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Student Court Application

Student Government Association Judicial Branch Bylaws

Revised and approved 10/15/2014

I. Title

    a. The title of this body shall be The Judicial Branch (Student Court), hereafter referred to as "Student Court."

II. Object

    a. The charge of the Student Court is to perform the duties delegated to it by the Student Government Association (hereafter referred to as “SGA”) Constitution in Article III, Section 3.01 (a-i), and Article III, Section 3.02 (a)

III. Membership

    a. Composition and term lengths of the Justices on the Student Court will be consistent with Article III, Section 3.01 (a-c) of the SGA Constitution.
    b. One of the Student Court Justices shall be appointed as Chief Justice by whatever means the Court determines, consistent with Article III, Section 3.01 (b) of the constitution
    c. The Chief Justice shall serve in that role for the duration of his/her term on the Court.
    d. It is expressly not an expectation or duty of the Court to replace Justices who resign or graduate.  The recruitment and appointment of Justices is properly the responsibility of the Executive and Legislative branches of the SGA.

IV. Procedure

    a. Meetings
    Meetings of the Student Court will be conducted as frequently as necessary, and not less than monthly, to handle all business before the Court. It will be the duty of the Chief Justice to convene the Court and prepare and distribute notices and/or meeting materials to Associate Justices. Any topic which is requested to appear before the Court in a regular meeting must be submitted to the Chief Justice, in writing, two (2) business days before the weekly meeting. Meeting Minutes will be taken by the Justices in a rotating order. Minutes will be posted and distributed so necessary corrections can be made in time for approval at the next meeting of the Student Court.
    b. Relationship of Court to SGA
    Other branches of the SGA are potentially appellants in Court proceedings.  To maintain neutrality and to assure objectivity and fairness, the Chief Justice shall not routinely attend meetings of the Student Senate or Executive Committee unless summoned for the express purpose of sharing information.  The Chief Justice shall have the right to decline such summons. 
    c. SUFAC Appeals
    In accordance with Article III, Section 3.02 (a) of the Constitution, the Student Court shall hear appeals by individuals or groups regarding funding decisions made by the Segregated University Fee Allocation Committee where it is alleged that either a viewpoint neutrality or procedural violation exists. It shall be the duty of the Chief Justice to gather and distribute all necessary information to Justices two (2) business days before the Court is to hear the appeal.
    d. Constitutional Discrepancies
    An issue or dispute about the SGA Constitution may be brought to the Student Court for resolution. The Student Court reserves the right to deny certiorari to any party who brings an issue before it in formal written explanation. It is the duty of the SGA Executive Branch, or a representative thereof, to act as the Solicitor General in all Constitutional discrepancies.
    e. Court Proceedings
    Involved parties must present a brief including all points of their argument to the Student Court three (3) business days prior to Oral Arguments. No new information may be presented in Oral Arguments that was not included in the Party’s Brief. Each party involved will be allowed two (2) representatives to participate in Oral Arguments. Parties will be given fifteen (15) minutes of Oral Argument and a five (5) minute rebuttal. Student Court Justices will then be allotted fifteen (15) minutes of questioning. A designated SGA Executive Assistant will be present at all Oral Arguments for the purpose of minute taking and time keeping. All proceedings will be recorded digitally (by a voice recorder) for the recollection of Justices during deliberations.
    f. Deliberations
    Transcripts, notes and subject matter of all Student Court deliberations is are to remain confidential. The vote of each justice shall be a matter of public record. The vote total and judgment released by the Student Court is to be the official opinion released at the time a final ruling is delivered.
    g. Record Keeping

    All documents pertaining to Student Court proceedings will be kept on file for two (2) fiscal years after a decision has been rendered, at which time may be destroyed. These records will be secured in the SGA office. An electronic copy of all materials and information pertaining to each case will be held in on the campus server for no less than five (5) years.

V. Impartial Review

    a. The Student Court expresses a willingness to work with Judicial Affairs, the Academic Actions Committee, Dean of Students office, Residence Life staff and others to render impartial decisions on matters that include student conduct, disciplinary actions or policies which hold implications for the larger student body.

VI. Bylaw Amendments

    a. Amendments to the Student Court bylaws may be proposed and heard at any regular meeting of the Court. All proposed amendments must be submitted in writing to the Chief Justice two (2) business days prior to the meeting date to ensure that copies of the proposed bylaws are distributed to all Justices. In order for proposed bylaws to be ratified, they must be approved by two thirds of the Student Court.