Student Court Bylaws

Page Updated: June 12, 2019

Document Ratified: October 3rd, 2015

Article I:

Section 1

Name

The Judicial power of the Student Government Association shall be vested in a Student Court, herein referred to as the “Court”.

Article II:

Section 1

Purpose and Objective

It is ordained that the Court protect the rights of the student body by ensuring the rights of the individual guaranteed to persons under the Constitution of the United States, the State of Florida, the Constitution of the Student Government Association and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University policy.

Article III:

Section 1

Authority and Powers

The Judicial power shall extend to all cases arising under the SGA Constitution, Bylaws, and Legislation enacted by the SGA; to all student cases arising from parking and traffic violations; to all cases that may be specifically referred to the Court by the Office of the Dean of Students, Housing, and Campus Safety, including but not limited to matters involving the personal conduct of students and disputes between two or more students. The Court also has the power to levy fines and recommend probation, suspension, or dismissal, and swear in new Officials of the SGA. The Court also retains the power to interpret the Constitution and all the bylaws of the SGA.

Article IV:

Section 1

Membership of the Student Court

The Court shall consist of one Chief Justice and seven Associate Justices. Associate Justices are interviewed and selected by the current Justices, the SGA President, Vice President, and Treasurer with the final decision being the responsibility of the Chief Justice.

Section 2

Duties, Term of Office, and Requirements of the Chief Justice

A. Any current Associate Justice is eligible to be appointed as the Chief Justice.

B. The President of the SGA shall appoint the Chief Justice at such time that the previous Chief Justice has vacated the office.

C. The President’s appointment is subject to a two-thirds (2/3) approval vote of the SFB and SRB.

D. The Court shall be established in the presence of the Chief Justice.

E. The Chief Justice will chair Court meetings requiring a quorum of fifty one percent of the existing membership.

F. In the event of a voting tie, the Chief Justice shall vote to render a final decision in a Court proceeding.

G. The Chief Justice should follow the format stated in Article IV, Section 4 of the SGA Constitution when in office.

H. The Chief Justice will swear in all newly elected/appointed officials of the SGA. All officials shall be required to affirm the following oath upon taking office:

“I, (state your full name), do solemnly
swear that I will faithfully execute the
office of (state name of office) of the
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Student Government Association in
Accordance with the Constitution and
Bylaws. I shall, to the best of my ability,
Faithfully represent those students who
Elected/Appointed me to this office.”

Section 3

Duties, Term of Office, and Requirements of the Associate Justices

A. The Associate Justices shall be enrolled in classes full time for the duration of their term in office, which expires upon the resignation of the individual Associate Justice.

B. The Associate Justices shall serve students as a fair and impartial body. If an acquaintance of the Associate Justice appears before the Court, the Justice familiar with the student will maintain the right to hear the case.

C. In the event that the Chief Justice cannot attend a SGA meeting, an Associate Justice may serve as a replacement, at the request of the Chief Justice and report the Court’s activities. The Associate Justice shall also perform other duties as required.

D. In the event that the Chief Justice is not available to swear in a new official(s), an Associate Justice may upon the request of the Chief Justice swear in the new official(s). The Justice should follow the format stated in Article IV, Section 3, Paragraph E, of these Bylaws.

E. One Justice shall, upon the request of the Chief Justice, act in the capacity of the Chief Justice as required. The Justice shall also assist the Chief Justice with other Court matters as required.

a. The selected Justice retains the right to vote except when
acting in the capacity of the Chief Justice.

F. Associate Justices are permitted to be absent no more than three scheduled meetings during one semester. Justices are also required to schedule and serve at least six office hours per two weeks.*

* One week of office hours will be considered one meeting if missed. Justices cannot serve all six office hours in one week

Section 4

Replacement

Qualifications for the position of the Associate Justices shall be a 2.5 cumulative GPA or at the digression of the Chief justice and no judicial record of any kind while attending Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Should a Justice vacate his/her position, applications will be taken from the general student body and appointed by the Chief.

Article V:

Section 1

Meeting Time and Place

The time and place of Court meetings shall be specified by the Chief Justice. The Chief Justice reserves the right to choose a meeting time and place that is convenient to the Chief Justice, Justices, and the student Body.

Section 2

Meeting Publication

The time and place of the Court sessions shall be made available to the student body.

Section 3

Voting

No voting is to take place unless a quorum, chaired by the Chief Justice or his/her designee is present.

Section 4

Sessions

A. Unless an open session is requested by the student appealing/ being charged, all Court sessions shall be held in closed session to protect the confidentiality of the student.

B. The Court may designate an individual eligible to attend a closed session, if that individual has a justified interest in the case.

Article VI:

Section 1

Student Court Procedure

The purpose of these procedures is to assist the Chief Justice in running the Court and to give the Chief Justice, and Associate Justices, guidelines in the decision making process.

Section 2

Student Requesting a Nonsummoned Court Hearing

A. The student, upon entrance into the Court, will be advised of his/her rights.

a. The student can exercise his or her right to request, upon entering, that a Student Court member(s) be asked not to be a part of the decision making process and voting if said Student Court member(s) has a personal history with the student which would affect the overall final decision.

B. The student shall explain why he/she requested a Court hearing.

C. The Court members will be allowed to ask all those testifying, questions relative to the case.

D. The student has the right to cross-examine all those testifying, in the case.

E. The student and all others will be asked to leave the room and a decision will be arrived at by a majority vote.

F. In the event of a tie, the Chief Justice shall vote to render a final decision in a Court hearing.

G. The student will be advised of the Court’s decision and that he/she may appeal the decision to the Advisor of the SGA.

Section 3

Summoned Students

A. A student who has been summoned to the Court upon entrance into the Court will be advised of his/her rights.

B. The Student will then be told what he/she is being summoned for.

C. The Court members will then be allowed to question the student and all others testifying in the case with questions relative to the case.

D. The Student has the right to cross-examine all those testifying in the case.

E. The Student and all others will be asked to leave the room and a decision will be arrived at by a majority vote.

F. In the event of a tie, the Chief Justice shall vote to render a final decision in a Court hearing.

G. The Student will be advised of the Court’s decision and that he/she may appeal the decision to the Office of Dean of Students.

Section 4

Rules and Regulations

The current Parking and Traffic Regulations, Student Handbook, and Housing Policies shall be part of the Court procedure and regulations.

Section 5

SGA Appeal Case Procedures and Guidelines

A. SGA Chairperson writes up an SGA Official via verbal counseling form and imposes sanctions.

B. SGA Official in violation is given the option to appeal as outlined in the SGA Constitution A. 6, S. 2.

C. If the Official is appealing the Chairperson’s decision, the Chairperson will then be notified of the appeal and informed of the date and time of the hearing.

D. Both the SGA Official in question and their respective Chairperson may be in attendance with the Chairperson acting only as a witness to the violation. (As a witness, the Chairperson may not directly question the SGA Official, and their attendance is not subject to Contempt of Court fines.)

E. Both parties may submit evidence and any statement they may have in regards only to the violation in question. Any past  violations or behaviors may not be discussed within the hearing, or submitted as evidence.

F. In the event that the Chairperson is not able to attend at the scheduled time, they will have until twenty-four (24) hours before the hearing to submit evidence on their behalf.

Article VII:

Amendments

Section 1

Amendments or revisions of the Court Bylaws may be proposed by any member of the Court.

Section 2

The Bylaws shall be amended or revised by a two-thirds vote of the entire Court.

Article VIII:

Ratification

Section 1

Purpose and Objective

All amendments shall become effective upon a majority vote of the Student Court.