Magistrate Code

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This article is official Bravo Fleet Official Policy.








SECTION 1 – PROCESS OF ADJUDICATION

  • To begin the process of adjudication, a member must submit a formal complaint to the Magistrate. The complaint must indicate the parties to the action, must give a brief statement of the facts, and must clearly delineate that the member requires formal action from the Magistrate’s office rather than other action such as mediation. Sufficient for the last requirement are phrases such as “I present a formal complaint,” “I officially request action be taken,” or an email subject of “Formal Complaint against XXXXX.”
  • Once a complaint is submitted, the member’s rights in that complaint shall not expire until a full conclusion of the case through trial, settlement or dismissal. The Magistrate must give the complaining member notice of the finality of the case.
  • The Magistrate has its own investigatory and complaint powers. The Magistrate may proceed with its own investigation and complaint at its own discretion without the need for a member submission.
  • After receiving a complaint, the Magistrate’s office investigates the merit of the accusation and informs the Bravo Fleet Administrative Council of the commencement of an investigation.
  • The Magistrate, Chairman, or a Magistrate officer, upon receiving a formal complaint, will attempt to mediate the dispute to arrive at a settlement. Attempted mediation does not bar the member from continuing the adjudication under their complaint if mediation fails. At the end of a successful mediation, the Magistrate may ask for a withdrawal of the complaint or, if three months have passed since the end of mediation without any further inquiries by the complaining member, the Magistrate may dismiss the complaint himself.
  • If the Magistrate’s office finds merit to the claim, the case will be pursued. The Magistrate or the Investigator will prepare the slate of charges against the accused. Prior to giving his final approval, the Magistrate will present the charges to the complaining party, if applicable, and the Bravo Fleet Chairman for comments. Once a final slate of charges is approved by the Magistrate, it will be sent to the appropriate parties to the case.
  • The Magistrate’s office must issue a summary of charges to the accused, and offers the accused the opportunity to enter a plea of innocence or guilt. If they plead innocent, the Magistrate’s office initiates either Trial by Magistrate or Trial by Jury, as outlined in the following sections. If they plead guilty, the Magistrate imposes a sentence. If the member fails or refuses to enter a plea within the stipulated timeframe, the case will automatically move to a trial. A member failing or refusing to enter a plea waives his right to submit evidence on his behalf.
  • For all trials, the accused shall choose between Trial by Magistrate or Trial by Jury to weigh evidence and determine guilt or innocence.
  • For trials where the accused requests a Trial by Magistrate, the Magistrate, with the advice of the Magistrate officers, will determine the guilt or innocence of the accused.
  • The Magistrate shall impose sentences with the advice of the Magistrate officers.
  • No offense in the past will have any bearing on the guilt or innocence of a member in any subsequent case. However, the Magistrate, in determining the punishment for a guilty member, may consider the prior record of the accused to include convictions. No acquittal shall be used in the consideration of punishment for current offenses.
  • The format for the presentation of arguments during a tribunal shall be as follows: The Investigator and Defender will each make opening statements in turn, then each in turn shall be offered an opportunity for a response. Finally, each side will be allowed a closing rebuttal, to be sent to the Magistrate for simultaneous posting.
  • Following the presentation of arguments, jurors will be able to ask questions specifically directed to either the Magistrate, Investigator, or Defender and the questioned party will be required to respond. Following the answering of all questions, the case will be referred to the jury for deliberations.
  • Upon conclusion of the trial, the Magistrate shall post the results in a Magistrate’s report. This report shall contain a summary of the trial, the result, and the Magistrate’s opinion. For cases decided by Magistrate, this opinion shall contain official explanation for the Magistrate staff’s decision. For cases decided by jury, it will contain the reasons for the specific sentence and any other comments the Magistrate wishes to include.
  • If the member is acquitted of all charges, the accused member may not be retried for the offense that was acquitted, even upon the revelation of new evidence, unless the verdict was delivered through a miscarriage or defamation of the judicial process as determined by the Appeals Panel. This does not apply to admissions of guilt. Any member that admits guilt post-trial may be re-tried and sentenced per that admission.
  • The Magistrate’s office shall keep records on the members for use in cases of repeat offenses. In addition, the Magistrate is responsible for archiving and protecting all Magistrate’s office information for future reference.
  • Statute of Limitations: All complaints must be received within three months of the discovery of the underlying event or else they will be dismissed as time-barred. If the complaint is derived from a series of events, the three month time period will begin tolling from the last known event
  • The Magistrate, with approval from the Bravo Fleet Chairman, may summarily dismiss charges regardless of the stage in the proceedings. Charges that have been so dismissed are not barred from retrial through double-jeopardy.

SECTION 2 – JURIES

  • The jury consists of one member of the Bravo Fleet Administrative Council and four other random members with at least 9 months of service in the fleet. In addition, two alternates will be selected in case a juror recuses himself or is absent without leave. If the alternates are exhausted, more will be selected as needed. The Chairman shall independently verify that the jury was selected at random.
  • No member may sit on a jury deciding his own case.
  • Jury members should recuse themselves from the trial if they feel they cannot judge the action impartially
  • The burden of the jury will be to reach a majority decision on the innocence or guilt, supported by a preponderance of the evidence, of the accused on each charge presented.
  • The accused may waive his right to review by the jury, choosing deliberation by the Magistrate instead.
  • The jury will vote on the guilt or innocence of the member only. The punishment is determined by the Magistrate as based on the laws of the fleet and previous precedent. However, in cases where expulsion is a possibility, the Magistrate will convene a new jury (consisting of the same make-up of five members) to vote on whether the charges warrant expulsion. A unanimous vote will result in expulsion.
  • Jury deliberations will be closed, with only the jurors and the Magistrate allowed to contribute. However, the Magistrate may only contribute specifically on clarifications on matters of procedure or rules of the Magistrate process. Otherwise, all Magistrate contributions shall be in response to direct questions from the jurors to the Magistrate, such as requesting additional information or clarification from the Magistrate, Investigator, or Defender.
  • All juries must hold their deliberations on the fleet forum to allow for archiving.

SECTION 3 – APPEALS PANEL

  • An appeals panel will exist to examine all issues brought by appellants. The panel consists of three active members selected from amongst the fleet, each with at least 1 year of service in the fleet. The Magistrate will have a brief application and investigation period to obtain members who wish to participate and will be positive additions to the panel. After the selections are made, the three panel members will serve non-consecutive six month terms.
  • If the defendant or prosecution feels that an error has been made, he can write an appeal and present it to the Magistrate, who will in turn bring it before the appeals panel. Appeals cannot be trivial in nature, and must specifically point to the error(s) made. The appellant must find either an issue arising from Bravo Fleet documents or judicial process error.
  • If a defendant or the Defender (acting as defense counsel) finds fault with a procedural or documentary issue while the trial is on-going, they may either bring that issue to the immediate attention of the appeals panel, who will expedite a ruling on that single issue, or (if that is not possible) they may make note of the issue during the case so it will automatically be brought before the appeals panel post-decision.
  • Once an appeal is accepted, the panel will examine the case and debate the points brought by the appellant. The panel will only examine the written appeal to make its decision taking into account the deliberation logs and emails, the original case statements and any other document relating to the case. The panel must reach a unanimous decision to overturn the original court’s decision, any stalemate or lack of unanimous vote will cause the decision to stand.
  • If the panel finds in favor of the appellant, a new jury is assembled and the case is retried, being sure to instruct the new jury of the appealed issues to ensure they are not repeated. If the defendant is found guilty in the second trial, he/she does not have a right to an appeal; they are immediately put before the Magistrate for sentencing.

SECTION 4 – SPECIFIC ARTICLES OF CONDUCT AND REPRIMAND

  • These articles of conduct and reprimand do not limit the authority of the Magistrate. The term “fleet proceeding,” as used in this section refers to actions taken under the documents of the fleet, including, but not limited to, any executive action by the Chairman, any action by the Bravo Fleet Administrative Council, or any judicial action by the Magistrate’s office.
  • Discrimination: No member shall discriminate against another member in regards to promotions, medal awards, praise and acknowledgment, or positions on the basis of real-life political affiliation, gender, race, color, age, disability, creed, heritage, nationality or sexual orientation.
  • Crude Behavior: No member shall engage in crude behavior in any mode of communication. Crude behavior includes, but is not limited to: the excessive use of swear words; provocative speech; excessive sexual discussions; and unabated insults toward another’s real-life political affiliation, nationality, gender, race, color, age, disability, creed, heritage, or sexual orientation.
  • Abuse of Power: No member shall use their position, tenure or any other membership status to unfairly benefit themselves or others with rewards or promotions; or to unfairly influence any Bravo Fleet proceeding.
  • Verbal Abuse: No member shall engage in the excessive verbal abuse of another, including, but not limited to: insults regarding a member’s real-life political affiliation, gender, race, creed, heritage, nationality or sexual orientation; character assassination; or unjust use of Bravo Fleet resources to attack another through defamatory statements.
  • Disreputable Behavior: No member shall partake in any action that brings disrepute onto themselves, the fleet as a whole, or any independent fleet, ship, or individual member. Actions include those done by a member, either within or outside traditional Bravo Fleet activities and communication channels, that reflect on the above parties, such as: treason, acts to sabotage, stealing of property, or any conduct forbidden by these articles.
  • Plagiarism: No member shall submit any plagiarized work as his own or fail to give appropriate credit to the author of any work.
  • Tampering with Evidence: No member shall forge, alter or otherwise tamper with evidence to be used in any Bravo Fleet proceeding.
  • False Statements: No member shall make false statements with the intent to change the outcome of a Bravo Fleet proceeding.
  • Harassment: No member shall engage in persistent harassment or torment, or outrageous attacks on any other member. This includes statements and actions taken to attack a member’s real-life political affiliation, family or significant other, gender, race, color, age, disability, creed, heritage, nationality or sexual orientation. This article extends to cover harassment through the distribution of personal information, the creation of groups or modes of communication for the purpose of attacking the member, and unwanted contact with the member through non-internet means of communication. Harassment punished under this article must be to the extent and of the form that would injure a reasonable person of normal sensibilities; mere mocking does not suffice.
  • Hacking: No member shall access, modify or delete content of a Bravo Fleet website without authorization.
  • Mutiny and Sedition: Willful intent to override, overthrow or disrupt the effective operation of parts of Bravo Fleet, either alone or with other parties.

SECTION 5 – PENALTIES

  • Penalties may only be administered within the processes outlined in the Magistrate Code.
  • The Magistrate has the authority to issue public and private Official Letters of Reprimand.
  • The Magistrate has the authority to impose upon the members a specific period of probation. During a probationary period, the member can not receive appointment to position, or any citation or honor of merit without the explicit permission of the Magistrate.
  • The Magistrate has the authority to rescind access to any or all official Bravo Fleet communications mediums including the forums and chat.
  • The Magistrate has the authority to revoke medals and citations awarded to the member in whole or in part.
  • The Magistrate has the authority to recommend removal from any position.
  • The Magistrate has the authority to impose suspension or expulsion from the fleet.

SECTION 6 – ORDER OF ADVANCED INCARCERATION

  • The Chairman or Magistrate is entitled to special executive powers in times of crisis, when the security of the fleet is at risk, or when a member has become an immediate threat to themselves or other members. The * * Chairman or Magistrate may enact an Order of Advanced Incarceration pending the trial of the accused which allows him to suspend the accused from all positions within the fleet, deactivate the accused member’s accounts and remove access to any databases, ban the accused from all fleet forums and chat or other related communications media, or enact other forms of control not listed here to ensure the security of the fleet.
  • Because an Order of Advanced Incarceration can immediately assign assumed guilt to the member, it should be used with caution and as a last resort.
  • Upon such an order, the appeals panel must immediately convene and determine the order’s necessity. Should the panel deem such an order inappropriate by a unanimous vote, they may override the Chairman or Magistrate and nullify the order. Otherwise, the order will stand until the end of the trial or until the threat has passed as determined by the Chairman or Magistrate.
  • In cases of otherwise unavoidable, immediate grave danger; any other member of the Bravo Fleet Administrative Council may impose such measures for a non-extendable period of a maximum of 24 hours. He must immediately inform the Chairman and Magistrate of this action and will be held accountable by the Magistrate Corps for any abuse of this power.

SECTION 7 – AMENDMENT

  • The Magistrate can amend the Magistrate Code with approval by a simple majority of the Bravo Fleet Administrative Council.