NCAPPS By Laws and Policy Manual Amendments November 2018
Posted February 28, 2019 in Messages from the Board
Policy No. 1 MEMBERSHIP
A. The Director of Membership shall handle all matters involving the membership committee.
B. The Treasurer shall receive all applications and deposit fees in the NCAPPS checking account. This involves the scanning of the applications and forwarding to the Secretary for the formal NCAPPS roster.
C. Founding Member. A Founding Member is an individual who; is at least 21 years of age, a resident of North Carolina; a citizen of the United States; has been in the profession for at least one (1) year; has helped form the Association by attending one (1) of the two (2) meetings held for that purpose; and pays the dues as established by the Board of Directors.
D. Regular Member. Any member who is; at least 21 years of age; a resident of North Carolina; a citizen of the United States; has been in the profession for at least one (1) year; and pays the dues established by the Board of Directors.
E. Associate Member. An associate member is an individual who provides services to the process serving profession whether such person resides in-state or out-of-state; and who pays the dues established by the Board of Directors. Associate members shall have no voting rights.
Policy 2 DUES
A. Any applicant or member who because of hardship is unable to pay dues in full, may, in writing, request the Board to grant a reduction or delay in payment. The Board may take whatever action it deems appropriate in each case including waiving the entire dues and application fee.
Policy No. 3 OFFICERS & DIRECTORS
A. Responsibility to Uphold Standards of Confidentiality
Members elected to the Board of Directors as an officer and/or director are vested with professional responsibilities in addition to the enumerated in the NCAPPS’s Code of Ethics for members. The Board engages in deliberations of many matters having serious effects on the Association and individual members, and the Association can be significantly damaged by premature disclosure of confidential information. Therefore, each Board member, as well as certain committee members who the Board concludes are privy to such confidential information, must understand and uphold standards of confidentiality. Each Board member prior to taking the oath of office and each committee member designated by the Board as being prior to accepting committee membership, must agree to the following ethical standards to be contained in a confidentiality agreement, which is to be signed by the Board member and certain committee members.
A.1. Unless first authorized by the Board to do so, a Board member has no power or authority to speak for the Association.
A.1.(a) A Board member will not disclose information about the Board’s and/or Association’s activities unless those activities are already known by the membership, or have been published to the membership. This section shall also apply to any member who is not on the Board but is allowed to attend any part of an Executive Session.
A.1.(b) Notice to members of the Board’s decision should be made in writing and in a manner that allows all affected parties to be informed and before the membership is informed.
B. Consequences of Violating the Standards of Confidentiality.
B.1. Questions as to whether a Board member has violated the Standards of Confidentiality may be raised by any member of the Board during an Executive Session of any regularly scheduled Board meeting. The member alleged to have violated the Standards of Confidentiality shall be provided the opportunity to be present during the meeting. If the member declines to attend the meeting, the Board may conduct the meeting or delay the meeting at its discretion.
B.2. The Board shall, by the majority vote, determine what action, if any, should be taken to resolve the matter. The Board may vote to take no action if it is believed no violation of the Standards of Confidentiality has taken place, or if the Board believes the violation was inadvertent or of a minor nature. The Board may vote to take action including, but not limited to, an informal admonishment by the President, up to and including termination of NCAPPS membership. With the exception termination of NCAPPS membership, all such discipline shall be determined by a majority vote of the Board. No termination of NCAPPS membership under this Policy shall be effected except by a two-third majority vote of the Board.
C. Conflicts of Interest
C.1. Board members have loyalties to NCAPPS, to their individual companies and to other entities, including other State Associations. Board members must stay alert for potential or perceived conflicts between loyalties to those interests and disclose potential conflicts to the Board, and proceed with great care when dealing with situations where the conflict may arise. In such cases, the Board member should consider abstaining from voting on an issue.
C.2. The obligation of a Board member to timely report potential conflicts of interest extends beyond participation at a meeting of the Board of Directors.
D. Consequences of Not Reporting Conflicts of Interest
D.1. Questions as to whether a Board member did not promptly report a conflict of interest may be raised by any member of the Board during an Executive Session of any regularly scheduled or specially scheduled Board meeting. The member alleged to have not reported a conflict of interest shall be provided an opportunity to be present during the meeting, and to be represented by a person of the member’s choice. If the member declines to attend the meeting, the Board may conduct the meeting or delay the meeting at its discretion.
D.2. The Board shall, by the majority vote, determine what action, if any, should be taken to resolve the matter. The Board my vote to take no action if it is believed no violation of the duty to report conflicts of interest has taken place, or if the Board believes the violation was inadvertent or of a minor nature. The Board may vote to take action including, but not limited to, an informal admonishment by the President, up to and including revocation of NCAPPS membership. With the exception termination of NCAPPS membership, all such discipline by a majority vote of the Board. No revocation of NCAPPS membership under this Policy shall be effected except by a two-third majority vote of the Board.
Policy No. 4 – GRIEVANCES & ARBITRATION
A. Any member who has cause to complain that a member of NCAPPS has violated a provision of the NCAPPS By-Laws or Code of Ethics may submit their complaint to the Chairperson in the manner prescribed in this Policy Manual.
B. Complaints regarding nonpayment of bills shall also be handled pursuant to the procedures in this policy manual. Any former member in good standing at the time of membership termination who has cause to complain that a member of NCAPPS has violated a provision of the By-Laws or Code of Ethics, may submit their complaint to the Director Membership in the manner prescribed in this Policy Manual, but only as a complaint based on facts which occurred while former member was a member but not more than one year prior to the filing of the complaint.
C. Should the Director be involved in the complaint, the grievance shall be submitted to the President who will serve as, or appoint, a temporary Director for this matter only.
D. Procedure for Filing Unethical or Unprofessional Conduct Grievances:
D.1. Any member who has cause to complain that a member of NCAPPS has violated a provision of the By-Laws or Code of Ethics may submit to the Chairperson a written complaint containing the sufficient particulars of the grievance along with all the supporting documentation.
D.2. The Chairperson may appoint a neutral third party who will attempt to resolve the dispute of the parties. This third party shall maintain a written record and attach to the complaint file along with the resolution of the dispute. If the matter cannot be resolved, and the issues raised are unique in nature, the matter shall be submitted directly to the Board. Otherwise, the grievance procedure shall continue as outlined in Section H of this Policy Manual.
D.3. If complainant has filed a similar grievance with NAPPS, or another chartered state association at or near the same time, NCAPPS shall hold such grievance in abeyance until notified that NAPPS has resolved the complaint.
E. Procedure For All Grievances After Submission to the Chairperson.
E.1. The 1st Vice-President shall appoint a Chairperson and they will send a copy of the grievance to the Respondent by reliable means. The Respondent must reply in writing, together with all supporting documents to the Chairperson. The reply must be received within fourteen (14) days from the date of the Chairperson’s letter containing the complaint, or within such additional time as the Chairperson, in his/her discretion may grant for good cause shown.
E.2. The Chairperson shall send a copy of the reply to the Complainant.
E.3. The complainant may offer a rebuttal to the Chairperson. The rebuttal must be received by the Chairperson within fourteen (14) days from the date of the Chairperson’s letter containing the complaint containing the Respondent’s reply.
E.4. Should the Respondent fail to respond, the Chairperson shall submit the matter to the Board of Directors.
F.1. After all procedures have been followed as prescribed in Policy 4, the Chairperson shall submit the matter to binding arbitration before a panel of three (3) members selected by the Chairperson.
F.2. If the dispute is monetary, the Chairperson may determine the amount of any funds to be deposited by the parties with the Administrator.
F.3(a) The Chairperson shall provide each member of the panel with a copy of the pleadings.
F.3(b) The panel shall make a ruling on this written record but shall have the right in its sole discretion, to request from the parties additional materials, clarification or supplemental information.
F.3(c) The panel shall render a majority written decision on the merits of the dispute and a separate majority written decision on proposed sanctions, if any, and send the written decision(s) together with any dissents to the Chairperson.
G.1(a) Either party may appeal the decision(s) of the grievance panel by filing written notice within fourteen (14) days of the postmark date of the decision(s) of the panel, a written appeal with the Chairperson together with a statement of the reasons supporting the appeal. If the dispute is monetary, the Chairperson shall determine the amount of any funds to be deposited by the Appealing Party with the Administrator.
G.1(b) The Chairperson shall notify the President of any appeal filed.
G.1(c) If an appeal if filed, the decision(s) of the grievance panel is stayed pending resolution of the appeal.
G.1(d) If such appeal is not filed timely, the decision(s) of the panel shall be final; however, the Board at its option may accept a late appeal.
G.1(e) The Chairperson shall submit the appeal and all documentation to the Board at the regularly scheduled board meeting for a ruling, which ruling shall be deemed final and not subject to further appeal.
G.2. Upon notification of the outcome by the Chairperson, the Treasurer shall make the necessary disbursement of any funds held in escrow.
H. Retention of Complaints:
H.1. All matters submitted to the Arbitration & Grievance Committee shall remain confidential.
H.2. One a matter has been resolved or disposed of, the Chairperson shall forward the file to the Administrator for retention.
H.3. The Chairperson shall retain, for a period of three (3) years, a listing and disposition of each matter submitted to the Arbitration & Grievance Committee.
I. Consistent Pattern of Complaints:
I.1. Where a number of complaints filed against a member indicate a persistent pattern of nonpayment or unethical/unprofessional conduct, the Chairperson shall notify each member in writing, that a continuance of similar complaints received by the Committee may result in reprimand, suspension, or expulsion. The member shall have fourteen (14) days from the date of the Chairperson’s letter to respond to the charge.
I.2. Where a number of complaints submitted by a member indicate a persistent pattern of filing nonpayment or unethical/unprofessional conduct complaints, which are frivolous or without real substance, the Chairperson shall notify such member, in writing, of such finding and that such continued action by the member may result in disciplinary action by the Board. The member shall have fourteen (14) days from the date of the Chairperson’s letter to respond to the charge.
I.3. If, after notification by the Chairperson, the persistent pattern of nonpayment or unprofessional or unethical conduct by a member continues or the member persists in filing complaints which are frivolous or without real substance, the Chairperson shall refer the matter to the Board for disposition. The Board at its discretion, will determine what constitutes a persistent pattern and may take whatever disciplinary action it deems appropriate. The Board will notify the Chairperson and the Chairperson will in turn notify the member, in writing, of the action taken.
J. If membership is revoked, the ex-member shall not be eligible to re-apply for membership for a period of one (1) year from the date of the Chairperson’s letter notifying the member that his/her membership has been revoked.
K. Failure to comply with the By-Laws of NCAPPS, or the procedures as outlined in this policy manual, or the rulings and decisions of the Arbitration panel or Board, shall constitute sufficient grounds for suspension, expulsion, or any sanction the Board deems appropriate.
L. The purpose of this Policy is to ensure that every member is treated fairly and justly. To the end, the Board shall have the authority, by majority vote, to take that action necessary to carry out the purpose of the Policy, including but not limited to, the granting of extensions of time and reconsideration of actions taken.
Amended Policy Manual November 2018
By-Laws – NCAPPS
Article 1 – NAME
This Association shall be known as the North Carolina Association of Professional Process Servers, Inc., hereinafter referred to as NCAPPS.
Article II — PURPOSE
To promote, upgrade, and perpetuate the process serving profession through the following objectives:
Section 1. Promoting legislation and rules that will advance the profession.
Section 2. Combating legislation and rules which may harm the profession.
Section 3. Promoting and maintaining professional and ethical standards for the profession.
Section 4. Improving relations between the professional, and the legal community; attorneys, judges, clerks, officers of the court and the general public both nationally and internationally.
Section 5. Promote the North Carolina Association of Professional Process Servers, Inc. to the legal community and to the general public.
Article III — MEMBERSHIP
Section I. Classes of membership and requirements for membership shall be defined by the Board of Directors. All members agree to abide by the By-Laws and Code of Ethics of NCAPPS as a condition of membership.
Section 2. Membership shall be open to all persons:
2.1 Who are at least 21 years of age, and a citizen of the United States.
2.2 No person applying for membership shall be denied membership based on race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation or ethnic origin.
2.3 Types of Membership are listed in the NCAPPS Policy Manual.
2.4 All applications for membership must be completed in full on a form approved by the Board of Directors. Each application must be accompanied by the appropriate fees as determined by the Board of Directors and published in the NCAPPS Policy Manual.
2.5 Membership shall not be granted to any person who has been convicted of a felony unless such conviction was officially pardoned or the record thereof has been expunged. Any convictions or revocations described in this section that are more than five (5) years old shall not be grounds for
denial of membership.
Article IV — DUES
Section 1. The annual dues shall be determined by majority vote of the membership at the annual conference and shall remain in effect until changed.
Section 2. The fiscal year covering the payment of dues shall be January 1 st thru December 31st (NEW DATES)of the following year.
Section 3. A member whose dues have not been paid by February 1st of any year shall be considered delinquent.
Article V — Election of Officers
Section 1. The officers shall consist of a President, Three Directors – Legal/Legislature & Promotion/Growth, & Membership , Secretary and Treasurer.
Section 2. The term of office shall be for a period of two (2)year commencing on the first day of the month following the annual meeting of NCAPPS. There is no term limit for any of the board positions.
Section 3. Officers shall be elected by majority vote of members present at the annual conference. Remaining directors shall be elected in a single ballot with each member casting one vote for each seat to be filled.
Section 4. Absentee Ballots are allowed – Membership will be notified 45 days before elections to be able to cast an Absentee Ballot in lieu of attending the meeting.
Article V — Duties of Officers
Section I. The administration and management of the association shall be controlled by the Board of NCAPPS consisting of all the officers and directors. They shall have the authority to do any and all things necessary for the administration and management of NCAPPS. Decisions shall be reached by majority vote of the Board of NCAPPS members present.
Section 2. The President shall preside at all meetings, shall make all appointments that are deemed necessary to administer NCAPPS.
Section 3. The 1st Vice-President shall perform the duties of the office of President whenever the President is unable to do so.
Section 4. The Secretary shall cause to be recorded the minutes of all Board meetings and the annual meeting.
Section 5. The Treasurer shall be responsible for overseeing all fiscal policies and procedures adopted by the Board of Directors. Specific responsibilities of the Treasurer shall include: Presenting an annual financial report of the Association at the annual conference that includes a balance sheet, income and expense declaration and profit and loss statement.
Section 6. All Board of Directors need to attend in person or by conference call – 80% of scheduled meetings and /or calls. If unable to perform these duties, removal from the Board of Directors can be voted on by the BOD
Article VIII — DISCIPLINE
Section 1. The Board of Directors shall adopt procedures for arbitration and grievance. All members are bound by the arbitration and grievance procedures as adopted by the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors may, in its sole discretion, approve or disapprove any penalties recommended by an arbitration or grievance procedures as adopted by the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors may, in its sole discretion, approve or disapprove any penalties recommended by an arbitration or grievance committee including but not limited to revocation of membership, suspension of membership, and monetary assessments.
Article IX — MEETINGS
Section 1. An annual conference shall be held at a site chosen by the Board of Directors, Officers’ reports, committee reports and any new or old business shall be discussed at the meeting.
Section 2. Board of Directors meetings shall be called by the President. A Board meeting must be called within thirty (30) days if requested by three (3) members of the Board of Directors, or if petitioned for by a majority of the members. The membership shall be notified of all regularly scheduled Board of Director meetings.
Section 3. Special meetings of the Board may be held by mail or telecommunications.
Section 4. Robert’s Rule of Order shall govern the conduct of all meetings.
Article X — LOGO
Section 1. The NCAPPS logo shall be of a design approved by the Board of Directors. It shall be used only for the purpose of the Association identification, signifying NCAPPS membership therein, on letterheads, membership certificates, business cards and advertising matter. Any other use of the NCAPPS logo must be approved by the Board of Directors.
Section 2. As a condition of NCAPPS membership, every member agrees that the use of the logo shall be and is limited to the time during which their membership herein shall be in good standing, and each member hereby agrees that upon termination of their membership, they will discontinue use of NCAPPS logo.
Section 3. No member of the NCAPPS association shall use their official position in the Association for advertising purposes in any manner whatsoever.
Article XI – DISTRIBUTION UPON DISSOLUTION
Upon dissolution of the Association, Board of Directors shall, after paying or making provision for payment of all liabilities of the Association, dispose of all of the assets remaining exclusively for the purpose of the Association in such manner, or to such organizations or organizations organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, education, scientific or literary purposes as shall at the time qualify as an exempt organization or organizations under Section 501C(3) of the Internal Revenue Code as the Board of Directors shall determine. Any such assets not so disposed of shall be disposed of by the Superior Court of the county in which the principle office of the Association is then located, exclusively for such purposes or to such organizations, such as court shall determine, which are organized and operated exclusively for such purposes, or to such government for such purposes.
Article XII — BY-LAW AMENDMENTS
Section 1. Proposed By-Law amendments must be submitted to the Secretary not less than sixty (60) days prior to the date of the annual conference and published to the membership not less than thirty (30) days prior to the annual meeting. The Secretary shall cause the proposed By-Law amendments or revisions to be published to the membership via email, NCAPPS website and/or by other reasonable means not less than thirty (30) days prior to the annual meeting.
Section 2. The By-Laws may also be amended or revised by unanimous vote of the Board of Directors.