Open Door Policy

of the Chicago Puppy Patrol

Amended April 20th 2019

  1.   Purpose
  1.   This Policy regards the open acceptance of Chicago Puppy Patrol (hereafter referred to as CPP) complaints regarding physical abuse, emotional abuse, or sexual consent violations. These complaints will receive the full consideration of the Board of Directors (hereafter referred to as the Board or Board Members), Investigation Committee, or appropriate subsection. (Board and Investigation Committee may hereafter be referred to as Investigators.) 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 Investigators will consist of one of the following:
  1.  an unbiased subsection of at least a majority (3 or more) of the Chicago Puppy Patrol Board Members as defined in the Bylaws of the Chicago Puppy Patrol (hereafter referred to as Bylaws) that have not recused themselves from the investigation.
  2.  an unbiased Committee of unbiased individuals that have previously served as a Board Member. This Committee will be selected or reconfirmed annually by each Board during the initial Board Meeting after their election.

  1.   Privacy
  1. Unless otherwise stated in this policy, all incidents are to remain confidential to the Board, the Investigators, and those directly or indirectly involved in the claim/incident.
  2. Claims in which victims or complainants wish to remain anonymous will remain on record as a paper trail for future follow-up should further incidents involving this aggressor occur or another victim come forward.
  3. The victim’s identity will remain anonymous to any persons outside the Board, Investigators, and the aggressor.
  4. Should a complaint be lodged by a non-victim (hereafter referred to as complainant) wish to remain anonymous to the aggressor, investigation may occur at the discretion of the Investigators but the pursuit of a suspension or ban through further details of this policy will cease.
  5. Any privacy violation may result in suspension or ban from membership at the discretion of the Board.

  1.   Lodging Complaints & First Steps
  1.   Individuals wishing to take advantage of this document’s processes must initiate their complaint via email.
  2.   To determine where the complaint should be emailed:
  1.   When the aggressor of the complaint is a Board Member, an email should 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 should be sent to board@chicagopuppypatrol.org.
  1.   Whomever first receives the complaint shall acknowledge receipt of the complaint within 24 hours and explain that the processes outlined in this document have been initiated.
  2.   The Board (exempting any Board Member aggressor) will conduct a bias check within 48 hours of receipt of a complaint to ensure no Board Member has conflict of interest.
  1.   Emergency Board Meetings should be called as outlined in our Bylaws if necessary.
  2.   A biased Board Member must recuse themselves from involvement and must not discuss matters regarding the complaint within or outside of the club.
  1.   An unbiased Board that meets the requirements outlined in II.1.A will proceed to handle the complaint as Investigators. Should the Board have bias or the requirements of II.1.A not be met, the Committee outlined in II.1.B will proceed to handle the complaint as Investigators.
  2. The investigators will check previously logged incidents to ensure that the complaint is not a repeat reporting of the same incident. If their findings indicate the incident has already been investigated, the investigators will reach out to the complainant requesting new details. If new details have come to light, investigation may proceed, otherwise further pursuance to ban will cease.
  3.   The Investigators will identify themselves to the complainant via email, explain that they will be handling the investigation, and encourage the complainant to present any evidence to support the complaint.
  4.   The Investigators will determine if there is enough substance to the complaint to investigate by instituting a majority vote.
  1.   Should the complaint prove insubstantial, the Investigators must inform the complainant that the evidence was insufficient or not deemed worthy of investigation and that the incident and supporting materials will be logged.
  1.   If the vote to investigate passes, the appropriate process outlined in Articles V-VIII will be initiated.

  1.   Complaints with Supporting Legal Documents
  1.   This Article governs complaints by a Member in good standing (the complainant) against another Member in good standing (the aggressor) regarding the aggressor’s past convictions or unresolved legal allegations of violent, sexual, or emotional abuse crimes with a clear victim from a municipal, state, or federal power.
  2.   The Investigators will proceed as follows:
  1.   The Investigators will confirm to the best of their ability that the supporting evidence comes from a municipal, state, or federal entity.
  2.   Should the complainant wish to remain anonymous to the aggressor, the complaint may be investigated at the discretion of the Investigators but action to suspend or ban the aggressor will not progress. The complainant will be notified that the information has been logged and further Article process will cease.
  3.   The aggressor will be informed of the complainant's identity, procedures, and given  an opportunity to revoke their membership. If the aggressor revokes their membership at any time, proceedings will cease.
  4.   A unanimous vote from the Investigators to ban the aggressor will result in an immediate ban of the aggressor.
  5.   If a unanimous vote cannot be reached, the complaint will be considered by the membership as follows:
  1.   Should the complaint be received more than 14 days in advance of a Quarterly Business Meeting, the complaint will receive allotted time on that Business Meeting’s agenda.
  2.   Should the complaint be received less than 14 days in advance of a Quarterly Business Meeting, the complaint will receive allotted time on the agenda of the following Quarterly Business Meeting.
  1.   The Investigators will suspend the aggressor. The Investigation Committee may leverage the Board’s ability to suspend Members if the Board is not handling the complaint.
  2.   The Investigators will inform both parties of their allotted speaking time at the Quarterly Business Meeting and encourage them to be in attendance or submit written defence of their position. In this communication, the aggressor will be informed of their suspension.
  1.  The aggressor’s and/or the complainant’s identity will be redacted at the Quarterly Business Meeting unless they explicitly ask for their identity to be included.
  1.   Both the complainant and the aggressor will be allowed designated amount of time (at least 5 minutes) to speak in front of the membership at the Quarterly Business Meeting. If either decide to speak, their privacy will be forfeited. If the aggressor chooses to speak, they will be subject to Q&A from the membership.
  2.  A quorum of Members will be asked to vote on the presented evidence. A majority vote to ban the aggressor will go into effective immediately.
  1.   Member Complaint against Another Member
  1.   This Article governs complaints by a Member in good standing (the complainant or victim) against another Member in good standing (the aggressor) regarding complaints of current physical abuse, emotional abuse, or sexual consent violations.
  2.   The Investigators will proceed as follows:
  1.   Should the complainant or victim wish to remain anonymous to the aggressor, the complaint may be investigated at the discretion of the Investigators but action to suspend or ban the aggressor will not progress. The complainant will be notified that the information has been logged and further Article process will cease.
  2.   A non-victim’s pursuance of a suspension or ban through this policy will require consent and cooperation of the victim. If the victim does not wish to cooperate further Article process will cease.
  3.   The aggressor will be informed of the victim’s and/or complainant’s identity and of their effective suspension through the conclusion of the investigation. If the aggressor chooses to revoke their membership at any time, proceedings will cease.
  4.   The victim and the aggressor will have a 1 week period after the aggressor is initially informed to ask any known witnesses to corroborate their claims.
  5.   After 1 week of corroboration, the Investigators will have up to 3 weeks to ask any clarifying questions.
  6.   The Investigators will review all evidence and determine the validity of the claim by a majority vote.
  7.   Should the Investigators reach a tie, the non-presiding entity (either the Board or Investigation Committee) will constitute a tie-breaking vote.

  1.   Non-Member Complaint about a Member
  1. This Article governs complaints by a non-member (the complainant or victim) against a Member in good standing (the aggressor) regarding complaints of current physical abuse, emotional abuse, or sexual consent violations.
  2.   The Investigators will proceed as follows:
  1.   Should the complainant or victim would like to remain anonymous to the aggressor, the complaint may be investigated at the discretion of the Investigators but action to suspend or ban the aggressor will not progress. The complainant will be notified that the information has been logged and further Article process will cease.
  2.   A non-victim’s pursuance of a suspension or ban through this policy will require consent and cooperation of the victim. If the victim does not wish to cooperate further Article process will cease.
  3.   The investigators will take a vote to determine if the information provided is enough grounds for an investigation, particularly taking into account its effect on the CPP membership and associated events. Upon a majority vote, Investigations will proceed. If a majority vote to Investigate is not met, action to suspension or ban the aggressor will not progress. The complainant will be notified that the information has been logged and further Article process will cease.
  4.   The aggressor will be informed of the complainant’s identity and of their effective suspension through the conclusion of the investigation. If the aggressor chooses to revoke their membership at any time in the process, further Article process will cease.
  5.   The complainant and the aggressor will both have a period of 1 week after the aggressor is initially informed to ask any known witnesses to corroborate their claims.
  6.   After 1 week collecting corroborating stories concludes, the Investigators will have up to 3 weeks to ask any questions to clarify any unclear statements provided.
  7.   The Investigators will review all evidence and determine the validity of the claim by a majority vote to ban.
  8.   Should the Investigators reach a tie, the non-presiding entity (either the Board or Investigation Committee) will constitute a tie-breaking vote.
  9.            An affirmative vote will ban the aggressor effective immediately.

  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, or sexual consent violations.
  2.   The Investigators will proceed as follows:
  1.   A non-victim’s pursuance of a suspension or ban through this policy will require consent and cooperation of the victim. If the victim does not wish to cooperate further Article process will cease.
  2.   The investigators will take a vote to determine if the information provided is enough grounds for an investigation, particularly taking into account its effect on the CPP membership and associated events. Upon a majority vote, Investigations will proceed. If a majority vote to Investigate is not met, action to bar membership application to the aggressor will not progress.
  3.   The Investigators will take witness and victim statements surrounding the complaint, and determine if the merit of those statements is enough to bar membership application to the aggressor. A majority vote is required to bar membership application to the aggressor. An affirmative vote to bar will go down on record, the aggressor will not be notified.
  4.   Should the Investigators reach a tie, the non-presiding entity (either the Board or Investigation Committee) will constitute a tie-breaking vote.
  5.   Should the aggressor apply for membership at a later time, the application will be declined. The aggressor will be given the details of the complaint without names.
  6.   If the aggressor would like to appeal, the Investigators must contact the victim/complainant and ask if they would like their identity to be released to perpetuate the barring of membership against the aggressor. If the victim/complainant choose to remain anonymous, the barring of membership will be lifted. If the victim/complainant choose to allow their identity to be released to the aggressor, proceedings will proceed.
  7.   The aggressor will be informed of the victim’s and complainant’s (if separate) identity.
  8.   The victim/complainant and the aggressor will both have a period of 1 week after the aggressor is initially informed to ask any known witnesses to corroborate their claims.
  9.           After 1 week collecting corroborating stories concludes, the Investigators will have up to 3 weeks to ask any questions to clarify any unclear statements provided.
  10.   The Investigators will review all evidence and determine the validity of the claim by a majority vote.
  11.   Should the Investigators reach a tie, the non-presiding entity (either the Board or Investigation Committee) will constitute a tie-breaking vote.

  1. Response Time-Frames
  1. The Investigators are to confirm receipt of any communications within 24 hours.
  2. Should the complainant or victim not respond for a period of 1 week, the investigation will cease, be logged, the Investigators may move to a vote with the information they have on hand.
  3. Should the aggressor not respond for a period of 1 week, the Investigators may move to a vote with the information they have on hand.

  1.   Appeals
  1.   Bans as a result of this policy are indefinite.
  2.   Bans can be appealed after February 1st of the following year. If new information has come to light, this constraint may be moved up to the next Quarterly Business Meeting.
  3.   As appeals will take place with a future Board, the membership will be responsible for the appeal vote, and all parties will remain anonymous unless they opt to divulge their own identity during Member consideration proceedings.
  4.   Both the aggressor requesting appeal and the victim or complainant will have the opportunity to speak on their own behalf at the appropriate Quarterly Business Meeting.
  5.   Membership vote will take place at the Quarterly Business Meeting following the request for appeal.
  1.   An affirmative vote by a quorum of Members as described in our Bylaws will overturn a ban.

  1.   Resources
  1. The Board will endeavor to furnish the proper legal reporting resources to victims who do not wish to push forward with these proceedings or would like to remain wholly anonymous from the aggressor in context of the CPP.