BMDCA Grievance Procedure for Non-Member Complaints
In the absence of a staffed and functioning BMDCA Assistance and Guidance Resource, the Board of Directors shall be responsible for the entire Grievance Procedure.
When a non-BMDCA member writes to the BMDCA with a complaint against a BMDCA member or members, the Assistance and Guidance Resource shall promptly determine whether BMDCA involvement is reasonable and appropriate.
If BMDCA involvement is not considered reasonable and appropriate, the Assistance and Guidance Resource shall immediately send a letter to the complainant:
a. acknowledging the complaint;
b. advising the complainant that his/her concern has been reviewed and determined not to be a matter to be handled by the BMDCA;
c. (optional) suggesting that the complainant look elsewhere (legal process, mediation, letter to the AKC, etc.) for satisfaction.
If the Assistance and Guidance Resource determines that BMDCA involvement with the complaint is reasonable and appropriate, the Assistance and Guidance Resource shall promptly:
1. send a letter, including a copy of the complaint, to the BMDCA member(s) named:
a. requesting and recommending that the member(s) contact the complainant to discuss and as appropriate, rectify the situation;
b. requesting that the member(s) send a written response to the new Committee describing the action taken by the member(s) to rectify the situation or providing an explanation as to why the situation should not be addressed or rectified as the complainant requested.
2. send the complainant a copy of the letter to the member(s).
Where the non-member complainant does not get satisfaction and appeals to the BMDCA for help a second time, the Assistance and Guidance Resource shall forward the issue to the BMDCA Board of Directors. At the discretion of the Board, either the Board or the Assistance and Guidance Resource shall promptly:
1. send a strongly worded letter, including a copy of the additional complaint, to the BMDCA member(s) named:
a. suggesting that the member(s), not the BMDCA, is responsible for rectifying the situation. The letter will stipulate a time limit for resolution of the issue.
BMDCA Grievance Procedure for Member-to-Member Complaints
An individual member may prefer charges against another individual member for alleged misconduct prejudicial to the best interests of the Club or the breed. Written charges with specifications must be filed in duplicate with the Recording Secretary together with a deposit of $100.00 which shall be forfeited if such charges are not entertained or sustained by the Board or a Hearing Committee following a hearing.
The Recording Secretary shall promptly send a copy of the charges to each member of the Board or present them at a Board Meeting; and the Board shall first consider whether the actions alleged in the charges, if proven, might constitute conduct prejudicial to the best interests of the Club or the breed.
a. If the Board considers that the charges do not allege conduct which would be prejudicial to the best interests of the Club or of the breed, it may refuse to entertain jurisdiction.
b. If the Board entertains jurisdiction of the charges, it shall first attempt to resolve the grievance prior to a formal hearing by appointing a mediator who will seek to resolve the grievance to the mutual satisfaction of the parties involved.
a. If that fails within thirty (30) days from the date that the Board entertained jurisdiction of the charges, the Board shall fix a date of hearing by the board or a Hearing Committee of not less than three (3) members of the Board, not less than three (3) weeks or more than six (6) weeks thereafter.
b. The Recording Secretary shall promptly send one copy of the charges to the accused member by certified mail, return receipt, together with a notice of the hearing and an assurance that the defendant may personally appear in his/her defense and bring witnesses if he/she wishes. The hearing may be conducted via teleconference call or video conference, provided that all parties to the hearing consent in writing.
c. The Board or Hearing Committee shall have complete authority to decide whether counsel may attend the hearing, but both complainant and defendant shall be treated uniformly in that regard.
d. Should the charges be sustained after hearing all the evidence and testimony presented by complainant and defendant, the Board or Hearing Committee may by a majority vote of those present reprimand (A written reprimand directed exclusively to the member may be somewhat detailed but an official (published) reprimand should only indicate that subsequent to a Board or Hearing Committee hearing "...member (x) was officially reprimanded as a result of charges filed by member (y).") or suspend the defendant from all privileges of the Club, which may include, at the discretion of the Board or Hearing Committee, entry and/or participation in events held under the rules of the BMDCA, for not more than twelve (12) months from the date of the hearing.
e. If it deems that punishment insufficient, it may also recommend to the membership at the first Annual Meeting following the start of the suspension, that the penalty be expulsion. In such case, the suspension shall not restrict the defendant's right to appear before his/her fellow members at the ensuing Club meeting which considers the recommendation of the Board or Hearing Committee. Immediately after the Board or Hearing Committee has reached a decision, its findings shall be put in written form and filed with the Recording Secretary. The Recording Secretary in turn shall notify each of the parties of the decision and penalty, if any.