NZCF Disputes and Discipline Procedure 2012
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1) Judicial Functions of New Zealand Cat Fancy Inc
2) Grounds for Complaints
3) Laying a Complaint
4) Complaint Lodgement Fees
5) Procedure Upon Receipt of Complaint
6) Hearing of the Complaint
7) Hearing by Disputes Committee
8) Complaints Arising Out of a Show
10) Commencement of Penalty
11) Exercise of Summary Jurisdiction by the Executive Council
12) Imposition of Penalty by Consent
13) Convictions for Cruelty or Dishonesty, etc.
14) Discipline Under Reciprocal Agreements
15) Rights of and Grounds for Appeals
16) Procedure on Appeals
17) Review Procedure
18) Disputes Regulations
a) New Zealand Cat Fancy Inc: (NZCF) may exercise judicial functions only in accordance with these Rules.
b) The Executive Council of the NZCF may act in a judicial capacity having both originating and appellate jurisdiction.
c) The Executive Council shall establish and delegate their originating judicial functions to the National Disputes Coordinator or such Disputes Committees, Complaints Officers or investigators as they deem necessary upon such terms as they think fit with such powers as are warranted to deal with complaints received.
d) The Executive Council shall establish a Judicial Subcommittee of the Executive Council to exercise its appellate functions as allowed for in these Rules. The Judicial Subcommittee shall consist of not less than two suitable members of the Executive Council chaired by an appropriate independent third party who shall not be a member of the NZCF, or any NZCF affiliated club, nor shall they be a member, officer or official of another similar organisation. The Chairman of the Judicial Subcommittee shall have a deliberative vote.
e) The Executive Council may from time to time appoint persons to act as mediators for the NZCF.
f) The names, addresses and telephone numbers of such persons so appointed shall be published in the issue of the official journal of the NZCF containing the report of the meeting at which their appointment is effected.
g) Nothing in these Rules shall prevent any affiliated club acting in a judicial capacity as provided for under its own Rules.
a) A complaint may be laid against any member or affiliated club who:
(i) Is in breach of any Rule or ByLaw or Code of Ethics of the NZCF
(ii) Is in breach of any regulation made pursuant to these Rules;
(iii) Acts in a manner which is or which may be discreditable or prejudicial, or calculated to be prejudicial to the interests of the feline world.
(iv) Does any improper act connected with, arising out of or relating to the owning, breeding, exhibition or judging of cats.
(v) Judges at or in any way officiates at an unsanctioned show.
(vi) Does any improper act connected with the administration or operation of the NZCF;
(vii) Is convicted by a court or enters into a police diversion scheme in respect of any of the offences specified in Rule 13
(viii) Acts as the nominee or agent of a banned person with the intention of avoiding any penalties imposed upon the banned person.
b) Complaints cannot be laid against persons who are not financial members of the NZCF at the time the alleged breach of the Rules occurred unless those persons have since become financial members and are financial members at the date the complaint is laid.
a) Any member of the general public, a member of the NZCF or an affiliated club may lay a complaint. Where the complainant is not a member of the NZCF, and some of the information shown below might not reasonably be known by the complainant, the requirement for the specified information may be waived. A complaint may be laid by the Executive Council Chairman on behalf of the NZCF.
b) Complaints must be in writing and set out the information shown below
i) Full names and addresses of all complainants and their membership numbers if applicable.
ii) The names and addresses of the member(s) or affiliated club complained about.
iii) The full details of behaviour complained of.
(1) Date and place of incident.
(2) Which provisions of Rule 2 are breached by this behaviour, if known.
(3) The breed, registered name and registration number of any cat involved, if known.
(4) The names and addresses of witnesses or persons making statements where applicable.
iv) Specific remedies sought, if any.
c) The complaint must be accompanied by written evidence or documents and signed statements by the complainants and witnesses sufficient to establish a prima facie breach of the NZCF Rules.
d) The complaint must be signed by
(i) the complainant or
(ii) if more than one complainant by all complainants or at least one of the complainants authorised to sign on behalf of all complainants or
(iii) if by an affiliated club by a duly authorised officer of that club
e) The complaint must be accompanied by the complaint fee, if required.
f) The complaint must be addressed to and lodged with the Executive Council Secretary.
g) With the exception of a complaint arising out of a show, a complaint must be lodged within twenty-eight days from the time when the matter of complaint arose or within twenty-eight days from the time when the matter which is the subject of the complaint was discovered. A complaint arising out of a show must be laid in accordance with Rule 8
a) The following fees shall be payable to the NZCF and shall accompany any matter lodged.
i) The lodgement of a matter other than an application to have a matter referred to a mediator - $50.00.
ii) An application for a matter to be referred to a mediator - $10.00.
iii) A complaint by the NZCF acting through the Executive Council Chairman - Nil.
iv) The lodging of an appeal or application for review -$50.00.
v) The lodgement of a complaint arising out of a show $20.00 (Inc GST).
vi) Where a complaint is made by a person who is not a member of the NZCF, the fees are not required.
a) On receipt of a complaint the Executive Council Secretary shall within 7 days contact the complainant and discuss with them the following options:
i) In house resolution
ii) Referral to the Disputes Coordinator (in cases where the complainant chooses this option, the matter is to be referred to the Disputes Coordinator within three days of the decision being communicated).
iii) Utilising the Disputes Tribunal process
iv) Before making a ruling the National Disputes Coordinator may at his discretion refer the matter to an investigator appointed by him to investigate the complaint further and report back within a reasonable time.
v) If the National Disputes Coordinator is satisfied a prima facie case for further investigation exists the National Disputes Coordinator shall:
vi) Send appropriate details of the complaint in writing to the Club or person complained of, and shall include a copy of this document for their reference.
vii) Within 28 days of the posting of a letter by the National Disputes Coordinator advising of such complaint, the Club or person complained against, may reply in writing to the complaint and should forward a note of any evidence or documents in support of the reply, to the National Disputes Coordinator.
viii) As soon as practicable after receiving the reply, or if no reply is received after the expiration of the period of 28 days provided in Clause (vii) above, the National Disputes Coordinator shall seek to mediate between the parties, or refer the matter to a mediator to act on his behalf.
ix) Parties to any dispute, whether it involves a breach of the NZCF Rules or not, may apply to have the dispute referred to a mediator for resolution by mutual agreement. Any such application must be signed by or consented to by all parties in writing.
b) The National Disputes Coordinator, or anyone acting as a mediator on his/her behalf, shall use their best endeavours to encourage the settlement of the dispute between the parties and to create an atmosphere in which the parties can view the dispute with emphasis on settlement of the dispute in an amicable manner. They should encourage the parties to make use of the provisions of civil law, such as the Disputes Tribunal service offered by the Department for Courts where such a course is seen to be in the interests of either or both parties.
c) Mediators shall report to the National Disputes Coordinator of the NZCF as to the outcome of mediation when they believe the matter is either resolved or unable to be resolved.
d) Mediators shall be entitled to all reasonable out-of-pocket expenses incurred by them in the performance of their functions pursuant to these Rules.
e) Where a complaint or matter has been referred to mediation and:
(i) The mediator reports that the matter is not resolved; or
(ii) Any apparent settlement achieved does not appear to the National Disputes Coordinator to have been effective; or
(iii) The National Disputes Coordinator determines mediation should not be continued with; or
(iv) The mediator is unable to continue for any reason to mediate.
The National Disputes Coordinator shall within 14 days:
(i) Arrange for a Disputes Committee to be formed and refer the matter to the Disputes Committee for a hearing or;
(ii) Refer the matter to the Executive Council with a rider that the matter is such that, whilst demonstrating a breach of the NZCF Rules would, if proven, not warrant a hearing by a Disputes Committee and it is more appropriate that the matter be dealt with by the Executive Council summarily or by way of written submissions only.
(iii) The National Disputes Coordinator shall dismiss the complaint if satisfied that a prima facie case for further investigation does not exist. Written reasons for the dismissal must be given to the complainant.
(iv) The National Disputes Coordinator may dismiss the complaint if the National Disputes Coordinator believes the complaint to be trivial, malicious or if in the opinion of the National Disputes Coordinator, disciplinary proceedings should not be brought for some good reason. Written reasons for the dismissal must be given to the complainant.
(v) The National Disputes Coordinator can order the return of the complaint fee if satisfied that the complaint was made in good faith not withstanding that the complaint was dismissed.
(vi) The National Disputes Coordinator may order that the complaint fee be waived upon compassionate or hardship grounds upon written application by the complainant made at the time of lodging the complaint
(vii) The National Disputes Coordinator may in exceptional circumstances upon application by the complainant rule that the complaint be heard notwithstanding that it is lodged out of time.
a) All hearings must be conducted in accordance with the rules of natural justice and any regulations laid down by the Executive Council for the conduct of hearings.
b) Either party may be represented at a hearing of a Disputes Committee by legal counsel, alternatively they may be accompanied by a lay spokesperson or engage legal counsel to assist in the preparation of any complaint or in the preparation for the hearing of it.
c) The NZCF may be represented at any hearing by the Executive Council Chairman or any other person appointed by the Executive Council and shall have the same rights as any other party.
d) The NZCF may appoint an observer to attend any hearing who may assist the conduct of the hearing in any manner deemed appropriate by the Chairman of the Disputes Committee.
e) Where any matter is to be heard by written submissions only all parties must be sent full particulars of the dispute and given at least twenty-eight days to respond. Upon receipt of the response all parties must be sent the responses received from the other parties and given a final right of reply of not less than fourteen days before the matter is finally considered.
a) Upon a matter being referred to a Disputes Committee the National Disputes Coordinator shall arrange for the matter to be heard by a Disputes Committee of not less than two suitable members of the NZCF.
b) The Disputes Committee shall be chaired by an independent third party who shall not be a member of the NZCF, or any NZCF affiliated club, nor shall they be a member, officer or official of another similar organisation. The Chairman of the Disputes Committee shall have a deliberative vote.
c) The Chairman of the Disputes Committee may at any time determine that no prima facie case exists to be answered and dismiss the matter. Written reasons for the dismissal must be given to the complainant.
d) The Disputes Committee may order the return of the complaint fee if it is satisfied that the complaint was made in good faith not withstanding that the complaint may not be upheld. The complaint fee will be returned in any case where a complaint is upheld.
e) If, on hearing a complaint under these Rules, the Disputes Committee is satisfied that the complaint is proved, or not being satisfied that the complaint is proved, is satisfied that a default or omission has been proved, it may find accordingly and impose any one or more of the penalties listed in Rule 9.
f) A written decision must be issued and sent to all parties and the Executive Council Secretary upon conclusion of the hearing or within twenty-eight days thereafter. The written decision will include:
(i) All breaches of Rules or Regulations established
(ii) All other findings and/or conclusions reached
(iii) All penalties imposed
(iv) Any recommendations to the Executive Council
(v) Any other relevant comment
(vi) Information on rights of appeal and/or review
g) If satisfied that it is fair and equitable to all parties and achieved without duress a Disputes Committee may accept a negotiated settlement of any complaint acceptable to all parties and:
(i) dismiss the complaint or
(ii) impose any penalty by consent without further hearing of the matter.
a) A complaint arising out of a show of a breach of any NZCF Rule or Regulation that occurred at that show must be lodged before or during the conduct of the show where practicable or, if not practicable, within the provisions of the NZCF Show Bylaws.
b) A complaint arising out of a show must be heard by the committee conducting the show unless it involves personnel involved with conducting the show on behalf of that affiliated club or it involves a breach of a Rule or Regulation of the NZCF that did not, or did not only, occur at the show.
a) The penalties that may be imposed under these Rules include all or any of the following:
(i) The imposition of a fine of such amount as may be fixed, payable to the NZCF or any other party.
(ii) The issue of a severe reprimand, reprimand, censure or warning.
(iii) The requirement of an apology.
(iv) The withdrawal of the members breeding prefix, or the suspension of the members prefix for as long as may be deemed to be appropriate.
(v) The suspension of any member or non-member from taking part in or having any connection with or attending any show.
(vi) The suspension of any person from taking part in the management of any show.
(vii) The suspension of any person from acting as an officer of the NZCF.
(viii) The suspension from competition of all cats owned or registered in the name of any member against whom a complaint is proved.
(ix) The disqualification from registration or competition of all or any cats and all or any of the progeny of any such cats owned by any person or owned or registered by them jointly with any other or others or owned or registered in the name of a nominee.
(x) A recommendation to the Executive Council that they add to, delete from or amend any detail on NZCF pedigree registers.
(xi) The suspension of any person from membership of the NZCF for any period or cancel the membership of any such person or affiliated club.
(xii) The removal or suspension for any period of time of any person from the NZCF Judges Panels.
(xiii) The recommendation to the Executive Council that they remove or suspend the membership or Recognition of any club.
(xiv) An order that any person pay costs to the NZCF and/or any party of an amount determined by the appropriate committee.
b) Any penalty imposed can be suspended for all or part of the term of imposition subject to the observation of such conditions as may be imposed. If the conditions of a suspended penalty are not observed then the penalty will take effect upon notice without further hearing.
c) Any person failing to pay a fine or costs after twenty-eight days have elapsed from the imposition of the fine and/or the order for costs shall automatically have their membership of the NZCF suspended until the failure is rectified.
d) If any person suspended or disqualified under these Rules shall breach their suspension or disqualification the Executive Council may increase the period of suspension and/or disqualification.
e) The Executive Council of the NZCF may from time to time remove or modify any suspension or disqualification.
f) The NZCF may publish in any official journal of the NZCF an account of any disputes proceedings so long as the provisions of the Privacy Act are adhered to.
a) Unless special circumstances require otherwise and the finding so directs all penalties imposed by Disputes Committees shall commence on the date set by the Disputes Committees.
b) Unless otherwise directed by the Executive Council the imposition of all penalties shall be suspended upon receipt of a valid appeal or application for review until such time as the appeal or review is heard.
a) The Executive Council may of its own motion or on the reference of the National Disputes Coordinator, exercise summary jurisdiction without giving notice where:
(i) There has been a breach of a Rule or Regulation which requires immediate action; or
(ii) There has been a breach of a Rule or Regulation which is of a minor nature and does not warrant a formal complaint being laid; or
(iii) A member or affiliated club has failed to:
(1) Meet the time limit for making any payment specified by any Rules or Regulation; or
(2) Meet the time limit for doing any administrative act specified by a Rule or Regulation.
b) Where the Council exercises summary jurisdiction it may:
(i) Impose a fine not in excess of the annual combined membership fee of the NZCF then in force, and/or
(ii) Suspend any membership or suspend the affiliation, association or recognition of any club until any act or omission or payment is done corrected or paid as the case may be.
c) The National Complaints Coordinator shall within twenty-eight days after a decision is made pursuant to this Rule forward notice to all members affected by the decision, such notice to state:
(i) Any Rule or Regulation breached.
(ii) The manner in which such Rule or Regulation was breached.
(iii) Any act or omission done or neglected.
(iv) Any remedial action required to be done.
(v) Any penalty imposed or costs awarded.
(vi) The duration of any suspension imposed and the manner in which it is to be lifted.
(vii) The following statement:
(1) "You have a right of review of this decision. Your application for review must be in writing and received by the Executive Council Secretary within twenty-eight days of the date of this notice."
a) Where any member of the NZCF
(i) By their own admission admits that they have breached a Rule or Regulation; or
(ii) Has been convicted of any of the offences set out in Rule 13: or
(iii) Has entered into a police diversion arrangement in respect of an offence set out in Rule 13
b) The Executive Council may upon giving twenty-eight days written notice and with the consent of the member concerned impose a penalty upon that member by consent without further process.
c) In such case the Executive Council will order that no report of the matter be published in the official journal of the NZCF unless there is good reason to do so.
a) The Executive Council may, upon twenty-eight days notice, impose a penalty on any person if it is satisfied that person has been convicted in respect of an offence involving:
(i) Cruelty of a cat or other animal;
(ii) Dishonesty in connection with:
(1) A cat;
(2) Any event licensed by the NZCF;
(3) Any club affiliated to the NZCF;
(iii) Any act or behaviour which, in the opinion of the NZCF, is discreditable or prejudicial to the interest of the feline world;
(iv) Serious fraudulent behaviour where it is appropriate that the penalty set out in Rule 9 (a) (vi) be imposed.
Where any person has been duly suspended or disqualified by the ruling of an overseas Affiliated Feline Control the Executive Council may suspend or disqualify that person for a like period in New Zealand .
a) Any party to a judicial procedure conducted by the NZCF shall have a right of appeal to the Judicial Subcommittee of the Executive Council of the NZCF.
b) The appeal must be lodged with the Executive Council Secretary within twenty-eight days of notice of the findings appealed against or twenty-eight days from the date when the appellant became aware or should have become aware of the findings appealed against whichever is the later. The appeal must be in writing, setting forth the grounds upon which the appeal is being made. An appeal must establish one of the following grounds
(i) The hearing of the complaint did not observe these Rules or rules of natural justice and the result was a miscarriage of justice prejudicial to the appellant.
(ii) New evidence has since the hearing become available that was not available at the date of the hearing and it if considered would have materially affected the outcome of the hearing.
(iii) There was a misinterpretation or misapplication of the Rules and the result was a miscarriage of justice prejudicial to the appellant.
(iv) The facts as established did not result in a breach of Rules.
c) An appeal as to penalty alone can only be made by way of an application for review.
a) Upon receipt of an appeal it shall be referred to the Judicial Subcommittee of the Executive Council who may:-
(i) Determine that no prima facie grounds for an appeal exist and dismiss the appeal.
(ii) Determine that prima facie grounds for an appeal exist and refer the matter for a hearing before the Judicial Subcommittee of the Executive Council.
b) If the matter is referred for a hearing the Judicial Subcommittee of the Executive Council may order that the hearing be conducted by way of written submissions only.
c) The hearing of any appeal shall include an automatic review of any penalty imposed.
d) Upon hearing an appeal the Judicial Subcommittee of the Executive Council can:-
(i) Dismiss the appeal and uphold the decision of the committee conducting the hearing appealed against, or
(ii) Allow the appeal and make such orders as are deemed appropriate, or
(iii) Allow the appeal and order a rehearing by:-
(1) A Disputes Committee or if already heard by a Disputes Committee, another Disputes Committee, or
(2) The Judicial Subcommittee of the Executive Council, or
(v) Amend, substitute or add to any penalty or costs imposed.
e) The decision of the Judicial Subcommittee, or the Disputes Committee in the event of a rehearing by a different Disputes Committee, shall be final and binding on all parties.
a) Applications for review may be lodged in relation to any of the following:
(i) Any decision of the National Disputes Coordinator to dismiss a complaint pursuant to Rule 5
(ii) Any decision of the Disputes Committee, or the Executive Council in exercise of their summary jurisdiction.
(iii) Any penalty imposed under these Rules.
b) An application for review must be lodged with the Executive Council Secretary within twenty-eight days of receipt of the findings subject of the application or twenty-eight days from the date when the applicant became aware or should have become aware of them whichever is the later.
c) Applications for review must be in writing and state the grounds for the application
d) Upon receipt of an application for review the application shall be referred to the Judicial Subcommittee of the Executive Council who shall either;
(i) Determine that no prima facie grounds for a review exists and dismiss the application; or
(ii) Determine that prima facie grounds for a review exist and either refer the matter to themselves for further consideration or order a hearing before the full Executive Council.
e) If the Judicial Subcommittee of the Executive Council refers the application to themselves they may conduct the review forthwith, may order that the review be conducted by way of written submissions only or may conduct a hearing of the review.
f) Upon review the Judicial Subcommittee of the Executive Council can:-
(i) Dismiss the application and uphold the decision.
(ii) Allow the application but declare that due to the nature of the action, default or omission a rehearing of the matter is not warranted.
(iii) Allow the application and order a hearing by the Executive Council. Should the Executive Council conduct the review, then during the hearing the Executive Council shall be chaired by the Chairman of the Judicial Subcommittee, who shall have a deliberative vote. The Executive Council Chairman shall remain as a member of the Executive Council whilst the hearing is in progress.
(iv) Amend, substitute or add to any penalty or costs imposed.
g) The decision of the Judicial Subcommittee, or the Executive Council in the event of a hearing by the Executive Council, shall be final and binding on all parties
a) The New Zealand Cat Fancy may promulgate regulations and/or guidelines which deal with such procedural matters as may be necessary for the administration of the provisions of these rules.