How does the NPPA judiciary committee process work?
The NPPA Bylaws state that the Judiciary Committee is the body that investigates and adjudicates allegations made against members for violations of the Code of Ethics or other activities or actions detrimental to the best interests of the NPPA. This committee is comprised of the NPPA President, the Ethics Chair and the Advocacy Chair.
Only NPPA members in good standing may file a complaint with the judiciary committee. Three members must submit a written complaint, in order for the committee to open an investigation.
A complaint must be endorsed and signed by three members in good standing, with all evidence and facts attached. Signatories need not have firsthand knowledge or evidence that accusations have taken place, but find enough merit in the accusations to warrant adjudication by the judiciary committee.
Once a complaint is filed, the committee chooses to either reject the complaint as inadequate or proceed by sending a copy of the complaint to the accused member, who can then answer if the member chooses to do so. There are deadlines related to responding, but the committee can adjust the deadlines if needed. The accused can request a hearing before the committee. If the committee finds the accusations to be justified, the committee may discipline the member up to and including expulsion from the Association.
If the committee finds the complaint is not adequately supported by accompanying evidence, it may reject the complaint. If the committee finds that the complaint is supported by evidence and should proceed, a copy of the complaint will be sent to you by registered mail. You will have a chance to respond with a sworn answer within fifteen business days. If more time is needed, the committee has the power extend the deadline. You may request a personal hearing, which may be conducted remotely. If the judiciary committee finds that the allegations are justified and fully supported by the evidence, the committee may determine a form of discipline up to and including expulsion from the NPPA. The committee may also decide that a lesser form of discipline is appropriate.
The above procedure is much the same if the accused is an NPPA board member, except that if the judiciary committee determines that the allegations are adequately supported, the Committee may suspend the board member from office and recommend that the board member be removed, at which point the Board of Directors will review all evidence, both against and in support of the accused, and determine by a 2/3 vote whether or not to remove the member from the Board.
The bylaws are silent regarding publicity of judiciary committee action. The judiciary committee traditionally has publicly announced disciplinary actions and has not publicly discussed the accusations unless and until action is taken.