Appeal Policy of
Central East Women’s Fastpitch League
- The purpose of this policy is to enable disputes with members and members of member associations to be dealt with fairly, expeditiously and affordably, within the Central East Women’s Fastpitch League (CEWFL) and without recourse to external legal procedures.
- Days - will mean total days, irrespective of weekends or holidays.
- Member - refers to all Associations engaged in activities with the CEWFL including, but not limited to, association directors, officers, administrators and employees.
- Members of Member Associations - refers to all individuals engaged in activities with Member Associations including, but not limited to, athletes, parents, coaches, team managers, scorekeepers, officials and volunteers.
- Appellant - refers to the member appealing a decision.
- Respondent - refers to the body whose decision is being appealed.
Application of Policy
- In this policy, the general term “Member” refers to member associations, and members of member associations, as defined in the Constitution and By-Laws of the CEWFL.
- A Member who is affected by a decision of the Board of Directors, or of an Executive, Committee, Volunteer or any individual who has been delegated authority to make decisions on behalf of the Board of Directors, will have the right to appeal that decision, provided there are sufficient grounds.
- The President has the authority to solely rule on game forfeit appeals without convening a panel, and may reverse a forfeit but only prior to the leagues “Last date to appeal forfeit status” per Section 17 of the Bylaws.
- This right to appeal will not apply to decisions relating to:
a) Discipline matters arising during non-league events that are within the jurisdiction of PWSA or Members Associations;
b) Player eligibility/selection to teams that are within the jurisdiction of Association Members;
c) Operational matters of the league such as budgeting, scheduling, communications or other day-to-day operations;
d) Matters that are decided by the voting membership of the league such as the Constitution, Bylaws and Rules of Play;
e) PWSA suspensions which are automatically enforced by the league;
f) Any decision made under
Section 10 of this Policy.
Timing of Appeal
- Members who wish to appeal a decision will have 7 days from the date on which they received notice of the decision, to submit in writing their appeal to the President of the CEWFL, with a copy to the Secretary.
Submitting an Appeal
- The notice will contain the contact information for the Appellant, the name of the Respondent (the body whose decision is being appealed), grounds for the appeal per section 7, a summary of the evidence that supports these grounds, and the remedy or remedies requested.
Grounds for Appeal
- Not every decision may be appealed. Decisions may only be appealed, and appeals may only be heard, on procedural grounds. Procedural grounds are strictly limited to the Respondent:
a) Making a decision for which it did not have authority or jurisdiction as set out in governing documents;
b) Failing to follow procedures as laid out in the By-Laws or approved policies of the CEWFL;
c) Making a decision that was influenced by bias, where bias is defined as a lack of neutrality to such an extent that the decision-maker is unable to consider other views, or made a decision that was influenced by factors unrelated to the merit is of the decision; or
Screening of Appeal
- Within 7 days of receiving the notice of an appeal, the President will determine whether there is a right of appeal as set out in Section 4 and whether the appeal is brought on appropriate grounds, as set out in Section 7. In the absence of the President, a designate will perform this function.
- If the appeal is denied on the basis of insufficient grounds, the President will notify the Appellant of this decision in writing, giving reasons. This decision is at the sole discretion of the President and may not be appealed.
- If the President is satisfied that there is a right of appeal and that there are sufficient grounds for an appeal, within 14 days of the President having received the original notice of appeal, the President will establish an Appeals Panel (hereafter referred to as the “Panel”) as follows:
a) The Panel will be comprised of three individuals who will have no significant relationship with the affected parties, will have had no involvement with the decision being appealed, and will be free from any other actual or perceived bias or conflict.
b) At least two members of the Panel will be actively involved in the sport of softball in Ontario.
c) The President will name one of the Panel members to serve as Chairman of the Panel.
Procedure for the Hearing
- The Panel will govern the hearing by oral or by document submission as it deems appropriate, provided that:
a) The hearing will be held within 14 days of the Panel’s appointment.
b) The Appellant and Respondent will be given 10 days written notice of the date, time and place of the hearing.
c) A quorum will be all three Panel members, and decisions will be by 2/3 majority vote.
d) If the decision of the Panel may affect another party to the extent that the other party would have recourse to an appeal under this policy, that party will become a party to the appeal in question and will be bound by its outcome.
e) All parties are given opportunity to provide written submissions to the Panel, to review written submissions of other parties, and to provide written rebuttal and argument; and
f) If the circumstances of the dispute will not allow a timely appeal, or cannot be concluded within the timelines, the Panel may direct alternate timelines.
g) The appeal will take place in the location designated by the President unless the Panel decides the appeal is to be held by way of telephone conference, or unless, at the specific request of a party, the Panel as a preliminary matter mandates a different location.
- Within 7 days of concluding the appeal, the Panel will issue its written decision, with reasons.
- In making its decision, the Panel will have no greater authority than that of the original decision-maker. The Panel may decide:
a) To reject the appeal and confirm the decision being appealed or
b) To uphold the appeal and vary the decision where it is found that an error occurred; and
- The decision will be considered a matter of public record. A copy of the decision will be presented to each of the parties and to the CEWFL Board of Directors.
Final and Binding Decision
- The decision of the Panel will be final and binding on the parties and on all
Members of the CEWFL.
- In the event that a dispute persists after appeals have been exhausted, and where
the continuing dispute relates to an Appeal Panel having made a decision that was outside its jurisdiction, having failed to follow proper procedures, or having made a decision that was influenced by bias, such a dispute will be dealt with through binding arbitration through the Provincial Women’s Softball Association.
- Should a dispute be referred to the Provincial Women’s Softball Association, all parties to the original appeal will be Parties to the arbitration. Furthermore, the parties to the arbitration will enter into a written Arbitration Agreement that will specify the decision of the arbitrator, will be final and binding upon the parties, and not subject to any further review by any court or any other body.
- No action, application for judicial review or other legal proceeding will be commenced against the CEWFL in respect of a dispute with a member unless the CEWFL has failed or refused to participate in binding arbitration in accordance with this policy.
Procedure to Follow per Appeals Policy
1. Impose Sanctions:
a. Game Forfeits –games recorded as forfeit, until scores reported
b. Operating Offences – fines imposed, ineligible for play until obligations are met
c. Administrative Suspensions - Minimum 1 league game, or until all obligations are met
d. Probation – members may receive probation with any sanctions
e. PWSA – Automatically enforced by the league, not appealable
2. Member appeals the suspension. Notice to appeal the "decision" must be sent in writing to the President and Secretary within 7 days.
3. President determines whether there is a right of appeal within 7 days of the notice of the appeal. THIS DECISION IS AT THE SOLE DISCRETION OF THE PRESIDENT AND MAY NOT BE APEALED.
4. If the President confirms the right of appeal on sufficient grounds, they will establish an Appeals Panel within 14 days of having received the original notice of appeal.
5. The Panel delegates to one of its members, the authority to deal with the preliminary matters on behalf of the Panel.
7. The Hearing is held.
8. Within 7 days, the Panel will issue its written decisions with reasons.
9. A copy of the decision will be sent/presented to each of the Parties and to the Board of Directors.
10. The decision of the Panel will be final and binding on all parties and on all members of the Central East Women’s Fastpitch League.
Policy Name: Appeal Policy
Ratification Date: April 7, 2019
April 7, 2019