Policy No. 1 MEMBERSHIP
A. The 1st Vice-President 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; and the 1st Vice-President shall forward to the membership committee to submit to the entire membership.
C. Screening. The names of all applicants shall be published to the membership by the membership committee. If no objection is received within thirty (30) days, after publication, the applicant is deemed accepted. A letter from the membership committee along with the NCAPPS Certificate of Membership will be sent to the new member.
D. Objections. If an objection is received within thirty (30) days, a letter from the membership committee will be sent to the new applicant informing them of an objection to NCAPPS membership. The application will be held in abeyance until the applicant submits a written reply to the objection or appears in person at a Board meeting to answer personally.
If no written reply or waiver of right to reply is received, the application shall be considered rejected, and the applicant’s dues minus the $25.00 the NON-REFUNDABLE Administrative fee will be refunded, along with a letter from the membership committee.
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. For any matters handled by the Board in Executive Session:
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 my 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. The 2nd Vice-President shall handle all matters involving grievance and arbitration. They shall appoint a Grievance & Arbitration committee.
B. 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.
C. 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 Chairperson in the manner prescribed in the policy manual.
D. 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 Chairperson 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.
E. Should the Chairperson be involved in the complaint, the grievance shall be submitted to the President who will serve as, or appoint, a temporary Chairperson for this matter only.
F. Procedure For Filing Non-payment Grievances
F.1. The complaining member (hereafter referred to as “Complainant”) taking reasonable steps to collect a debt which s now 90 days delinquent shall send an original Notice of Intent to File Complaint to the nonpaying member (hereafter referred to as “Respondent”) by regular mail with a copy to the Chairperson.
F.2. If payment is not made within fourteen (14) days of the mailing of the Notice of Intent to File Complaint, the complainant may file a complaint by submitting the following documents to the Chairperson: 1) the original Nonpayment Complaint signed by the complainant, 2) a copy of the Notice of Intent to file Complaint, and 3) all supporting documents.
F.3. All forms pertaining to Grievance & Arbitration shall be on a form prescribed by the Board and shall be available in the membership directory or by contacting the Chairperson.
G. Procedure for Filing Unethical or Unprofessional Conduct Grievances:
G.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.
G.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.
G.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.
H. Procedure For All Grievances After Submission to the Chairperson.
H.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. If no reply is received, Respondent is then in violation Policy 4, Section M.
H.2. The Chairperson shall send a copy of the reply to the Complainant.
H.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.
H.4. Should the Respondent fail to respond as required under Policy 4, Section H-1, the Chairperson shall submit the matter to the Board of Directors.
I.1. After all procedures have been followed as prescribed in Policy 4, Section H, the Chairperson shall submit the matter to binding arbitration before a panel of three (3) members selected by the Chairperson.
I.2. If the dispute is monetary, the Chairperson may determine the amount of any funds to be deposited by the parties with the Administrator.
I.3(a) The Chairperson shall provide each member of the panel with a copy of the pleadings.
I.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.
I.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.
I.4(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.
I.4(b) The Chairperson shall notify the President of any appeal filed.
I.4(c) If an appeal if filed, the decision(s) of the grievance panel is stayed pending resolution of the appeal.
I.4(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.
I.4(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.
I.5. Upon notification of the outcome by the Chairperson, the Treasurer shall make the necessary disbursement of any funds held in escrow.
J. Retention of Complaints:
J.1. All matters submitted to the Arbitration & Grievance Committee shall remain confidential.
J.2. One a matter has been resolved or disposed of, the Chairperson shall forward the file to the Administrator for retention.
J.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.
K. Consistent Pattern of Complaints:
K.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.
K.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.
K.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.
L. 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.
M. 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.
N. 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.
Adopted by BOD and Founding Members 10-03-11
AMENDED POLICY MANUAL ON AUGUST 10, 2017 TO REFLECT CHANGES MADE IN SEPTEMBER 2016 AT ANNUAL CONFERENCE