Index ← 3828 CFJ 3829 3830 → text
===============================  CFJ 3829  ===============================

      The above attempts to impose fines by the Cold Hand of Justice on
      twg and Murphy for failure to timely respond to a petition failed
      by Rule 2531(3), because each was an attempt "to levy a fine with
      a value that is blatantly and obviously unsuited to the conduct
      which constitutes the reason for its levy", after considering the
      sentencing guidelines in Rule 2557, or, in the alternative, failed
      because each was not enabled by Rule 2557.

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Caller:                        Aris
Barred:                        Publius Scribonius Scholasticus

Judge:                         Jason
Judgement:                     TRUE

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History:

Called by Aris:                                   11 Apr 2020 22:04:07
Assigned to Jason:                                18 Apr 2020 16:06:20
Judged TRUE by Jason:                             24 Apr 2020 14:26:41

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Caller's Evidence: [The "above" in the CFJ statement]

On Sat, Apr 11, 2020 at 9:35 AM Publius Scribonius Scholasticus wrote:
> On Sat, Apr 11, 2020 at 11:18 AM Alexis Hunt wrote:
>>
>>  I point my finger at the Tailor and Associate Director of Personnel
>> for failing to respond to the Prime Minister's petition to proceed to
>> award Patent Titles.
>>
> Given the newness of the mechanism, I will allow these fines to be
> forgivable; however, since these duties are annual and ceremonial and
> neither officer has shown any attempt to award the Patent Titles 
> separately from this petition, I will be assessing the maximum possible
> fine. As a result, I impose the Cold Hand of Justice to impose a
> forgivable fine of 4 blots on each of twg (Tailor) and Murphy (ADoP).
> For Murphy, their apology must include the words: space, cadet, depot,
> principal, deputy, assistant, 1918, and influenza. For twg, their
> apology must include the words: silk, denim, polyester, shirtwaist,
> trousers, waistcoat, 1918, and influenza.

Rule 2557/3 (Power=1.7)
Sentencing Guidelines

      When the rules authorize an investigator to impose the Cold Hand
      of Justice for a violation, e CAN do so by levying a fine of B on
      the perp by announcement, within the following guidelines:

      - B is at least 1 and at most twice the base value of the
        violation.

      - If the violation is described by the rules as a "Class N Crime"
        (where N is a positive integer, or an expression that evaluates
        to a positive integer), then N is the base value; otherwise the
        base value is 2.

      - The fine SHOULD be reduced to the degree that the violation is a
        minor, accidental, and/or inconsequential infraction.

      - The fine SHOULD be increased to the degree that the violation is
        willful, profitable, egregious, or an abuse of an official
        position.

      Optionally, in the same message in which e imposes justice, the
      investigator CAN specify that the violation is forgivable,
      specifying up to 10 words to be included in an apology.  If the
      investigator does so, the perp CAN, in a timely fashion, expunge P
      blots from emself, where P is the minimum of the value of the fine
      and 3, by publishing a formal apology of at least 200 words and
      including all the specified words, explaining eir error, shame,
      remorse, and ardent desire for self-improvement.

Rule 2531/7 (Power=2)
Referee Accountability

      Any attempt to levy a fine is INEFFECTIVE if:

        (1) it does not include value of the fine in blots, the name of
            the person being fined (the perp), and the specific reason
            for the fine;

      Any attempt to levy a fine pursuant to the imposition of the Cold
      Hand of Justice is INEFFECTIVE if:

        (1) it attempts to levy a fine on a person for an action or
            inaction which e (more likely than not) did not commit;

        (2) it attempts to levy a fine for an action or inaction which
            is not prohibited by the rules;

        (3) it attempts to levy a fine with a value that is blatantly
            and obviously unsuited to the conduct which constitutes the
            reason for its levy or to the person on whom it is being
            levied;

        (4) it attempts to levy a fine based upon the investigation of
            of a Finger that had been Pointed more than 14 days after
            the action constituting the reason for the fine;

        (5) it attempts to levy a fine on a player for failing to take
            an action within the time period set by the Rules and that
            time period had expired more than 14 days prior to the
            Pointed Finger, if the fine is imposed based on an
            investigation of such Finger;

        (6) it attempts to levy a fine on a player who has already been
            fined for the conduct constituting the reason for the levy;
            or

        (7) it attempts to levy a fine on a zombie for an action that
            its master performed on its behalf.

        If the Referee attempts to levy three or more INEFFECTIVE fines
        in a week, any player CAN, with two support, issue a writ of
        Impartial Arbitration Restoration, immediately making the
        position of Referee vacant. When a writ of Impartial Arbitration
        Restoration is issued, the ADoP SHALL initiate an election for
        the Referee in a timely fashion.


Caller's Arguments:

A fine should be reduced to the degree the infraction was "minor,
accidental, and/or inconsequential". This violations, while not minor
or inconsequential, may well have been accidental given the newness of
the petition mechanism and the relative inactivity of the perps.
Furthermore, a fine should be increased to the degree the violation
was "willful, profitable, egregious, or an abuse of an official
position". This was none of those. Given the totality of the
circumstances, a fine of the maximum penalty is blatantly and
obviously unsuitable for the violation, so the fine fails by R2531(3).
Note that while the Sentencing Guidelines are not explicitly
referenced by R2531(3), they do represent the ruleset's official
guidance on what sort of sentences are correct. I'd contend that the
appropriate fine is 2 blots, though one could argue for 1.

Furthermore, the fine is outside the sentencing guidelines in Rule
2557, and the Referee CAN only exercise the Cold Hand of Justice to
levy a fine within those guidelines (note that while the relevant
guideline is a SHOULD, it's within the scope of the restrictions on
the CAN; I request that the judge rule on whether that makes it a
limitation on the CAN as I contend it does).

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Judge Jason's Arguments:

This case depends on the structure of Rule 2557/3, which I will repeat
here for clarity:

>      When the rules authorize an investigator to impose the Cold Hand
>      of Justice for a violation, e CAN do so by levying a fine of B on
>      the perp by announcement, within the following guidelines:
>      
>      - B is at least 1 and at most twice the base value of the
>        violation.
>      
>      - If the violation is described by the rules as a "Class N Crime"
>        (where N is a positive integer, or an expression that evaluates
>        to a positive integer), then N is the base value; otherwise the
>        base value is 2.
>       
>      - The fine SHOULD be reduced to the degree that the violation is a
>        minor, accidental, and/or inconsequential infraction.
>      
>      - The fine SHOULD be increased to the degree that the violation is
>        willful, profitable, egregious, or an abuse of an official
>        position.

The phrasing of the rules makes the ability of the investigator to levy
a fine conditional on the adherence to certain guidelines. The structure
of the rule also makes it clear that the items in the list are separate
guidelines. Thus, the latter two items are guidelines as well, and must
be fulfilled in order for an investigator to be able to levy a fine.

These guidelines use the all-capital term "SHOULD", so we are mandated
to use the definition provided in Rule 2152/8 to mean:

>       8. SHOULD, ENCOURAGED, RECOMMENDED: Before failing to perform the
>          described action, the full implications of failing to perform
>          it should (in the ordinary-language sense) be understood and
>          carefully weighed.

Thus, these guidelines are equivalent to "Before failing to
[reduce/increase the fine...], the full implications of failing [to do
so] should ... be understood and carefully weighed." Thus, I am forced
to conclude that an attempt to impose the Cold Hand of Justice is
INEFFECTIVE unless the investigator has done so. Given that the
investigator wrote some explanation of eir decision, I find that the
investigator has most likely fulfilled this requirement, so e COULD levy
a fine by this mechanism.

Now, we must consider Rule 2531/7's conditions on the EFFECTIVENESS of
fines. As the caller points out, condition (3) is the most relevant
here. I agree with the caller and find that condition (3) does
incorporate the guidelines in Rule 2557. Because the investigator
increased the value of the fine when none of Rule 2557's increase
conditions it were satisfied, in addition to one of the reduction
conditions being satisfied, I agree with the caller that condition (3)
is violated, and find that the fine was INEFFECTIVE. TRUE.

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