15 ADMINISTRATIVE, DISCIPLINE, AND GRIEVANCE PROCEEDINGS
A. This Regulation 15 constitutes the “Code of Regulations” of the US Sailing Review Board described in Bylaw 516, which shall have jurisdiction over the following matters:
- Administrative Proceedings — Proceedings based on a complaint filed by a member of the Association, or an individual or organization eligible to be a member of the Association, alleging a deficiency, seeking to compel the Association as a National Governing Body to comply with the requirements prescribed in the Sports Act and the USOC Constitution.
- Grievance Proceedings — Proceedings based on a grievance filed by a member of the Association alleging the denial of any rights delineated under the Bylaws and Regulations of the Association.
- Disciplinary Proceedings — Proceedings arising under Racing Rule 69.2 or based on a report that the conduct of any member of the Association is alleged to have injured the good name of the Association or to be prejudicial to the welfare and reputation of the Association or complaints against an Association member alleging misconduct that is injurious to the name of the Association or prejudicial to the welfare and reputation of the Association
B. The Board, Review Board, Hearing Panel, arbitrator or mediator shall not have the authority to alter the standing of any boat in an event as determined by the Race Committee or Protest Committee for the event, or the appropriate Appeals Committee, nor have the authority to otherwise alter the decisions of Race, Protest, or Appeals Committees properly constituted under the RRS and any applicable US Sailing Prescriptions thereto.
15.02 FILING REQUIREMENTS
A. A person or organization shall deliver the complaint or report to the Executive Director of the Association, who shall promptly refer it to the Review Board. The person or organization filing the complaint or report shall have exhausted all available US Sailing remedies prior to filing unless it can be shown that those remedies would have resulted in unnecessary delay.
B. A complaint filed under Section 15.01.A.1 of this regulation shall:
- be filed within sixty days of the occurrence of the alleged deficiency or within 15 days of exhausting all remedies, whichever is later,
- describe efforts made to exhaust available remedies, and
- state specifically those requirements of the Sports Act or USOC Constitution in which the Association is alleged to be deficient.
C. A grievance filed under Section 15.01.A.2 of this Article shall:
- 1. be filed within sixty days of the occurrence of the incident on which such alleged grievance is based, except for good cause shown,
- consist of a written statement not longer than seven pages or 5000 words,
- identify the person or organization responsible for the alleged grievance, including contact information,
- specify the nature of the grievance, including a specific description of the rights alleged to have been denied that are conveyed under the Association Bylaws or Regulations,; and
- include a description of the relief sought.
D. A complaint or report filed under Section 15.01.A.3 of this regulation, or a report received under Racing Rule 69.2, shall be referred directly to the Review Board.
E. The Review Board shall promptly investigate any complaint, grievance, or report of misconduct. Within sixty (60) days of its receipt of the filing and supporting documentation, the Review Board shall determine whether the filing complies with the requirements for filing under these regulations and whether reasonable grounds exist to proceed with the complaint, grievance, or report of misconduct. Reasonable grounds to proceed shall be found to exist unless:
i. the person or organization filing the complaint or report has not exhausted all remedies as prescribed in Section 15.02.A;
ii. the filing is frivolous on its face;
iii. the filing should more properly be addressed by a different organization or governing body; or
iv. that prior proceedings regarding the complaint, grievance, or report of misconduct have adequately addressed the matter.
After making its determination, the Review Board shall promptly render a written decision indicating whether or not the filing complies with these regulations and whether or not reasonable grounds exist to proceed. If the Review Board determines that the filing complies with these regulations and that there are reasonable grounds to proceed then it shall:
a) arrange for mediation in accordance with Section 15.03B, or
b) conduct a hearing as prescribed in Section 15.03.
F. When the Review Board decides to proceed with a hearing involving a Disciplinary Proceeding (Section 15.01.C), it shall, within 15 days, deliver a Statement of Charges specifically describing the alleged misconduct to the party or parties involved,
G. The provisions of Section 15.02 notwithstanding, the Board at its discretion may, within the Association’s jurisdiction, impose a penalty levied under Racing Rule 69 by another National Authority, and shall do so in circumstances required by Racing Rule 69.
15.03 HEARING PROCEDURE AND DECISION
A. When the Review Board decides to conduct a hearing, it shall appoint a Hearing Panel of at least three persons. The chair of the Hearing Panel and at least one additional member shall be members of the Review Board. The Board may appoint one or more persons to act as representatives of the Association during the hearing.
B. For complaints or grievances filed in accordance with 15.02.B or 15.02.C, the Review Board shall, after consultation with the parties, initially appoint a mediator. The mediator shall not be a member of the hearing panel. The Association and the Parties shall use their best efforts to resolve the dispute through mediation. If mediation is unsuccessful, or does not resolve the matter within 60 days of the appointment of the mediator, the Review Board shall conduct a hearing as prescribed herein. The Review Board may extend this time if further mediation may resolve the matter.
C. The hearing shall be held as soon a possible. The Hearing Panel shall promptly set a place, date, and time for a hearing that is reasonably convenient for all parties. For Disciplinary Proceedings described in Section 15.01.A.3, the hearing shall be held no later than thirty days from the date the party receives the Statement of Charges. The hearing time limit may be extended by the Hearing Panel with the approval of the Review Board, in its judgment.
D. Each party may be represented by counsel or by any other authorized representative at their expense.
E. At the discretion of the Review Board, the hearing may be conducted by video conference or telephone conference call.
F. During the hearing, all parties shall be entitled to call witnesses, question all witnesses, produce evidence, and submit memoranda supporting their positions. Witnesses may be required to give their testimony under oath as determined by the Hearing Panel.
G. No later than thirty days after the conclusion of the hearing, the Hearing Panel shall render a decision in writing. The decision shall include the facts determined by the panel, the grounds and reasoning for the decision, and any directives or penalties imposed. Facts found by the Hearing Panel shall be final and not subject to any reconsideration, review, or appeal.
H. The decision of the Hearing Panel shall be binding on all parties unless appealed to the full Review Board in accordance with Section 15.04 of this regulation.
A. A party to a hearing may appeal the Hearing Panel’s decision or its procedures, but not the facts found, to the full Review Board.
B. A person or organization filing a complaint or report may appeal the Review Board’s decision made under Section 15.02.E.1, or its procedures, to the Board.
C. No later than thirty days after the receipt of the decision, the aggrieved party shall file with the Executive Director a written appeal not longer than seven pages and 5000 words, containing the grounds for said appeal.
D. Other parties involved may file written comments on the appeal with the Executive Director no later than twenty days after delivery of the notice of appeal, with copies to the Review Board or Hearing Panel and all other parties involved.
E. For appeals filed in accordance with Section 15.04.A, a majority of the Review Board members shall take part, none of which were members of the Hearing Panel. The Review Board shall make its decision based exclusively on the written or recorded record and statements received without oral hearing. The decision shall be in writing and contain the grounds for the decision. The Review Board may affirm, amend or reverse the decision of the Hearing Panel, or remand for further proceedings.
F. For decisions on appeals filed under Section 15.04.B, the Board shall make its decision based exclusively on the original written filing and statements received. The decision shall be in writing and contain the grounds for the decision. The Board may affirm or reverse the decision of the Review Board.
G. If an appeal arises from a controversy involving the recognition of the Association as a national governing body, or involving the opportunity of any amateur athlete, coach, trainer, manager, administrator or official to participate in amateur athletic competition, as provided in the Constitution or Bylaws of the United States Olympic Committee, the aggrieved party may request arbitration in accordance with 15.04.H.
H. If arbitration is requested in accordance with 15.04.G, the appeal shall be submitted to binding arbitration conducted in accordance with the commercial rules of the American Arbitration Association. Such arbitration shall be conducted at the office of the American Arbitration Association nearest to the head office of this Association unless the parties shall otherwise agree.
15.05 TIME, NOTICES, COSTS
A. For good cause shown, the Board may shorten the time for submissions, responses, hearings, and decisions under this Article.
B. Any statement, decision, or notice herein required to be made or delivered shall be in writing and shall be delivered by hand, messenger or certified mail to the specified person or organization at the address in the records of the Association or as otherwise stated in writing by such parties. Delivery may be proved by written admission or by certified mail return receipt.
C. The Review Board may, subject to any contrary or prior agreement by the parties and in the light of all the circumstances and the outcome of the Hearing Panel or arbitration decision, order a party to pay the whole or part of reasonable expenses incurred by the Association or the other party in presenting its case, including costs incurred for legal representatives and witnesses. Any costs of an arbitration proceeding shall be borne by the party against whom the decision is rendered except as otherwise agreed by the parties or ordered by the arbitrator.
D. Any transcript of proceedings that are stenographically recorded shall be made available to each interested party upon request and payment of costs associated with providing the transcript.
15.06 DISCIPLINARY ACTION notices
All disciplinary decisions made under this Regulation 15 shall be made available on the US Sailing website.
A. For allegations of misconduct under Regulations 13.04, 13.05 or 14, the chair of the Review Board may suspend or otherwise modify the provisions of 15.02, 15.03, 15.05 and 15.06 as appropriate to the investigation.
B. The responsibility for the investigation and determination of whether a staff member, other than the ED, has committed a breach of Regulations 13.04, 13.05, or 14 when acting as an employee of US Sailing shall be the responsibility of the ED, and regulations 15.02 through 15.06 do not apply.
C. For an alleged breach of Regulations 6.05 and 14, any hearing panel shall be named by the chair of the Review Board with the approval of the ECO.
D. For an alleged breach of Regulation 14.04 by an individual holding US Sailing Certification, the chair of the Review Board may refer the matter to the relevant certification committee. If so, the committee shall conduct an investigation and prepare relevant materials. If any penalty is desired (e.g. suspension or decertification), the committee shall present their findings to the Review Board and may request a hearing.