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Admin 101: III. The Court

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Admin 101
by Klu

Word around town is, you want to be a good admin. But what exactly does that entail?

"Do I have to befriend other staff; do I have to be strict; do I have to be super-duper respectful to the owner so he likes me? What am I supposed to do...?"

Following these basic steps, ideas & ethics will help guide you on your path to becoming an admirable, prestigious, and respectable staff member of this community.

III. The Court

When becoming a staff member of this community, problem solving skills are essential to your progression and performance. There are certain protocols and procedures in place when taking a case as a staff member. When handling these cases, you must refer to the situation as if it were a courtroom. Each case you claim involving two or more parties is what is referred to as a “sit.” These sits involve 3 primary parties; The prosecution, the defense, and the judge. The individual calling the sit is the prosecution. The individual accused in the sit by the prosecution is the defense. The staff who claimed the sit is the judge. This literature will help guide you in what is expected when handling such cases.

While moderating the server, you will see little boxes pop up in the top left hand corner of your screen. These boxes are what is referred to as “tickets” or “claims.” These are calls made by members of the community requesting assistance from a staff member. You will see text on the ticket giving a brief explanation on what the sit is going to be about. Examples can be “RDM”, “NLR”, “Failbase”, etc. If you wish to be the staff member handling that ticket, you must press F3, move your mouse to the “Claim” button, and click it. Once you have done so, the case is now in your court. You are now the judge.

When claiming a sit, it is essential that you take yourself to a private location away from listening ears and RP. These locations can be but are not limited to, roofs, unused buildings, empty buildings, admin room (to the right of the spawn room), etc (any location that currently has no RP surrounding it).

Once you have found the location that you wish to hold your sit, your first step is to bring the prosecution to you. In doing so, you will determine whether or not the prosecution has grounds for a case. Once you have a case, you may bring the defense to your location.

Gathering information:
There are different methods to gathering sufficient information from both parties. One of those methods is the "Talk-out" method. This method consists of letting the prosecution and defense explain their sides of the story to each other. This method does not always work however. This could possibly lead to both parties engaging in a heated argument. If this is the case, the "Sole" method would be more evident to use. The Sole method consists of separating both parties to opposing positions of the location you are in to avoid them from hearing each other. In doing so, you will listen to both sides individually and eventually bring the parties back together once you issue your verdict.

Determining valid evidence:
Evidence is separated into 3 varieties. Tangible Evidence, Probable Evidence, and Hearsay evidence. Tangible Evidence is evidence that is undeniably confirming the prosecution's statements. This evidence is comprised of video, log, or pictures. Probable evidence is evidence that shows probable signs that the claims made by the prosecution may be true. This evidence is represented by logs, pictures, and/or statements presented by both parties. The primary difference between Probable & Tangible Evidence is that Probable Evidence is not 100% clear of the prosecution's claims, but shows probability of them being true. This is where things may get difficult for the judge. This is where you, the judge, must use your best judgement and intuition to bring forth your verdict. Let it be known that there is a strong possibility for error, this is evident for all sits you take. But for this type in particular, it is completely up to your intuition and judgement to make the proper conclusion, even though you have been represented with evidence that have a margin of error in clarity. With that being said, you will not be penalized for issuing the wrong verdict as this is all a process of trial & error. This is the sole purpose the "Appeals" section of the forums exist. Lastly, we have Hearsay Evidence. Hearsay evidence is evidence that shows less than 50% probability of the prosecution's claims being true. This evidence can be comprised of all forms of media used to represent evidence including statements.

Enforcing your authority:
As a staff member and the judge of any sit you claim, your word is final. Do not waste time in allowing the prosecution or the defense to argue with you or each other to prolong or change your verdict.

When presiding over a case that would require you to read the logs, do it. Point-blank-simple. You must always be able to back up any parties claims through the logs. You will know when it is necessary to look through the logs. So always be prepared to do so.

Belligerent and/or disrespectful behavior and bias:
There will be many situations where you are going to come across members who disagree with the opposing party's claims, disagree with your verdict, or are just blatantly disrespectful. In such situations you must remain level and calm and deal with it accordingly as such behavior is not acceptable in a sit. If the member continues to ignore your reprimands this is where you are authorized to take administrative action. Using the !gag, !mute, or !freeze commands are preferable in such situations. However, if this behavior continues further, the player will receive a warning for "Contempt of Sit." This can relate to the real life charge called "Contempt of Court" which is "the offense of being disobedient to or disrespectful toward a court of law and its officers in the form of behavior that opposes or defies the authority, justice and dignity of the court". -Wikipedia

When handling cases that involve your friends or other staff members, you must treat them as if you do not know them. No special treatment is to be given to ANY member due to their rank, social status, or accomplishments.

Soliciting or taking a bribe will result in your automatic removal from the staff team. Offering a bribe to a staff member will result in you receiving a warning and a 3-day ban.

Harassment cases:
When a member is reporting another for "harassment" it is crucial that you keep the parties separate during the sit. It is preferred that you do not let the defense know who the prosecution is (unless you feel it is necessary in order to sufficiently handle the case) as this has the potential to escalate the situation as a whole; causing harassment to ensue to a greater level.

As a staff member and the judge, you must maintain a level and calm demeanor throughout the entirety of the sit. This is crucial as you are a representative of the staff team and the community as a whole.

Once you have finished reviewing all the information provided, there are 3 verdicts that may be represented. Guilty, innocent, and void. Guilty is the verdict given when you feel the evidence presented to you is proof enough to adequately represent the prosecution's claims against the defense. Innocent is the verdict given when the evidence provided by the prosecution is fought respectively by the defense, proving his/her innocence. Void is a verdict given when the evidence supplied by both parties is unclear and/or requires a high-ranking staff member to preside over the case (high priority offenses/staff abuse/can't make a verdict; needs second opinion).

When issuing the verdict, you must bring both parties together. Once this is done, you will give your verdict to both parties and teleport them back to their previous locations. If a punishment is going to be given, it is preferable that you exclude the party not being punished from the sit, as their involvement in the case is complete and they are no longer required to be present.

Concluding statements

Being the judge is not easy. It requires great amounts of patience, training, and perseverance. If you are going to be a good and just judge, you have to resign yourself to the fact that you are not always going to like the conclusions you reach. If you like them all the time, you are probably doing something wrong. The Judge does not make the rules. It is the people that make the rules. Therefore, if a rule is unjust, and if the Judge judges according to the rule, that is justice, even if it is not just.

Court is adjourned.

"True leadership is having the strength and knowledge to teach other to lead when you are no longer there, knowing you will be forgotten to time" - Jax

"Thou Shalt be beholden to no laws beyond these" 
- The Scythe Commandments

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