ARTICLE XV

DISCIPLINE OF MEMBERS AND ASSOCIATE MEMBERS

Section 1.

 

Any Member or Associate Member may be tried for violations of the provisions of Section 2 of this Article, and if found guilty, may be publicly reprimanded, fined not more than twenty-five dollars ($25.00), suspended from Membership or Associate Membership or expelled from the Blinded Veterans Association.

Section 2.

 

Any officer of the Association or officer of a regional group may be removed from his/her office and may be subjected to the sanctions set forth in Section 1 of this Article, and any Member or Associate Member may be subjected to the sanctions set forth in Section 1 of this Article for:

a. A misappropriation of funds belonging to the Association or to a regional group.

b. A willful violation of the Bylaws of the Association or of a regional group, or the rules, regulations, and mandates of the National Board of Directors, or of the governing body of a regional group, or of the Members and Associate Members of the Association or of the Members and Associate Members of a regional group as expressed by majority vote.

c. A willful refusal to obey the lawful instructions of a superior officer, resulting in, or threatening to result in, detriment to the Association, a regional group, or its Members or Associate Members or its funds.

d. Conviction of a felony or misconduct involving moral turpitude.

e. Willfully and wrongfully creating gross dissension or disorder in any meeting.

f. Other misconduct tending to bring the National Association or a regional group into disrepute.

g. Becoming a professional beggar.

h. Willfully joining, or knowingly remaining a member of any lodge, party, assembly, or organization advocating the overthrow or teaching the overthrow of the United States Government by force or violence.

ARTICLE XVI

TRIAL PROCEDURE

 

Section 1.

 

Should any officer, Member or Associate Member of the Association be accused of misconduct, such accusation shall be reduced to writing and signed by a Member or Associate Member.  Such written charges, before they may be filed or considered, shall bear the following endorsement, signed by some other Member or Associate Member, to wit:

"I _____________, do hereby certify that I have carefully read, or heard read to me by some person other than the accuser, the foregoing charges, and that after careful consideration of such charges, based upon facts made known to me, I am convinced that proper cause exists for the consideration of such charges by proper authorities of the Blinded Veterans Association."

 

Section 2.

a. Immediately upon receipt of any such charges so endorsed, the National Secretary shall deliver a copy thereof to the accused by having such copy served upon the accused by some reliable person or by registered mail.

b. If the service is made otherwise than by registered mail, proof thereof must be shown and attached to the original charges by the person making such service.

 

Section 3.

 

Within twenty (20) days following the service upon him/ her of such charges, the accused may make a written answer of denial in whole or part of such charges, or may admit such charges in writing.

 

Section 4.

 

Within twenty (20) days following the answer of the accused, which answer must be delivered personally by the accused or by registered mail to the National Secretary, the National Board of Directors, or if they are not available, then the National President, shall appoint a committee of three Members and/or Associate Members to hear evidence in support of such charges and any evidence which the accused may care to submit in his/her defense, and to determine from such evidence the truth or falsity of such charges.

a. If such charges are proven or partly proven, such trial committee shall by a majority vote first determine whether such charges as proven constitute a violation of the laws of the Association.

b. If they find that such proof does show that the accused is guilty of a violation of the laws of the Association, they shall find him/her guilty and fix his/her punishment.

c. The Member or Associate Member shall be tried in the vicinity of his/her own regional group, or if not a Member or Associate Member of a regional group, in the vicinity of the nearest regional group.

Section 5.

a. Whenever possible, the trial committee shall include an attorney, but not necessarily an attorney in the jurisdiction where the trial is to be held.

b. If a Member or Associate Member who is an attorney is available and is serving on the committee, he/she shall be the legal advisor to the committee and the chairperson thereof.

 

Section 6.

 

Members or Associate Members against whom charges are pending shall not be permitted to resign their Membership or Associate Membership.

 

Section 7.

 

All procedures at such hearing shall be, as nearly as may be, in compliance with the rules of evidence in non-jury cases adopted by the courts in the place where the trial is held.

 

Section 8.

 

The accused shall have the right to be represented by an attorney of his/her own choice.

 

Section 9.

 

If the accused is found guilty, he/she may have the right of appeal to the next National Convention.

 

Section 10.

 

If such charges are proved to be false, or are not proved to be true, the committee shall so find and in that event shall determine whether the charges were maliciously made and without foundation in fact; and if they find that such charges were maliciously made, and were not found in fact, then the trial committee may reprimand, fine not more than twenty-five dollars ($25.00) or suspend from Membership or Associate Membership for a period not to exceed ninety (90) days, the person making such charges.

 

Section 11.

 

Nothing herein contained shall be construed to prevent any regional group from adopting bylaws providing for similar procedure within its own regional group, not inconsistent with the provisions herein contained.