Legal Standard Operating Procedure
- 1 Searches
- 2 Punishments
- 3 Parole
- 4 Mindshield Implants
- 5 Evidence Storage Procedures
- 6 Internal Affairs
- 7 Magistrate
- 8 Internal Affairs Range of Action
- 9 Trials
- 10 Civil Disputes
1. On Green Alert, a search requires probable cause OR approval from the Magistrate, HoS or Captain. Probable Cause is defined as any circumstance that creates reasonable suspicion that a crime was committed (eg, direct accusation from a crewmember, witnessing the crime directly, prints on a crime scene, presence in a restricted area with high value items, etc). Approval simply requires permission from the relevant person - verbal or over radio is enough.
2. On Green Alert, searches should be conducted without cuffs, and the searchee must hand over requested items.
3. Searchees who refuse may be cuffed for the search.
4. Any other item in the searchee's possession may be asked for, including but not limited to bags, belts, jackets, headsets, and PDAs.
5. On Blue Alert and above, a search can be done without probable cause. This can be done by cuffing the searchee, and forcibly removing their bags and emptying their pockets.
6. Refusing a legal search is considered resisting arrest.
7. Security may perform surgery to search for illegal implants if the searchee is a confirmed EoC or has been confirmed to have stolen an item that can no longer be located.
8. Recommended but optional: after searching someone, set their sec status to RELEASED, and add a note that they were searched but nothing was found. This helps prevent sec wasting time repeatedly re-searching the same person, and makes it easier to tell who has not yet been searched.
These are the procedures for standard punishments, and should be followed unless an emergency makes them unable to be followed.
1. No prisoner is to be held for longer than ten (10) minutes in Processing if no evidence against them is readily available. Should the ten (10) minutes expire without any evidence of any crimes coming to light, the prisoner is to be released. Otherwise, proceed with the following guidelines:
2. The prisoner is to be cuffed, and brought to their cell.
3. The prisoner is to be stripped of all belongings, save for their uniform, headset, ID, PDA and shoes. Vox are to retain their internals, plasmamen are to retain internals and their suit.
4. The prisoner is then to be uncuffed. If they are a violent risk, they may be bucklecuffed, flashed, then have their cuffs removed.
5. The timer for the cell is to be set, and the charges declared.
6. Prisoners attempting to break the lights in the cell are to be flashed.
7. Prisoners attempting to break the windows of the cell are to be flashed and their timers reset.
8. Removal of the prisoner's headset may ONLY occur if the prisoner is using the headset to constantly flood any communication channel with irrelevant/inane information and/or calls of "Shitcurity", or if the prisoner is seriously attempting to incite violent action against Security and/or Command via continuous calls for violence
1. Prisoner must be cuffed, and their ID must be terminated.
2. Prisoner must be stripped of all belongings. Said belongings must be placed in one of the prisoner gear lockers, and the prisoner equipped with standard prisoner uniform and headset;
3. Prisoner must be clothed in a Prison Uniform and Orange Shoes. Prisoner must then be given a Prisoner ID.
4. Prisoner must be brought to the Permabrig area, and the doors behind closed properly.
5. Prisoner must be bucklecuffed to one of the beds.
6. Prisoner must have his cuffs removed, then be flashed or stunned, and the cuffs recovered.
7. All Security agents must then leave the Permabrig.
8. In the case of an attempted escape or riot, the Nitrous Oxide control is to be used.
1. Prisoner's security status must be set to "*Execute*", and their relevant crimes entered into their sec record. If they are crew but do not have a sec record, create a record in their name then set it as before. If they are not crew, this step can be skipped.
2. Prisoner must be cuffed, and their ID must be terminated.
3. Prisoner must be stripped of all belongings. Said belongings must be placed in one of the prisoner gear lockers, and the prisoner equipped with standard prisoner uniform and headset.
4. Prisoner must be clothed in a Prison Uniform and Orange Shoes.
5. Prisoner must be brought to the Prisoner Transfer room.
6. A Chaplain may be present if requested, and allowed by the HoS.
7. It is advised, but not required, to have a Brig Physician or other medical personnel in attendance to verify death.
8. Authorization must be given by the Magistrate. If a Magistrate is not assigned, dead, missing, or otherwise rendered incapable of providing authorization, the Captain may authorize an execution in their stead. Should the Magistrate and Captain be unable to provide authorization, it must come from Central Command. Without authorization, executions are murder.
9. Though not obligatory, it is recommended that all executed prisoners be considered for borgification post-execution.
10. Kill on sight orders are classified as executions, however due to the often chaotic situations in which these occur, security records must be updated (per point 1) within a reasonable amount of time after the order is given or carried out.
11. If medical personnel have been assigned to security, best effort should be made to inform them of any performed execution so that medical records of the prisoner may be updated.
Execution: Electric Chair
1. Prisoner must be bucklecuffed to the electric chair.
2. Prisoner must be allowed his/her final words, after which the chair will be activated.
3. Prisoner's pulse is to be checked to confirm death.
4. Prisoner must then be borged, fired into space via mass driver, cremated, or placed in the morgue with a DNR Notice, at the discretion of the Magistrate, Captain or Head of Security.
Execution: Lethal Injection
1. Prisoner must be bucklecuffed to the electric chair or bed.
2. Prisoner must be allowed his/her final words, after which the injection will be applied.
3. Prisoner's pulse is to be checked to confirm death.
4. Prisoner must then be borged, fired into space via mass driver, cremated, or placed in the morgue with a DNR Notice, at the discretion of the Magistrate, Captain or Head of Security.
Execution: Firing Squad
1. Prisoner must be brought to the Firing Range.
2. Prisoner must be bucklecuffed to a chair.
3. Prisoner must be allowed his/her final words, after which authorised security personell are to open fire with any of the following: Energy Gun, Advanced Energy Gun, Laser Gun, Revolver, Shotgun, or any ranged weapon manufactured by Research.
4. Prisoner's pulse is to be checked to confirm death.
5. Prisoner must then be borged, fired into space via mass driver, cremated, or placed in the morgue with a DNR Notice, at the discretion of the Magistrate, Captain or Head of Security.
Execution: Gas Inhalation
1. Prisoner must be bucklecuffed to the electric chair.
2. Toxic gas must be attached to toxic gas input.
3. Prisoner is to be checked if secure. Then allowed final words, as supervised by security or command personnel.
4. Gas must be released into the room occupied by the Prisoner. Make sure air valve vent is set to off.
5. Blast doors are to be opened, to vent toxic gas into space. Allow five minutes for the air to refill the room once blast doors are closed.
6. Prisoner's pulse is to be checked, final round via ballistic or energy weapon to the cranium is advised if the prisoner is not terminated.
7. Prisoner must then be borged, fired into space via mass driver, cremated, or placed in the morgue with a DNR Notice, at the discretion of the Magistrate, Captain or Head of Security.
1. Prisoner must be bucklecuffed to the electric chair.
2. Prisoner is to be checked if secure. Then allowed final words, as supervised by security or command personnel.
3. Blast doors are to be opened. Make sure vent valve is in the off position. The room must be left exposed to space for five minutes.
4. Blast doors are to be closed, and vent activated. Please allow five minutes for the air to refill.
5. Prisoner's pulse is to be checked, final round via ballistic or energy weapon to the cranium is advised if the prisoner is not terminated.
6. Prisoner must then be borged, fired into space via mass driver, cremated, or placed in the morgue with a DNR Notice, at the discretion of the Magistrate, Captain or Head of Security.
1. Prisoner must be brought to the Gateway, after being placed within standard Permabrig attire.
2. Prisoner must be implanted with an exile implant.
3. Prisoner must be provided with an emergency oxygen tank, a breath mask, food and an emergency autoinjector.
Note: Needs may change based on species. IPC's must be given a welder. Species not requiring oxygen do not require a tank, vice versa with food.
4. Prisoner must be allowed his/her final words. Their oxygen must be enabled if applicable.
5. Prisoner must be pushed into the Gateway.
Eligibility for parole:
- If someone is an EOC, OR has committed a capital crime, then parole is only allowed if authorized by the Magistrate or Captain. They should not authorize this unless it is a serious emergency and the parolee is expected to help deal with the emergency. For example, a non-violent syndicate engineer may be paroled to help fight a blob.
- For all other prisoners, Magi/Captain/HoS/Warden may authorize parole at their discretion. They are advised to consider how severe the prisoner's crimes are, how co-operative they have been with security, and whether or not they are expected to commit any further crimes.
Process for paroling a prisoner:
- Parolee must be given a tracking implant, set to "parole" status in sec records, and informed that they are on parole (along with the charge), before they are released on parole.
- Parolees who are EOC or who committed a capital crime, must additionally be stripped of all belongings prior to release. They may be issued a new basic jumpsuit, shoes, radio, and civilian-access ID.
- After release, parolee is to be kept under supervision, and watched for any sign of further criminal acts. This can be done by co-workers, and/or security.
If the parolee commits a crime while on parole:
- If the new crime is a capital crime, or they are an EOC, they are to be immediately executed on capture.
- Otherwise, for any lesser crime, they're to be re-sentenced for BOTH the original crime they were paroled for, AND the new crime, with times stacking. They're also disqualified from any further parole for the rest of the shift.
Mindshield Implants are specialized, NanoTrasen-brand implants that protect whoever they are installed into from brainwashing techniques commonly associated with both the Syndicate and the Cult of Nar-Sie. For this reason, all members of Security, in addition to the Captain, NanoTrasen Representative and Blueshield, are issued Mindshield Implants by default, as a security measure.
While procedures for a Revolution are already detailed in General Standard Operating Procedure, it is important to note other situations in which Mindshield Implantation may be used:
Firstly, all new hires to the Security Department, or the positions of Captain, Blueshield or NanoTrasen Representative, are to receive a Mindshield Implant, as per NanoTrasen policy.
Similarly, all personnel that are successfully deconverted from the Cult of Nar-Sie's influence may be given a Mindshield Implant, at the discretion of the Head of Security. This is not advised if the deconverted person does not wish to receive the implant.
Lastly, personnel that have been Mindslaved should be offered a Mindshield Implant in order to prevent further brainwashing.
Evidence Storage Procedures
Physical evidence is defined as any object that can be used to prove that a particular person has committed a crime.
1. All evidence confiscated from arrested personnel is to be properly analyzed, then stored in Evidence Storage, either in the lockers in the Forensics Lab, or in the Evidence Storage Room in the Prison Wing;
2. Stored evidence is not be removed from Evidence Storage unless it is required for a trial;
3. As per 206 - "Abuse of Confiscated Equipment", stored evidence is not to be used;
1. Internal Affairs Agents are only to provide legal representation for personnel facing a Capital Sentence. They should, however, ensure that their timed sentence is applied correctly, and alert Security if it is not. In addition, Internal Affairs Agents are permitted to provide legal advice for Security and prisoners, as well as investigating whether or not arrests were done properly;
2. Internal Affairs Agents must request permission from any potential client before serving as their legal representative, as said client may choose to either represent themselves, or request someone else;
3. Internal Affairs Agents are not to deliberately halt or slow down prisoner processing or ongoing investigations. If Security is acting in a demonstrably incompetent manner, contacting the Head of Security or the Captain is highly recommended. If more information about the crime in question is needed, Agents should wait until the person in question was brigged;
4. Internal Affairs Agents are to ensure that Standard Operating Procedure is being properly followed, when applicable, and to contact the relevant Head of Staff when it is not;
5. Internal Affairs Agents are to attempt to resolve all Standard Operating Procedure issues locally before contacting Central Command. This should be done in tandem with Command and, if possible, personnel in the relevant Department. If a valid report is ignored by the relevant Head of Staff, the Captain is to be contacted. If the Captain ignores the report, then Central Command and/or the NanoTrasen Representative must be contacted.
1. Magistrates are to ensure that Space Law is applied correctly. If it is not, they are to make it so;
2. Magistrates have the final say on whether or not Trials take place, and should ensure they should only occur for Capital Sentences. Similarly, Magistrates are to ensure that Trials do not happen for Defendants that are self-evidently guilty;
3. Magistrates can overrule anyone in all matters concerning Space Law. This does not extend to Emergency Response Teams, Central Command Officials or direct Central Command communications;
4. Magistrates are not above Space Law. Similarly, they cannot overrule Security on a sentence imposed against themselves. If a Magistrate attempts to do this, contact Central Command immediately;
5. Magistrates are not to concern themselves with matters of Standard Operating Procedure. However, they are to ensure that the Internal Affairs Agents under their command are handling such matters;
6. Magistrates may not impede the expedient functioning of Security for the sake of micromanaging every aspect it. They should only concern themselves with crimes that either have fuzzy evidence, or require careful deliberation of circumstances;
7. Magistrates are to contact Central Command immediately if their decisions are being ignored, provided said decision actually match up with Space Law and Standard Operating Procedure. Please see this guide for more information on how to write a good fax.
Internal Affairs Range of Action
NanoTrasen provides job openings for Internal Affairs Agents precisely to ensure that the crew can be given legal representation in cases where Capital Sentences may not be fully justified. These openings are also there to allow for said Agents to ensure that Standard Operating Procedure and Space Law are being followed correctly, and to attempt to amend infringements on the field.
That said, however, the access given to Internal Affairs Agents is a privilege, not a right. An Internal Affairs Agent may be, and should be, ejected from the Brig if they are actively impeding Security from doing their job in an effective and expedient manner. Remember, Internal Affairs Agents do not have any authority to demand anything. If they are acting against the best interests of the station and its safety, they may be ignored.
As such, actions such as the following should be avoided if you are an Internal Affairs Agent:
1. Attempting to release a prisoner, or removing them from their cell for an interview, without contact Security and receiving their approval;
2. Distracting Security with cries of innocence, or attempting to use Central Command faxes as a threat/leverage;
3. Providing prisoners with any items except simple foodstuffs;
4. Deliberately omitting facts when handling cases in order to "win" the case
Keep in mind that this list is, by no means, a full representation of all the things you should not be doing as an Internal Affairs Agent. It is, however, a good example of the kind of actions you should be avoiding.
Before you think about putting on a grand trial for the client of the day, here are a couple of things to take into consideration:
1) Trials do not happen for timed sentences. As dictated in Space Law, only Permanent/Capital sentences can legally be brought to trial. Regardless of how much someone asks, you cannot legally represent someone unless they’re either headed for Permanent Imprisonment, the Electric/Injection Chair, the Firing Squad, or the Roboticist’s surgical table;
2) Trials take time. While a trial may be a great opportunity for roleplay and may in fact help uphold proper justice when the evidence is murky, most Security personnel will prefer an expedient application of Space Law rather than go through a (probably lengthy) trial process. You will most likely be ignored most of the time when requesting a trial, and will probably need to contact a higher authority, such as a Captain, a Magistrate or Central Command;
3) Trials are not a TV Show. Trials in-game are nothing like the ones commonly portrayed in Media, and most certainly are not trials by jury. You have the Prosecution and the Defense, and it is their job to ensure that the defendant is declared guilty or innocent, respectively. This decision will fall on the presiding Judge, who will most likely come with baggage themselves. Bottom line: this is Defense VS Prosecution where only tangible evidence matters, and nothing else.
In addition, please remember that Security is not obliged to provide legal representation. Even if the evidence is murky, at best, Security can deny your chance for a trial.
Only the Magistrate, Captain or Head of Security may convene a trial. The Magistrate can overrule the Captain and Head of Security, while the Captain can only overrule the Head of Security.
However, keep in mind that Security can and should refuse legal representation to a person, even if the Magistrate orders a trial, in any of the following circumstances:
1. The Defendant is obviously guilty/innocent given the evidence provided;
2. The station is currently in an active crisis requiring the entirety of Security. In this case, the Defendant should still be given a trial if the crisis is resolved
DO: Hold a trial for someone accused of Murder, but lacking forensic evidence, with the defendant claiming exaggerated charges from Security and/or the victim;
DON’T: Hold a trial for someone the AI caught shooting the CMO in the face after emagging into their office. Or any non-Capital sentence.
What To Do
Let us assume that we now have someone who can legally stand to trial, and the Head of Security/Magistrate/Captain has opted to allow this trial to go through. Here’s what you’ll need to do before a trial:
1) Find a Judge. This will be the person in charge of issuing the final sentence. In most cases, it’ll either be the Head of Security or the Captain but, if possible, try to get a Magistrate to handle the position, if there even is one;
2) Decide who Prosecution and Defense are. If there are two Internal Affairs Agents/Lawyers/Public Defenders aboard the station, this becomes simple. However, if there is only one available, someone needs to take up the mantle of the Prosecution. The Prosecution’s job will be to look at the evidence and attempt to convince the Judge that the defendant is guilty. The Defense’s job is to convince the Judge of the exact opposite;
3) Get a statement. Speak with your client and get their side of the story. A Universal Recorder works wonders, as it allows you to have a handy, ready-to-copy transcript of everything the person said. In addition, getting a statement from the arresting officer and everyone involved is a necessity in order to get all the sides of a story;
DO: Stick to the facts and ask questions that lead straight to the point, such as “Where were you?”, “What happened?” or “Who was nearby?”;
DON’T: Let the Defendant ramble on in a self-incriminating fashion, or ask questions like “Are you innocent?” or “Who did it?”;
4) Find a location. Normally, this ends up being the Holodeck, but any place can serve as an impromptu courtroom, provided both the Defense and Prosecution can be present;
5) Decide on a schedule. Even though Trials, by definition, take time, they should not take too much time. Before the Trial begins, it's always a good idea to predetermine how long the Trial should go on for, to avoid diverting needed resources and manpower for too long
The preferred setup setup for a courtroom is as follows:
1) Magistrate/Captain/Head of Security/NanoTrasen Representative as the Judge, in a decreasing order of preference;
2) Internal Affairs Agents as the Defense. If no Internal Affairs Agents are available, the Defendant may choose to either represent themselves, or choose someone from the crew to represent them. Security personnel should be picked to form the Prosecution if possible;
3) The only people present at the trial should be the Defendant, relevant witnesses and perhaps the Heads of Staff. Remember, Trials Take Time, and should not be public spectacles. Expediency is key.
1) The Prosecution presents its case. This involves presenting all the evidence Security has on the defendant, explaining why it’s relevant, and why it means said Defendant should be declared guilty;
DO: Get right to the point in presenting your evidence right away;
DON’T: Spend 10 minutes trying to convince the Judge you’re right without presenting evidence to back you up;
2) The Defense presents its case. The opposite of what the Prosecution does, the Defense’s job is to present either a viable alternative as to why the evidence presents itself as it is, or cast enough doubt onto the entire process that the Defendant cannot reasonably be named as the sole possible suspect;
DO: Cast reasonable doubt and present alternate scenarios;
DON’T: Accuse Security of anything, nor continuously scream “MY CLIENT IS INNOCENT!!111!!”, "MY CLIENT WAS FRAMED!!!!!11!!!", or any variation thereof;
3) The Defendant is examined. Firstly by the Prosecution, then by the Defense. In this phase, both sides get to ask questions to the defendant regarding the case, the evidence and their involvement thereof. Take care not to abuse your authority, as the Judge has full power to tell you to quit harassing the Defendant if need be;
DO: Asks questions like “Where were you at the time of the crime?” or “What were you doing at the time of your arrest?”;
DON’T: Ask questions like “You killed them in cold blood, didn’t you?” (for the Prosecution) or “Security was shitcurity in arresting you, weren’t they?” (for the Defense);
4) Any relevant witnesses are examined. Much like in real life, question the witnesses about what they saw, only. It is not your job to spin a story, it is your job to gather the facts, period. A written statement, such as a Recorder Transcript, may also serve this purpose instead of a live witness;
5) Closing statements. Once again, Prosecution followed by the Defense. Here, both sides give out their final conclusions, and it serves as a last effort to convince the Judge that your side is the one that is right;
DO: Wrap your arguments in a couple of minutes and deliver your conclusion to the Judge;
DON’T: Spend 10+ minutes desperately pleading for mercy;
6) Verdict. Simple as the name implies. The Judge issues a final verdict, which should be considered the defendant’s final sentence
No Lawyers Present?
In the event that there are no Internal Affairs Agents/Public Defenders/Lawyers available for the Defense, you have a few choices:
1. The defendant themselves, if they so desire;
2. The Magistrate/NanoTrasen Representative;
3. Any individual that the defendant specifically chooses to be their Defence Attorney;
4. Any volunteer that shows they are well versed in Space Law and Legal Standard Operating Procedure
If all else fails, and a trial simply isn’t possible, consider sending a fax to the Captain and letting them deliberate. Include every bit of evidence related to the case, along with any necessary considerations, and wait for a response. If that fails, contacting Central Command is advised.
How To Present An Argument
An Internal Affairs Agent/Public Defender/Lawyer’s entire job revolves around their capability to use their oratory skills. In layman’s terms, this means you’re supposed to be eloquent, and should be capable of producing convincing arguments at the drop of a hat. Your tongue is your tool, as is your brain. As such, we can’t really tell you how to properly present an argument, but we can provide some pointers:
1) Be concise. Do not spend half the trial’s time on a rambling speech that leads nowhere. In most cases, less is more. Get to the point, and stay there, as most of the time, that’s all that’s needed, and people will be much more willing to listen to you;
DO: Say things such as “At X time, my client was in Y” or “During the time of the crime, my client was doing Z”;
DON’T: Say things such as “My client could not possibly have done this, as he is X and Y and Z and loves puppies and Shitcurity has it out for them”;
2) Be realistic. While it’s understandable that you want to exercise your profession, some cases aren’t worth it. When there’s such a mountain of evidence stacked against someone that the result is a foregone conclusion, it’s best to let Space Law take over directly;
DO: Take that case of the murderer who claims he was framed and actually lacks any substantial, non-circumstantial evidence in their case;
DON’T: Listen to the person who murdered three others via chainsaw, or was caught breaking into anywhere in the act;
3) Have evidence supporting your case. This of course is self-evident. Witness reports and forensics are what you’ll be dealing with mostly. Keep them on backup at all times. In triplicate;
4) Consider special circumstances. There’s an entire section in Space Law for “Special Modifiers” that allow one’s sentence to be altered, reduced or even nullified. Pay close attention to the context of whatever happened and play these cards whenever possible. In some cases, it’s not about whether you can stop the sentence, it’s about whether you can do something to make it more bearable;
DO: Point out your client cooperated with Security during the proceedings;
DON’T: Demand a reduction of the sentence over reasons not listed in the Special Modifiers table, such as “My client is a clown, and therefore does not know better”
Advice For The Judge
So, you’ve been chosen as the Judge, and it is now your job to sit and listen to the Prosecution and Defense make their cases and decide on a verdict. Here are a few pointers on how to proceed:
1) Be ethical. If you have a conflict of interest in the case (such as being friends with the Defendant, or having any sort of strong feelings and/or associations with them), it’s best to let someone else take up the mantle;
2) Be fair. You are not here to be a hanging judge. You have been chosen precisely because people believe you are capable of producing a fair judgement when provided with all the evidence. This does not mean, however, you should go light on the defendant either. You must be able to sift through all the non-important material and focus on what matters, and apply Space Law only to the point where it should be applied, no more, no less. A Judge should not be out to satisfy their personal vendettas, or appease a bloodthirsty crew. A Judge is out to make sure Justice is served;
DO: Reduce Murder to Manslaughter if the evidence points towards it being unintentional and/or a crime of passion;
DON’T: Upgrade Assault to Murder/Manslaughter if the victim later died due to medical malpractice;
3) Listen. Both sides most likely have convincing and valid arguments to put out. As a Judge, it’s your job to carefully listen to both the Prosecution and the Defense, then make a decision based on what they said and presented. Remember, your personal opinions are irrelevant. Only the facts matter in trials. However, it should be noted that personal interpretation of the facts goes a long way. There is a vast difference between premeditated murder and a crime of passion. There is a huge gulf between calculated sabotage, and accidental Toxins release. Listen to what both sides have to say, and make sure you are aware of the context that birthed the circumstances of the crime. Nothing happens in a vacuum, even aboard a space station. Context is King, and Evidence is Queen;
4) Know your limits. In some cases, you simply can’t decide. Either the evidence is too murky, or both sides present such a compelling argument that you can’t settle on a verdict. In such cases, it is perfectly acceptable for you to consult with other members of Command and get their input on the situation
Civil Disputes involve cases where two or more personnel aboard the station are engaged in some manner of quarrel or discussion outside the scope of Space Law, usually involving a workplace grievance of some kind. This quarrel is significant enough as to warrant further intervention, but rather than pressing it via Security, it is instead settled in a court of law.
The purpose of this court of law is to ensure equity or, in other words, "fairness", as opposed to the strict letter of the law. This involves judging the situation at hand and attempting to assess which party, or parties, are at fault, followed by a verdict and an appropriate sentence, be it a fine, community service, or any other thing the presiding Judge deems adequate.
The Judge presides over the Civil Dispute, and will decide on the verdict and appropriate sentence. This position is to be filled by the Magistrate, Captain or NanoTrasen Representative, in that order of preference. The Head of Security cannot preside over a Civil Dispute;
The Bailiff serves as a more direct, physical authority inside the actual courtroom. It is their duty to ensure that unruly personnel are duly processed (see below), in addition to managing the overall level of chaos during the court session. While not required, it is highly recommended that a Bailiff be present for Civil Disputes. This position can be filled by any Security Officer, the Security Pod Pilot, or the Detective;
The Legal Representatives are fairly self-explanatory. They serve as judiciary aids for both the complainant and the defendant, and will intervene in their place during court proceedings. Any party can, however, choose to represent themselves, at which point a Legal Representative is not required. This position must be filled by Internal Affairs Agents, or any crewmember handpicked by the complaining or defendant;
The Complainant, or injured party, is the person, or persons, that bring the Civil Dispute to the court of law in the first place. They will usually have some sort of grievance with the defendant, and will probably demand some sort of restitution;
The Defendant, or accused, is the person, or persons, accused of wrongdoing. In a Civil Dispute, innocence is assumed until guilt is proven.
A Civil Dispute is far simpler to organize than a Trial:
1) The Complainant and/or Defendant are allowed some time with their Legal Representatives, assuming they have requested one;
2) The Complainant and Defendant present themselves in the courtroom;
3) The Judge and Bailiff present themselves in the courtroom;
4) The Complainant presents their case;
5) The Defendant presents their case;
6) At this point, the Judge may freely interrogate either party, and direct the flow of conversation as they see fit. This lasts until the Judge feels all relevant information has been gathered;
7) A verdict is passed, followed by a sentence;
8) Everyone leaves the courtroom
Sentences and Verdicts
A verdict is passed once the presiding Judge believes all relevant information has been disclosed. This verdict should take into consideration not the letter of the law, but rather the overall fairness of the relevant case. It is, as such, subjective, and the presiding Judge should attempt to remain as unbiased as possible. Abusing this authority and acting in an abusive, authoritarian manner is grounds for immediate termination (and may very well end up in a Jobban if severe enough).
This verdict can range from declaring a party guilty and liable to repayment to the other party, to declaring both parties guilty in some way, to declaring everyone innocent, and everything in between.
A sentence is passed after the verdict, assuming a guilty party has been ascertained. This cannot be jail time; Civil Disputes are outside of Space Law.
Limits of Sentences
There is a limit to how severe a sentence can be. As noted previously, Civil Disputes settle matters outside of Space Law. As such, Civil Disputes cannot be settled with Brig Sentences. The sole exception to this rule is when the Civil Dispute reveals an actual crime has been committed, at which point it ceases being a Civil Dispute and falls under the purview of Security and Space Law.
Fines are perhaps the simplest of sentences. A presiding Judge may sentence a guilty party to pay the injured party a set amount of money from their personal savings. Note that the presiding Judge cannot force a guilty party to empty their entire savings. If a guilty party has no money, another sentence must be picked.
Community Service may be sentenced if the presiding Judge feels the guilty party should repay damages to the station and crew in general, not just the injured party. This Service is limited to menial labor, such as Janitorial Duty (mopping, cleaning and trash collection), a set amount of Mining Points, kitchen duty, or aiding the Librarian or Chaplain. In case of the Service not having an in-built tracking system (such as Mining Points), a set amount of time must be decided on, though it should never exceed fifteen minutes. This Community Service is to be served immediately following the end of the court proceedings. Failure to do so is grounds for an arrest, and a 10 minute sentence.
Another possibility is an Injunction. An Injunction can be summed up as a limitation placed on a guilty party as a result of the Civil Dispute. This can be a whole host of things, such as prohibitions on racial slurs, forced labor indications or even a restraining order (which is to be enforced by Security if picked. Personnel violating a restraining order are to be placed in the Brig for five minutes). This Injunction should be minor, however, and may not disrupt the regular workflow of the guilty party in any major way.
Demotion to a lower post, or outright contract termination, remains a possibility if, and only if, the Civil Dispute reveals a case of startling and/or noticeable incompetence in the workplace. In such cases, the presiding Judge may order a demotion to a position with lower responsibility (such as a Chef, or Janitor), or an outright termination of the contract. In either case, the relevant Head of Staff must be contacted, and the situation discussed. Ultimately, however, the final say belongs to the presiding Judge, which is why demotions or dismissals are to be reserved only for cases of clear, undeniable incompetence and/or malpractice.
Exaggerated sentences, or cruel and unusual sentences, are grounds for immediate termination of contract for the presiding Judge, at the discretion of Central Command.
Contempt of Court
It is assumed that all parties inside the courtroom, and during the court proceedings, act with dignity and self-respect. This includes, but is not limited to, recognizing the authority of the Judge and Bailiff, maintaining an appropriate level of verbal control, and generally acting in a civilized manner.
Should a person inside the courtroom act in such a way as to disturb the court proceedings, or outright disrupt them, the Bailiff, assuming there is one, is to forcefully remove them from the courtroom, and their return is forbidden. Should a Bailiff not be present, Security is fully authorized to remove anyone found in Contempt of Court from the courtroom.
The decision on whether or not a person is in Contempt of Court rests with the presiding Judge.
|Standard Operating Procedure|
|Other SOP||Legal Standard Operating Procedure|