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Proposed Rule Change for the Members Right to be Notified

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  • Proposed Rule Change for the Members Right to be Notified

    I think perhaps we should consider to propose a Rule Change to the effect that if a Convicted Felon who has been suspended re-applies at any time a Notice of such should be published in advance in Equestrian Magazine the Official Publication. The Members should have the right to express their feelings for consideration of the Hearing committee by affadavit.

    I think it is fair to say that the Federation Membership has a right to be notified by the Hering Committee and express their opinions for consideration by the Hearing Committee.

    Rules Change Proposals from the Membership must be submitted before June 15th, I think.

    I would like you opinions on this issue and how it should be worded and who is willing to submit the Proposal.

    I would like to note that this thread has had over 60,00o hits which means there is great interest and concern for this issue.
    http://www.usAHSA.org and http://www.noreinstatement.org

  • #2
    I think you need to be more specific than that- every convicted felon who was suspended for actions related to the felony. Otherwise the USEF would have to do a background search on ech person who applies for reinstatement (say after writing a bad check), to find out if they have ever been convicted of a felony.

    chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).


    • #3
      The deadline for rule change proposals from the membership is June 1, not June 15.

      chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).


      • #4
        Good point. And we also need to check which rule this links up with (i.e. which rule we want to modify)...
        "The standard you walk by is the standard you accept."--Lt. Gen. David Morrison, Austalian Army Chief


        • Original Poster

          Those are great suggestions and exactly why I wanted this here for discussion. Many minds work better to solve a problem.

          Janet you are good at the rules can interpolate from the form the information we need to put together? Then maybe between all of us we can propose a rough draft to get the ideas started.
          http://www.usAHSA.org and http://www.noreinstatement.org


          • #6
            What about cruelty to animals as well?
            Tinwhistle Farm


            • #7
              In a quick scan, I can't find any rules which specifically address "re-instatement". I am sure they are there, but not where I am looking.

              chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).


              • #8
                Although I appreciate the sentiments of wishing to protect members from actions by unsavory charactors, I really don't think that a rule such as you are proposing would be a benefit to the membership...in fact, I think that this is a scary direction for the Federation to go (I doubt that such a proposal would be passed by either the constituants at the conventions or by the BOD, but still....?), and would prove to be unbelievably costly to the Federation, and (ultimatly)the membership.

                First...The USEF is not an exclusionary organization. To single out a group, any group, as "unworthy" of membership by their definition alone is hardly democratic, and is unabashedly elitist. How would the Federation know, the individual circumstances of every person who crossed their radar screen? Do you know for sure that none of your friends or colleagues have ever been convicted of a felony at some time in their past? I sure don't. I am fairly certain that the type of people that I hang out with are not criminal types, but I don't do a background check on friends or clients. Besides which, there all manner of circumstances by which one could become a convicted felon. Participation in a stupid college prank (at the age of 18), when one's capacity for clear thinking among one's peers is somewhat subject to question.could do the job quite easily.

                But, if a new rule were to put felons under the scrutiny of the USEF office AND the public membership, the Federation would have to be an equal opportunity investigator. The remorseful and (now adult) recipient of a DUI and the Triple Ax Murderer would have to be equal in their treatment and exposure by the USEF. For the USEF to run a background check on every person who had been set down (suspended) to find out if they were a felon...including the horse show novices who manage to violate a rule and get suspended for a month for this or that infraction, would create about the worst PR I can imagine for any sport to inflict upon it's present and potential members. And the cost of invoking this procedure would be staggering! Why, there would probably have to be a whole new department of the USEF devoted to checking the histories of miscreants! Wow! I sure am glad that I am a Life Member, and wouldn't have to cough up the money for the new dues structure that would come into being! $500 a year for membership in the USEF? $400 for Horse Recording? And Fines for clerical errors, etc.?...through the roof!

                Then there is the matter of law suits. There are some pretty rich felons out there (Unfortunately, crime pays well, if you are good at it.) who would love to sue the Federation for defamation based solely on the fact that they had been convicted of a felony!
                And, let's not forget the mayhem that would occur when the USEF published the names of these folks, (That, in of itself, would make attorneys dance with glee at the prospect of the USEF and their rich clients dukeing it out about the damage to their "good names" and inflatedc egos.)thus inviting a free-for-all of blackballing by everyone who had an ax to grind. Yup...things would get pretty exciting down at those offices in Kentucky!

                Now...before you get your knickers in a knot...I am not an advocate of felonious behavior. I don't like crooks, and I don't like what they do to people and to animals. But I am an advocate of equality under law, and the suggestion that is the topic of this thread is absurd, and, well, scary! Now I don't wish to cause an uproar and have some of you think that I am making accusations, because I am not...but if you really think about it, this kind of thought process, has caused some pretty awful events in the history of mankind...the very least of which is country club committees who investigate the background of prospective members to see if they are "the right sort..." before letting them into the club! But Oh...that would be elitist and exclusionary...now wouldn't it?


                • #9
                  Why only notification for felons? Why not a rule change for notice of *any* member applying for reinstatement?

                  They publish a list of all suspensions, regardless of the "crime," and all reinstatements.

                  Does one always have to apply for reinstatement, or is it automatic in some cases, after the suspension has been served?


                  • Original Poster

                    Janet I would guess they would be around where they post penalties. Around the GR67-68 etc. section. They may not call it reinstatement.

                    If we are not modifying an existing rule then we indicate a new number or Article.

                    N&B&T I would tend to think that is too difficult to define unless they already use a phrase that is appropriate somewhere and we can copy that.

                    What one discipline thinks is cruelty may not be to another. I think we'd then have to check what is defined in all the Breeds and Disciplines. Premeditated death of a horse is a solid definition.

                    That could be step two after we get those already convicted in a court of a dead horse for pecuniary reasons.
                    http://www.usAHSA.org and http://www.noreinstatement.org


                    • #11
                      I agree with Erin. I would suggest a rule stating that USEF will publish a list of anyone who has applied for reinstatement. Of course the publication would have to appear well in advance of the hearing. What would be the appropriate lead time? 90 days?
                      Old age means realizing you will never own all the dogs you wanted to.--Joe Gores


                      • Original Poster

                        Well Erin I thought of that but then they might have an excuse that for minor things it would be labor expensive. When we all objected to the Board Meeings and Executive Committe no longer being web cast. They said it was too expensive.

                        However, if that's the direction everyone wants that fine with me. I wouldn't oppose it. I started this thread because I believe in the Town Meeting format where nothing is a secret and done behind closed doors. This is something everyone needs a part of developing. It's not just my idea.

                        Sure, I know I don't have much patience and tend to be pushy but that's only because I don't have as much time left to wait.

                        I think we all need to be heard and have a voice in what happens to this sport. We have to draw the line somewhere.
                        http://www.usAHSA.org and http://www.noreinstatement.org


                        • Original Poster

                          Well to my knowledge Equestrian Magazine has a 90 day print time. We'd have to give them 40 days after the application is received to get it to Equestrian and then we would read it 90 days later. Then you need time for people to respond on the proper forms to the Hearing Committee then time for the Hearing Committee to each receive a copy and read it.
                          http://www.usAHSA.org and http://www.noreinstatement.org


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Snowbird:
                            Well Erin I thought of that but then they might have an excuse that for minor things it would be labor expensive.
                            You know what I say to "too expensive"?----pffffthwwwthwffppppth

                            The website is already paid for.
                            Old age means realizing you will never own all the dogs you wanted to.--Joe Gores


                            • #15
                              Perhaps if there was public notice/hearing for reinstatement for those members banned as a result of/or in relationship to a felony. Meaning it would be limited to those who were banned as a result of their felonious actions, not just people who had a felony conviction entirely unrelated. I mean I dont' really care if you got busted with pot when you were 21. I care that you were convicted of embezzling funds in the sale of a horse or insurance fraud and so on. You could also propose an either/or option. Public hearing for felony related banning and/or those members banned for over X months or even tha tif a member has had 2 suspensions, regardless of cause, the third is subject to a public hearing.

                              Of course the unintended consequences are that punshment might gravitate to under that number because committee members may fall prey to the human desire not to subject their peers to a public hearing (meaning if you set the bar at 3 months suspension, you might see the av'g penalty drop to below 3 months so as to avoid the public hearing phase).

                              BUt I do think the idea of a public hearing for people who got a 1 week suspension thanks to bad timing on a legal drug is not exactly how many of us want to spend our USEF $$$.
                              Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Erin:
                                Why only notification for felons? Why not a rule change for notice of *any* member applying for reinstatement?

                                They publish a list of all suspensions, regardless of the "crime," and all reinstatements.

                                Does one always have to apply for reinstatement, or is it automatic in some cases, after the suspension has been served?
                                Erin, There are basically 3 kinds of suspension.

                                A Most have a fixed term- 90 days starting on date X. No need to apply for reinstatement.

                                B The ones that are based on bouncing checks or not paying fees usually have an indefinite term- until the financial obligation has been fixed. That is a form of reinstatement, but I don't know if they have an actual hearing, or if it is "automatic" once the check clears.

                                C The ones associated with the insurance killings (and maybe a few others) have an indefinite term, with the opportunity to "apply for re-instatement after X years", where X varies.

                                Since I can't find the ANYTHING about reinstatement, I don't know if the rules treat B and C differently. C is what Snowbird is interested in.

                                chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).


                                • #17
                                  Premeditated death of a horse is a solid definition.
                                  Think again. I think that most horseman/women who have been around this world more than 10 years have participated in decisions involving "premeditated death of a horse" (aka "put down").

                                  We all know what you MEAN, but defining it explicitly is very difficult.

                                  chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).


                                  • Original Poster

                                    Saddlebag I think you may have missed the point that where we draw the line is with those Convicted Felons who have already been convicted or confessed where horses were the victims.

                                    I agree with you that we do not have suitable means to define what is cruelty to horses nor do we want to ban anyone who is a convicted felon for any crime. I trust however if that passed it would not mean that we would lose so many members that we could not afford to continue to support our activites.

                                    Can you suggest a better line to draw so that the young trainers do not start to believe it doesn;t matter what they do. That's why the thread is here and on the table for analysis.
                                    http://www.usAHSA.org and http://www.noreinstatement.org


                                    • Original Poster

                                      There always a lot of reasons NOT to do something.

                                      The question we're trying to answer is how to get it done correctly.
                                      http://www.usAHSA.org and http://www.noreinstatement.org


                                      • #20
                                        Maybe have some kind of wording about holding a hearing open to all USEF members in good standing who wish to attend said hearing (or send something in writing to be read at the hearing) regarding the reinstatement application of anyone convicted of any act of cruelty or abuse towards any animal (horse, dog, cat, prairie dog, sheep, cow, etc). Background checks are not overly expensive and could be done by the USEF once a reinstatement application has been made. The USEF would have to publish a notice of the hearing date in Equestrian and allow plenty of time for the members to receive the notice and to respond (I don't know how many times my magazine has arrived well after the deadline for things published in Equestrian). If this means that the applicant would have to wait 4 to 6 months after he/she makes a reinstatement application, then so be it.

                                        I think the word "felony" is a bit broad for what you may be trying to accomplish. A person who steals something valued over a certain amount of money could be convicted for a felony. As much as I don't want to be around those types of felons, someone that steals, (lets say a car) isn't in the same ballpark as someone who kills or hurts an animal.

                                        I think we should also consider a rule regarding any convicted sex offender that would serve as a Judge, Steward, Manager, Announcer, Paddock Master, etc. that would have any kind of contact with a child at a USEF member horse show. Maybe the USEF needs to start licensing all Horse Show Officials and doing background checks on anyone applying for a license.

                                        Just my thoughts

                                        Aefvue Farm....where everyone knows your name