HANDBOOK for JURORS, MEDIATORS and LOREMASTERS
Article 5: Dispute Resolution in the Outside Forum
Article 3: Rangers (Administrators), Â¶5: Special Powers of Rangers
How You Become a Juror
â€¢ If you have been a registered member of Board77 for three months and have 100 posts, the Mayor will contact you and ask if you want to join the Jury Pool. Jurors decide the outcome of Hearings that are held for member violations of the by-laws, or to remove a Ranger or Elected Official from office, or to reverse a ban. Article 5, Â¶2
â€¢ The Mayor will also ask you if you are willing to serve as a Mediator. When members are resolving personal disputes in the Bike Racks forum, they may request mediation. The job of the mediator is to help members see all sides of the issue and reach agreement. The mediator does not have to decide who is right and who is wrong. The disputing posters must agree on a single mediator, and you do not have to handle a particular dispute if you donâ€™t want to. Article 5, Â¶1
â€¢ The Mayor will also ask you if you are willing to become a Loremaster. Loremasters are responsible for learning the Charter well enough to oversee a Hearing and ensure that proper procedure is followed. A Jury may request that a Loremaster oversee their Hearing so that they will be free to focus on substantive issues rather than procedural issues. The Loremaster cannot be one of the regular jurors or the alternate, or one of the Rangers who convened the Hearing. The Loremaster does not have decision-making power in the Hearing and does not advocate for any party to the Hearing, but he/she can answer procedural questions raised by any party and can take initiative to alert the jury or other participants what procedure must be followed. Article 5, Â¶4
If You Agree to Serve in Any of These Capacities
â€¢ If you are willing to enter the Jury Pool, the Mayor will record your date of entry and place your name on the roster in the Jury Room. If you are willing to be a Mediator, your name will also be posted on a roster in the Bike Racks.
â€¢ Jurors are called for duty in the order in which they entered the pool, and you do not have to serve on a particular Hearing if you donâ€™t want to. You may also ask to be removed from the pool at any time. Article 5, Â¶2
How Juries are Assembled
â€¢ Juries are assembled by a Ranger. If you are contacted by a Ranger to serve on a jury, answer promptly. We try to keep jury selection to three days so that the posting rights of a member are not curtailed longer than necessary. Article 5, Â¶3
â€¢ You will not be called for Jury Duty if you are currently involved in a Hearing in some other capacity (such as witness), or if you have an outstanding penalty against you, or if the Hearing concerns our age-restricted forum and you are under the age of 18. This does not remove you from the pool - you will return to your place in line when the Hearing is over or the penalty has expired. Article 5, Â¶2
â€¢ Members who have been called to a Hearing have the right to contest two jurors. It may happen that you are called for Jury duty and a member does not want you to serve on the jury. In that case, you will be relieved and return to your place in line for the next hearing. Article 5, Â¶3
Once You Are On the Jury
â€¢ Six jurors and one alternate hear each case. The alternate is there in case a regular juror must leave in the middle of the Hearing. Only six jurors will participate in the deliberation and make the decision. Article 5, Â¶3
â€¢ If you are selected for the Jury as a regular juror, an alternate, or a Loremaster, your posting rights in the Jury Room will be enabled. The Hearing takes place in a single thread and the first post of the thread will state the reason for the Hearing. Your full screen name will also appear in the thread so that potential witnesses can contact you by PM if necessary. Once the thread is started and the necessary posters are enabled, the Ranger will leave the thread. Article 5, Â¶4
â€¢ The member for whom the hearing is held states their side of the case. You may ask questions, call witnesses, or authorize witnesses who have contacted you. The member called to the hearing may also call witnesses on his/her own behalf. You should confer with your fellow jurors while the Hearing is in progress, and make sure that Rangers are notified in timely manner to enable the posting rights of witnesses. Article 5, Â¶4
â€¢ The jury decides when all the necessary information has been heard and posts in the thread that the Hearing will come to end twenty-four hours before they actually end the hearing. You must give a full dayâ€™s notification to the member and allow them to present any additional evidence if they wish, unless the evidence is plainly repetitive. Article 5, Â¶4
â€¢ When the Hearing is closed, six jurors enter into deliberation. Your discussions may be held in private, by email or by PM. Try to reach a decision within ten days so that the posting rights of the member are not unnecessarily curtailed. Article 5, Â¶4
â€¢ Your job as jurors is to decide (1) whether a by-law has in fact been violated, and (2) what the penalty, if any, should be. These are independent decisions. You are not required to impose a penalty, even if you decide that a by-law has been violated. Article 5, Â¶4
â€¢ Four of you must agree that a by-law has been violated for this to be the decision of the jury. Four of you must agree on the penalty. If fewer than four agree on the penalty, then the lesser of the penalties considered will be imposed. Article 5, Â¶4
â€¢ You must email your decision to the member twenty-four hours before posting it in the thread. You should state honestly anything that you have taken into consideration, in keeping with our principle of transparency. If you have disagreed with the majority opinion, you are permitted to post a â€˜minority reportâ€™ as part of the decision of the jury. Article 5, Â¶4
Different Kinds of Hearings
â€¢ Bans: if you decide to impose an Immediate Ban upon a member, the board at large will vote whether to uphold this decision. The board at large does not vote on temporary bans, hearings to reverse a ban, or hearings for a member that is on probation. Article 5, Â¶5
â€¢ Removal of Rangers: Rangers can only be removed for very specific reasons, listed in Article 3, Â¶8 â€œWhen a Ranger is Removed from Office: Grounds for Removal of a Ranger.â€ If you serve on a jury for this kind of hearing, please read the relevant article carefully. Your job is to determine whether or not the offense in question has been committed, and to remove the Ranger if you decide that it has. You may not issue warnings or impose partial penalties or place any other restrictions on the action of the Ranger as an alternative to removing them from office. Article 5, Â¶6
â€¢ Members have the right to appeal both the decision of a jury and the penalty imposed by a jury under certain circumstances. Appeals are heard by a panel of former Rangers, so you will not be required to hear appeals as a member of the jury pool. Article 5, Â¶8
â€¢ However, if you served as a Loremaster in a Hearing that is being appealed, you must give an accounting to the Appeals Panel of the rationale for the procedures that the Jury followed under your direction.
Guidelines for Penalties
â€¢ Our charter places restrictions on the penalties that may be imposed for certain offenses, listed in Article 5, Â¶9 and in the next section of this Handbook. For some cases, Article 3 of the charter also mandates minimum penalties, included in the next section and found in detail in Article 3, Â¶5. When you are serving on a jury, you need to check this list to see whether the offense you are considering has penalty restrictions. The list is not exhaustive, and in all other cases the jury has discretion.
â€¢ The following penalties are available to you as a juror:
-- Disabling PM privileges
-- Temporary Suspension of posting rights in a specific forum
-- Permanent Suspension of posting rights in a specific forum
-- Temporary Confinement to the Bike Racks (a suspension of board-wide posting rights)
-- Temporary Ban
-- Immediate or Indefinite Ban (per Article 3, poster must appeal for reversal no sooner than one month after the ban is executed, and Rangers may wait an additional two months before convening a hearing)
â€¢ There are no permanent, irreversible bans on Board77. But when a hearing is held to petition the reversal of a ban, the jury is permitted to uphold the ban and specify a duration.
â€¢ These are the guidelines for imposition of a penalty
-- The jury generally has discretion to impose the penalty it considers appropriate as long as the maximum penalties specified below are not exceeded.
-- If this is a first offense and the jury feels that the time already restricted to the Bike Racks or the Jury Room is sufficient, or if they feel confident that because of the circumstances in which the error took place it is very unlikely to be repeated, they are not obligated to impose a penalty.
-- If the offense is restricted to a single forum (e.g. There and Back Again or Thinking of England) the penalty may also be restricted to that forum (e.g. temporary or permanent suspension of posting rights).
-- The penalty ought to relate as closely as possible to the offense; for example, if abusive use of PMâ€™s is the offense, then PM privileges may be disabled.
-- Penalties may be greater for second, third or multiple offenses than they are for first offenses.
-- If juries are in doubt as to an appropriate penalty, they should review penalties imposed for similar problems in the past (see the Archives Forum) and try to be consistent.
Restrictions on Penalties
Offenses for which the maximum penalty for a first offense is an Immediate Ban:
Spamming the board with ads
Spamming the board with pornography
Hacking the board
Refusing to abide by the Decision of the Jury in a Hearing [maximum penalty is mandated by Article 3.]
Threats of real life violence or other criminal acts against members
[maximum penalty is mandated by Article 3.]
Deliberately introducing a virus to members of the board
Offenses for which the maximum penalty for a first offense is temporary restriction to the Bike Racks:
In the Jury Room, any interference with a Hearing. [At the termination of the Hearing in which the poster interfered, a Hearing for that poster is held to determine any penalty]
Offenses for which the maximum penalty is a temporary ban if this is not the first offense and the problem appears to be persistent:
Persistent posting of objectionable content:
-- abusive language toward another poster
-- attacks of a personal nature
-- defamatory remarks targeting nationality, ethnicity, native language, religion, gender, sexual orientation or age
-- advertisement of products for personal gain
Persistent posting of offensive pictures:
-- pictures a reasonable person would find pornographic
-- pictures a reasonable person would find gratuitously violent or distasteful, that is, designed to shock and/or dismay other posters
Using the board to solicit the participation of members in illegal activities:
Repeatedly exposing the members to viruses through negligence.
In the Bike Racks, repeated interference with other membersâ€™ thread
Use of PM or Email to:
-- harass another member
-- make defamatory remarks targeting nationality, ethnicity, native language, religion, gender, sexual orientation or age
Offenses for which the maximum penalty is permanent suspension of access to a particular forum:
In the There and Back Again forum, repeatedly posting in a manner that prevents another character(s) from participating or greatly circumscribes their activity
In the Thinking of England Forum, posting in a manner that ridicules, demeans or threatens other posters
The Archive Forum
Discussions or decisions that might be useful to Jurors in future Hearings can be summarized and posted here. The names of all participants are deleted. Article 5, Â¶10 When a jury wishes to post a summary, they should select someone to write the summary and then contact a Ranger to enable posting rights.
The members of Board77 thank you for your service as a juror! We count on you to be fair, impartial, and consistent in your decisions.