Open Door Policy

of the Chicago Puppy Patrol

Amended January 11, 2020

  1. Purpose
  1. This Policy regards the open acceptance of Chicago Puppy Patrol (hereafter referred to as CPP) complaints regarding physical abuse, emotional abuse, harassment, or sexual consent violations. These complaints will receive the full consideration of the Board of Directors (hereafter referred to as Board or Board Members), Investigation Committee, or appropriate subsection. This Policy ensures that victims are free from retaliation by any Board Members in response to their incident reporting. Procedures detailed herein govern the Board’s response to all issues stated above.

  1. Makeup of the Investigation Committee
  1. The Investigation Committee (hereafter referred to as Committee) will be a combination of 3 current and/or former unbiased CPP Board Members as outlined in the Bylaws of the Chicago Puppy Patrol (hereafter referred to as Bylaws) that have not recused themselves from the investigation.
  2. The Committee may not allow for abstentions when voting.

  1. Privacy
  1. Unless otherwise stated in this Policy, all incidents are to remain confidential to the Board, the applicable members or candidates of the Committee, and those directly or indirectly involved in the claim/incident.
  2. The non-victim (hereafter referred to as complainant) and/or victim’s identity will remain anonymous to any persons outside of the Board, the applicable members or candidates of the Committee, and those directly or indirectly involved in the claim/incident.
  3. Complaints in which a complainant and/or victim wishes to remain anonymous to the aggressor will remain on record for future follow-up should further incidents involving the aggressor occur or additional victims come forward. The complainant/victim will be notified that the complaint has been logged and investigation will cease.
  4. An aggressor can revoke their membership at any time in efforts to conceal their identity. The complaint will be logged and investigation will cease.
  5. Any privacy violations may result in suspension, bar, or ban from membership at the discretion of the Board.

  1. Lodging Complaints & First Steps
  1. Individuals wishing to take advantage of this Policy must initiate their complaint via email.
  2. Complaints are to be emailed with the following in considering:
  1. When the aggressor of the complaint is a Board Member, an email must be sent to all other Board Members outlined at chicagopuppypatrol.org/board.
  2. When the aggressor of the complaint is not a Board Member, an email must be sent to board@chicagopuppypatrol.org.
  1. The first Board Member to receive the complaint shall acknowledge receipt within 24 hours and explain that this Policy has been initiated.
  2. If necessary, emergency Board Meetings should be called as outlined in the Bylaws.
  3. The Board (exempting any Board Member aggressor) will conduct a bias check within 48 hours of the complaint being lodged to ensure no Board Member has a conflict of interest before being declared as part of the Committee.
  1. A Board Member is considered unbiased when they have no previous interactions with those involved in the complaint that would preclude them from making objective decisions based on facts. Optics outside the Board should not be considered when recusing oneself if objective decisions can still be reached.
  2. A Board Member who declares themselves biased must state their reasoning, cannot revoke their bias, must recuse themselves from involvement of the complaint, and not discuss the complaint further.
  3. A Board Member found to have bias after already declaring themselves unbiased must be replaced by another unbiased Board Member.
  1. The declared Committee will check previously logged incidents to ensure that the complaint is not a duplicate complaint with the following in consideration:
  1. If their findings indicate the complaint has already been investigated, the Committee will reach out to the complainant to request requesting new details.
  2. If new details exist, investigation may proceed, otherwise investigation will cease.
  1. The manager of CPP’s G Suite will create a Committee group email address to be used during the investigation. (i.e. incident001@chicagopuppypatrol.org)
  2. The Committee will identify themselves to the complainant via email and explain that they will be handling the investigation with the following in consideration:
  1. If the complainant has substantial concern with the makeup of the Committee, the complainant can petition the Board to have the concerning member(s) replaced within 48 hours of Article IV.8 by a majority vote.
  2. If the complainant has no substantial concern with the makeup of the Committee, the complainant should present any evidence to support their complaint within 48 hours of Article IV.8.
  1. The Committee will determine if there is enough substance to proceed investigation 48 hours after identifying themselves to the complainant with the following in consideration:
  1. If there is substantial evidence, the Committee will proceed Article V, VI, or VII as appropriate and the aggressor will have their membership status, if active, suspended as outlined in the Bylaws.
  2. If there is insubstantial evidence, the Committee must inform the complainant that the evidence was not deemed worthy of investigation and that the incident and supporting materials will be logged.
  1. The Committee must notify the aggressor that a complaint has been lodged against them and is under investigation within 24 hours of Article IV.9.A with the following in consideration:
  1. If the accused has substantial concern with the makeup of the Committee, the accused can petition the Board within to have the concerning member(s) replaced within 48 hours of Article IV.10 by a majority vote.
  2. If the accused has no substantial concern with the makeup of the Committee,  the Committee will proceed Article V, VI, VII, or VIII as appropriate.

  1. Complaints with Supporting Legal Documents
  1.   This Article governs complaints by a Member in good standing (the complainant or victim) against another Member in good standing (the aggressor) regarding the aggressor’s past convictions or unresolved legal allegations of harassment, or violent, sexual, or emotional abuse crimes with a clear victim from a municipal, state, or federal power.
  2.   Investigation process:
  1. The Committee will confirm, to the best of their ability, that the supporting evidence comes from a municipal, state, or federal entity.
  2. The Committee will consider the complainant/victim’s privacy as outlined in Article III.3.
  3. The aggressor will be informed of the complainant's identity, procedures, and the Committee will consider the aggressor's privacy as outlined in Article III.4.
  4. The Committee will review all evidence and determine the validity of the complaint by a majority vote with the following in consideration:
  1. If there is a unanimous vote by the Committee to ban the aggressor, the aggressor will be banned immediately.
  2. If a unanimous vote to ban the aggressor cannot be reached, the Committee may leverage the Board’s ability to have the aggressor's membership status, if active, suspended as outlined in the Bylaws, and the complaint will be presented to the membership with the following in consideration:
  1. If the complaint is received more than 14 days in advance of a Quarterly Business Meeting, the complaint will receive allotted time on the upcoming meeting agenda.
  2. If the complaint be received less than 14 days in advance of a Quarterly Business Meeting, the complaint will receive allotted time on the following meeting agenda.
  1. The Investigators will inform the complainant/victim and aggressor of their allotted time (up to 5 minutes each) at the Quarterly Business Meeting and encourage both to be in attendance and/or submit their position in writing. The complainant’s and aggressor’s identity will be redacted unless they choose to speak or explicitly ask for their identity to be included.
  1. If the aggressor is in attendance and chooses to speak or explicitly ask for their identity to be included, they will be eligible for Q&A from the membership in attendance of the Quarterly Business Meeting.
  2. A quorum of Members will be asked to vote on the presented evidence with the following in consideration:
  1. If there is a majority vote by the quorum to ban the aggressor, the aggressor will be banned immediately.
  2. If a majority vote to ban the aggressor cannot be reached, the complaint will be logged and investigation will cease.

  1. Complaints Against a Member
  1. This Article governs complaints by a Member or non-member (the complainant or victim) against a Member in good standing (the aggressor) regarding complaints of harassment, physical abuse, emotional abuse, or sexual consent violations.
  2. Investigation process:
  1. The Committee will consider the complainant/victim's privacy as outlined in Article III.3.
  2. The Committee will consider the aggressor's privacy as outlined in Article III.4.
  3. The complainant/victim and the aggressor will have 7 days after Article VI.2.B(ii) to have known witnesses to corroborate claims. The complainant/victim and the aggressor are responsible for having their witnesses contact the Committee’s group email address. The Committee should not reach out to a witness unless first contacted by the witness.
  4. After 7 days of collecting statements, the Committee will have up to 21 days to ask any clarifying questions.
  5. The Committee will review all evidence and determine the validity of the complaint by a majority vote with the following in consideration:
  1. If there is a majority vote to ban the aggressor, the aggressor will be banned immediately.
  2. If a majority vote to ban the aggressor cannot be reached, the complaint will be logged and investigation will cease.

  1. Complaint Against a Non-Member
  1. This Article governs complaints by a Member or non-member (the complainant or victim) against a non-member (the aggressor) regarding issues of physical abuse, emotional abuse, harassment, or sexual consent violations.
  2. Investigation process:
  1. The Committee will consider the complainant/victim’s privacy as outlined in Article III.3.
  2. The Committee will take a majority vote to determine if the evidence is substantial enough for investigation, particularly taking into account its effect on the CPP membership and associated events with the following in consideration:
  1. If there is a majority vote to pursue barring the aggressor from membership, investigation will continue.
  2. If a majority vote to pursue barring the aggressor from membership cannot be reached, the complaint will be logged and investigation will cease.
  1. The Committee will consider the complainant/victim’s privacy as outlined in Article III.3.
  2. The complainant/victim will have 7 days after Article VI.2.B(ii) to have known witnesses to corroborate claims. The complainant/victim are responsible for having their witnesses contact the Committee’s group email address. The Committee should not reach out to a witness unless first contacted by the witness.
  3. After 7 days of collecting witness statements, the Committee will have up to 21 days to ask any clarifying questions.
  4. The Committee will review all evidence and determine the validity of the complaint by a majority vote with the following in consideration:
  1. If there is a majority vote to bar the aggressor from membership, the aggressor will be barred immediately and notified of the bar.
  2. If a majority vote to bar the aggressor from membership cannot be reached, the complaint will be logged and investigation will cease.

  1. Response Time-Frames
  1. The Committee is to confirm receipt of any communications within 24 hours.
  2. The Committee must remind applicable parties of any impending deadlines 48 hours prior to the deadline, but not sooner than 72 hours.
  3. If the complainant/victim does not respond to an inquiry after 7 days, the complaint will be logged, investigation will cease, and the Committee may determine the validity of the complaint by a majority vote with the evidence that is available.
  4. If the aggressor does not respond after 7 days, the complaint will be logged, investigation will cease, and the Committee may determine the validity of the complaint by a majority vote with the evidence that is available.
  5. Should any party experience extraordinary circumstances which may prevent them from making a timely response, they may petition the Committee to extend the deadline for a combined 7 days across the investigation. Consideration of any request to delay deadlines past 7 days should close the investigation and reopen it at a time they have available to make more timely responses.
  6. All responses must be conveyed to applicable parties in time-date format. Late responses should not be considered.

  1. Appeals
  1. Aggressor bars and bans as a result of this Policy are indefinite but may be appealed by emailing board@chicagopuppypatrol.org.
  2. Appeal process for being barred from membership as a result of Article VII:
  1. The Board will notify the complainant/victim of the appeal and consider the complainant/victim’s privacy as outlined in Article III.3.
  2. The Board will assemble a Committee as outlined in Article IV.5, however Board Members of the original Committee should be given preference.
  3. The aggressor will have 7 days after Article VI.2.B(ii) to have known witnesses to corroborate claims. The complainant/victim are responsible for having their witnesses contact the Committee’s group email address. The Committee should not reach out to a witness unless first contacted by the witness.
  4. After 7 days of collecting witness statements, the Committee will have up to 21 days to ask any clarifying questions.
  5. The Committee will review all evidence and determine the validity of the complaint by a majority vote with the following in consideration:
  1. If there is a majority vote for the aggressor to remain barred from membership, the aggressor will remain barred.
  2. If a majority vote to perpetuate barring membership cannot be reached, the aggressor will be unbarred, the complaint/appeal will be logged, and investigation will cease.
  1. Appeal process for being banned from membership as a result of Article V or VI:
  1. The ban may be appealed at the beginning of CPP’s following fiscal year. This constraint may be moved to the next Quarterly Business Meeting if new details exist.
  2. The membership will be responsible for the appeal vote and all parties will remain redacted unless they choose to speak or explicitly ask for their identity to be included.
  3. A quorum of Members will be asked to vote on the presented evidence with the following in consideration:
  1. If there is a majority vote for the aggressor to remain banned, the aggressor will remain banned.
  2. If a majority vote to perpetuate the ban cannot be reached, the aggressor will be unbanned,  the appeal will be logged, and investigation will cease.

  1. Resources
  1. The Board will endeavor to furnish the proper legal reporting resources to victims who do not wish to push forward with this Policy’s investigation.

Amendments

January 11th, 2020

July 20th, 2019

April 20th, 2019

October 19th, 2018