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Thanks for your reply. The committee at my club wrote to me saying they had received a complaint about me. They asked me to attend a special meeting. I replied that I could not do so because I could not leave my disabled wife at such short notice. The minimum notice in the club rules is three days. The letter asking me to attend arrived by post at about mid-day on the Monday telling me the meeting was on the following Thursday. Three clear days would take us to Friday. Their reply accepted my apology but also suspended me for 12 months. They had not sent me any charge. The decision was made on an unsubstantiated complaint. I had to threaten legal action to see the letter of complaint which was sent to me about two weeks later.
The committee has been conducting an enquiry into this complaint in a manner to support it. Their duty is to decide on the complaint only. They should ask for evidence to support it. They are there to mediate, not to conduct an enquiry. They are not qualified to investigate and might well be friendly or even related to the complainant. Am I correct in these suppositions? Members of the committee have been canvassing other members of the club to make statements in support of the complainant. This cannot be right
It is verydifficult to take action against the committee of a private club even if theydrive a coach and horses through the rules. About the best you could hope forwould be your membership fee, for the current year, back.
Even if the complaintis unsubstantiated, there is no legal mechanism to make them reinstate you.There is a possible breach of contract but the cost of bringing the action islikely to be totally disproportionate to the result.
Of course, you canthreaten the legal action but even if they have driven a coach and horsesthrough the rules, this is not one that I would be taking to court because thecosts risk could be terrific. The other thing you have to ask yourself, on a practicalnote, is whether you wish to be in a club where clearly, other members and/orthe committee do not want you.
If you let me knowthe substance of the complaint, I can probably expand my answer more.
I do not understand. On the one hand you say I can take action through the County Court and ask for costs and damages, then you say you would not advise it and that I have no means to have the decision rescinded and you imply that the rules are there to be ignored. I don't get it.
What I actuallysaid was "you canthreaten the legal action but even if they have driven a coach and horsesthrough the rules, this is not one that I would be taking to court because thecosts risk could be terrific".
You can threaten legal action and you can takethem to court but in all honesty I think you have very little chance ofactually being successful.
There is simply no mechanism for an individualto enforce the rules of a club in a court of law and the only way of enforcingthe rules is by doing whatever it says in the constitution which may includevoting the committee members off.
I am going to opt out because I simply cannot give you the answer that you want. Another expert might have a different opinion
I need more help. The committee used CCTV footage which is inconclusive The complainant did not ask for this. The CCTV footage was not made available to me before my suspension. The CCTV footage is illegal anyway because it does not comply with the Data Protection Act, in that it intrudes onto neighbouring premises and onto public rights of way when it should be confined to the business premises that commissioned it. Subsequent to my arbitrary suspension I have asked to see the CCTV footage but it has not been made available to me yet. An advisor from your organisation hinted that I might not want to stay as a member of this Club. I have already considered this. But I shall deal with this after I get to a conclusion in this case. It is felt by other members at the club that the Committee is out of control and is acting more like a Board Of Directors of a Ltd Co than an elected body. I have been involved in legal actions for more than 30 years in the financial services, with all the major Banks and dozens of Credit Companies. I have yet to lose an action with these worthies. I believe that the issue under scrutiny, although in a different discipline, does not have a single example of following correct observance of the rules that govern its actions in this case by the committee, and I mean to get satisfaction.
Yes, but registered under the Friendly Societies rules and conditions, whatever they may be!
I have replied and await your response.
I hope you have received my second attempt
Let's try again! What I want to achieve is to receive an admission that the committee acted wrongly when dealing with the complaint against me and an unreserved apology.I should have been given a copy of the complaint when I was first told about it. This is in the rule book so there is no credible excuse for not doing it. The committee then unanimously decided to suspend me without asking for any evidence from the complainant to support his complaint. It is not in the remit of the committee to look for anything to support the complaint. They are meant to be impartial and their role is purely to mediate on what has been presented by the complainant. The burden of proof rests entirely on the complainant and not on the accused or anybody else including the committee. It took me about three weeks after to secure a copy of the complaint. I have been deprived of my human right to attend my club on an unproved allegation and an unconstitutional decision that contravened the rules of the club. In addition, the committee acted outside its authority in an attempt to justify its decision. This evasion of the rules has happened before and some members say that the committee is out of control.
I could opt for a Tribunal but I do not trust this. The membership is too small and insular and members of a tribunal could be "got at". I would accept a totally independent review.