Article XIII - Judicial Procedure

Section 1.      Filing Charges.

Except as hereinafter provided in this Article, any member of MAPE may file charges against any MAPE member or individual who was a MAPE member at the time of the violation(s) for one or more violations as provided in Section 2 of this Article.

Section 2.      Basis for Charges.

The following and no other shall constitute the basis for the filing of charges:

  1. Violation of any provision of MAPE’s Governing Documents or Policies or of any officially adopted and approved Governing Documents or Policies of a Local to which the member being accused is subject;
  2. Misappropriation, embezzlement, or illegal use of union funds;
  3. Acting in collusion with management to the detriment of the welfare of MAPE or its membership;
  4. Any activity which assists or is intended to assist a competing organization within the jurisdiction of MAPE;
  5. Conviction of a crime, the nature of which is such to bring MAPE as an organization into disrepute;
  6. Instituting or urging others to institute action outside MAPE against MAPE, a subordinate body, or any position holder of MAPE or of a subordinate body without first exhausting all internal remedies within MAPE, providing that the foregoing shall not apply where the action was instituted in order to prevent the loss of rights under an applicable statute of limitations and the member has diligently pursued available internal remedies;
  7. Refusal or deliberate failure to carry out legally authorized decisions of the Delegate Assembly, the Statewide President, the Board of Directors, the Executive Committee, or the Judicial Committee of which the accused is a part;
  8. Using the name MAPE or of any subordinate body in an unauthorized manner or for an unauthorized purpose;
  9. Using MAPE membership information in an unauthorized manner or for an unauthorized purpose;
  10. Deliberately interfering with any official of MAPE or of a Local or Region in the discharge of the official’s lawful duty;
  11. The solicitation or acceptance of a bribe or the acceptance of a gift of more than nominal value from any employer, group of members, employee of MAPE or from any person or firm which has or is seeking to establish a business relationship with MAPE or any subordinate body.

Section 3.      Filing Charges.

Charges against an individual shall be filed with and heard by the Judicial Committee as hereinafter provided.

Section 4.      Format of Charges.

Charges shall be in writing and shall be signed by the member or members bringing the charges. The charges shall be specific, citing in detail the nature, the date, and the circumstances of the alleged offense, and, where a violation of a Governing Document or Policy provision is alleged; the specific Section or Policy shall be cited, along with the specific act or failure to act, which constitutes the alleged violation. The charges shall be filed with the Chair of the Judicial Committee.

Section 5.      Notification of Charges.

Within 15 days following the receipt of the charges, the Chair of the Judicial Committee shall send by certified mail, return receipt requested, an exact and full copy of the charge to the accused party, together with a copy of this article of the bylaws.

Section 6.      Recording Hearing Proceedings.

The hearing body shall fix the date, time, and place for the hearing, in such manner as to afford the maximum convenience to both the accused and the accuser practical under all circumstances. The entire proceedings will be recorded. A verbatim written record of the proceedings will be available to the accused or the accuser, without cost, upon request.

Section 7.      Rights of the Accused.

The accused person shall be guaranteed the following rights:

  1. The right to receive by certified mail to the accused person’s current address of record with MAPE, return receipt requested, a full copy of the charges within 15 days after they are filed;
  2. The right to file a written answer to the charges;
  3. The right to a hearing within 120 days after having been after having been notified under provisions in Article XII, Section 7-1;
  4. The right to have a least 15 days’ advance notice of the date, time, and place of the hearing;
  5. The right to confront the accuser;
  6. The right to cross-examine the accuser and any witnesses;
  7. The right to present witnesses in the accused person’s behalf;
  8. The right to compel the production of union records pertinent to the case;
  9. The right to choose a person to act as the accused person’s counsel in the case;
  10. The right to be presumed innocent unless proven guilty;
  11. The right to refuse to testify, provided, however, that this right shall not include the right to refuse to produce at the hearing any papers, books, or financial or other records which are the property of the union and which are pertinent to the case;
  12. The right to appeal, in the manner hereinafter provided;
  13. The right to choose either an open or closed hearing.

Section 8.      Rights of the Accuser.

The person bringing the charges shall be guaranteed the following rights:

  1. The right to receive a copy of any written answer to the charge that may be filed by the accused at the time such answer is filed;
  2. The right to have the initial hearing body convened no later than 90 calendar days after the charge(s) have been filed;
  3. The right to have at least 15 days’ advance notice of the date, time, and place of the hearing;
  4. The right to give personal testimony;
  5. The right to present the testimony of others and cross-examine witnesses presented by the accused;
  6. The right to compel the production of union records pertinent to the cases;
  7. The right to choose a person to act as the charging party’s counsel in the case;
  8. The right to appeal in the manner hereinafter provided.

Section 9.      Obligations of the Accuser.

The person bringing the charges shall be under the following obligations:

  1. To file the original charge in sufficient detail as to afford the accused person full opportunity to prepare a defense;
  2. To appear in person at the hearing;
  3. To assume the burden of proof.

Section 10.    Penalties.

A hearing body may, if it finds the accused party guilty, assess any one or more of the following penalties:

  1. A formal reprimand, accompanied by a formal warning against any repetition of the act or acts of which the accused is found guilty;
  2. Full or partial restitution, where the consequences of the offense can be measured in material terms;
  3. Removal from positions in the union at the level at which the charges originate;
  4. Suspension from the right to hold any elected or appointed position at the level at which the charges originate for a period not to exceed four years;
  5. Suspension from the right to seek or hold any elected or appointed position at any level of MAPE for a period not to exceed four years;
  6. Suspension from membership for a period not to exceed four years.

MAPE or any Local or Region may not, during the period of such penalty, employ any individual who has been removed or suspended from office as provided above, in any capacity.

Section 11.    False Charges.

If the charges are not sustained, and the Judicial Committee is convinced that the charges were not brought in good faith or were actuated by malice, the Judicial Committee may impose one or more of the penalties as are listed in Article XII, Section 10 on the charging party as in its judgment is deemed proper under the circumstances. In any case, the party against whom the penalty is imposed shall have the right to appeal the imposition of the penalty in the manner provided for other appeals, and no such penalty shall take effect while an appeal of such penalty is pending.

Section 12.    Decisions of the Judicial Committee.

All decisions of the Judicial Committee against the accused must meet the standard of preponderance of evidence. A finding of guilt can only occur by an affirmative vote of a majority of the Judicial Committee. The Judicial Committee must render all decisions within 60 days following completion of the hearing, except by mutual consent of the accused and the accuser. Such decisions shall be in writing and shall be transmitted by registered mail, return receipt requested, to the person bringing the charge and to the accused simultaneously.

Section 13.    Appeal Procedure.

Either party may, within 30 days following receipt of the decision, file an appeal to the MAPE Board of Directors in the same manner as is provided for the filing of original charges with such hearing body. The appeal shall be in writing, and shall be accompanied by a copy of the original charge and of the decision being appealed. The appeal shall set forth in substance the appellant’s reasons for believing the hearing body was in error and the nature of the error.