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Regional Club Governing Policies

Hearing Procedures For Revoking NCA Recognition Of A Regional Club

Initial Procedures
1.  Initiation of a Formal Hearing Procedure
  a.               The proceedings shall be started by a document called an Initial Complaint, signed by either the Newfoundland Club of America (NCA) President, Recording Secretary or their duly authorized representative.  All paragraphs of the Initial Complaint shall be numbered and shall state with particularity the material facts on which the proposed revocation is based.  References may be made to documents by attaching a copy of the documents.

         b.  The original of the complaint shall be filed with the Secretary of the Newfoundland Club of America and a true and correct conformed copy shall be served upon the appropriate representatives of the Regional Club.

2.  Required Initial Response of the Regional Club
         a.  Within fourteen (14) days of receipt of the Initial Complaint, the Regional Club shall file in conformance with these rules a written document called Regional Club's Response which shall particularly answer all of the allegations made in the Initial Complaint.

         b.  The Regional Club response shall be signed by the highest ranking Regional Club officer who is also an NCA member, unless none of the Regional Club officers are NCA members and then it shall be signed by the President and one other officer.

         c.  The Regional Club's response shall admit or deny each averment of fact and conclusion thereof in the Initial Complaint by a direct response to each paragraph number.  The Regional Club, if it denies only part of an averment, shall specify so much of it as is admitted and shall deny the remainder.  If an averment is denied, specific facts must be stated to determine on the face of the Regional Club's Response the position and the factual situation averred by the Regional Club.

         d.  A general denial, such as the simple statement “Denied” without any supporting counter facts will be insufficient or the lack of any response will be deemed to be an admission of the correctness of the facts.

3.  Amended Complaint and Required Response of the Regional Club
         a.  After receipt of the Regional Club’s Initial Response, an Amended Complaint may be issued by the NCA.  If there is an Amended complaint, then the Regional Club must file, within fourteen (14) days of receipt of the Amended Complaint, a document entitled Regional Club’s Response to the Amended Complaint.  The Amended Complaint and Response thereto, shall be governed by the same rules applicable to the Initial Complaint and Response thereto.

4.  Designation of NCA and Regional Club Representatives
         a.  Either prior or immediately after the initiation of proceedings, the NCA and the Regional Club can designate in writing to the other party, two people who are to receive notice and documents as set forth in these rules.

         b.  In the absence of any written designation of the proper individual to receive notice, the proper officers of the NCA will be the President and the Recording Secretary.  The proper officers of the Regional Club will be the President and the Secretary.

5.  Service of Notice and Other Papers
         a.  The Initial Complaint shall be served by both certified mail and regular mail, postage prepaid upon the President of the Regional Club and the Secretary of the Regional Club.  In absence of the timely acceptance of the certified mail, the regular mail shall be deemed sufficient and three (3) days from the date of mailing shall be the date used as the time of receipt.

         b.  Service of the Regional Club Initial Response shall be by regular and certified mail to the President of the NCA, the Recording Secretary, and any legal counsel so designated in papers accompanying the Initial Complaint.

  c.  Papers filed after the initial documents may be served upon any persons so designated by the Regional Club or the NCA.  Service shall be by regular and certified mail.  In lieu of regular mail, papers may be faxed to a number so designated.

6.  Written Questions to be Answered by the Regional Club
         a.  At any time during these proceedings, the NCA may send written questions to be answered in writing within fourteen (14) days from receipt by the Regional Club and signed by the designated Regional Club representative who verifies that the answers are true and correct to the best of that person’s information, knowledge and belief.  The signer shall also signify that he has made a diligent investigation to obtain the correct answers, if the signer does not personally know the answers to the questions asked.

7.  Fixing of Date, Time and Place of the Hearing
  a.  The hearing shall be held at such time, place and location as the Board may designate.  Normally such hearings will be held at either a National Specialty Show or at a scheduled face-to-face meeting of the Board.

         b.  The Board may initially indicate a general time and place and date for the hearing and then, at a later time, indicate a specific date, time and place for the hearing.

         c.  The Board may for good cause postpone or adjourn the hearing upon request of a Party or upon the Board’s own initiative.  If a situation arises where there is insufficient time for the Board as a group to determine whether a postponement should be granted, then the decision will be made by the NCA President.

         d.  The Regional Club, with the consent of the NCA Board, may by written agreement waive oral testimony in a recognition revocation hearing and the Regional Club may present only documentary evidence.  The decision of the Regional Club to waive oral testimony will not prevent the reception by the Board of oral testimony from other witnesses with the same force and effect as if the Regional Club were present.

Conduct of the Hearing

1.  Hearing Chairperson
  a.  The Board of Directors by majority vote of its members shall elect either one of its members or an attorney to act as the Chairperson of the hearing.

2.  Representation at Hearing
  a.  Any Regional Club may be represented by an attorney or any other individual, if so designated in writing and notice of such representation is given at least seven (7) days prior to the hearing.

b.  If more than one representative is designated, then the Regional Club must designate its principal representative and only that person, however, may act on the Club's behalf and participate as a representative at the hearing to address the Board on the Club's behalf and examine the witnesses and object to the evidence.

         c.  The Board may also be represented by an attorney or any other individual.  The Chairperson can consult with the Board’s representative during the course of the hearing.

3.  Attendance of the Regional Club at the Hearing
  a.  The hearing may proceed in the absence of any Regional Club, who, after due notice, fails to be present or fails to obtain a postponement or adjournment.

         b.  The Board may require the appearance of a Regional Club representative if the Board determines the appearance is necessary to have a just resolution of the dispute and to afford due process.

         c.  An award shall not be made against the Regional Club simply because the Regional Club did not appear.  The Board shall require the submission of such evidence as may be required for the making of an award.

4.  Attendance of Other Persons at Hearings
  a.  Persons having a direct interest as a participant in the hearing are entitled to attend hearings.  It shall be discretionary with the Chairperson to determine the propriety of the attendance of any other person.

  b.  In the discretion of the Chairperson, witnesses may be sequestered to prevent their testimony from being influenced by the testimony of other witnesses.

5.  Presentation of Evidence
  a.  The Chairperson of the hearing, who may, but is not required to consult the members of the Board shall be the judge of whether the evidence is relevant and admissible.  The Chairperson’s action in receiving evidence is not necessarily indicative of the weight which the Board will give the evidence and their ultimate determination of the case.

  b.  The final decision of the relevance, materiality, and weight accorded the evidence shall be made by the individual Board members in their individual decisions.

  c.  Relevant, material, and competent evidence may be offered but the evidence need not be in strict conformity to legal rules of evidence, either federal or state.  The Board, not being bound by legal rules of substantive law, evidence or procedure, may be liberal in receiving evidence.

  d.  The Board may receive and consider the evidence of witnesses by affidavit, but shall give it only such weight as the Board deems it entitled to after consideration of any objection made to its admission.

  e.  If possible, all documents including affidavits to be submitted at the hearing shall be transmitted to the Board at least seven (7) calendar days prior to the hearing.  This provision may be waived by the Chairperson for good cause shown and shall not include rebuttal evidence.

  f.   The Board and Regional Club may offer such evidence as is relevant and material to the dispute and the Regional Club shall produce such evidence as the Board may deem necessary to an understanding and determination of the problem.

6.  Questioning During the Hearing
a.  Questions of witnesses or informational questions addressed to the general body concerning the production of documents and the facts surrounding any affidavits may be asked by the Chairperson, any member of the Board, or its legal representative.

b.  The Chairperson may establish such rules and regulations as necessary to facilitate the orderly progress of the proceedings.

7.  Oaths
a.  The Board shall not require a witnesses to testify under oath or affirm that their statements are true under the penalties of perjury; however, the Board may request such an oath or affirmation and weigh testimony under oath greater than testimony not under oath.

8.  Record of Hearing Proceedings
  a.  A stenographic record of the hearing shall not be required.  Either the Board or the Regional Club, however, may request such a record if it informs the other Party, makes the necessary arrangements, and pays the cost thereof directly to the person or agency making such record.

  b.  Whether or not a stenographic record of the proceeding is made, an audio tape recording may be made.

  c.  Records made under these rules shall remain the exclusive property of the Party who makes the record, but the other Party will be entitled to inspect and copy it.  If a copy is made, either of a stenographic record or a tape recording, the cost to the other Party shall be the actual, reasonable costs of duplication.

9.  Closing of Hearing
  a.  The Board shall specifically inquire of all Parties whether they have any further proofs to offer or witnesses to be heard.  Upon receiving negative replies or if satisfied that the record is complete, the Board shall declare the hearing closed.

Decision of the Board

1.  Majority Vote
  a.  The final decision of the Board with respect to this matter shall be by secret ballot, each member present being entitled to one vote.  A simple majority decision of those voting shall control the result.

  b.  If there is a deadlock of the Board and no majority decision can be reached, then the recognition of the Regional Club shall continue.

  c.  The Board may, if it desires, during its deliberations, request the presence and assistance of legal counsel in interpreting these rules concerning matters related to the hearing and formulating its decision.  The Regional Club’s representative shall not be present during these deliberations.

2.  Standard of Proof
  a.  The standard of proof to be used in determining the correctness of the factual situation shall be the standard commonly used in civil proceedings, namely: by the fair weight of the credible evidence and shall not be the standard used in criminal proceedings, namely: proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

3.    Credibility of Witnesses, General
  a.  Each member of the Board in reaching a decision has the sole responsibility of deciding whether the testimony of each witness or documentary evidence is truthful and accurate and is to be believed or disbelieved in whole or in part.

  b.  Among the factors that the Board members should consider for witnesses that appear before the Board are:

           i.     the manner of testifying, how he looked, conducted himself and spoke while testifying;                 
           ii.    his ability to remember the events about which he testified;


           iii.    whether the witness was positive and certain or hesitant and doubtful about the matters to which he testified;

           iv.   whether the witness testified frankly and fairly, or whether he displayed favoritism or was biased in any way;

           v.    whether the witness or any group he is associated with has anything to gain or lose from the outcome of the Board’s decision; and

           vi.   whether and to what extent the witness’s testimony is supported or contradicted by other evidence in the case which the Board member believed.

  c.  Among the factors that the Board should consider for documentary evidence are:

           i.     how regular the document appears on its face if it is the whole document or merely a portion of the document;

           ii.    what the normal propose of the document is; and
          
           iii.    how the document was secured.

  d.  Evasiveness

           i.     In assessing the credibility and reliability to be placed on witnesses, the Board shall look at the candor that the Regional Club has displayed in responding to the allegations of the Initial Complaint, the request for additional documentation, and the answers of its witnesses.  The Board shall also use the same standard of candor with respect to evidence presented against the Regional Club.

           ii.    Lack of truthfulness, evasiveness, and deception, will be taken into account and may be used as a standard to justify disregarding all of the evidence produced by the Regional Club.

  e.  After examining all the testimony and the documentary evidence and using the Board member’s individual experience and good common sense, the Board member should give the evidence such credibility and weight as they think it deserves.

4.  The Form of Decision by the Board
  a.  The Board of Directors may enter a decision with as broad a scope as necessary to maintain the interests of the NCA and its members.

  b.  The Board of Directors has the power to enter an absolute decision which immediately revokes the recognition of the Regional Club.


  c.  The Board of Directors may also, however, enter a conditional decision which immediately revokes the recognition of the Regional Club but automatically reinstates them if, within a specific time, the Regional Club makes certain changes as specified by the Board.

5.  Delivery of the Decision to the Regional Club
  a.  The decision of the Board shall be publicly announced by the President or his representative at an open meeting of the Board of Directors, usually after the conclusion of the hearings and the deliberation of the Board.

  b.  Generally, the decision shall be made and delivered no later than one (1) calendar day from the date the hearing is completed.  Failure to adhere to this time limit shall not nullify the decision.

  c.  The Regional Club shall also accept as delivery of the decision the placing of the decision or a true copy thereof in the mail, addressed to the Regional Club or their designated representatives at their last known addresses or by any other form of service permitted by law.

Appeal Procedures

1.  Time and Manner of Taking an Appeal
  a.  Within thirty (30) days from the announcement of the decision of the Board regarding revocation of recognition, the Regional Club must, if it desires to appeal the decision, file a written notice with the President and the Recording Secretary stating the reasons for the appeal.  The notice shall be sent certified mail, return receipt requested.  The written notice must state with particularity the reasons why the Regional Club wishes to appeal and why it feels that the decision of the Board was improper.  Any matters not raised in the written notice cannot be raised at a later time.

  b.  At the time of the taking of the appeal and accompanying the written notice of appeal, the Regional Club shall deposit with the NCA Treasurer the sum of $800 which is the initial estimate of the costs of first class postage for mailing documentation regarding the appeal to all of the members of the NCA.  This amount is only a preliminary deposit and may be increased or refunded as the exact costs of the appeal are determined and as further defined in Section 5 of these procedures.

  c.  If the Regional Club takes an appeal, it must do so within the time period set forth above.  The time period is the same for both an absolute revocation and a conditional revocation with automatic reinstatement upon specified changes.  There is no extension of time in a conditional revocation with automatic reinstatement.  The time period for taking an appeal begins from the announcement of the decision and does not run from the conclusion of the time to make specified changes.

2.  Position Papers Summarizing the Position of the Regional Club and the NCA Board
  a.  The purpose of this section is to provide a fair and balanced procedure for both the Board and the Regional Club to present its views to the general membership so they make a decision regarding the appeal.

  b.   The Regional Club will indicate it position with a two page document.

  c.   The NCA Board will respond with a two page document of its position.

  d.   The Regional Club may then have a one page rebuttal.

  e.   The NCA board will then respond with a one page sur rebuttal.

  f.    The time schedule for providing these papers shall normally be within three (3) weeks but may be extended or shortened by the President of the NCA giving due consideration to the complexity of the issues.

3.  Printed Booklet
  a.   The position papers of the NCA and Regional Club, together with the Initial Complaint, the Regional Club’s Response, the Amended Complaint, the Regional Club’s Response to the Amended Complaint and the various Requests for Information together with the summaries shall be printed in a booklet.  The booklets may also include at the request of either Party, the notice of appeal and any written documents introduced into evidence at the hearing.  In the interest of fairness, the President may allow other items to be included.

4.  Submission of the Documents and Decision of the Membership
  a.   The documents submitted to the membership for their decision shall include the printed booklet, a ballot, and a return envelope.  The ballot and the return envelope shall conform to the standards used for the election of members to the NCA Board.

  b.   The decision of the membership shall be by a majority of those members voting, and the decision shall be framed to either uphold the decision of the Board or require the Board of Directors to reconsider the issue.

5.  Payment of the Appeal Costs
  a.   The costs of preparing, printing, and mailing the booklet as well as the costs of voting and counting of the votes shall be borne by the Regional Club.

  b.   Upon receipt of the appeal, the NCA shall obtain an estimate from a printer who is familiar with NCA policies and procedures and shall normally be the same printer that prints Newf Tide.  The printer shall give an estimate of the cost of the printing, providing labeled envelopes, any charges associated with placing the material in the envelopes and an estimate of the first class mailing charge.

  c.   The NCA Treasurer shall inform the Regional Club of the costs and then the Regional Club shall deposit within twenty (20) days with the NCA Treasurer an amount equal to those costs which exceed the $800 deposited as defined in Section 1(b) of these procedures.  If the final actual costs incurred by the NCA are less than the total of the deposit(s), then the excess shall be refunded to the Regional Club.  If the final actual costs exceed the deposit(s), then the Regional Club shall be responsible for those additional costs.

  d.   Failure to timely post the required amounts shall act as a forfeiture of any appeal rights.

  e.   Payment of the Appeal Costs shall not be refundable to the Regional Club.

Miscellaneous Provisions

1.  Interpretation and Application of Rules
  a.   The Board shall interpret and apply these rules insofar as they relate to the Board’s powers and duties.

  b.   The Chairperson’s decision shall be final.

2.  Expenses
  a.   The expenses of witnesses called either by the Board or the Regional Club shall be paid by the Party producing such witnesses.

  b.   If the Regional Club appeals the decision of the Board to the general membership, then the expenses of preparing and sending all materials shall be the responsibility of the Regional Club and shall not be refundable.

3.  Waiver of Rules
  a.   If the Regional Club proceeds with the hearing after knowledge that any provision or requirement of these rules has not been complied with and then fails to state an objection in writing before the hearing or, if no opportunity exists prior to the actual hearing, then it must orally object or it shall be deemed to have waived the right to object.

4.  Effective Date
  a.   These rules shall be effective immediately and shall apply to all pending and future proceedings.

5.  Effect of a Decision Revoking Recognition of a Regional Club
         a.   If a decision is made to revoke recognition of a Regional Club, either absolutely or conditionally, that decision shall be effective immediately and the Regional Club shall not have any of the rights and privileges of membership in the NCA.

  b.   If a decision is made to revoke recognition of a Regional Club conditionally unless certain specific conditions are met, that decision is also effective immediately.  If the specific conditions are met, the President of the NCA shall be notified in writing that the required changes have been made.  Once the President verifies the fact that the changes have been made, the President will promptly notify the Board.  Upon approval of the Board, the Regional Club’s recognition will be automatically reinstated.  If the changes are not made, or the NCA not notified of the changes, or the Board determines that the changes have not been made to the satisfaction of the Board, then the revocation of the recognition of the Regional Club will be permanent.

  c.   After revocation of recognition, the Regional Club will not be able to hold events as an NCA Regional Club.

 

 

 

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