Covenant amended to add Statute of Limitations


Covenant amended to add Statute of Limitations

Hey folks,

Earlier this month, I proposed an amendment to the Covenant to add a statute of limitations. The measure was passed a few days later by the Dark Council and is now a part of the Covenant. Below you will find some excerpts of the original email I sent to the Dark Councils explaining the rational behind the amendment. Please read through it -- and especially note that if you have some complaint that has happened in the past, you have three months from today to get it before the CoJ before it expires.

The updated Covenant will be uploaded in a few moments.


After giving this some good thought, I believe that there needs to be a statute of limitations in the Dark Covenant. For those of you who don't know what a statute of limitations is, it is basically a rule saying that any complaint about an event needs to happen within a certain period of time. For a real world example, if someone punches you, you normally have to sue them within a year, or else you are barred from making the claim.

I believe that the DB needs a three month statute of limitations on claims. There are a lot of good reasons for this:

  1. The person complaining cannot sit on his or her rights and just go after someone when more events happen or it is convenient. When someone does something wrong, the complaint needs to be made then.

  2. Prevents charge blitzes. I was guilty in doing this to Oberst last year: I went through all of my files and found things that related almost all the way back to the split. That should not be allowed. If a person doesn't make a timely complaint, they should lose the right to complain.

  3. Gives us the right to tell people to shut the hell up about things after a certain amount of time.

  4. Allows us to preserve some form of proof and recollection. Over time, people forget, and even worse, heighten the incident int heir own mind. Emails and logs are lost, etc.

In light of this, I propose the addition of four subsections to the Covenant:

8.03 Process of Adjudication

(j) To begin the process of adjudication, a member must submit a formal complaint to the Chamber of Justice. The complaint must indicate the parties to the action, must give a brief statement of the facts, and must clearly delineate that the member requires formal action from the Chamber of Justice rather than other action such as mediation. Sufficient for the last requirement are phrases such as "I present a formal complaint," "I officially request action be taken," or an email subject of "Formal Complaint against XXXXX."

(k) Statute of Limitations: All complaints must be received within three months of the underlying event or else they will be dismissed as time-barred. If the complaint is derived from a series of events, the three month time period will begin tolling from the last known event.

(l) Once a complaint is submitted, the member's rights in that complaint shall not expire until a full conclusion of the case through trial, settlement or dismissal. The Justicar must give the complaining member notice of the finality of the case.

(m) The Justicar, the Grand Master or a Hand of Justice, upon receiving a formal complaint, may attempt to mediate the dispute to arrive at a settlement. Attempted mediation does not bar the member from continuing the adjudication under their complaint if mediation fails. At the end of a successful mediation, the Justicar may ask for a withdrawal of the complaint or, if three months have passed since the end of mediation without any further inquiries by the complaining member, the Justicar may dismiss the complaint himself.

I think this, especially with the mediation clause, will really help to clarify the process of things.

Please note that if this passes, members would have three months to make any complaints coming from any time before this statute, or else they would be barred. IE The three month period on something that happened in June would start running the day this passes.

Does this mean I could go around confessing to things that I've done in the past and get away free and clear as long as the things happened over 3 months ago? :P

In three months you can. Although, keep in mind that this in no way effects the ability of an executive officer to choose who is in what position. If you confess to say, beating my mom, chances are I wouldn't let you have or keep a M:GM position. This is judicial only.


Shouldn't the statute of limitations be the later of three months after the underlying events or three months after discovery of the events, whichever occurs later? Sometimes people get stuff pulled on them and they do not find out during the limitations period. Thus, the extension for discovery. As I understand it, most statutes of limitation contain such "discovery" provisions to protect the wronged and to prevent perpetrators from receiving a windfall for successfully covering their wrongdoing for the limitation period.

DJK Baron Zarco (#6763)

I would hope that the Judiciary would interpret "underlying event" as the discovery of the event. I tried to make it fit that way, especially with the series of events speaking.

If it poses a problem, I'm sure we can just add the words "discovery of" to the clause.

I'll ask Kir what he thinks -- we may need to address this now.

Good thought.

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