With the understanding that a good judicial program must incorporate certain elements (bylaws, due process, etc.), we can talk about the execution. Working in the judicial proceedings of the chapter comes with the task of having crucial conversations with certain groups or individuals. In balancing the business and the brotherhood, it’s important to always keep in mind that you have a job to do, and all components of that job must be viewed objectively.

Running a Judicial Board Hearing

The judicial board meeting should occur in private, with ample notice (24 hours at minimum) given to both parties involved. Once all of the members of the judicial board are present, they will elect a chair of the board and a secretary to take minutes. The sergeant-at-arms will serve as an ex-officio (nonvoting) member and should make sure the meeting is run smoothly.

Agenda for the hearing:

  • Accusing member states his case
  • Accusing member leaves the room
  • Defending member states his case
  • Defending member leaves the room
  • The judicial board discusses the case
  • The voting members decide if the accused member is guilty or innocent
  • The voting members decide any penalty

NOTE: The judicial board members may ask either party questions during and after their cases are stated. The defending member should be made aware of all charges against him prior to the hearing. Any additional witnesses may be brought in at the judicial board’s discretion. Any witness testimony should be given before the defending member states his case.

Conducting Expulsion Proceedings

A member may be expelled from the fraternity for a variety of reasons, all of which are listed in Code III, Section 12 of the Chapter Codes. However, the proper procedure must be followed. Code III, Section 13 details the expulsion procedure. Some highlights to remember include:

  • A quorum of voting members of the chapter must be present to expel a member
  • The member in question must be given written notice of the expulsion at least 48 hours in advance
  • Written notice must contain charges, time/place of the hearing, Code III, Section IV of the Chapter Codes and Article VI of the Constitution, and a copy of the full Constitution and Chapter Codes
  • The accused must be given the opportunity to present a defense to the voting chapter members
  • At least two-thirds (2/3) of present voting members must in favor of the expulsion for it to pass
  • Within five (5) days after an expulsion, the chapter must send a written expulsion notice to the expelled members last known address and report the expulsion to the International Fraternity

If you are unsure of how to handle any situation, refer to the Code III, Section 13 in the Chapter Codes. To obtain a copy of the Chapter Codes or for further advice, contact Memorial Headquarters or your chapter consultant.

Jarrett M. Way

Director of Educational Content & Strategy