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ACBL Tech File
Disciplinary Regulations

 

This document is provided courtesy of the
American Contract Bridge League

2990 Airways Blvd. S Memphis TN 381163847
9013325586
S Fax 9013987754

     NOTE: to view the latest revision of the handbook,
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                         AMERICAN CONTRACT BRIDGE LEAGUE

                         CODE OF DISCIPLINARY REGULATIONS

                                   July, 1975

                              Revised, March, 1977

                              Revised, January 1, 1981

                              Revised, December, 1982

                              Revised, October 1, 1985

                              Revised, August 18, 1989

                              Revised, November, 1990

                              Revised, August, 1991

                              Revised, November, 1992

                              Revised, March, 1993

                              Revised, March, 1994

                              Revised, November, 1994

                              Revised, November, 1995

                              Revised, August, 1996

                              Revised, December, 1997

                              Revised, January 1999

                              Revised, December, 1999

                              Revised, January, 2001

                              Revised, April, 2001

                              Revised, August, 2001

                              Revised, November, 2001

                              Revised, November, 2002

                              Revised, March, 2003

                              Revised, July, 2003

                              Revised, November, 2003                                         

                              Revised, March, 2004
 

                         CODE OF DISCIPLINARY REGULATIONS  

                                TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

     Definitions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1&2  

 

     1. ACBL Disciplinary Bodies of Original and

        Appellate Jurisdiction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3  

 

     2. Jurisdiction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4&5  

 

     3. Grounds for Discipline . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5&6  

 

     4. Discipline . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6-9  

 

     5. Procedures for ACBL Disciplinary Bodies of

        Original Jurisdiction. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9-15  

 

     6. Suspension Pending Hearing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15  

 

     7. Appeal Procedures. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15-17  

 

     8. Stays of Execution of Discipline Pending an Appeal . . . . . . 18  

 

     9. Disciplines Involving Units or Districts . . . . . . . . . . . 18  

 

     Appendix A     Guidelines for Disciplinary Proceedings. . . . .19-23  

 

     Appendix B     Handbook for Appeals Committees. . . . . . . . .24-34  

 

     Appendix C     ACBL Disciplinary Sanction Guidelines. . . . . .35-39  

 


 

 

                                                         CDR.041 (PAGE 1)  

                                                         ________________  

     DEFINITIONS

     ACBL: The American Contract Bridge League.

     ACBL MANAGEMENT: The ACBL Chief Executive Officer or his or her

     designee.

     ADVOCATE: A person selected by the Unit, District or ACBL Management

     to represent the organization by prosecuting the complaint.

     APPEALS AND CHARGES COMMITTEE: A committee of the Board of Directors

     which hears all disciplinary appeals on behalf of the Board of

     Directors.

     BOARD OF DIRECTORS: The governing body of the ACBL.

     CDR: This Code of Disciplinary Regulations.

     CHARGE: A matter brought to a committee by an ACBL representative upon

     the making of a complaint.

     CHARGING PERSON: The official of a Unit, District or the ACBL acting

     upon a complaint.

     "CLEAR AND CONVINCING PROOF": Proof which is more than a probability

     but less than the certainty required in a criminal case.

     COMPLAINANT: A person or body bringing a complaint.

     COMPLAINT: An accusation by an ACBL member, a non-member playing in an

     ACBL sanctioned event, ACBL management or a Unit or District alleging

     conduct in violation of CDR 3.

     DISCIPLINARY: Those committees set forth in CDR 1 which are Bodies

     authorized to hear charges involving tournament discipline.

     DISCRIMINATION: Actions against a full-time or part-time ACBL

     employee, independent contractor, member, or participant in an ACBL

     sanctioned event because of race, creed, color, religion, national

     origin, ancestry, sex, gender, disability, sexual orientation or other

     personal characteristics covered by law.

     ETHICAL: A committee established by the Board of Directors, Oversight

     Committee which hears original cases of cheating or serious breaches

     of ethics or other disciplinary referrals per CDR 2.2.3(d).

     ETHICAL VIOLATIONS: Infractions of the Laws of Duplicate Contract

     Bridge or the CDR that involve improper conduct consciously

     perpetrated.  "Ethical violations," include but are not limited to:

      1. Any deliberate communication not allowed by the Laws of Duplicate

      Contract Bridge.

      2. Obtaining unauthorized information from hand records of the

      current session prior to the conclusion of play or hand records of

      future sessions, except upon express instruction of the Director.

      3. Purposely looking at the unplayed cards of another player (other

      than penalty cards) before play of the deal is concluded.

      4. Purposely looking at another player's (other than partner's)

      private score or any score ticket or score slip, or a video screen,

      which displays or contains scoring information for or relating to a

      deal yet to be played by the offender during the session.

      5. Deliberately behaving in a manner intended to disrupt,

      intimidate, or disconcert another player.

      6. Concealing partnership agreements or deliberately providing

      incomplete, inaccurate, misleading, or inadequate explanations.

      7. Deliberate violations of the Laws of Duplicate Contract Bridge

      and/or ACBL regulations which may produce improper or unfair

      advantages; no proof of intent to gain such unfair or improper

      advantage is necessary.

     EXPULSION: See CDR 4.1.5.


 

 

                                                         CDR.041 (PAGE 2)  

                                                         ________________  

 

     EXPUNGEMENT: The removal of a discipline from a person's disciplinary

     record so that it is as though the discipline was never imposed.

     LAW: A provision in the "Laws of Duplicate Contract Bridge."

     PARTICIPATION IN AN ACBL SANCTIONED EVENT: Appearing in the playing

     area of an ACBL sanctioned tournament for any reason.

     PRESENTER: A person selected by the Chairman of the Disciplinary

     Committee or the organization with jurisdiction, to make or assist

     with an impartial and neutral presentation of evidence to a

     disciplinary body.

     PRESIDENT: The President of the ACBL Board of Directors.

     PROBATION: See CDR 4.1.2.

     REPRIMAND: See CDR 4.1.1.

     SANCTIONED EVENT: For the CDR, any ACBL sanction issued by the ACBL to

     a club, unit or district and any event awarding ACBL masterpoints

     which is conducted and sponsored by the ACBL.

     SEXUAL HARASSMENT AGAINST A FULL-TIME OR PART-TIME ACBL EMPLOYEE OR A

     DISTRICT OR UNIT TOURNAMENT EMPLOYEE:

     Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal

     or physical conduct of a sexual nature against a full-time or

     part-time ACBL, district or unit employee when such advances or

     conduct occurs during or part of an individual's employment for the

     ACBL OR FOR AN acbl DISTRICT OR UNIT.  Sexual harassment includes, but

     is not limited to: sexual innuendo or sexually-oriented verbal abuse;

     unwanted physical contact such as hugging, patting, stroking, or

     grabbing body parts; displaying sexually suggestive objects, pictures

     or materials; using disparaging and demeaning terms of a sexual nature

     which belittle or degrade; using sexist terms involving prejudice or

     discrimination based on one's sex; using sexist jokes or "teasing" of

     a sexist nature; making obscene gestures or suggestive/insulting

     sounds; indecent exposure; and/or inappropriate verbal or physical

     advances of a sexual nature.

     SUSPENDED SENTENCE: See CDR 4.1.3.

     SUSPENSION: See CDR 4.1.4.

     TDC: The Tournament Disciplinary Committee which is a committee acting

     and completing its action at or immediately after an ACBL tournament

     and which hears disciplinary charges arising from action occurring at

     a tournament.


 

 

                                                         CDR.041 (PAGE 3)  

                                                         ________________  

     CODE OF DISCIPLINARY REGULATIONS

     The purpose of the CDR is to provide a fair hearing to every ACBL

     member charged with a disciplinary infraction.  However, it is to be

     understood that disciplinary proceedings are not criminal or civil

     trials in that they do not involve personal liberty but rather the

     privileges of membership in the ACBL or continued participation in

     ACBL sanctioned events.  The CDR also applies to non-members of ACBL

     when participating in ACBL sanctioned events.

 

     1. ACBL Disciplinary Bodies of Original and Appellate Jurisdiction

      1.1 Unit Disciplinary Committee

        1.1.1 Each Unit shall have a standing Disciplinary Chairperson.

        1.1.2 Each Unit shall have either a standing Unit Disciplinary

              Committee or procedures to appoint a committee when

              necessary.

      1.2 District Disciplinary Committee

        1.2.1 Each District shall have a standing Disciplinary Chairperson.

        1.2.2 Each District shall have either a standing District

              Disciplinary Committee or procedures to appoint a committee

              when necessary.

      1.3 District Appellate Committee

        1.3.1 Each District shall have a standing Appellate Chairperson who

              may not be the same person hearing the matter as in CDR 1.1.1

              or 1.2.1.

        1.3.2 Each District may have a standing District Appellate

              Committee but at a minimum must have procedures to appoint a

              committee when necessary. In no event may a member of this

              committee be a member of the committee hearing the matter as

              in CDR 1.1.1 or 1.2.1.

      1.4 Tournament Disciplinary Committees are established by Units,

          Districts and/or the ACBL Board of Directors for hearing charges

          on actions occurring respectively at Sectional Tournaments,

          Regional Tournaments, North American Bridge Championships or

          ACBL sanctioned events sponsored by Units, Districts or the

          ACBL.

      1.5 The Ethical Oversight Committee shall, upon the direction of

          ACBL Management and with consultation of League Counsel, hear

          original cases of alleged cheating by use of signals, other

          unauthorized information, other forms of cheating, or serious

          breaches of ethics.  The ACBL President and District Director of

          the person charged shall be notified of a decision to hold an

          Ethical Oversight Committee hearing.  The results of its

          hearings shall be reported to the parties, the Board of

          Directors and ACBL Management.

      1.6 The Appeals and Charges Committee.

      1.7 ACBL Management.

      1.8 TDCs of Organizations Sponsoring an ACBL Sanctioned Tournament

          or Event, Except Units, Districts or ACBL.

      1.9 The ACBL Disciplinary Committee shall hear cases regarding those

          matters specified in the CDR 2.2.3 (d) and (e) or other original

          cases when so instructed by the ACBL Board of Directors. This

          committee shall act as an appellate body and hear appeals per

          CDR 7.3.


 

 

                                                         CDR.041 (PAGE 4)  

                                                         ________________  

     2. Jurisdiction

      2.1 Of Units, Districts and ACBL (see also 2.2)

        2.1.1 A Unit has jurisdiction over:

              (a) Members of the Unit when such a member is participating

                  in a sanctioned event or other Unit, District or ACBL

                  sponsored activity.

              (b) Persons participating in a sanctioned event held within

                  the Unit's geographical boundaries.

        2.1.2 A District has jurisdiction over:

              (a) Persons participating in a sanctioned event held within

                  its geographical boundaries (District Disciplinary

                  Committee).

              (b) Those residing within the District, for appellate

                  purposes only (District Appellate Committee).

        2.1.3 The ACBL has jurisdiction over:

              (a) Members of ACBL or others disciplined, for appellate

                  purposes only, except where otherwise specified in the

                  CDR.

              (b) Persons participating in a sanctioned event held under

                  its jurisdiction.

              (c) ACBL members who have been disciplined or sanctioned by

                  any other bridge organization.

        2.1.4 A Tournament Disciplinary Committee, as well as the

              disciplinary committee of the sponsoring organization, has

              jurisdiction over persons in attendance at that tournament.

              Notwithstanding the above, the disciplinary committee of the

              sponsoring organization has the right to hear a matter within

              its jurisdiction beyond the date or dates of the tournament.

              If such right is not exercised, the matter shall be referred

              to the member's Unit pursuant to CDR 2.1.1.

        2.1.5 None of the disciplinary bodies noted in CDR 2.2.1 have

              jurisdiction over ACBL employees (members or not) in pursuit

              of their employment.

      2.2 Of Disciplinary Bodies

        2.2.1 Units have only original jurisdiction, except when otherwise

              explicitly stated in the CDR.

        2.2.2 In addition to its appellate jurisdiction, Districts have

              jurisdiction in the following cases:

              (a) Disputes between Units within the District.

              (b) Cases involving alleged violation by Units referred to

                  in CDR 9.1.

              (c) Cases where there is no appropriate Unit disciplinary

                  body.

              (d) When, in the opinion of the District Board,

                  circumstances make it impractical for the matter to be

                  heard by the Unit.

              (e) When, in the opinion of the Unit or District Board, the

                  matter cannot be fairly heard by the Unit.

        2.2.3 The ACBL Board of Directors has original jurisdiction of the

              following:

              (a) Disputes between Districts.

              (b) Disputes between Units from different Districts.

              (c) Cases involving alleged violations by Districts,

                  referred to in CDR 9.2.


 

 

                                                         CDR.041 (PAGE 5)  

                                                         ________________  

 

              (d) When, in the opinion of the District Board or the ACBL

                  Board of Directors, circumstances make it impractical or

                  unfair for the matter to be heard by the District or

                  Unit.  If such matter is disciplinary in nature and if

                  original jurisdiction, the matter shall be referred to

                  the ACBL Disciplinary Committee for decision.

              (e) When a disciplinary committee refers a matter heard at

                  an NABC to the ACBL, it shall be referred to the ACBL

                  Disciplinary Committee for action.

              (f) When an ACBL member has been disciplined by another

                  bridge organization, the ACBL Board of Directors

                  Executive Committee may make charges under CDR 3.17 and

                  refer the matter to the Ethical Oversight Committee or

                  ACBL Disciplinary Committee as appropriate.

        2.2.4 In matters coming under CDR 2.2.3 (except as provided in

              2.2.3(d) and (e) and (f)), the matters will be considered and

              findings made by the Appeals and Charges Committee, subject

              to approval, modification or rejection by the Board of

              Directors.

        2.2.5 ACBL Management has original jurisdiction of matters set

              forth in CDR 4.3, CDR 5.1.12 and other sections so provided

              in the CDR.

 

     3. Grounds for Discipline

      3.1 Violation of the Laws of Duplicate Contract Bridge.

      3.2 Violation of ACBL regulations.

      3.3 Leaving a session prior to completion of play without either

          good cause or the permission of the tournament or game director.

      3.4 Accusations of unethical bridge conduct at an ACBL sanctioned

          event, not made privately to a tournament director or other

          tournament official.  Private and confidential conversations are

          not within the ACBL's jurisdiction even if they take place at a

          tournament site.

      3.5 Violation of CDR 4.4.

      3.6 Betting on the results of any ACBL sanctioned event.

      3.7 Actions or behavior unbecoming a member of ACBL (or a person

          participating in an ACBL sanctioned event), including, but not

          limited to, improper actions at the time and site of an ACBL

          tournament or sanctioned game including parking lots, elevators,

          restaurants, and hotels.  Private and confidential conversations

          are not within the ACBL's jurisdiction even if one takes place

          at a tournament site.

      3.8 Non-payment of a valid hotel bill when the person participating

          in an ACBL sanctioned tournament stays at such hotel during that

          ACBL sanctioned tournament.

      3.9 Non-payment of any sums owed ACBL, Districts, or Units.

           (For example:  bad checks.)

      3.10 Filing formal legal action against a Unit, District or the ACBL

           without first exhausting ACBL administrative or other internal

           remedies.

      3.11 Improper conduct toward any official or body of ACBL.


 

 

                                                         CDR.041 (PAGE 6)  

                                                         ________________  

 

      3.12 Influencing or attempting to influence an entrant or entrants

           other than one's partner or teammates to withdraw from any ACBL-

           sanctioned event.

      3.13 Knowingly submitting false information to a tournament official,

            ACBL official or ACBL body.

      3.14 Failure to appear before a disciplinary committee in violation

           of CDR 5.2.5, 5.3.3 and 5.3.5.

      3.15 Initiating disciplinary action against another with no

           reasonable basis or appealing the decision of a disciplinary

           body with no reasonable basis.  (The rejection of a complaint is

           not equivalent to a finding that there was not a reasonable

           basis.)

      3.16 Refusing any reasonable request for cooperation by a duly

           appointed recorder or assistant recorder pursuant to the proper

           conduct of the recorder's duties.

      3.17 Improper conduct, a breach of ethics or improper behavior by an

           ACBL member for which another bridge organization has issued a

           discipline or sanction against said member. This section may be

           implemented only by the ACBL Executive Committee under CDR 2.2.3

           (e).

 

     4. Discipline

      4.1 Except for disciplines which may be imposed at tournaments under

          CDR 5, the subsections in this CDR 4 set forth the only

          discipline which may be imposed by ACBL disciplinary bodies.

          ACBL disciplinary bodies may choose to combine such disciplines.

          Except for CDR 4.1.6, a disciplinary action by an ACBL

          disciplinary body shall apply to all events sanctioned by the

          ACBL.  The following disciplines do not apply to conditions for

          a player's readmission to the ACBL, conditions for a player

          being allowed to play following a suspension, or the authority

          of any sanctioned ACBL club game to remove or ban any player

          from playing at that club game.  All discipline shall be matters

          of public review and shall be filed in the person's disciplinary

          record.  Discipline imposed shall be subject to ACBL rules and

          regulations in effect at the time in which incident(s) occurred

          which led to the discipline.

        4.1.1 Reprimand. A written determination that a person has

              committed an offense warranting discipline for which the

              appropriate sanction is a statement of censure, an

              explanation of the relevant disciplinary policy and a warning

              against further related violations.

        4.1.2 Probation. A determination that a person has committed an

              offense warranting discipline such that the person must lose

              some of the privileges of membership and such that any

              further disciplinary violation, whether similar or different,

              may will automatically result in suspension or expulsion as

              follows.


 

 

                                                         CDR.041 (PAGE 7)  

                                                         ________________  

              a.  If the member is disciplined for another offense during a

                  discrete the probationary period, then if the new

                  discipline is:

                  (1)  Expulsion, no further discipline.

                  (2)  Probation in excess of 90 days or suspension, the

                       previous probation becomes suspension for the remainder or

                       half of the probation period, whichever is the

                       greater. The new discipline shall be consecutive, not

                       concurrent. (See CDR 4.1.8.)

                  (3)  Other, the committee issuing the new discipline shall

                       determine how much, if any, of the previous

                       probationary period shall become a period of

                       suspension.

              b.  If the member is disciplined for another offense during an

                  indeterminate, permanent or lifetime probationary period,

                  then if the new discipline is:

                  (1)  Expulsion, no further discipline.

                  (2)  Probation in excess of 90 days or suspension, the

                       committee issuing the new discipline shall determine

                       how much of the previous probation shall become a

                       period of suspension. The suspension must be a

                       minimum of one year. The new discipline shall be

                       consecutive, not concurrent. (See CDR 4.1.8.)

                  (3)  Other, the committee issuing the new discipline shall

                       determine how much, if any, of the previous

                       probationary period shall become a period of

                       suspension. The new discipline shall be consecutive,

                       not concurrent. (See CDR 4.1.8.)

        4.1.3 Suspended Sentence.  A determination that a person has

              committed an offense warranting discipline such that a

              suspension would normally be imposed effective immediately,

              but based on mitigating circumstances the suspension is being

              waived, conditioned on good behavior for a specified period

              of time.  When the discipline is imposed and the execution

              thereof suspended, such suspension shall be deemed to be

              probation.  (See CDR 4.1.8.)

        4.1.4 Suspension.  A determination that a person has committed an

              offense warranting abrogation of all ACBL rights and

              privileges including membership for a specified period.

              (See CDR 4.1.8.)

        4.1.5 Expulsion.  A determination that a person has committed an

              offense warranting permanent abrogation of all ACBL rights

              and privileges, including membership.  (See CDR 4.1.8.)

        4.1.6 Exclusion From Events.  A determination that a person has

              committed an offense warranting abrogation of the person's

              right to play in certain specified events.  (See CDR 4.1.8.)

        4.1.7 Reduction or Forfeiture of Masterpoints or Tournament Rank or

              Disqualification.  A determination that a person has

              committed an offense at a tournament warranting forfeiture of

              a specified number or all of the masterpoints earned in that

              event, or in the tournament in which the offense occurred, or

              a reduction of rank in a particular event, or

              disqualification in the event or tournament or any

              combination of the above.  (See CDR 4.1.8.)


 

 

                                                         CDR.041 (PAGE 8)  

                                                         ________________  

 

              (a) When the determination has been made before the

                  termination of the applicable correction period,

                  resulting in a reduction in rank or disqualification,

                  the standing of the other contestants in the event shall

                  be adjusted to reflect such determination.

              (b) When the determination has been made after the

                  termination of the applicable correction period, a

                  reduction in rank or disqualification shall not affect

                  the standing of the other contestants in the event even

                  though there may be no winner because of such action.

        4.1.8 Forfeiture of Masterpoints/Titles for Unethical Behavior.

              (a) Any participant(s) in an ACBL sanctioned event convicted

                  of premeditated or collusive cheating or any participant

                  who admits to such action or actions shall forfeit all

                  masterpoints and titles theretofore earned by said

                  participants in all ACBL events.

              (b) Any participant(s) in an ACBL sanctioned event suspended

                  for one year or longer as a result of ethical

                  transgressions, other than those set forth in this CDR

                  4.1.8 (a), shall forfeit any masterpoints and titles won

                  in the event in which the offense(s) occurred.  Further,

                  the committee shall remove, as a minimum, all

                  masterpoints won within the twelve (12) calendar months

                  preceding the date of the offenses to a maximum of all

                  masterpoints won within the thirty-six (36) calendar

                  months preceding the date of the offense(s).

              (c) Teammates and partners of (a) participant(s) who

                  suffer(s) penalties as provided in CDR 4.1.7 and 4.1.8

                  (a) or (b) shall forfeit any title(s) and masterpoints

                  won in events in which the offense or offenses occurred.

              (d) Titles forfeited in CDR 4.1.8 (a), (b) or (c) shall

                  remain vacant and there shall be no change in rankings

                  or awarding of masterpoints for other contestants.

        4.1.9 Expungement.

              (a) No ACBL disciplinary body of original jurisdiction may

                  order expungement as a part of a discipline.

              (b) A discipline which has been issued by an ACBL

                  disciplinary body may be expunged from a person's record

                  only by action of an appellate body for good cause.

      4.2 ACBL Probation and Suspension.

        4.2.1 A person who has been disciplined twice in accordance with

              CDR 4.1 within a twenty-four (24) month period shall be

              automatically placed on ACBL probation for two (2) years by

              ACBL Management.  A violation of such probation shall result

              in automatic suspension for sixty (60) days by ACBL

              Management and such additional disciplines, including

              expulsion from the ACBL, as may be determined by the ACBL

              Appeals and Charges Committee. At the meeting of the ACBL

              Appeals and Charges Committee the disciplined party is

              entitled to be present in person, by a qualified

              representative or by telephone to discuss the case.  ACBL

              discipline imposed as a result of multiple offenses shall be

              consecutive to the imposition of the original discipline.
 

                                                         CDR.041 (PAGE 9)  

                                                         ________________  

              When both of the disciplines are public reprimand, ACBL

              Management shall inform the person that he or she may request

              the Appeals and Charges Committee to consider extenuating

              circumstances to have the ACBL probation suspended.  When

              considering such relief, the entire ACBL disciplinary record

              of the member shall be considered.

        4.2.2 Violation of probation is deemed to have occurred when a

              person who is under ACBL probation has violated a law, rule

              or regulation of the ACBL and has been disciplined as a

              result of such violation, unless that new discipline is

              reversed by an appellate body and in the event of any further

              hearing(s), no further discipline is imposed.

      4.3 Suspension by ACBL Management.

        4.3.1 ACBL Management may suspend a person who:

              (a) Has not paid dishonored checks to ACBL, its Districts,

                  Units or Conferences;

              (b) Has failed to pay a valid hotel bill to a hotel

                  supporting an ACBL tournament without notifying ACBL and

                  the hotel that he or she disputes such obligation in

                  good faith.

              (c) Has failed to pay a debt to ACBL, its Districts, Units

                  or Conferences without notifying ACBL that he or she

                  disputes such obligation in good faith.

              (d) Has failed to submit club masterpoint reports in a

                  timely manner (the person may be either the sanctioned

                  owner and/or club manager).

              (e) Has failed to return a traveling trophy upon demand.

        4.3.2 ACBL Management may cancel any suspension imposed under CDR

              4.3.1 within sixty (60) days after the dishonored check(s),

              hotel bill(s) or outstanding debt(s) is paid or the trophy is

              returned, but if ACBL Management should not cancel such

              suspension, it shall report to the appropriate disciplinary

              body giving the reason therefore.

        4.3.3 If the ACBL Management has cause to believe that a person has

              violated his or her discipline, it may suspend such person

              pending a review by the person's Unit Disciplinary Committee

              for consideration of additional sanctions.

      4.4 In every sanction resulting in suspension or expulsion, a person

          may not participate in any National, District, Unit, club or

          other ACBL sanctioned activity including, but not limited to (I)

          acting as non-playing captain, (ii) kibitzing any game or event,

          (iii) being physically present at the playing area of a

          tournament, (iv) participating personally or through a

          corporation or other entity, agent, "doing business as" or other

          device in bridge-related affairs of the ACBL or of any ACBL

          affiliated organization.

      4.5 The effective date of a discipline imposed shall be that date

          named by the committee in its determination, or failing that,

          five (5) days after oral or written notification to the

          disciplined person.

      4.6 A report shall be submitted to ACBL Management by the

          disciplinary body imposing a sanction.  Further, in order that a

          disciplinary action may be considered in imposing ACBL

          Probation, a report must be on file with ACBL Management. ACBL's

          Disciplinary Guidelines are attached as CDR Appendix C.
 

                                                        CDR.041 (PAGE 10)  

                                                        _________________  

     5. Procedures for ACBL Disciplinary Bodies of Original Jurisdiction

      5.1 Procedural Principles for Conduct of Hearings by Unit, District,

          and National Committees [See, also CDR Appendix A (Guidelines

          for Disciplinary Proceedings) and CDR Appendix B (Handbook for

          Appeals Committees)]

        5.1.1 The Chairperson of the disciplinary body should be familiar

              with the CDRs, the Guidelines for Disciplinary Proceedings

              (CDR Appendix A) and the Handbook for Appeals Committees (CDR

              Appendix B).

        5.1.2 The procedures before these Committees are intended to

              promote a hearing which is expeditious under the

              circumstances prevailing and as simple and informal as

              circumstances permit, keeping in mind at all times the rights

              of the parties.

        5.1.3 It is strongly recommended that a stenographic or tape record

              be kept.  Should a stenographic or tape record be requested,

              the cost shall be borne by the person requesting the record

              (who must also provide, if requested, a free copy to the

              other party and the committee).

        5.1.4 The Committee shall not be bound by legal rules, whether of

              substantive law, evidence or procedure, and shall be liberal

              in receiving evidence. The receipt of evidence is not

              necessarily indicative of the weight or the credit which the

              Committee may give it in their ultimate determination; thus,

              hearsay evidence and written statements may be admitted and

              given such weight as the Committee deems appropriate. Each

              member of the committee makes the decision as to

              responsibility using a standard of "clear and convincing

              proof."

        5.1.5 The Committee shall determine the use of opening and closing

              statements and submission of briefs and memoranda.

        5.1.6  Pre-hearing conferences may be held relative to the

               narrowing or framing of issues or procedural questions

               relating to the matter before the Committee, if, in the

               Committee's or its Chair's judgment it is so warranted.

        5.1.7  Under such terms and conditions as the Committee, in its

               discretion, shall deem proper it may (but shall not be

               required to):

               (a) Order an additional investigation;

               (b) Direct pre-hearing disclosure of evidence and

                   witnesses;

               (c) Permit presentation of written statements for use at

                   the hearing;

               (d) Limit the number of witnesses to be heard;

               (e) Clarify and define the issues to be heard; and

               (f) Consolidate proceedings where the parties or the issues

                   are the same.

        5.1.8  The hearing may be adjourned from time to time for good

               cause shown, upon the application of a party or upon its own

               motion.

        5.1.9  There shall be no automatic challenges to committee members.

               There may be challenges for cause, such as bias.  In such

               cases the balance of the committee shall decide the validity

               of the challenge.


 

 

                                                        CDR.041 (PAGE 11)  

                                                        _________________  

 

        5.1.10 Other than as provided in the CDR, the party accused shall

               not be entitled to prehearing discovery as might be provided

               in civil litigation.

        5.1.11 Representation on behalf of ACBL Disciplinary Bodies of

               Original and Appellate Jurisdiction may be provided at cost

               to the disciplinary body, as follows:

               (a) In matters before TDCs, the DIC may appoint a

                   representative to be an advocate of the Unit, District

                   or ACBL or a neutral presenter of facts.

               (b) In matters before Unit or District Disciplinary

                   Committees, the Unit or District President may appoint

                   a representative to be an advocate of the Unit or

                   District or a neutral presenter of facts.

               (c) In matters before the Ethical Oversight Committee, ACBL

                   Management may appoint a representative to be an

                   advocate of the ACBL or a neutral presenter of facts.

               (d) In matters before District Appeals, the District

                   President may appoint a representative to be an

                   advocate of the District or a neutral presenter of the

                   matters on appeal.

               (e) In matters before Appeals and Charges Committee, ACBL

                   Management may appoint a representative to be an

                   advocate of the ACBL or a neutral presenter of facts.

        5.1.12 If a complaint, against a person based on the person's sexual

               harassment against a full-time or part-time ACBL employee or

               a Unit or District tournament employee, is brought before an

               ACBL Disciplinary Body, the Disciplinary Body shall

               immediately forward the matter to ACBL Management for action

               as follows:

               (a) ACBL Management shall expeditiously investigate the

                   matter referred, including interviews of the

                   complainant and accused, and make a decision to: 

 

                    - Exonerate the accused and take no action.

                    - Impose a reprimand.

                    - Impose probation.

                    - Impose suspension.

                    - Impose expulsion.

 

               (b) A written notice of the decisions of ACBL Management

                   and the reasons therefore shall be provided to the

                   accused person and the Appeals and Charges Committee.

               (c) At its first meeting subsequent to the ACBL Management

                   decision, the Appeals and Charges Committee shall make

                   an automatic review of the ACBL Management decision.

                   Such reviews shall be consistent with the procedures at

                   appellate reviews, except that the accused party shall

                   be entitled to present evidence and witnesses at the

                   review hearing.

        5.1.13 All disciplinary actions are a matter of record. In order

               that a disciplinary action be considered in imposing

               probation under CDR 4.2, a report must be filed with ACBL

               Management.


 

 

                                                        CDR.041 (PAGE 12)  

                                                        _________________  

      5.2 Disciplinary Procedures for Unit and District Disciplinary

          Committees and the Ethical Oversight Committee.

        5.2.1 A complaint requesting a disciplinary hearing must be made in

              writing to the appropriate entity having jurisdiction (see

              CDR 2.1, 2.2 and 2.3) within the period of limitations

              described in CDR 5.2.1.  Note: A complaint is the basis for

              an official charge to a disciplinary body. The disciplinary

              body receives and acts on a charge or charges, not a

              complaint or complaints.

              (a) An initial complaint involving a single incident of

                  conduct must be brought within thirty (30) days of

                  discovery of the incident.  Irrespective of the

                  foregoing period of limitations, the subject of a

                  complaint is permitted to file a complaint related to

                  the original incident against the complainant within

                  fifteen (15) days of written notification that there has

                  been a charge made against him or her.

              (b) A complaint involving a pattern of conduct must be

                  brought within five (5) years of the earliest instance

                  referenced in the complaint.

              (c) A complaint involving the conveying of information by

                  unauthorized means, whether within a partnership or not

                  (see Law 73.B.2), is not subject to a statute of

                  limitations.

        5.2.2 An initial charge based upon a complaint must be brought

              expeditiously by the charging party (for example, the

              president or recorder) of the organization having

              jurisdiction. (See CDR 2.)  If the organization has failed to

              designate an individual, the president is the charging party.

              No person sitting on the organization's disciplinary

              committee should be the charging party.  The charging party

              in deciding to bring a charge must answer "yes" to the

              following three (3) questions:

              (a) Is there prima facie evidence that the complaint has

                  some validity (that there was misconduct)?

              (b) Does ACBL have jurisdiction?

              (c) If found responsible, would the disciplinary committee

                  be obligated to issue a discipline?

        5.2.3 A person charged with a violation of CDR 3 shall be entitled

              to:

              (a) Receive written notice of the date, time, and place of

                  hearing.  Should a person admit to a charge, a hearing

                  shall be held in order to determine and impose

                  appropriate discipline.

              (b) Be furnished with a written statement of the charge(s)

                  and the name of the complainant.

              (c) Be represented by another person.

              (d) Produce evidence and make statements on his/her own

                  behalf.

              (e) Be present during the entire hearing, except during

                  procedural determinations and deliberation on verdicts

                  and sentencing.

              (f) Question persons testifying through the Chair at the

                  Chair's discretion.


 

 

                                                        CDR.041 (PAGE 13)  

                                                        _________________  

 

        5.2.4 All disciplinary bodies may allow reasonable adjournments or

              continuances consistent with the time available to the

              ordinary body.

        5.2.5 All complainants are required to appear in person or by

              telephone.  Failure to appear may be grounds for discipline.

        5.2.6 Charged persons are not required to appear and their failure

              to appear shall not be grounds for further discipline.

        5.2.7 A person's past ACBL discipline which is a matter of record,

              should such exist, may not be considered in establishing

              guilt but may be relevant to the discipline to be imposed if

              the person is found guilty.  (See CDR Appendix C.)

        5.2.8 The disciplined person, complainant or ACBL Management may

              file an appeal with the appropriate appellate body. The

              disciplined person and the complainant, if any, are to be

              informed of this right in writing and in a timely manner

              along with notification of the name and address of the

              chairman of the appropriate appellate committee.

              (See CDR 7.)

        5.2.9 A written report in a format provided by the ACBL shall be

              made of all hearings, including a brief summary of the facts,

              the committee's findings and what sanction, if any, is to be

              or was imposed.  The disciplined person, the complainant and

              ACBL Management shall receive the written report.

        5.2.10 A person who has been subjected to a disciplinary proceeding

               conducted under CDR 5 shall not be subject to any further

               proceedings by any other disciplinary body for the same

               matter, except pursuant to appeal and/or for additional

               disciplines as provided under CDR 4.2, 5.3.9, 5.3.13 and 7.

        5.2.11 At the request of ACBL Management in matters coming before

               the Ethical Oversight Committee, League Counsel may be

               present to advise the Committee as to procedural matters and

               matters of law.  The League Counsel shall be impartial and,

               in no case shall the League Counsel act as an advocate for

               the ACBL or anyone appearing before the Committee.

      5.3 Procedures Specific to Tournament Disciplinary Committees

        5.3.1 Disciplinary procedures at tournaments are intended to be

              expeditious.  Matters heard by a TDC involving tournament

              discipline shall be heard and the hearing conducted at or

              immediately after the tournament in which the event(s)

              involving the discipline took place.  Notices may be oral and

              the proceedings may be informal.

        5.3.2 A disciplinary complaint involving events at a tournament

              must be brought by a participant in the tournament, by the

              sponsoring organization recorder or by the Director in charge

              ("DIC") or his or her designee, which designation may be

              written or oral.  An initial charge to the TDC must be

              brought by the DIC or his or her designee (the charging

              party).  A decision by the DIC not to bring a charge before a

              TDC is final, provided that a party may take his or her

              complaint to the Unit or District having jurisdiction.


 

 

                                                        CDR.041 (PAGE 14)  

                                                        _________________  

 

              The charging party in deciding to bring a charge must answer

              "yes" to the following three (3) questions:

              (a) Is there prima facie evidence that the complaint has

                  some validity (that there was misconduct)?

              (b) Does ACBL have jurisdiction?

              (c) If found responsible, would the Disciplinary Committee

                  be obligated to issue a discipline?

        5.3.3 All complainants are required to appear. Failure to appear

              may in itself be grounds for discipline.

        5.3.4 Persons charged are not required to appear and their failure

              to appear shall not be grounds for further discipline.

        5.3.5 When a Tournament Director or committee chairperson

              determines that a witness' testimony is critical to a

              hearing, then such a witness is required to appear or provide

              a signed written statement.  Failure to appear at the hearing

              shall be grounds for discipline, unless reasonable cause is

              provided to the Tournament Director or the committee

              chairperson for such failure.  "Reasonable cause" shall be

              liberally construed.

        5.3.6 A person charged with a violation under CDR 3 shall be

              entitled to:

              (a) Receive written or oral notice of date, time and place

                  of hearing.  Should a person admit to a charge, a

                  hearing shall be held in order to determine and impose

                  discipline.

              (b) Be provided a written statement of the charge(s) and the

                  name of the complainant.

              (c) Be represented by another person.

              (d) Produce evidence and make statements on his or her

                  behalf.

              (e) Be present during the entire hearing, except during

                  procedural determinations and deliberation on verdicts

                  and sentencing.

              (f) Question persons testifying through the Chair, and at

                  the Chair's discretion.

        5.3.7 Discipline imposed by a TDC for all or part of that

              tournament may not be stayed.  Any discipline that survives

              the tournament may be stayed in accordance with CDR 8.

              Discipline not stayed shall be expunged if the decision of

              the Tournament Disciplinary Committee is reversed.

        5.3.8 A person's past ACBL disciplinary sanctions which are a

              matter of record, should one exist, may not be considered in

              establishing guilt but may be relevant to the severity of the

              discipline to be imposed if the person is found guilty.

        5.3.9 The disciplined person, complainant or ACBL Management may

              file an appeal with the appropriate appellate body. The

              disciplined person and the complainant, if any, are to be

              informed of this right at the conclusion of the hearing along

              with notification of the name and address of the chairman of

              the appropriate appellate committee.  (See CDR 8.)

        5.3.10 A suspension imposed by a TDC shall not exceed ninety (90)

               days nor may an additional probation exceed ninety (90)

               days.


 

 

                                                        CDR.041 (PAGE 15)  

                                                        _________________  

 

        5.3.11 When a discipline imposed exceeds the permitted disciplinary

               limits it shall be valid only to the extent set forth in CDR

               5.3.10.

        5.3.12 Any discipline surviving the tournament imposed by a TDC

               shall commence immediately following the tournament.

        5.3.13 When the TDC determines the charged person has committed an

               offense which may warrant a discipline exceeding ninety (90)

               days, the TDC, after imposing either a suspension of ninety

               (90) days or probation of ninety (90) days or both under CDR

               5.3, shall refer its report with its recommendations via

               ACBL Management to:

               (a) The Unit having jurisdiction when the action occurred

                   during a Sectional tournament.

               (b) The District having jurisdiction when the action

                   occurred during a Regional tournament.

               (c) The District in which the event is geographically

                   located when the action occurred during a North

                   American Bridge Championship tournament or other event

                   sponsored by ACBL.

               (d) The sponsoring organization having jurisdiction when

                   the infraction occurred.

 

     6. Suspension Pending Hearing

      6.1 When charge(s) have been made, a person so charged may play in

          an ACBL sanctioned event pending hearing unless otherwise

          directed by the chairperson of the committee which will be

          hearing the charge(s) or by the Director-in-Charge of a

          Sectional or higher-rated tournament when a charge is to be

          heard by a tournament disciplinary committee. Such suspension

          pending hearings should be rarely issued and only in extreme

          cases or when a hearing is delayed due to the fault of the

          person charged.

      6.2 When suspension pending hearing is directed by:

        6.2.1 A Unit level disciplinary body, the hearing must commence

              within twenty (20) days, unless the person charged causes a

              delay.

        6.2.2 A District level disciplinary body, the hearing must commence

              within sixty (60) days, unless the person charged causes a

              delay.

        6.2.3 The Director-in-Charge of a Sectional or higher-rated

              tournament, the hearing must commence within 24 hours or

              immediately after the final session of the tournament

              whichever is earlier unless the person charged causes a

              delay. If the matter is not heard at the tournament, the

              suspension is lifted and the matter is referred to the

              appropriate Unit or District to be heard.

        6.2.4 The ACBL Board of Directors, ACBL Board Committee or Ethical

              Oversight Committee, the hearing must commence at the next

              ensuing ACBL Board of Directors' meeting consistent with

              adequate notice, unless the person charged causes delay.


 

 

                                                        CDR.041 (PAGE 16)  

                                                        _________________  

     7. Appeal Procedures

      7.1 Appeals to the District:

        7.1.1 A disciplined person, a complainant or ACBL Management may

              file a written appeal with the District Appellate Committee

              and/or the District President or their designee from:

              (a) A decision of TDC at a tournament held in that District.

              (b) A decision of a Unit's Disciplinary Committee. Such Unit

                  must be located within the geographical area of the

                  District.

              (c) A decision of that District's Disciplinary Committee.

              (d) A decision of an NABC tournament disciplinary committee

                  from an NABC held in that District's geographical

                  boundaries.

      7.2 Appeals to Appeals and Charges Committee:

        7.2.1 A disciplined person, a complainant or ACBL Management may

              file an appeal with the Chairman of the Appeals and Charges

              Committee from:

              (a) A decision of the Ethical Oversight Committee.

              (b) A decision of the District Appellate Committee.

              (c) A decision of the ACBL Disciplinary Committee per CDR

                  7.3.

        7.2.2 The original hearing committee may file an appeal of the

              decision of the District Appellate Committee.

        7.2.3 The Appeals and Charges Committee shall hear and decide

              appeals expeditiously.

        7.2.4 Decisions of the Appeals and Charges Committee shall be in

              writing and shall be final.  All decisions shall be reported

              to the ACBL Board of Directors and, thereafter, to all

              parties.

        7.2.5 All disciplinary cases where a suspension of one (1) year or

              longer or expulsion is imposed shall be automatically

              reviewed by the ACBL Appeals and Charges Committee. On such

              automatic review, the Appeals and Charges Committee may

              increase or reduce discipline as well as affirm, reverse or

              modify the disciplinary determination or remand for further

              proceedings.

      7.3 Appeals to the ACBL Disciplinary Committee:

        7.3.1 A disciplined person, a complainant or ACBL Management may

              file an appeal with the Chairman of the ACBL Disciplinary

              Committee from a decision of an NABC tournament disciplinary

              Committee.

        7.3.2 A written notice of appeal must be given to the Appeals and

              Charges Committee within thirty (30) days following the

              notice of the ruling.  In order to be considered by the

              Appeals and Charges Committee, a written statement must

              accompany the appeal which shall provide at least reasonable

              grounds that one (1) of the following exists:

              (a) Insufficient evidence to support the verdict.

              (b) Procedures inconsistent with the CDR.

              (c) Discipline inappropriate.

              (d) One (1) or more person(s)on the hearing panel having a

                  bias which effected the decisions of the panel, when

                  objection to such bias was raised at the hearing.

        7.3.3 The District shall hear and decide appeals expeditiously.


 

 

                                                        CDR.041 (PAGE 17)  

                                                        _________________  

        7.3.4 The decision of the District shall be in writing

      7.4 Appeals will generally be considered on the record made in prior

          hearings unless in the opinion of the reviewing body the record

          is insufficient.  A person's past disciplinary record, should

          one exist, may not be considered in review of the merits of

          decision being appealed, but may be considered as to the

          severity of the sentence under review.

      7.5 The disciplinary body is a party to any appeal taken from its

          action. The appellate body may permit persons other than the

          parties to the appeal to participate in the appeal.  During the

          deliberations of the appellate body no additional persons other

          than League Counsel may be present.

      7.6 An appellate body may: (i) affirm or reverse the decision; (ii)

          modify, reduce or increase the discipline being appealed; and

          (iii) remand the matter to any committee which previously heard

          the matter.

      7.7 A person bringing an appeal under this CDR 7 shall be entitled

          to:

        7.7.1 Receive written notice of date, time and place of the appeals

              hearing.

        7.7.2 Be represented.

        7.7.3 Make statements on his or her behalf.

        7.7.4 Be present during the entire hearing, except during

              procedural determinations and deliberation on verdicts and

              sentencing.

        7.7.5 Question persons testifying through the Chair, at the Chair's

              discretion.

      7.8 In matters coming before the Appeals and Charges Committee,

          League Counsel shall be present at all times to advise the

          Committee as to procedural matters and matters of law.  The

          League Counsel shall be impartial and, in no case, shall the

          League Counsel act as an advocate for the ACBL or anyone

          appearing before the committee.

 

     8. Stays of Execution of Discipline Pending an Appeal

      8.1 The mere filing of a notice of appeal does not stay execution of

          a discipline.

      8.2 A stay pending an appeal may be granted only on written request

          which will include the reasons for the request. Once granted,

          neither the appeal nor the request for the stay may be

          withdrawn. The foregoing does not affect the power of the

          grantor to modify or vacate the stay.

      8.3 A stay may be granted only if the appellant makes a showing that

          a reasonable likelihood exists that the verdict will be reversed

          or that the discipline will be reduced.

      8.4 A stay of execution pending the disposition of an appeal may be

          granted by:

        8.4.1 The Chairman of the District Appellate Committee.

        8.4.2 The Chairman of the Appeals and Charges Committee.

        8.4.3 The Chairman of the ACBL Disciplinary Committee.


 

 

                                                        CDR.041 (PAGE 18)  

                                                        _________________  

     9. Disciplines Involving Units or Districts

      9.1 When it is alleged that a Unit has violated ACBL, District, or

          its own bylaws or regulations, has acted in an illegal or

          improper manner, or has improperly failed to act upon a

          complaint, a member, or group of members, or Unit or District

          may bring the matter directly to the District Disciplinary

          Committee to request a hearing. The District Disciplinary

          Committee may decide not to conduct a hearing if it finds that:

          the case does not warrant any action; or the matter was dealt

          with in a reasonable manner at the Unit level; or the matter

          lacks significance to warrant a hearing.

      9.2 When it is alleged that a District has violated ACBL or its own

          bylaws or regulations, or has acted in an illegal or improper

          manner, or has improperly failed to act upon a complaint, a

          Unit, a member, or group of members may bring the matter

          directly to the ACBL Board of Directors' Appeals and Charges

          Committee to request a hearing.  The Appeals and Charges

          Committee may decide not to conduct a hearing if it finds that:

          the case does not warrant any action; or the matter was dealt

          with in a reasonable manner at the District level; or the matter

          lacks significance to warrant a hearing.

     9.3 When it is alleged that the Board of Directors, ACBL Management

         or staff has violated ACBL bylaws or regulations, or has acted in

         an illegal or improper manner or has improperly failed to act

         upon a complaint, a Unit, a District, a member or group of

         members may bring the matter directly to a Special ACBL Committee

         ("Special Committee") consisting of the ACBL President, the ACBL

         Chief Executive Officer and League Counsel to request a hearing.

         The Special Committee may decide not to conduct a hearing if it

         finds that: the case does not warrant any action; the matter was

         previously dealt with in a reasonable matter; or the matter lacks

         significance to warrant a hearing.


 

 

                                                        CDR.041 (PAGE 19)  

                                                        _________________  

     APPENDIX A

     GUIDELINES FOR DISCIPLINARY PROCEEDINGS

     (Handbook for Disciplinary Committees)

     Since disciplinary hearings differ both in purpose and process from

     appeals committee hearings, this handbook, while useable as a

     stand-alone document, serves best when used as a supplement to the

     applicable parts and sections of the ACBL Handbook for Appeals

     Committees.

 

     Tournament disciplinary committees hear complaints of conduct and

     ethics (C&E) arising at that tournament.  Unit and district

     disciplinary committees usually hear initial complaints of conduct and

     ethics while district appellate committees hear appeals from C&E

     decisions of lower jurisdictional bodies.  Jurisdiction is outlined in

     the ACBL Code of Disciplinary Regulations (CDR).

 

     The purpose of these guidelines is to help the appropriate body

     provide fair hearings for all ACBL members charged with wrongdoing

     under the CDR. Disciplinary proceedings are not criminal trials and do

     not involve personal liberty or property rights. Rather, they involve

     the privilege of playing bridge at an ACBL-sanctioned event. These

     guidelines are suggested procedures, except for those in which it is

     specifically stated that they are mandatory, as required by the CDR.

 

     I. COMMITTEE COMPOSITION

     A. SELECTION

     Serving on a disciplinary committee is a most difficult (and

     important) responsibility. For most cases, committee members need not

     be expert players. However, it is important that each member of the

     committee have a reputation for integrity, honesty and unimpeachable

     ethics to avoid any claim of a prejudiced decision.  Generally, the

     chairperson should have considerable experience in disciplinary

     matters and be sensitive to the due process considerations affecting

     the disciplinary process. An odd number (usually 5) is best to avoid

     the possibility of deadlock on any single issue.

 

     B. BIAS

     Every committee member must be completely unbiased as to the

     personalities and issues involved.  Common sense should prevent most

     incorrect appointments.  No committee member should be a regular

     partner, close friend, spouse, significant other or known enemy of any

     party, or have a business or financial association.  Any committee

     member who has dealings with a party that might give even the

     appearance of impropriety should excuse him or herself from further

     service.  Committee members should conduct themselves appropriately,

     and avoid social contact with any party either before or immediately

     after the hearing.

 

     II. PERIOD OF LIMITATIONS

     A complaint concerning a single incident must be filed within 60 days

     of that incident.  A complaint concerning a pattern of actions must be

     filed within five years of the earliest action referenced in the

     complaint.  A complaint involving the conveying of information by

     unauthorized means, pursuant to Law 73.B.2 is not subject to any

     period of limitations.

 

 

                                                        CDR.041 (PAGE 20)  

                                                        _________________  

     III. THE DISCIPLINARY COMMITTEE

     A. The Committee

     Each unit and district should have a committee whose purpose is to

     hear disciplinary matters.  Where such a standing committee does not

     exist, it must be formed on a case by case basis.  All members of the

     committee should be well-respected members of the bridge-playing

     community. The committee as a whole should represent diverse.

 

     If a Disciplinary Committee member feels unable to act impartially at

     a hearing, he or she should ask to be excused.  If there is an

     appearance of possible partiality (See I.B), the committee should

     either excuse the member from the hearing or discuss the matter with

     the parties involved, to determine if they object to the presence of

     that person on the committee.  The committee as a whole is the sole

     determiner of the eligibility of committee members.

 

     B. Charger

     The person delegated to bring charges must not be the Disciplinary

     Committee Chair or other member of the disciplinary committee.

 

     C. Presenter

     An individual who makes or assists with an impartial presentation of

     evidence to a disciplinary committee.  A presenter may be the

     recorder, tournament director or other party. The presenter may act as

     an aide to the disciplinary committee to insure a fair and complete

     presentation of the evidence for the committee to consider.

 

     There are occasions when the person delegated to bring charges (or the

     committee chair) will determine that, in the interests of a full and

     fair hearing, it will be appropriate to have an impartial party help

     organize and present evidence.  In these instances, the committee

     chair should request that a presenter be selected if the person

     responsible for charging has not previously selected a presenter.

 

     Except for simple, straightforward cases, it is suggested that

     consideration be given to selection of a presenter.

 

     D. Advocate

     A person selected by the Unit, District or ACBL Management to

     represent the organization by prosecuting the complaint. An advocate

     is the representative of the complainant. As such, the advocate is not

     neutral or unbiased. The advocate is free to aggressively prosecute a

     complaint.

 

     IV. PRE-HEARING PROCEDURES (DISCIPLINARY AND APPELLATE)

     Subsequent to the scheduling of a disciplinary hearing or an appeal,

     it is mandatory that the parties involved receive timely written

     notice of the date, time and place of the hearing, are furnished with

     written charges, and are advised of their right to be represented by

     counsel (who need not be an attorney), to produce evidence on their

     behalf and to be present during the entire hearing. Suggested forms

     are available at the ACBL web page at www.acbl.org under Governance.

     The chairperson of the committee must verify that appropriate notices

     have been sent.


 

 

                                                        CDR.041 (PAGE 21)  

                                                        _________________  

     Since discussions and considerations at hearings of appeals of

     disciplinary sanctions are based primarily on the facts determined by

     the committee imposing the sanction(s), it is extremely important that

     detailed records be kept of all proceedings and testimony given at

     disciplinary hearings.

 

     While tape recording is not mandatory, it is most desirable.  The

     chairperson should attempt to provide for the best record keeping

     permitted by circumstances.  At the very least, one or more members of

     the committee should be charged with the task of keeping good written

     records.  The Chairperson should ensure that any such records are sent

     to ACBL Headquarters, along with the written report of the hearing,

     for safekeeping in the event of future need.

 

     The Disciplinary Committee may hold a pre-hearing conference to narrow

     or frame procedural questions that relate to the matter before it.  At

     this conference the committee also may direct the disclosure of

     evidence, and permit the presentation of affidavits for use at the

     hearing. In cases in which numerous witnesses and affidavits are

     involved, disciplinary committees are encouraged to require exchange

     of witness lists and disclosure of affidavits prior to the hearing.

     This disclosure or exchange does not require the party to present the

     witnesses or affidavits at the hearing. In addition, when more than

     one party is charged in the same situation, or when one party is

     charged in several situations, the proceedings may be consolidated.

 

     V. HEARING PROCEDURES

     The complainants and the people charged and/or their counsels are

     entitled to be present while all evidence is given.  Other individuals

     may remain at the hearing only at the discretion of the chairperson.

     After calling the hearing to order, the chairperson should clarify to

     all parties that the chair is in charge and that no one is to speak

     unless recognized by the chair.  After introducing all individuals

     present to each other, the chairperson then explains how the hearing

     will proceed.

 

     The chairperson should begin the hearing by reading the complaint.  At

     tournament, a tournament director who might also be a witness in the

     case, presents most cases to the committee.  At a Unit or District

     hearing, the case will usually have been referred to the committee

     after review by the President or a designee, who may be the recorder.

     In the absence of a person to officially present the case (such as the

     recorder), the chair will provide an opportunity for each side to

     present its case.  The committee should hear the evidence, first in

     support of the complaint and then on behalf of those charged, followed

     by rebuttal by either side, as necessary.  (See discussions on

     evidence in the Appeals Committee Handbook.)

 

     Next, witnesses may be questioned by the party (or counsel) who calls

     them, by the other party (or counsel), the presenter, and by the

     committee members.  At his or her discretion, the chair may sequester

     one or more witnesses; that is, allow them to attend the hearing only

     while giving testimony and caution them against discussing the case

     until the hearing is completed.


 

 

                                                        CDR.041 (PAGE 22)  

                                                        _________________  

 

     After hearing all testimony the committee considers the case in a

     closed session; these deliberations are privileged.  The standard for

     determining guilt is that the evidence must be clear and convincing

     (See VII).  A simple majority decision prevails, unless the unit or

     district bylaws specify otherwise.

 

     If the committee arrives at a decision of guilt, the next step is the

     determination of what discipline to impose.  The CDR should be

     consulted, along with the list of ACBL Sanction Guidelines (See CDR

     Appendix C). The committee should examine the previous record of the

     guilty party before determining discipline.  This information may be

     obtained by having the guilty person fill out the provided form

     listing previous disciplines and/or consulting with ACBL Headquarters

     prior to or after the determination of guilt.

 

     Before a disciplinary committee at a tournament can refer a matter to

     a higher disciplinary body for further discipline (when it feels such

     additional discipline is warranted), the referring committee must

     impose a maximum discipline permitted by a tournament disciplinary

     committee (90 days suspension or 90 days probation or both).

 

     VI. POST-HEARING PROCEDURES

     When the disciplinary body imposes sanctions, it is mandatory that

     such disciplinary body furnish the person(s) against whom the

     sanctions were imposed with written notice of the sanction, stating

     its effective date. The disciplined party or parties and the

     complainant if any are to be notified of the right to appeal the

     ruling to the District Appellate Committee (providing the name and

     address of the Chairman) if the disciplinary body is a unit, district

     or tournament disciplinary committee.  (Note: Other disciplinary

     bodies should check the CDR to properly advise the disciplined party

     or parties.)

 

     It is also mandatory that the disciplinary body send a full report of

     the hearing   (See Hearing Report Form at www.acbl.org) along with a

     copy of the letter sent to the disciplined party or parties to ACBL

     Headquarters at the same time.

 

     VII. EVIDENCE

     To find a person guilty requires a simple majority of the committee.

     Each committee member, in deciding which way to vote, uses as a

     standard that the evidence be clear and convincing.  It is not

     necessary that the evidence be beyond a reasonable doubt.  If a

     reasonable person has a firm conviction that the evidence favoring

     guilt is more likely to be true than the evidence favoring innocence,

     then that committee member should find the charged person guilty as

     this meets the standard of clear and convincing.


 

 

                                                        CDR.041 (PAGE 23)  

                                                        _________________  

     VIII. MEMBER IN GOOD STANDING

     In assessing any of the following sanctions, the committee should

     consider the definition of member in good standing which is: "an ACBL

     member shall be deemed to be in good standing when such member is not

     currently on suspension, indefinite probation or serving probation

     that resulted from a suspension, the initial term of which was in

     excess of ninety days".


 

 

                                                        CDR.041 (PAGE 24)  

                                                        _________________  

     APPENDIX B - HANDBOOK FOR APPEALS COMMITTEES

     INTRODUCTION

     APPEALS COMMITTEE COMPOSITION

        - Two Types of Committees

        - Appointment

        - Skill as a Selection Criteria

        - Geography as a Selection Criteria

        - Committee Member Bias

        - Tournament Directors Role

        - Standing Committees and Lists

        - Size

     PROCEDURES

        - Introductions

        - Disabilities and Interpreters

        - Control

        - Documentation

        - Evidence

        - Challenges

        - Standing

        - Explaining the Burden of Proof

        - Presentations

        - Rebuttal and Closing Arguments

        - Deliberations

        - Announcing and Reporting the Decision

        - Principles of Evidence

        - Evidence That May Be Considered by a Committee

        - Burden of Proof

        - Types of Evidence

        - Credibility and Weight

        - Organization

     INDEX

 

     I. INTRODUCTION

     This handbook is created to educate our members about Appeals

     Committees. The process begins with the Tournament Director, who

     enforces the Laws of Duplicate Contract Bridge. The Tournament

     Director can adjust scores (Law 12) and give procedural penalties (Law

     90). Each player then has a right to appeal a ruling made at his or

     her table (Law 92). An Appeals Committee will usually hear that appeal

     (Law 93).

 

     The Laws of Duplicate Contract Bridge allow contestants to appeal any

     ruling made at their table by the Director (Law 92). Even if an

     Appeals Committee is available, the Chief Director still hears an

     appeal if it is based solely on Law or Regulation. Other appeals go

     directly to committee. In cases dealing solely with Law or Regulation,

     the contestant may appeal the Chief Director's ruling. However, no

     committee is permitted by law to overrule the Tournament Director on a

     point of Law or Regulation. It can only recommend that the Tournament

     Director reconsider his or her decision (Law 93).


 

 

                                                        CDR.041 (PAGE 25)  

                                                        _________________  

     The Appeals Committee deals mostly with bridge judgment and fact. If

     the Committee believes discipline is warranted, it should decide the

     bridge appeal and refer the remainder to the Tournament Director for

     charging to the appropriate disciplinary committee. This committee is

     not a court of law, but in some ways is similar. It uses principles of

     equity so no player may gain an advantage by unethical conduct or

     violation of bridge law. Committee members should hear the whole story

     and make a fair and reasonable adjudication. They should not accept a

     procedural argument that prevents either side from fully expressing

     its views. The purpose of this Handbook is to help those who serve on

     an Appeals Committee and those who appoint committee members. When a

     Committee follows these guidelines, it will hold a fair hearing and

     should reach a fair and reasonable decision. Every participant is

     entitled to a fair and impartial hearing, no matter the final

     decision.

 

     Note: The Committee Chairperson must be particularly careful in

     implementing part III. Procedures, A. Introductions below with respect

     to advising committee members and parties to the appeal to air

     concerns of possible bias.

 

     II. APPEALS COMMITTEE COMPOSITION

     A. Two Types of Committees

     The Appeals Committee deals with questions of bridge judgment and

     facts arising from bidding, play or defense. For example, its members

     might have to decide whether a particular action could be based on

     unauthorized information. Members may need to analyze a player's

     bidding system and skill level plus whatever else the committee may

     feel is relevant.

 

     The other type of committee is the Disciplinary Committee. A

     sponsoring organization appoints this committee as its disciplinary

     body. It focuses on player conduct. Members decide whether to

     discipline a player for conduct ranging from simple rudeness to

     deliberate cheating. Bridge judgment is usually a side issue during

     its hearings and deliberations.

 

     The differences between these committees are important. An Appeals

     Committee lets the actual result stand or adjusts it as permitted by

     the Laws of Duplicate Contract Bridge. Sometimes it assesses a

     procedural penalty against some or all of the parties (in IMPs,

     matchpoints, or some other non-score sanction). A Disciplinary

     Committee decides if it should discipline a player for his or her

     conduct. Its options include anything from imposing a reprimand to

     expulsion from ACBL. Regulations permit a scoring adjustment in the

     interest of equity, but this is a secondary consideration. A

     Tournament Disciplinary Committee has limited powers, as detailed in

     the Code of Disciplinary Regulations (CDR).

 

     B. Appointment

     The Unit or District Board of Directors appoints an Appeals Committee

     for its sectional or regional tournament. It may delegate this

     authority to the tournament chairperson or another specified

     individual.


 

 

                                                        CDR.041 (PAGE 26)  

                                                        _________________   

     C. Skill as a Selection Criteria

     An Appeals Committee must often make bridge judgments about other

     players of different skill levels. Consequently, every Unit or

     District should make an effort to appoint knowledgeable players to

     serve on their Appeals Committees.

 

     Selecting committee chairpersons is an important duty. A good

     chairperson can help ensure that the committee considers all of the

     evidence and conducts an impartial hearing. Players who serve on

     Committees at North American Bridge Championships are good choices for

     this role.

 

     D. Geography as a Selection Criteria

     Committee members should come from different geographical areas when

     possible. This will give the committee a broader base of experience,

     making a fair and impartial hearing more likely. No party should leave

     an Appeals Committee hearing feeling disadvantaged merely because they

     live in a different locale. All parties should believe they had a fair

     hearing with a full opportunity to express their views.

 

     E. Committee Member Bias

     Every committee member must be unbiased. Common sense should prevent

     most incorrect appointments. Of course, no committee member should be

     a regular partner, close friend, spouse, significant other or known

     enemy of any party, or have a business or financial association. Any

     committee member who has dealings with a party should reveal that fact

     immediately and excuse himself or herself from service. Committee

     members should conduct themselves appropriately, and avoid social

     contact with any party either before or immediately after the hearing.

 

     F. Tournament Director's Role

     The Tournament Director performs different functions at an Appeals

     Committee hearing. As the first witness, he or she presents a complete

     statement of the facts, issues, applicable laws and available

     sanctions.

 

     A Tournament Director is no party's adversary. As a professional

     arbiter, the Tournament Director is expected to make each ruling after

     a careful effort to discover every relevant fact and understand the

     bridge judgments involved.

 

     The Appeals Committee should support the Tournament Director as a

     neutral person. During the hearing, this means treating the Tournament

     Director with respect. It also means announcing its decision without

     reference to the Tournament Director. Avoid phrases such as "We uphold

     the director's ruling" or "We overrule the director" because these

     imply that a Tournament Director is not neutral.

 

     In the interest of efficiency the Tournament Director normally

     testifies first. He or she should give a summary of the facts and

     issues, recite the pertinent law and regulations, and describe the

     available sanctions. An Appeals Committee may not overrule a

     Tournament Director on a point of law. In such a case, the Tournament

     Director may be asked to reconsider his or her ruling.


 

 

                                                        CDR.041 (PAGE 27)  

                                                        _________________  

     The Tournament Director should inform the committee when bridge

     judgment is not relevant by showing a copy of the applicable law or

     regulation.

 

     G. Standing Committees and Lists

     Each tournament should have a list of qualified persons who agree to

     serve on Appeals Committees. The person responsible for appointing the

     committee should consult with his or her Board of Directors. The

     opinions of some of the respected players in the area may also be

     helpful.

 

     The Tournament Committee can avoid having a less-than-qualified

     Appeals Committee by enlisting available, qualified players in

     advance.

 

     H. Size

     A committee should have an odd number of members, usually three or

     five. This should prevent a committee from becoming deadlocked.

 

     III. PROCEDURES

     Bridge players are as argumentative as other high level competitors.

     We need procedures that ensure an orderly and efficient hearing.

     Committees should follow the procedures described beginning here.

 

     A. Introductions

     1. Introductions are the first order of business. The committee

        chairperson should:

         a.  Give his or her full name and home city;

         b.  State that the chair will function as the presiding officer;

         c.  Request that all questions and comments be directed to the

             chair;

         d.  Have the other committee members introduce themselves;

         e.  Have the parties, including their advocates, introduce

             themselves.

 

     2. The committee chairperson addresses the committee members as

        follows:

           "If there is any reason why you feel you should not serve on

           this committee, please recuse yourselves now."

           "If you believe you can serve and make an unbiased decision, but

           you know of conditions or circumstances that may be perceived as

           creating potential bias or perceived as such, please disclose

           those issues now."

 

     3. The committee chairperson addresses the parties to the appeal and

        the committee as follows:

           "If any member of this committee or party to the appeal has

           cause to believe that a committee member should not serve, you

           must raise the issue or issues now."

         (If there is any objection, see section III.F. below.)

 

     4. The committee chairperson introduces The Tournament Director and

        gives his or her name and role (e.g., table or floor director,

        chief director, appeals director);


 

 

                                                        CDR.041 (PAGE 28)  

                                                        _________________  

 

     5. The committee chairperson introduces any witness, stating if that

        witness is associated with any party to the appeal.

 

     B. Disabilities and Interpreters

     The committee should consider whether any person is at a disadvantage

     because he or she does not understand English. The chair should make a

     good faith effort to ensure that this person fully understands what

     others say and that everyone understands what this person says. If

     there was no opportunity to arrange for an interpreter, then in

     appropriate cases the committee should postpone the hearing to provide

     that opportunity.

 

     The committee should also undertake a good faith effort to ensure that

     any disability will not be a disadvantage. In appropriate cases the

     committee should postpone the hearing.

 

     C. Control

     The chairperson should inform those present of the following:

        They will have enough time to present their side;

        The committee will call upon each party at the appropriate time;

        There should be no interactions between the parties involved;

        All testimony is directed to the chairperson;

        For team events, the committee should not hear anything about what

        happened at the other table (NOTE: If the committee decides to award

        an artificial adjusted score pursuant to Law 12C1, they should then

        be told of the score at the other table.);

        No interruptions will be tolerated;

        When a witness is finished, opposing parties and committee members

        will have an opportunity to ask questions (always directed to the

        chair);

        Each party will have an opportunity to present rebuttal testimony,

        and make whatever final argument they feel is appropriate;

        When everyone is finished testifying, the committee will deliberate

        privately;

        The parties will be called back to the committee room to hear the

        committee's decision. Once the committee announces its decision

        there is no further argument or discussion.

 

     D. Documentation

     The chairperson may ask a member to prepare the required report or

     keep notes so that the chair can prepare the report.

 

     No other record of the hearing is kept, except as directed by the

     committee.

 

     E. Evidence

     The committee determines all rulings on the suitability of a question

     and admissibility of evidence. The chairperson speaks for the

     committee. If any member disagrees, the committee deliberates the

     issue privately and decides the point by majority vote.


 

 

                                                        CDR.041 (PAGE 29)  

                                                        _________________  

     F. Challenges

     Each committee's first duty is to ensure not only actual fairness but

     also the appearance of fairness. Mere knowledge of a party's past

     appearances before appeal or disciplinary committees is not a basis

     for disqualification. Parties should have the chance to challenge a

     committee member for cause. If a party challenges a member who will

     not withdraw, the remaining committee members may consider evidence

     pertaining to the challenge and vote on the issue. Before the

     substantive phase of the hearing begins, the sponsoring organization

     should fill any resulting vacancy to maintain an odd number of

     committee members.

 

     Standing

     After the committee resolves any and all challenges, it decides if the

     appealing party has standing to make the appeal. An individual may

     appeal a ruling only if the Tournament Director made it at his or her

     table. Both members of a partnership, and in a team game the captain,

     must concur in the appeal. If the appealing party does not have

     standing, the committee must dismiss the appeal. The hearing does not

     end, as the committee may impose a procedural penalty upon the

     appellant although the Committee should assume that the appealing

     party's standing was determined by the Tournament Director, they may

     make an independent decision on that issue.

 

     H. Explaining the Burden of Proof

     The chairperson should explain to those present that the standard of

     proof to accept one version of the facts over another version is a

     preponderance of the evidence. This means that the committee accepts

     the version more likely to be true.

 

     For example:

     If the appeal involves a mistaken bid versus mistaken explanation

     situation, the chairperson should say that this pair has a burden to

     present clear and convincing evidence. To accept as true that there

     was a mistaken bid, a majority of the committee members must possess a

     firm belief or conviction that there was a mistaken bid rather than a

     mistaken explanation. This is not so rigorous a standard as proof

     beyond a reasonable doubt, as used in criminal cases. For a fuller

     explanation, see Section IV B.

 

     I. Presentations

     The Tournament Director is first, summarizing the relevant facts and

     issues along with the pertinent law. Next, he or she presents a list

     of available rulings and sanctions and informs the Appeals Committee

     of the full range of its authority. After responding to any questions

     from committee members and parties, the Tournament Director may

     withdraw. The chairperson may and should recall the Tournament

     Director especially when more information regarding law or regulation

     is needed.


 

 

                                                        CDR.041 (PAGE 30)  

                                                        _________________  

 

     Each appellant (the contestant lodging the appeal) or their advocate

     (not both) gives his or her version of the facts plus their reasons

     why the Appeals Committee should decide matters in their favor. After

     each appellant is finished, the appellee (the opponent of the

     appellant) and any committee members may ask any pertinent questions.

     If an advocate represents the appellant, the appellant speaks only as

     a witness.

 

     Each appellee, or their advocate (not both), gives his or her version

     of the facts plus their reasons why the Appeals Committee should

     decide matters in their favor. After each appellee is finished, the

     appellant and any committee members may ask any pertinent questions.

     If an advocate represents the appellee, the appellee speaks only as a

     witness.

 

     J. Rebuttal and Closing Arguments

     Each party, starting with the appellant, has a chance to address what

     the opposing parties said. Rebuttal is not the time to say something a

     party forgot to say at his or her first opportunity. After rebuttal is

     finished, each party may make a final argument why the committee

     should support his or her position. Following this, the chairperson

     should emphasize that once the committee announces a decision there

     can be no further testimony or argument.

 

     K. Deliberations

     After final arguments are finished, the committee deliberates

     privately. All other persons must remain out of earshot. It keeps no

     record of its deliberations. If the committee discovers facts not

     known by the Tournament Director or believes he or she applied the

     wrong law, it should recall the Tournament Director. After discussion

     with him or her, the Appeals Committee decides the matter by majority

     vote.

 

     The Laws of Duplicate Contract Bridge (specifically Law 84E) state

     that if an irregularity has occurred for which no penalty is provided

     by law, the Tournament Director awards an adjusted score if there is

     even a reasonable possibility that the non-offending side was damaged.

     An Appeals Committee is subject to the same Laws. In gray areas both a

     Tournament Director and an Appeals Committee should rule for the

     non-offending side. Members are completely free to find facts and make

     bridge judgements that are completely at odds with the facts and

     bridge judgements found by the Tournament Director.

 

     An Appeals Committee is bound by the Tournament Director's statement

     of applicable law and regulation. If a committee finds the same facts

     as the Tournament Director and makes the same bridge judgments, then

     it must make the same ruling. A committee cannot overrule a Tournament

     Director on a point of law or regulation. A Committee may decide that

     a different Law applies and inform the Tournament Director of the

     facts that led to this conclusion. The Committee may not apply a

     different law if the Tournament Director disagrees.


 

 

                                                        CDR.041 (PAGE 31)  

                                                        _________________  

 

     When announcing a decision that is identical to the Tournament

     Director's ruling, the Appeals Committee should emphasize that it

     found the facts and applied its collective bridge judgment

     independently. It should refrain from describing that decision as

     "upholding the director's ruling." This will help preserve everyone's

     image of the Tournament Director as a neutral person, rather than as

     an advocate.

 

     A committee should recognize the Tournament Director is impartial.

     That alone may be enough to convince the committee of a particular set

     of facts. A party disagreeing with the facts as set forth by the

     Tournament Director is most likely speaking out of self-interest. An

     appellant or appellee may truly believe what he or she is saying, but

     remember each party had time to consider what they were going to say.

     This is a matter of credibility, discussed more fully in section IV.

 

     L. Announcing and Reporting the Decision

     The committee should recall all parties and the Tournament Director to

     hear its decision. The chairperson should try to ensure that both

     sides are aware of why the decision was reached. All of the parties

     are subject to a disciplinary penalty if objections to the committee's

     decision are considered disrespectful of either the process or the

     committee. The Committee delivers its report on the official ACBL form

     to the Tournament Director.

 

     IV. PRINCIPLES OF EVIDENCE

     A. Evidence That May Be Considered by a Committee

     ACBL is a membership organization whose governing body sets its own

     rules. Committees are not courts of law, so the rules of evidence

     applicable to courts of law and other legal tribunals do not apply to

     committees.

 

     Usually, a committee should permit hearsay evidence but not hearsay on

     hearsay. We may roughly define hearsay evidence as a statement made by

     another person offered for the truth of the statement. An example is

     testimony by one person that another person said he or she heard South

     bid 3 spades. This is hearsay evidence if offered for the proposition

     that South bid 3 spades. A person who testifies that he or she heard a

     rumor that another person said he or she heard South bid 3 spades

     gives hearsay on hearsay, if offered for the same proposition.

 

     While a committee should permit hearsay evidence, the weight given the

     hearsay evidence should be less than the weight given direct

     testimony. The reason is that it is not as reliable as direct

     testimony and there is no effective way to question it. This often

     means we have no way to be certain it is really true.

 

     Hearsay on hearsay testimony is so unreliable that the possibility of

     prejudice far outweighs its probative value. We are all familiar with

     the elementary school game of story telling. The teacher whispers a

     short story to the first child. The child repeats the story to the

     next child, and so on until the last child tells the story to the

     class. The end story is usually substantially different.


 

 

                                                        CDR.041 (PAGE 32)  

                                                        _________________  

 

     The committee should consider any evidence that bears on an issue

     before it. If particular testimony makes any contested fact or factual

     inference more or less likely, then that particular testimony is

     relevant and the committee should hear it. A committee should not

     allow testimony that fails this test because hearing it is a waste of

     time.

 

     What is relevant is primarily a matter of common sense and experience.

     ACBL expects committees to use their collective discretion rather than

     a rigid set of rules. The committee should be prepared to deal with

     self-serving testimony. The testimony usually is relevant and should

     be admitted, but in such cases the committee should not give it any

     significant weight. The reason is the potential bias by players having

     a direct interest in the committee deciding matters in a particular

     way.

 

     B. Burden of Proof

     As to a particular issue, the party with the Burden of Proof has the

     responsibility to prove that issue. A party satisfies the burden if he

     or she introduces evidence that, if accepted, could be a basis for

     deciding the matter in their favor. As an aside, the party still

     satisfies the burden of proof if the committee does not believe the

     evidence. In such a case the committee is simply resolving evidentiary

     or credibility issues against that party.

 

     Cases before a committee should be heard as if for the first time,

     regardless of any previous determination by the Director. A committee

     must review the evidence independently, and make its own determination

     of fact or bridge judgment. Consequently, a Tournament Director has no

     burden of proof in an Appeals Committee hearing. Remember, however,

     that, if the committee finds the same facts and bridge judgment as the

     Tournament Director, it must make the same ruling. NOTE: Committee

     should discuss the point of how much, if any, weight be given to the

     director's decision.

 

     C. Types of Evidence

     When used to prove a proposition, direct evidence means that we

     require no inference to prove the proposition. Circumstantial evidence

     requires an inference to prove the same proposition. The dealer opens

     1 diamond and second chair overcalls 2NT. Fourth chair explains the

     bid shows the "two lower unbid". This is direct evidence that the bid

     shows the two lower unbid suits. However, if fourth chair later bids

     clubs holding five hearts and only three clubs, that is circumstantial

     evidence that the bid does not show the two lower unbid suits.

 

     Neither type of evidence is necessarily more convincing. A committee

     member can discount direct evidence about an automobile going through

     the intersection while the light is green if the witness proves to

     have an uncertain memory. Committee members should evaluate all direct

     and circumstantial evidence to decide which evidence is more credible

     and entitled to more weight under the circumstances of that particular

     hearing.


 

 

                                                        CDR.041 (PAGE 33)  

                                                        _________________  

 

     Demonstrative evidence is an object or tangible item. Its probative

     value depends on its connection to the other evidence produced in the

     hearing. For example, a convention card and partnership notes are

     demonstrative evidence. Their importance and effect in a mistaken bid

     versus mistaken explanation case could depend on their completeness

     and when the players filled in the relevant sections.

 

     D. Credibility and Weight

     Credibility is the extent to which a witness is believable. A witness

     who testifies that the light was green when the automobile entered the

     intersection, but who later admits being miles away should be found

     not credible.

 

     Witnesses usually testify to the truth, as they perceive it. If two

     people testify to the opposite, such as whether a traffic light was

     green or red, one must be wrong. However, both could firmly believe

     they are correct and the other wrong. This sometimes happens when a

     witness so strongly wants a particular fact to be true that he or she

     becomes convinced of it. Committee members need not think a witness is

     lying to disbelieve him or her.

 

     Weight is the degree to which credible evidence controls the ultimate

     decision of the committee. Weight is the importance assigned to the

     particular evidence. If a witness testifies that the playing area was

     very noisy, the testimony could be very credible. However, in a

     mistaken explanation versus mistaken bid case the testimony would not

     have much weight.

 

     Sometimes evidence will be irrelevant due to legal constraints. In a

     hesitation case, the subjective opinions and judgments of the partner

     of the player who hesitated are irrelevant. The only relevant issues

     in a hesitation case are whether the hesitation demonstrably suggested

     the action taken and whether there was a logical alternative to the

     action take.

 

     A Tournament Director often bases his or her ruling on Management

     guidelines and precedents that suggest a particular ruling. The

     committee makes independent credibility decisions, and may depart from

     established Management guidelines and precedent only when there is

     overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Accordingly, the committee

     should not consider itself bound by the facts or bridge judgments

     found by the Tournament Director.


 

 

                                                        CDR.041 (PAGE 34)  

                                                        _________________  

     E. Organization

     A committee's main task is to decide the facts, apply its collective

     judgment to the effect the facts have on the matter before it, apply

     the law as stated by the Tournament Director, to the facts, and make

     its decision. Its members should work together to reach a consensus.

     No member should stubbornly hold to a position without seriously

     considering the contrary positions held by other members, or change

     his or her position solely to avoid dissension.

 

     A committee should not compromise on the facts. Only one set of facts

     can exist. Determining the effect of the facts is necessarily a

     subjective judgment. Compromise on the effect of those facts,

     therefore, is often appropriate and always possible.

 

     Committee members should avoid endless and futile deliberations. A

     vote resolves an issue, but a committee may revisit that issue if a

     member raises some new point. However, once the committee announces

     its decision, the matter is at an end.


 

 

                                                        CDR.041 (PAGE 35)  

                                                        _________________  

     APPENDIX C

     ACBL Disciplinary Sanction Guidelines

     The following range of discipline for conduct and ethics violations is

     provided as a guide to a disciplinary committee not a mandate.  This

     is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all possible infractions

     but rather to set forth examples.  The committee is free to impose on

     a guilty defendant whatever punishment it deems is appropriate from

     options described in the CDR. However, a disciplinary committee, which

     imposes a sanction which is outside the range recommended by these

     guidelines, must explain why it chose the sanction imposed.

 

     Part A of these guidelines is intended to apply to the typical case

     involving a single incident and a defendant who has no previous

     disciplinary record. If this is not the case, the committee must read

     Part B of these guidelines before deciding on an appropriate

     discipline.


 

 

                                                        CDR.041 (PAGE 36)  

                                                        _________________  

     APPENDIX C - ACBL DISCIPLINARY SANCTION GUIDELINES

     The following range of discipline for conduct and ethics violations is

     provided as a guide to a disciplinary committee not a mandate. This is

     not intended to be an exhaustive list of all possible infractions but

     rather to set forth examples. The committee is free to impose on a

     guilty defendant whatever punishment it deems is appropriate from

     options described in the CDR. However, a disciplinary committee, which

     imposes a sanction which is outside the range recommended by these

     guidelines, must explain why it chose the sanction imposed. Part A of

     these guidelines is intended to apply to the typical case involving a

     single incident and a defendant who has no previous disciplinary

     record. If this is not the case, the committee must read Part B of

     these guidelines before deciding on an appropriate discipline.

 

     PART A CONDUCT

     C1  OFFENSE: Poor personal hygiene or dress (CDR 3.7)

         RECOMMENDED DISCIPLINE: Reprimand to 30 days Probation

 

     C2  OFFENSE: Rudeness in conversation, gesture, or general behavior

         (CDR 3.7)

         RECOMMENDED DISCIPLINE: Reprimand to 30 days Probation

 

     C3  OFFENSE: Publicly belittle partner or opponent on bid or play

         (CDR 3.7)

         RECOMMENDED DISCIPLINE: Reprimand to 30 days Probation

 

     C4  OFFENSE: Influence or attempt to influence an entrant to withdraw

         from an event to improve one's likelihood of winning more

         masterpoints (CDR 3.12)

         RECOMMENDED DISCIPLINE: Reprimand to 90 days Probation

 

     C5  OFFENSE: Harass a tournament director or tournament official

         (CDR 3.11)

         RECOMMENDED DISCIPLINE: Reprimand to 90 days Probation to 30 days

         Suspension

 

     C6  OFFENSE: Deliberately fail to follow instructions given by a

         tournament director or official including leaving a session

         without permission of the tournament director or game director

         (CDR 3.1 & 3.2)

         RECOMMENDED DISCIPLINE: 90 days Probation to 30 days Suspension

 

     C7  OFFENSE: Fail to report a known incorrect score (CDR 3.2)

         RECOMMENDED DISCIPLINE: 90 days Probation to 30 days Suspension

 

     C8  OFFENSE: Publicly made obscene comments (CDR 3.7)

         RECOMMENDED DISCIPLINE: Reprimand to 120 days Probation

 

     C9  OFFENSE: Intimidate or harass another player or ACBL official

         (CDR 3.11)

         RECOMMENDED DISCIPLINE: 90 days Probation to 30 days Suspension


 

 

                                                        CDR.041 (PAGE 37)  

                                                        _________________  

 

     C10 OFFENSE: Publicly accuse another player of unethical behavior

         (CDR 3.4)

         RECOMMENDED DISCIPLINE: 90 days Probation to 180 days Suspension

 

     C11 OFFENSE: Threat of abusive or violent contact with another person

         (CDR 3.7)

         RECOMMENDED DISCIPLINE: 90 days Probation to 180 days Suspension

 

     C12 OFFENSE: Abusive or violent contact with another person (CDR 3.7)

         RECOMMENDED DISCIPLINE: 90 days Suspension to 1 year Suspension

 

     C13 OFFENSE: Knowingly submit false information or deliberately

         distort facts to an ACBL official or committee (CDR 3.13)

         RECOMMENDED DISCIPLINE: 90 days Probation to 1 year Suspension

 

     C14 OFFENSE: Failure of Complainant to appear at hearing (CDR 3.14)

         RECOMMENDED DISCIPLINE: 30 days Suspension

 

     C15 OFFENSE: Appeal a decision from a disciplinary body with no

         reasonable basis (CDR 3.15)

         RECOMMENDED DISCIPLINE: Reprimand to 90 days Probation to 90 days

         Suspension

 

     C16 OFFENSE: Initiate disciplinary action against another player with

         no reasonable basis (CDR 3.15)

         RECOMMENDED DISCIPLINE: 30 days Suspension to 90 days Suspension

 

     C17 OFFENSE: Initiate and maintain legal action against the ACBL

         (including a District or Unit) without first exhausting

         administrative remedies (CDR 3.10)

         RECOMMENDED DISCIPLINE: 1 year Suspension

 

     C18 OFFENSE: Misappropriate ACBL, Unit or District Funds (CDR 3.9)

         RECOMMENDED DISCIPLINE: Indefinite Suspension pending return of

         funds

 

     ETHICS

     E1  OFFENSE Deliberately ask for or give information about a board in

         play after both parties played it (CDR 3.2)

         RECOMMENDED DISCIPLINE: Reprimand

 

     E2  OFFENSE Deliberately ask for or give information about a board in

         play prior to one or both parties playing the board (CDR 3.2)

         RECOMMENDED DISCIPLINE:30 days Suspension to 1 year Suspension*

 

     E3  OFFENSE Unsportsmanlike and frivolous psyching (CDR 3.2)

         RECOMMENDED DISCIPLINE: Reprimand to 30 days Suspension*

 

     E4  OFFENSE Play a convention, system, or treatment knowing it is

         illegal; Purposefully fail to disclose partnership agreements with

         intent to deceive (CDR 3.2)

         RECOMMENDED DISCIPLINE: Reprimand to 30 days Suspension*


 

 

                                                        CDR.041 (PAGE 38)  

                                                        _________________  

 

     E5  OFFENSE: Bid or play with the specific intent to achieve a poor

         result on that hand (CDR 3.2)

         RECOMMENDED DISCIPLINE:90 days Probation to 90 days Suspension*

 

     E6  OFFENSE: Intentionally change a score or any information that

         could result in awarding incorrect masterpoints (CDR 3.1)

         RECOMMENDED DISCIPLINE:180 days Suspension to 1 year Suspension*

 

     E7  OFFENSE: Accidentally gain access to information and then act on

         it (CDR 3.1 & 3.2)

         RECOMMENDED DISCIPLINE:90 days Probation to 180 days Suspension*

 

     E8  OFFENSE: Hesitate with an intent to deceive; use intonations and

         mannerisms that may deceive opponents or help partner

         (CDR 3.1 & 3.2)

         RECOMMENDED DISCIPLINE:1 year Probation to 180 days Suspension*

 

     E9  OFFENSE: Deliberately try to see from where an opponent plays his

         cards (CDR 3.1 & 3.2)

         RECOMMENDED DISCIPLINE:90 days Probation to 90 days Suspension*

 

     E10 OFFENSE: Actively and deliberately try to see an opponents' cards

         (CDR 3.1 & 3.2)

         RECOMMENDED DISCIPLINE:90 days Suspension to 1 year Suspension*

 

     E11 OFFENSE: Actively seek advance information about a board in play

         RECOMMENDED DISCIPLINE: 2-year Suspension to Expulsion*

 

     E12 OFFENSE: Prearrange a deal or part thereof including one card

         (CDR 3.1 & 3.2)

         RECOMMENDED DISCIPLINE: 2-year Suspension to Expulsion*

 

     E13 OFFENSE: Intentionally gain access to hand records

         (CDR 3.1 & 3.2)

         RECOMMENDED DISCIPLINE: 2-year Suspension to Expulsion*

 

     E14 OFFENSE: Prearranged partnership collusion by means of signaling

         to exchange information (CDR 3.1 & 3.2)

         RECOMMENDED DISCIPLINE: Expulsion*

 

     *If a committee imposes a suspension, then it should also disqualify

     the pair or team from the event. This will mean the pair or team will

     lose its place in the event, any masterpoints earned in the event and

     any other benefits it may have earned from playing in the event.

     Should this disqualification take place after the correction period

     for the event has expired, other pairs and teams do not move up - the

     place formerly held by the disqualified contestant (pair or team)

     remains vacant.

 


 

 

                                                        CDR.041 (PAGE 39)  

                                                        _________________  

     PART B

     There are three major reasons why the suggested guidelines in Part A

     might not be appropriate. First, the single violation might be either

     so slight or severe as to make the suggested sanction inappropriate.

     Second, the defendant might be convicted for several violations (such

     as a pattern of behavior). Third, the defendant might have a previous

     record.

 

     1. When the defendant's single violation is either extremely slight

        or severe, the committee should apply its sound, unemotional

        judgment. For example, either the experience or mental intentions

        of the defendant might be a consideration. Please explain on the

        Hearing Report Form why the violation was considered atypical.

 

     2. When the defendant is convicted of several violations, such as a

        pattern of behavior, the committee should impose a sanction as if

        each violation was a separate offense. The Committee should note

        the separate violations and/or explain the pattern.

 

     3. When the defendant has a prior record, the nature of the previous

        offense is not particularly important. The number of prior

        convictions is important. The reason is that the defendant was

        already sanctioned for the specific prior violation(s). The

        committee should pay close attention to how the prior

        conviction(s) reflects on the defendant's ability to behave

        according to ACBL standards and explain on the Hearing Report Form

        the reasons for its decision.

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