Alpha Chapter Brothers Court Policy

Spring 2018

Brothers Court shall be used for any policy infractions that a Brother feels is severe enough to necessitate the effort put into calling together a Brothers Court, including but not limited to conduct unbecoming of a Brother, as defined in section 1.6. of this policy. Brothers Court proceedings are the express concern of the parties involved and should not be discussed with any non-Brother, with exceptions listed in section 1.7. of this policy.

  1. Definitions
    1. The Brothers Court Chair shall be an objective facilitator of Brothers Court proceedings. The Brothers Court Chair shall not be a member of the Brothers Court.
    2. The Brothers Court shall consist of members of the Rules Committee, including the Rules Committee Chair, with exceptions in the cases defined in 4.1.
    3. The Prosecution shall be the Brother(s) bringing charges and the Brother(s) serving as counsel.
    4. The Defense shall be the Brother(s) charged and the Brother(s) serving as counsel.
    5. The Court Reporter shall be a Brother who keeps accurate recordings of all Brothers Court proceedings. The Court Reporter shall not be the Brothers Court Chair, a member of the Brothers Court, Prosecution, nor Defense.
    6. “Behavior unbecoming of a Brother” refers to any of the following behaviors:
      1. Violation of the National Fraternal Life and Conduct Policy and Guidelines.
      2. Violation of other National Policies or Chapter Policies.
      3. Violation of NC State University Policy or state Law(s) or Federal law(s).
      4. Any other behavior that puts the physical, mental, or emotional health of Brothers at risk.
    7. Brothers Court proceedings are the concern of the parties involved and should not be discussed with any Non-Brother with the following exceptions:
      1. Law enforcement officials.
      2. University Mandated Reporters (professors, counselors, RAs, etc).
      3. Medical Professionals (therapists, doctors).
      4. Necessary Government Officials (lawyers, etc.).
      5. Any other friend, relative, or partner an involved party of the trial feels comfortable disclosing information to.
        1. Involved party refers to a member of the prosecution or defense and does not refer to the Brother’s Court Chair, witnesses, members of the jury, or any non-involved Brother(s).
        2. With the exception of the Chapter President, who must report any and all charges to the Faculty Advisor(s).
  2. Bringing Charges
    1. Any Brother or group of Brothers has the right to bring charges against any other Brother or group of Brothers.
    2. The Brother(s) bringing charges shall present the following to the Executive Committee:
      1. Formally written charges signed by the petitioning Brother(s);
        1. Charges may be submitted in person or through email
      2. Evidence in support of the charges.
        1. Evidence can include statements, recordings, text messages, or any other pertinent materials.
        2. Level of detail up to the discretion of the petitioning Brother.
    3. The Executive Committee shall review the charges individually to determine whether each charge falls within the jurisdiction of the Brothers Court of Alpha Chapter. The Executive Committee may call any Brother, if necessary, to assist in the determination.
      1. The jurisdiction of the Brothers Court of Alpha Chapter shall be as follows:
        1. Violations of Mu Beta Psi National Fraternal Life and Conduct Policy and Guidelines.
        2. Violations of other Mu Beta Psi Policies, such as National Constitution, By-Laws, etc.
        3. Violations of an NC State University Policy, state Law, or Federal Law that a Brother wishes to see fraternal consequences for, whether or not they are also seeking legal or student conduct charges.
        4. Violations of any of the above committed by a non-Alpha Chapter Brother that impacts Alpha Chapter or individual Alpha Chapter Brother(s).
      2. Each charge which does not fall within the jurisdiction of the Brothers Court of Alpha Chapter shall be dismissed and referred to the proper forum.
      3. For those charges which fall within the jurisdiction of the Brothers Court of Alpha Chapter, the Executive Committee shall:
        1. Establish a date by which the Brothers Court hearing shall commence.
        2. Notify the Brothers Court Chair that charges have been brought.
        3. Contact the accused within forty-eight (48) hours, either to deliver charges or to schedule a meeting whereby charges will be delivered.
          1. At minimum one (1) Brother and at maximum two (2) Brothers may be appointed to deliver charges in person.
          2. Notify the Brothers Court Chair that charges have been delivered.
      4. If charges are brought against the Brothers Court Chair, if charges are brought by the Brothers Court Chair, or if the Brothers Court Chair cannot faithfully fulfill their duties in an unbiased manner, then the Chair of the Rules Committee shall assume the duties of the Brothers Court Chair for that trial.
        1. The determination of the Brothers Court Chair’s inability to faithfully and unbiasedly chair the court may be decided by either two-thirds (2/3) of the Executive Committee or by the Brothers Court Chair.
      5. If charges are brought against a member of the Executive Committee, that member:
        1. May not have access to the materials given to the Executive Committee by the Prosecution.
        2. May not attend the Executive Committee’s deliberation or voting on the case or be present for any portion of a committee meeting in which the Executive Committee discusses the case.
        3. If charges are being brought against the President, the Prosecution will submit their charges to the Vice President, who will lead the deliberations.
        4. If charges are being brought by the President, they will submit their charges to the Vice President, who will lead the deliberations.
      6. If a Brother has been found guilty of a crime in a court of law and receives a prison sentence, any Brother may petition the Executive Committee to remove that Brother’s Letters.
        1. The petitioning Brother must provide the following information:
          1. Crime(s) committed by the charged Brother.
          2. Proof of the sentence in a court of law.
          3. This information may be given in any reputable form such as news article, press release, police/court statement, etc.
        2. The Executive Committee will review the given information and determine if the petition is valid.
          1. If the petition is valid, the President will hold a vote at the next scheduled General Meeting.
          2. Every Active, Special Active, Alumni Active, and Affiliate Brother present must vote.
          3. The vote must pass with four-fifths (⅘) in favor of taking Letters.
        3. This course of action may only be taken if the Brother in question has been imprisoned and would be otherwise unable to defend themselves in a Brothers Court Case. If the Brother is on probation or is otherwise able to either defend themselves, or openly communicate with a defense counsel, they must be taken to Brothers Court.
  3. Charges Meeting
    1. The Brothers Court Chair shall contact the Prosecution and Defense within forty-eight (48) hours of delivery of charges to schedule the Charges Meeting.
    2. The Prosecution and Defense must choose counsel and prepare a list of witnesses prior to the Charges Meeting.
      1. Each witness must be notified of expected testimony before the date of the Charges Meeting.
    3. The Charges Meeting is closed; attendance is restricted to the Brothers Court Chair, the Prosecution, and the Defense. Counsel from both sides must be present.
    4. The Brothers Court Chair shall read the charges. The Defense must state “guilty” or “not guilty” for each charge.
      1. All “guilty” pleas will remain throughout the trial, however, the Defense may change a “not guilty” plea to a “guilty” plea between the Charges Meeting and the Trial.
  4. Seating of the Court
    1. The Brothers Court shall consist of the members of the Rules Committee, including the Rules Committee Chair, and not including the Brothers Court Chair, with exceptions in the following circumstances:
      1. The Brothers Court Chair is ineligible to serve on the Brothers Court.
      2. Any Brother who is part of the Prosecution or Defense is ineligible to serve on the Brothers Court for the duration of the Hearing.
      3. Any Brother acting as a witness for either the Prosecution or Defense is ineligible to serve on the Brothers Court for the duration of the Hearing.
      4. Any Brother serving on the Brothers Court who is found to be intolerably biased by the Prosecution or the Defense may be removed from the Brothers Court for the duration of the Hearing with the approval of the Brothers Court Chair.
        1. The Prosecution or Defense may request certain members removal from the court during the Seating of the Court meeting with the approval of the Brothers Court Chair.
      5. Any Brother who finds themselves to be intolerably biased may remove themselves from the Brothers Court for the duration of the Hearing with the approval of the Brothers Court Chair.
    2. Since substitutions are always needed for the Brothers Court, the Brothers Court Chair shall contact the Prosecution and the Defense to schedule the Seating of the Court.
    3. The Brothers Court Chair shall solicit names for the substitutions to the Court, with a minimum of three Brothers for every substitution necessary, adding up to a total maximum of 15 possible substitutions.
      1. A substitution may be from the Active and Inactive Brotherhood, given that the designated Brother is in good standing with their Chapter.
      2. Depending on the case the Brothers Court Chair may elect to include only Brothers from Alpha Chapter or to extend the pool to include Brothers from any Chapter as necessary or appropriate.
    4. The Brothers Court Chair shall publish a list of candidates to the Prosecution and Defense forty-eight (48) hours prior to the Seating.
    5. The Seating of the Court is closed; attendance is restricted to the Brothers Court Chair, the Prosecution, and the Defense. Counsel from both sides must be present.
    6. Procedure for making substitutions to the Brothers Court is as follows:
      1. The Brothers Court Chair shall randomly select three (3) names from the pool of candidates for each substitution.
      2. The Prosecution and Defense shall each eliminate one (1) name by written ballot.
        1. If the Prosecution and Defense eliminate different names, the remaining candidate is seated on the Court and the eliminated names return to the pool.
        2. If the Prosecution and defense eliminate the same name, that name is removed from the selection process, and the remaining names are returned to the pool.
        3. The Prosecution or the Defense may vote to contest the selection. All names are returned to the pool without question.
      3. This process continues until the Court is filled.
        1. The court is filled when there are five (5) Brothers seated on the court unless otherwise stated by National Policy.
  5. Instatement
    1. The Brothers Court Chair shall:
      1. Choose the Court Reporter;
      2. Notify the members of the Court of their selection;
        1. At the same time the Brother’s Court chair should send all applicable policies, both fraternal and university, and laws that are relevant to the case.
      3. Instate each member of the Court with the Court Reporter as witness.
      4. Report to higher authorities if there is a worry of harm.
    2. The Instatement shall include:
      1. Verbal agreement to the Brothers Court Oath;
      2. Signing of a written copy of the Brothers Court Oath.
    3. The Brothers Court Oath shall read: You have been chosen to serve on the Brothers Court of Alpha Chapter of Mu Beta Psi. It is the responsibility of the Court to elicit information from the Brothers involved, weigh all of the evidence presented, and make an unbiased ruling on the case based on the National Constitution, the Alpha Chapter By-Laws, and all National and Alpha Chapter Policies. You are instructed not to discuss this case with any Brother or non-Brother until deliberation begins. If at any time you feel that you cannot make an unbiased decision, or have a conflict of interest, it is your responsibility to remove yourself from the Court. Failure to follow the guidelines set forth in the Brothers Court Policy, the National Constitution, the Alpha Chapter By-Laws, and the National and Alpha Chapter Policies will result in dismissal from the Court and a fine of fifty (50) U.S. dollars to be paid to Alpha Chapter. By agreeing to serve on the Brothers Court of Alpha Chapter of Mu Beta Psi, you agree to be bound by this Oath, as well as the National Constitution of Mu Beta Psi, the Alpha Chapter By-Laws, and all National and Alpha Chapter Policies.
    4. The instatement may take place by conference call (audio only or audio/visual) provided that a signed copy of the Brothers Court Oath is sent to the Brothers Court Chair.
  6. Hearing
    1. The Brothers Court Chair shall schedule the hearing with deference to the Court, Prosecution, and Defense.
      1. The Brothers Court Chair must publish the date of the hearing no less than one (1) week prior to the hearing.
      2. The Brothers Court Chair shall contact all witnesses to notify them of the date.
    2. One (1) week prior to the hearing, the Prosecution and Defense must submit a final witness list to the Brothers Court Chair.
      1. The Prosecution and Defense must solicit written, signed testimony from witnesses who are unable to attend the hearing.
    3. The Brothers’ Court Chair shall:
      1. Remind the Court of its Oath;
      2. Read the charges.
    4. The Defense shall state “guilty” or “not guilty” for each charge.
      1. If the Defense has already plead “guilty” to a charge in the charges meeting, they cannot change their plea, however, they can change a “not guilty” plea to a “guilty” plea.
    5. Opening remarks:
      1. Prosecution;
      2. Defense.
    6. Prosecution:
      1. Call witnesses;
      2. Questioning by Prosecution;
      3. Defense cross-examination.
    7. Defense:
      1. Call witnesses;
      2. Questioning by Defense;
      3. Prosecution cross-examination.
    8. Closing statements:
      1. Prosecution;
      2. Defense.
    9. If at any time a Brother present at the hearing behaves out of order, the Brothers Court Chair shall issue a verbal warning.
      1. If out-of-order behavior continues, the Brothers Court Chair shall hold the Brother in contempt of Court.
      2. A Brother in contempt of Court shall:
        1. Be removed from the hearing;
        2. Be subject to fines as determined by the Brothers Court Chair.
  7. Deliberation
    1. The Brothers Court members, excluding alternates and the Brothers Court Chair, move into a period of deliberation.
    2. The Court shall choose a Foreman from among their number to serve as a head juror.
    3. If the Court requires clarification or additional testimony, the Foreman shall notify the Brothers Court Chair.
      1. The Foreman may request clarification from the Prosecution, Defense, or witnesses.
      2. If clarification is requested, the Brothers Court via the Foreman may ask the necessary parties any questions relevant to that Brother’s testimony or submitted evidence.
        1. The Court may not ask the Brother any personal questions that do not have to do with the case.
          1. A member of the court may not ask any involved party for their opinion on what the verdict or sentence should be.
    4. The Court decides “guilty” or “not guilty” for each charge. All members of the Court must vote; four (4) votes of “guilty” are required to convict.
    5. For each conviction, the Court shall decide sentence by consensus.
    6. The Brothers Court returns from deliberation with written verdict and sentencing.
  8. Precedence
    1. If there are 2 or more National Policies that contradict one another the policy with the most weight takes precedent. In order from highest to lowest:
      1. Federal, state, and local law.
      2. North Carolina State University Policy.
      3. Mu Beta Psi National Policies.
      4. Mu Beta Psi Alpha Chapter By-Laws and Mu Beta Psi Alpha Chapter Policies.
  9. Verdict
    1. The Brothers Court Chair shall reread charges individually.
      1. For each charge, the Foreman announces the verdict and applicable sentence.
  10. Completion of the Sentence
    1. The Brothers Court Chair shall be responsible for ensuring that the sentence is completed and shall keep written documentation of the completion.
    2. The Brothers Court Chair shall provide documentation of the Brothers Court proceedings to the National Secretary.
  11. Appeals
    1. If it is felt that the ruling or procedure of a Brother’s Court trial is considered unfair, the verdict can be submitted to the Board of Trustees to be put into consideration for an appeals case.
      1. The verdict must be submitted within ninety (90) days of the ruling.
    2. There will be no appeals at the Chapter level.
  12. Amendments
    1. This policy may be amended by a three-fourths (3/4) vote of the Active Brotherhood.
    2. If any change to this policy is affected while Brothers Court proceedings are occurring, the changed portions of the policy can only be utilized if they affect elements of the proceedings which have not yet taken place.
  • policies/chapters/alpha/brotherscourt.txt
  • Last modified: 2019-12-06 11:44
  • by Kate Wenger