issues. Members of the Jury Pool who have volunteered to familiarize themselves thoroughly with the Charter and to act in this oversight capacity are designated as Loremasters in the Jury Pool list. Service as a Loremaster in a particular hearing is voluntary.

A member may not serve as Loremaster to a Hearing if they are involved in the Hearing in any other capacity; and if a Hearing that employed a Loremaster is appealed, the Loremaster must be prepared to explain to the Appeals panel the rationale behind procedures that are in question.

If the Jury makes use of a Loremaster, the Loremaster's name and function will be listed in the first post of the thread along with the Jurors and the Ranger(s) who convened the Hearing.
If there are any questions, please respond in the Contacting a Ranger thread in the Business Room.

How To Use the Jury Room

Handbook for Jurors, Mediators, and Loremasters


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