The Civil War Philatelic Society (Society) has a procedure to handle complaints of misconduct by other members. It is the duty of every member to bring to the attention of the Grievance Committee any substantial case of alleged misconduct by a member.
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The Society has a Grievance Committee to investigate any violation of the Society’s By-Laws or conduct that is detrimental to the welfare and interests of the Society and its membership.
- The Grievance Committee should not be considered a collection agency for bad debt. Sufficient action should be taken by the complaining party for the collection of the debt prior to filing a grievance. In most cases, a grievance for bad debt should not be filed until the debt is at least 90 days past due.
- If the alleged misconduct occurred more than two years before the matter is brought to the attention of the Grievance Committee Chairman, the Committee may at its discretion decline to consider the complaint.
- No member shall be immune from charges of misconduct or discipline regardless of their type or category of membership.
- The decision of the Grievance Committee concerning the conduct of a member is final and conclusive. There shall be no further recourse for the member or anyone acting on their behalf.
- The Grievance Committee consists of the Officers and Trustees of the Society. The Grievance Committee Chairman is the Vice-President of the Society.
- The Chairman will appoint a subcommittee of two or more Society members, with the concurrence of the full Grievance Committee to hear complaints.
The Grievance Process
The Chairman will review all complaints and attempt to quickly resolve the complaint to the satisfaction of all parties. If quick resolution is not possible the following action will be taken.
- The Chairman will appoint a subcommittee to hear the evidence from all parties to the complaint.
- A copy of the complaint and when and where the subcommittee will meet to consider the complaint, will be served upon the member complained against at least thirty days prior to the meeting. The notice will be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested. The thirty-day period to begin on the day of mailing, provided the notice has been duly addressed to the member according to the records of the Society.
- At the time and place appointed, the member complained against may file a written answer or defense and may appear in person and produce such witnesses or evidence as they desire. The subcommittee will hear all witnesses and review all evidence. They will address all questions raised by the complaint.
- After hearing the complaint and examining all evidence the Subcommittee will present its findings and recommendations to the full Grievance Committee for final determination.
- If the Grievance Committee finds the member guilty of misconduct, it may:
- Reprimand the member
- Suspend the member’s membership. Such suspension shall be for a period of not less than two months or greater than 12 months. The member shall be automatically reinstated at the end of the suspension period provided all dues payments are current. This action requires a majority vote of the Grievance Committee.
- Expel the member. Any member expelled shall forfeit all remaining dues and fees held by the Society and shall not be eligible for reinstatement. This action requires at least a two-thirds majority vote of the Grievance Committee. This action will be taken only after thirty days written notice to such Member sent by certified mail, return receipt requested. The thirty-day period will begin the day of mailing, provided the notice has been duly addressed to the Member according to the records of Society, with postage and fees fully prepaid. Such notice shall state the charges or offenses giving rise to the proposed expulsion.
- No judgement shall be rendered unless it is agreed to by the Grievance Committee as described in Section F of the Restatement of Certificate of Formation of Civil War Philatelic Society, Inc.
- All proceedings are confidential. Any complaint made and all proceedings and evidence shall be kept confidential. The hearing of a complaint shall be closed to all except those having a direct interest in the matter.
- If the Grievance Committee finds the accused member not guilty, it shall dismiss the complaint. At the accused member’s request, but not otherwise, a notice of their exoneration shall be published in the Civil War Philatelist. If the Committee finds the accused member guilty, it may at its discretion, publish the penalty imposed in the Civil War Philatelist, as a result of its findings.
Submitting a Complaint
- Each complaint shall be in writing. The complaint shall be signed by the complaining party and will state plainly the substance of the complaint. The complaint will include sufficient detail to enable the Committee Chairman to determine the merits of the complaint.
- Complaints shall be addressed to the Vice President of the Society (the Chairman of the Grievance Committee), and conveyed by certified mail, with return receipt requested.