Judiciary Rules of Procedure
Rules Of Procedure
Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law Student Bar Association Judicial Tribunal
I. Scope Of Rules
Rule 1: SCOPE AND PURPOSE OF RULES
These rules govern the procedure in all appeals before the Judicial Tribunal of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law Student Bar Association.
II. Commencement And Service
Rule 2: COMMENCEMENT
(a) An appeal is commenced by filing a summons and a complaint with the Judicial Tribunal in its mailbox and serving the Summons and Complaint on the opposing party in accordance with Rules 4, 5 and any other applicable Rules of Procedure.
(b) The Judicial Tribunal shall sit during the Fall and Spring semesters and shall commence an appeal no later then 30 calendar days prior to the last day of classes in each semester.
Rule 3: PLEADINGS
(a) Form of Pleadings
(1) Type of Pleadings. There shall be a complaint and an answer; each limited to 20 double-spaced typed pages in a font no smaller than 12-point. The answer may contain a counterclaim, denominated as such. If a counterclaim is asserted, the appellant may respond to the counterclaims in a subsequent answer to the counterclaim and may request an extension for service in accordance with Rule 5. No other pleading shall be allowed. All pleadings shall clearly identify a single person as a representative for the pleading party along with that person's telephone number and email address.
(2) Caption. Every pleading shall contain a caption setting forth the title of the appeal. In the complaint the title of the appeal shall include the names of all the parties, but in other pleadings it is sufficient to state the name of the first party on each side with an appropriate identification of other parties.
(3) Paragraphs; Separate Statements. All averments of claims shall be made in numbered paragraphs, the contents of which shall be limited as far as practicable to a single set of circumstances; and a paragraph may be referred to by number in all subsequent pleadings. Each claim founded upon a separate transaction or occurrence and each defense, other than denials, shall be stated in a separate count or defense whenever a separation facilitated as clear presentation of the matters set forth.
(4) Signing of Pleadings. Every Pleading shall be signed by one representative who by so signing certifies that everything contained in the pleading, to the best of that person's knowledge, is not being presented for an improper purpose and is believed to be true after reasonable inquiry. Should a pleading be signed in manner that does not comport with Rule 3(a)(4), then the Judicial Tribunal may in its discretion report the representative to the Academic Standards Committee. A unanimous decision, after the accused party has had an opportunity to be heard, is required in order to be reported by the Judicial Tribunal as a body.
(b) Claims for Relief. A pleading which sets forth a claim for relief, shall contain
(1) a short and plain statement of the Constitutional grounds upon which the Judicial Tribunal's jurisdiction depends, (2) a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief, and (3) a demand for the relief the pleader seeks.
(c) Defenses. A party shall state in short and plain terms the party's defenses to each claim asserted and shall admit or deny the averments upon which the adverse party relies. If the party is without knowledge or information to form a belief as to the truth of an averment, the party shall so state and this has the effect of a denial.
Rule 4: SUMMONS
(a) Form. The summons shall be signed and dated by the Tribunal Administrator, identify the parties, their singular representative chosen by the parties and state that representatives' name and telephone number. It shall state the time within which the appellee must answer, and notify that failure to do so will result in a judgment by default against the appellee for the relief demanded in the compliant if that relief is within the power of the Judicial Tribunal to so grant.
(b) Issuance. Upon or after the filing of the summons, the Tribunal Administrator shall sign and date the summons, designate a docket number, and issue a copy of the summons to the appellant's representative for service on the appellee by leaving it in the Appellant's representative's school mailbox or by delivering it to
Appellant's representative personally.
Rule 5: SERVICE
(a) Service of Complaint. A copy of the summons shall be served together with a copy of the complaint.
(b) Service of Answer or Counterclaim. An answer to the compliant or a counterclaim shall be served. An answer to a counterclaim if made, shall be served.
(c) Service Upon Individual Students. Service upon an individual student shall be effected by delivering a copy of the pleadings to the individual personally and by leaving copies thereof in the student's school mailbox. Service is complete only when proof of service is filed with the Judicial Tribunal in its mailbox. Personal service must be effectuated in any hallway or lounge of the school building and in no other place.
(d) Service Upon Student Organization. Service upon a student organization shall be effected by delivering a copy thereof to the president of the organization to be served by leaving it in the president of that organization's office mailbox, or if the organization or be served does not have an office, then by serving the president of that organization in accordance with Rule 5(c). Service is complete only when proof of service is filed with Judicial Tribunal in its mailbox.
(e) Proof of Service. A signed statement by the representative affirming that service was made in compliance with this Rule shall suffice as proof of service.
(f) Time Schedule.
(1) Summons and Complaint.
(A) Deadline. The appellant is responsible for service of the summons and complaint within 4 school days, excluding Fridays, of issuance of the summons.
(B) Extensions. The appellant may file a request for an extension with the Judicial Tribunal within 2 days of service by leaving such request in the Judicial Tribunal's mailbox. Such request shall state the reason for the requested extension and shall be limited to a single page of double-spaced type no smaller then a 12-point font. Any 2 Justices may grant or deny such a request within one day from when such request was filed by leaving notice with the person who made the request in the appropriate mailbox. Such request should only be granted in unusual circumstances.
(2) Answer or Counterclaim.
(A) Deadline. The appellee has 10 school days, excluding Fridays, from service within which to file an answer or counterclaim.
(B) Extensions. The appellee may file a request for an extension with the Judicial Tribunal within 2 days of service by leaving such request in the Judicial Tribunal's mailbox. Such request shall state the reason for the requested extension and be confined to a single page of double-spaced type no smaller then a 12-point font. Any 2 Justices may reasonably grant or deny such a request within one day from when such request was filed by leaving notice with the person who made the request in the appropriate mailbox. The appellee will be given a grace period equal to the period in which the justices considered the request for an extension.
(3) Answer to Counterclaim.
(A) Deadline. An answer to a counterclaim may be filed within 10 school days, excluding Fridays, from service of the counterclaim.
(B) Extension. The appellant may file a request for an extension with the Judicial Tribunal within 2 days of service by leaving such request in the Judicial Tribunal's mailbox. Such request shall state the reason for the requested extension and be confined to a single page of double-spaced type no smaller then a 12-point font. Any 2 Justices may reasonably grant or deny such a request within one day from when such request was filed by leaving notice with the person who made the request in the appropriate mailbox. The appellant will be given a grace period equal to the period in which the justices considered the request for an extension.
(g) Sanctions. Fraudulent, disruptive or unprofessional service may be reported to the Academic Standards Committee in the Judicial Tribunal's discretion. A unanimous decision, after the accused party has had an opportunity to be heard, is required in order to be reported by the Judicial Tribunal as a body.
III. Pre-hearing Procedures
Rule 6: DISCOVERY
(a) Requests. All reasonable requests by a party for discovery shall be complied with by a party in possession of the requested items.
(b) Motions to Compel Discovery. A party who has been refused discovery may submit a memorandum, by delivering such a memorandum to the Judicial Tribunal's mailbox. Such a memorandum shall request that the Judicial Tribunal compel the refusing party to comply with the request. If such a memorandum is submitted, then it must be served in accordance with Rule 5 on the refusing party. A reply memorandum may be submitted to the Judicial Tribunal, by delivering such a memorandum to the Judicial Tribunal's mailbox, within 5 schooldays, excluding Fridays. The memoranda shall be confined to 2 double-spaced pages in 12-point type. If such a reply memorandum is submitted, then it must be served in accordance with Rule 5 on the refusing party. No memoranda, submitted under this Rule, shall be considered until proof of Service is made.
(c) Witnesses. The appellant shall exchange a list of any witnesses that a party will offer at the hearing and a brief statement as to what that witness's testimony will be offered to prove. This Rule must be complied with no less then 6 days prior to the scheduled hearing. Failure to comply shall render that evidence inadmissible at the hearing.
(d) Exhibits. The appellant and appellee shall exchange copies of any exhibits that a party will offer at trial no less then 6 days before the scheduled hearing. Failure to comply shall render that evidence inadmissible at the hearing.
(e) Sanctions. Intentional interference or abuse of the discovery process may result in dismissal of the appeal or default. Such a disposition must be unanimous.
Rule 7: SCHEDULING THE HEARING
The Tribunal Administrator shall schedule the time and place of the hearing at a reasonably convenient time for all persons involved in the hearing as early as possible after the pleadings have been filed and served.
Rule 8: FORMAT
(a) Who May Argue. Only currently enrolled students at the Benjamin N.
Cardozo School of Law may appear before the Judicial Tribunal. A party must designate a counselor to be heard at a hearing on a pro bono basis, but may not designate more than 2 counselors.
(b) Case in Chief. Each Party shall have 45 minutes within which to present its case through its counselor(s). The party who bears the burden of proof shall present first followed by the party who does not bear the burden. During these 45 minutes. The party not presenting may object to any evidence or statements offered that are believed to be inadmissible.
(c) Rebuttal. After each party has presented its case in chief, the party who does not bear the burden shall have 15 minutes with which to close followed by a 15 minute summation by the party bearing the burden of proof.
Rule 9: ADMISSIBILITY OF EVIDENCE
(a) Relevance. All relevant and reliable evidence is admissible unless excluded under Rule 6. Irrelevant and unreliable evidence is inadmissible.
(b) Reliability. Reliability is the touchstone of admissibility. The Justices shall decide by a simple majority during trial if the proffered evidence is reliable. The decisions of the Justices shall comport with the spirit of the Federal Rules of Evidence but shall not be bound by those rules. Accordingly, all evidence must be authenticated so that the Judicial Tribunal is assured of the reliability of the proffered evidence. Additionally, in the case of a witness, the Tribunal Administrator must swear or affirm that witness to tell the truth.
Rule 10: JUDGMENTS
(a) Default. When a party against whom a judgment for affirmative relief is sought has failed to plead or otherwise defend as provided by these rules, the Justices shall enter that party's default and grant the requested relief when within the Judicial Tribunal's power. Such a judgment may be opened for cause only if a memorandum of no more than 2 pages, in a font no smaller than 12-point, requesting that the appeal be opened and the basis on which to set aside the default judgment is submitted to the Judicial Tribunal by delivering it to the Judicial Tribunal in its mailbox.
(b) On the Merits. Except as otherwise provided in the Constitution of the Student Bar Association, a simple majority of Justices shall decide whether all or part of the requested relief is to be granted.