Coord 301: Introduction to the DA Process

In this document, we will cover the three main elements of the DA process, when to use them and how.  The goal is for you to understand the types of actions available to you as an officer, their impacts on the players and the goals of their implementations.

Immediate Corrective Action

An immediate corrective action can be can be applied for immediate effect without an investigation/appeal process or a long-term impact on the member it is enacted upon.  This is a preventative measure, designed to stop problem behavior before it becomes a bigger problem.

An immediate corrective action can be enacted by the presiding officer at an MES event who witnesses or is informed of problem behavior.  It takes effect upon being enacted and generally is short term.  The immediate corrective action is temporary, and alone has no long-term impact upon the player(s) targeted by the action.  No formal record of the action needs to be tracked.

Typically, an immediate corrective action is used to remove a member from a game site or event space.  If you believe the member’s immediate presence is creating an unhealthy, uncomfortable or dangerous environment for other members you can ask them to leave the event.  You may also take softer measures, such as asking the member to sit out for an hour to cool down.  Consider the situation and the member in question and take the action you think is needed to prevent a larger problem from occurring.

Letter of Counseling

A letter of counseling is a temporary documentation of a behavior problem which did not alone warrant a formal investigation.  The purpose is to provide a recorded spot check on behavior problems and an opportunity for mentoring to prevent future problems.  This allows you to stop problem behavior early, before it warrants a DA.  It also creates a record of recent behavior should the problem persist.

Any elected officer with jurisdiction over the member may enact a letter of counseling.  The letter itself documents the behavior problem that occurred.  The mentoring provided is short-to-long term and should be forward looking on how the member can improve in the future.

A single letter is kept on file for no more than six months.  If more than three letters are accumulated for the same issue, this may escalate the behavior problem to a formal investigation and possible disciplinary action.

You can read more about the Letter of Counseling process and methods in the Coord 325: Writing a Letter of Counseling document.

Disciplinary Action

A disciplinary action is a punitive measure reserved for problem behavior which is not prevented by immediate corrective actions, letters of counseling and mentoring.  The purpose is to punish a member for problem behavior for a longer term when corrective measures were not enough to dissuade the member.

A member who receives more than three letters of counseling relating to the same issue within a six month period should be reported to the RST or RC, who will determine if there is a need for a formal investigation.

Any RC, RST, NC, NST, or BoD may initiate an investigation after observing the member’s behavior directly, with or without the support of letters of counseling.  Furthermore, any RC or RST may initiate an investigation on the recommendation of a Domain or Chapter level officer within his or her jurisdiction with or without the support of letters of counseling.

To get an investigation opened, the Domain officer should contact his or her supervising Regional level officer.  This contact should include the name and MES # of the member they believe should be investigated, the specific problem being addressed, any Letters of Counseling on file for the member from the last 6 months, dates on which otherwise undocumented problem actions took place, and any other relevant evidence.  The contact should also include the name and MES # of any other involved parties and / or witnesses to the behavior problem.

The official steps of a DA are:

  1. Investigation
    1. Categorization

    2. Preliminary Review

    3. Formal Investigation

    4. Defense and Mitigation

  2. Judgement
    1. Aggravating and Mitigating Factors

    2. Determining Penalties

    3. Informing the Involved Parties

  3. Appeals

A DA is enacted through a Formal Investigation, which may or may not result in a DA being issued. You can read more about the investigation process in Coord 309: Running an Investigation. The process can end at this point if there is not enough evidence found to proceed.

If enough evidence is found, a judgement will be made. This judgment can be guilty or innocent. If the judgment is guilty then mitigating factors are considered and then penalties are rendered.

Any judgement can be appealed by the parties involved, whether the party is guilty or innocent.

When given by the storyteller chain, a DA may impact in-game factors such as XP traits, access to approval items, or the sanctioning of PCs portrayed by the player as well as holding ST offices.  When given by the coordinator chain, a DA may impact out-of-game factors such as Prestige totals, MC levels, or permission to attend MES events as well as holding Coordinator offices.

DAs may have long term effects, such as an inability to run for elected offices for two to eighteen months.  In addition to these specific effects, a member is required to disclose to his or her electorate any DAs he or she has received within the last two years when running for elected office.  In the case of Extreme offenses, this disclosure period is indefinite.