Last revision: June 27th, 2021
The Vox Populi Court (Court) is designed to be an independent entity geared towards assisting players with matters that don’t require direct action from the members of Staff (Staff). The purpose of this Constitution is to provide reasonable expectations and guidelines of how Court is run on the Vox Populi servers. The Constitution details rights and privileges of players and Court Officials, ensuring that there is reasonable oversight of Court proceedings and a clear plan of action should this Constitution be violated.
Currently the Court System is functioning under a new TEMPORARY command system. Some parts of the Court System are none functioning and may be TEMPORARILY ignored. If you are curious if something is currently being handled by the Court or not, please reach out to a Court Official. Currently, the policies and marriage are not live nor working and the method of creating a Court Case Book has changed. Please read through “/court help” in game for further details.
Court Officials consist of two entities: Judges and Secretaries. Judges are players who have been voted into office by members of the server to address Court cases.
Secretaries are players that have been appointed by a Judge to assist with filing and processing cases. Judges are required to pick their own Secretaries. While they may ask for advice, they are not bound by group vote or other influences to make their final decision.
No Court Official is allowed to hold more than one Court position simultaneously and all Court entities are still regarded as players and are required to follow Vox Populi rules
Staff are players who have applied for and been accepted into a server rank by the server owners; Zombiemold and LatinGoddess. There are two entities within Staff: Disciplinary and Non-Disciplinary. Disciplinary Staff are members who are responsible for maintaining and enforcing the Vox Populi rules. The ranks within Disciplinary Staff include: Moderator-in-Training, Moderator, and Admin. Disciplinary Staff may work directly with Court to assist with case research if strictly necessary. Such research includes player activity reviews and the instances outlined within the Constitution.
Non-Disciplinary Staff are members of the Staff team with specific server roles not pertaining to enforcement. Project Managers, Game Mechanics, Community Managers, and other ranks fall within non-disciplinary. Non-disciplinary Staff interact with Court at a player level only and are not permitted to assist with any tasks that would fall within Disciplinary Staff’s duties.
Court Officials Compared to Staff
Court Officials are not, in any way, equivalent to Staff, nor are they permitted to claim they are on par with any Staff rank. Doing so is considered Staff Impersonation. Staff Impersonation is not allowed on the server by any player. Any Court Official found to be impersonating Staff will be issued a formal warning. Repeat occurrences of Staff Impersonation will result in additional warnings and Permanent Removal from Court.
As Court is not part of Staff, Court is not permitted to issue Disciplinary Staff actions on a player. This includes threatening warnings or bans on players or demanding that Staff issue a warning or ban based on the outcome of a case. All disciplinary actions fall solely within Staff’s domain. Should a Court Official feel a case requires Staff attention, the Official can submit a ticket requesting Staff review but cannot recommend a specific disciplinary action.
In the event of a Staff review of a Court case, should a decision be made by Staff, that decision is considered final and can only be negotiated or overturned by another Staff Member. Under no circumstance is Court permitted to undermine or overturn a Staff decision. In the event a Court ruling conflicts with a Staff decision, the Court ruling becomes invalid. Repeat attempts to overturn a Staff decision will bring the offending Court Official under Staff review for Permanent Removal and potential disciplinary action.
As Court is an independent entity of Staff, it is not permitted for a Staff Member to be a Court Official, nor are Court Officials permitted to be part of Staff in any capacity. If a player is hired to become Staff while they are a Court Official, they will be required to step down from Court. If they choose to remain in Court, they will be ineligible for the offered Staff position. That decision will be left to the player alone, who will be given an appropriate amount of time to make their decision.
The following section details the expectations of all players working with Court. By participating in Court, all players, including Court Officials and Staff, are agreeing to follow these expectations.
When submitting a case for a land claim, divorce, gender change, lawsuit, or trespassing, players must provide as many details as possible, including the coordinates for the area relevant to the case where applicable. Failure to do so may result in the case being tossed and the player will need to resubmit the case with the necessary details.
Players are allowed to submit 4 unique cases a month, with a 5th case being allowed for a lawsuit or for a trespassing case. Going above the set number of cases will result in the additional cases being tossed and the player will need to resubmit the case at a future date, with their case-limit resetting their case count at the beginning of each month.
Court Case Behavior
During an active Court case, players are expected to follow the Court Policies at all times. Court Policies are enforced by Court Officials and players are expected to listen to and follow Court Official’s instructions. Players who fail to follow Court rules are subject to Court Strikes outlined in their respective Policies. Should a player behave in a way that violates global server rules or disrupt the server, they will be subject to Staff disciplinary actions.
Players who participate in an active case are encouraged to vote objectively on the case outcome. Those who wish to abstain should refrain from voting. The Judge may request an explanation for any vote. The intention behind this action is to make sure that Court has all relevant information pertaining to the case. If a Judge appears to be abusing this privilege, players may report the behavior as outlined in the Reporting Court Behavior section of the Constitution.
Any player who is asked to explain their submitted vote is required to respond to the question, whether it be in public or private. If a player appears to be abusing the voting system for personal or spiteful reasons they may be subject to the Court’s Strike System as outlined below.
Judge Election and Approval Rating Voting
Players are expected to submit a vote for their desired Judge(s) during an election using /election, as well as voting on their current Judge’s approval rating via /judges. Players are permitted to vote on multiple servers. However, players are encouraged to vote primarily on the server(s) that they are active on. This will allow Staff to better gauge and adjust the vote requirements from server to server to make them reflect the server’s activity more accurately. Players are not allowed to run for Judge on multiple accounts simultaneously.
Players are expected and encouraged to vote on any Policies currently proposed by Court using /policies. These Policies are proposed as potential Court rules and procedures and require player votes to go into effect. Players are permitted to vote on multiple servers but are encouraged to vote only on the server(s) they are active on.
Any instance where multiple alt accounts are used to manipulate voting results in an ongoing election, Policy votes, active cases, or the approval rating of a sitting Judge is considered Voting Abuse. Players are not permitted to intentionally manipulate the voting system. People sharing a household shall not be considered as an alt, as they are unique individuals. Any player found to be abusing the voting system, in particular by creating one or more alts, will be ineligible to hold any future Court position. They will also be subject to Staff disciplinary action.Any instance where multiple alt accounts are used to manipulate voting results in an ongoing election, Policy votes, active cases, or the approval rating of a sitting Judge is considered Voting Abuse. Players are not permitted to intentionally manipulate the voting system. People sharing a household shall not be considered as an alt, as they are unique individuals. Any player found to be abusing the voting system, in particular by creating one or more alts, will be ineligible to hold any future Court position. They will also be subject to Staff disciplinary action.
Abuse of Process
Abuse of Process occurs when a player shows signs of utilizing the reporting processes outlined within the Constitution as a means of abusing, harassing, or intimidating a Court Official. Players are encouraged to report the misbehavior of any Court Official or submit a Vote of No Confidence at any time and as frequently as necessary. Staff takes each report extremely seriously and will investigate thoroughly. Should it become clear that a player is attempting to abuse constitutional processes, they will be ineligible to hold any future Court position and will be subject to Staff disciplinary action.
A Player Accomplice is considered any player who actively works with other players or Court Officials to attempt to circumvent the constitution. Players who witness misbehavior within Court and willingly fail to report it will also be considered as accomplices. Any player found to have been an accomplice in a Constitutional violation will be subject to Staff review and may become ineligible for any future Court position.
Communicating with Court
Players are expected to be available to communicate with Court any time they have submitted a case or have questions about Court. All communication with Court is to be courteous and follow Vox Populi rules. To ensure open communication between players and Court, players are discouraged from ignoring any Court Official. Should Court be unable to proceed with a case due to the Plaintiff having the Court Official on their ignore list, Court reserves the right to toss the case.
If a player feels that Court has violated Vox Populi rules while communicating with them or if they feel Court is purposely ignoring them, they are encouraged to report it to Staff following the steps in the Reporting Court Behavior section of the Constitution.
The following section details the expectations of all Court Officials. By joining Court, Secretaries and Judges are agreeing to adhere to the following expectations.
When a case is submitted to Court, Court is expected to process the case and either run it or toss it when necessary. Court is expected to cross-check cases against completed cases within the Case Logs to verify the current owner. It is at Court’s discretion to assign what duties Secretaries are responsible for when processing a case. Secretaries are not permitted to influence or participate in case discussions or decision-making.
Once a case is moved to trial, it is to be assigned to the overseeing Judge. Once a case is assigned to a Judge, the remaining Judges are not permitted to preside over the case while in session. Should the original Judge not be able to try a case in a timely manner or there is a Conflict of Interest, they are expected to transfer the case for another Judge to handle.
All cases are to be sequestered to only the individuals involved. Under no circumstances is the case to be discussed outside of Court, Staff, the Plaintiff, and the Defendant if applicable. Should a Judge be found to be discussing the case outside of the sequestered individuals, the Judge will be required to recuse themselves from the case. Repeated offenses will be subject to Staff review.
Throughout the case process, Court Officials are expected to act objectively, keeping their personal opinions towards a player or situation to themselves and out of the case. Each case is to be tried by a single Judge. Any non-presiding Judges are considered to be players during the case and are allowed to vote and ask questions in Court chat. Under no circumstances are multiple Judges permitted to be in the judge chair, work an active case, or pass judgment.
Court Officials are permitted to seek advice on cases outside of trial time, but during a case no Judge is permitted to try and influence the trying Judge’s ruling. Should new information come to light during the case trial, Judges can use Justice Chat to confer on the new information. Any Judge that is reported to have attempted to influence the trying Judge’s decisions in any chat channel will be subject to Staff review and the case will result in a mistrial and need to be retried. Judges are expected to re-review all logs pertaining to the case up to two hours in advance of the trial.
Player based actions within the courthouse are to be moderated by Court. This will be done through the Policies and enforced by Court Officials. Staff will not intervene on Court enforcement unless a situation arises that violates the Constitution or Vox Populi rules.
Court is required to use Vox Populi official channels and resources for all Court matters. This includes Justice Chat on server, the Court channels in the official Vox Populi Discord, and the Court Google Drive.
Court is not permitted to create outside servers or other communication platforms for the purpose of handling Court matters. This is to ensure all discussions are available for review later if needed and to ensure there is a smooth transition when there is a change in the Court roster.
A Court specific Google Drive is provided by Vox Populi for Court’s use to ensure all server Courts are utilizing the same system. All Court Officials are required to host their Court documents within this Drive. The Drive contains a number of templates and documents.
The following templates are mandatory for Court Official use:
- Case Logs
- Strike Logs
- Policy Logs
Court is encouraged to use the remaining templates but is not required to do so. If Court needs to adjust any of the provided templates or add a new template, they are required to contact Staff.
All files within the Drive must be strictly Court related. Any file found to have no relation to Court or a case will be removed. If a file is brought to Staff from outside of the Drive, it will be considered invalid until uploaded to the Drive. Any file uploaded to the Drive must have ownership transferred to Vox Populi to ensure a future proof Court System.
If Court finds that they need more resources to conduct Court business, such as additional rooms in the official Vox Populi Discord, Court can request those resources from Staff. Staff will determine if the requested resource is necessary and will fulfill the requested change if approved.
Failure to transition to official Court resources goes against the Constitution and is a punishable offense. Access to these resources is limited to current Court Officials and server Staff Members.
Court is permitted to instate and enforce Policies using ‘Court Strikes’. These Court Strikes are Court issued punishments for violating Policies and the Constitution or as a result of specific types of Court cases. Court Strikes are completely separate from Staff warnings and are in no way allowed to include Staff-based disciplinary actions. Before Court is able to issue Strikes, Court must develop and pass Policies that outline circumstances where a Strike may be issued.
The proposed Strike System may only include the following actions:
- Verbal/Mailed Strike(s)
- Voxel Fine
- Suspension from Case Submission/Processing in the case of outstanding Court fines
- Removal of Vote in Court Hearing(s)
- Kick from Court Hearing(s)/held in contempt
All Strikes are required to have an expiration of no longer than six months. The expiration date can be reset for every new infraction incurred while a previous strike is active. Any Strike Policy(s) proposed with Staff-based actions such as server warnings will be removed.
Court Officials are solely responsible for tracking, logging, and executing Court Strikes within the template provided in the Google Drive. Should a situation occur where Court deems Staff involvement is necessary, Court can submit a ticket for Staff to review the situation and act in accordance with standard Staff procedures.
Once elected, Judges will hold their position for a term of six months. The purpose of this term limit is to allow more opportunities for players to be involved in Court. At the end of their term, the Judge will be required to step down from their position, which will trigger a new election. Term limits will be logged and monitored by Staff who will be required to notify Judges when their term is up.
Once the Constitution is adopted, the current sitting Judges will have a three-month term with Court. Once the three months is up, Judges will be asked to step down in staggered intervals, starting with the longest sitting Judge. Once a new Judge is elected, the next Judge will step down, and so on. The staggered interval is to ensure that Court does not become understaffed as a result of term limits being introduced. Should a Judge step down before they are asked, their seat must be filled before the next sitting Judge is asked to step down.
When a Judge’s term expires, they can run consecutively for a following term with no waiting period. There is no limit to the number of terms a Judge can serve, unless banned from Court, so long as they are re-elected by the community at the end of their previous term.
All Court Officials are required to maintain an online presence in game. If a Court Official (Judge & Secretary either one) has not logged on to the server for 14 days they will be removed from office.
Judges must appoint their own Secretaries and are not permitted to restrict other Judges with their appointments. Each Judge can decide on their own method for hiring their Secretaries and are not required to gain other Judges’ approval for their appointments. Each Judge is required to have at least one Secretary and no more than two. Secretary service is not determined by a term limit but is based on their current sitting Judge. The Judge’s may not add alternate accounts of existing Court Officials as a secretary.
Internal Disputes and Whistleblowing
In the event of an internal dispute or if a Court Official witnesses behavior that violates the Constitution or Policies, they are expected to submit a ticket.The protocol for this is outlined below in the Reporting Court Behavior section.
Judge Surveyor Tool
The Judge Surveyor tool is for Court case use only. Under no circumstances should the tool be used for matters outside of Court case research. Before using the tool, a Judge must have an active case they are working. It is not to be used for personal research such as potential claims that will benefit a Court Official or a player. Judges that are found to have intentionally violated the appropriate use of the tool are subject to Permanent Removal from their position and will be reviewed by Staff for potential disciplinary action.
Bribery is not tolerated under any circumstance. A bribe is considered as any exchange between a Court Official and a player with the intent of swaying a case or Court proceedings in a player’s favor, which can include but is not limited to expediting case procedures. Such exchanges can be voxels, server items, e-store items, personal favors, and/or other items that benefit the Court Official or the player.
If a Court Official is found to have accepted a bribe, they will be permanently removed from their position within Court and subject to disciplinary action. Any player found to have offered a bribe is subject to disciplinary action from Staff and will be ineligible for holding any future Court positions.
When running for a Judge position in an on-going election, prospective Judges are allowed to campaign for votes. However, any chat-based campaigning must fall within Vox Populi rules. If a Staff Member asks the player to stop, they are required to listen. Failing to do so can result in Staff disciplinary action.
Players are also allowed to campaign using renamed items that they can give to others. These items must be server appropriate and cannot be items of significant value. Items such as emeralds, diamonds, or gold that can be crafted into or exchanged for server income will be considered as a bribe and are not allowed.
Campaigning for votes from other servers is allowed so long as the Vox Populi rules are respected. Staff are actively working to balance the player vote requirements on each server to make them more achievable so as to ensure that cross-server campaigning is not a requirement.
Conflicts of Interest
A conflict of interest is defined as any situation where a Court Official can benefit from a case. To avoid conflicts of interest, Court Officials are required to recuse themselves from the following cases:
- Any case they submitted for themselves.
- Any case where the Court Official has a personal stake in the outcome.
- Any case from a member of the Court Official’s town.
- Any case where the Plaintiff or Defendant are married to the Court Official.
- Any case where the Court Official has a personal bias.
Court Officials are permitted to recuse themselves from cases in which they have a valid Conflict of Interest as documented above. Should a Judge wish to recuse themselves from a case, they are required to present their request to Staff through a ticket with their reason for recusal. Staff will review the request and determine if the request is valid. If the recusal is valid, the Judge is required to appoint another Judge to process the case on their behalf.
In the event that all Judges have a valid Conflict of Interest that requires them to recuse themselves from a case, an Emergency Judge will be assigned from another server to handle the case.
Personal opinions of the Plaintiffs or Defendants in a case are not valid reasons for recusal. All Court Officials are required to be impartial with case proceedings, and Court Officials who are unable or refuse to be impartial will be reviewed by Staff.
Case avoidance occurs when a Court Official purposely refuses to work on cases. While recusal is available in the event there is a Conflict of Interest, Court Officials are expected to work cases in a timely manner to ensure players receive quick solutions to their cases. Court Officials found to be avoiding cases without a valid reason for doing so will be brought up for Staff review.
A Court Conspirator is any Court Official who actively works with other players or Court Officials to circumvent the Constitution. Court Officials who are found to have witnessed misbehavior within Court and willingly fail to report it will also be considered an Conspirator. Any Court Official found to have been an Conspirator in a Constitutional Violation will be subject to Staff review and potential Permanent Removal.
Communicating with Players
Court Officials are expected to be available to assist players with any questions pertaining to Court as much as possible. This includes regularly checking and responding to posts made in their respective Court channels and the Vox Populi official channels. All communication with players is to be courteous and professional in compliance with Vox Populi rules.
To ensure open communication between Court and Players, Court Officials are not permitted to use the ignore command on their primary server. The ignore command prevents ignored players from communicating freely with Court which is there to serve the people. Court Officials are required to clear their ignore list (using /ignore) upon their appointment to their position. Failure to do so will result in Staff review.
If a Court Official feels that a player has violated Vox Populi rules while communicating with Court, they are encouraged to report the behavior to Staff via ticket.
The following section details the expectations of all Staff Members when working with Court.
Staff are to interact with Court as they would with any player. Staff are not to give preferential treatment to Court Officials or vice versa. Staff’s primary duties in regard to Court cases are limited to case research which includes player activity reviews and any other instances outlined within the Constitution.
Staff Duties Pertaining to Court Cases
Staff are to have minimal duties that directly interact with Court cases. Court Chat is to be enforced by Court only unless a situation arises that violates global chat rules. Any lookup tickets submitted by Court are to be handled only by Moderator+. Those Staff Members are required to provide only factual findings and are not to provide speculation about the Prism activity. Staff are not permitted to provide recommendations to Court unless requested by a Court Official. Any Court tickets requiring lock removals or plugin commands are to be handled by an Moderator+. In the event that rule violations such as looting or grief are found when completing a lookup ticket, Staff is required to disclose these findings to Court and proceed with the required disciplinary action. Staff are permitted to request additional information including player names as needed to complete their lookup research.
Staff Duties Pertaining to Policies
Court Policies are to be upheld and enforced by Court only. Staff is not to enforce any Policy that has been passed. Staff are permitted to vote on Policies as any other player. However, should a Policy be put to vote that violates the Constitution or Vox Populi rules, that Staff Member is required to follow the reporting procedure outlined in the Reporting Court Behavior section of the Constitution below.
Staff Court Cases
Court cases entered by Staff are to be treated like any other player. Staff do not have special privileges for Court cases. Staff Members submitting a Court case must recuse themselves of any tickets related to that case until it is completed. This includes divorces, land claims, lawsuits, and any other Court case that requires Staff interaction.
Conflicts of Interest
A Conflict of Interest is defined as any situation where a Staff Member can benefit from a case. To avoid conflicts of interest, Staff Members are required to recuse themselves from the following tickets:
- Any lookup ticket that is regarding a case they submitted for themselves.
- Any lookup ticket where the Staff Member has a personal stake in the outcome
In the event a Staff Member observes a Constitutional Violation from any Court Official, that Staff Member is to submit a ticket for an Admin to review. If the ticket is being submitted by an Admin, another Admin is to review the ticket to avoid a Conflict of Interest. Should it be determined that the Court Official did violate the Constitution, the ticket will move forward following the Constitutional Violation process outlined in the Constitution. Abuse of this process by any Staff Member will result in a behavioral review.
Policies are rules or procedures proposed by Court that require community approval to pass. Policies can include Court behavior rules, specific Court processes, and other items that are not covered by the Constitution or Vox Populi rules.These policies are to be server specific and are not required to be unified across all three servers.
Any Policies that are active prior to the implementation of the Constitution will be removed as the previous system allowed Policies to autopass without any player votes. Previous Policies will need to be resubmitted for community approval.
For a Policy to be put to a community vote it must be approved by at least three Judges and must not counteract the Constitution in any way. Any Policies that attempt to circumvent or counteract the Constitution will be removed. Once a Policy is proposed to the server, the Policy is required to have a 60% approval rating in order to pass. Any Policy that does not generate enough votes will auto-fail.
When a Policy is put to a community vote, Court Officials are required to announce the vote on both the server and in their respective Court channel of the official Vox Discord. Court is permitted to actively post reminders to vote on the Policy so long as the reminders do not violate Vox Populi rules. Once a Policy goes into effect, it is to be enforced by Court immediately.
Court Officials are solely responsible for Policy Enforcement. No Staff action is permitted as part of Policy Enforcement. Once a Policy is in place, all players are expected to follow the Policy. Any violations of the Policies are subject to Court Strikes.
Land claim cases are defined as cases in which the Plaintiff is requesting permission to take over land owned by an inactive player. The land claim grants the land, builds, chests, and items within the build. For a land claim to be considered, the original owner of the area must be inactive for at least three months.
Removing or inserting items into chests, breaking or placing blocks, locking items, or towny claiming an area before being awarded the land by Court is considered grief. Any potential grief done by the Plaintiff or related parties is to be ticketed by Court and the case is to be tossed. If a Plaintiff is discovered to have intentionally griefed the area they intend to claim, they permanently lose the right to make a case for the land. Players found to have claimed land through towny or using locks without first obtaining a Court permit will be considered to be griefing and are subject to Staff disciplinary action.
Claiming a Town
If the land is protected by the towny plugin and the Plaintiff is not a resident, the town itself must fall and all residents within the town must be inactive for three months or more before filing a land claim. If the Plaintiff was a previous resident of the fallen town, logs of any player activity within their own build will not be considered grief or looting; however, any changes to other builds within the fallen town are still considered grief and are ticketable.
Transfer of Mayor Status
Should the mayor of a town be inactive for three months or more, a resident of the town may request for mayorship to be transferred to them via a land claim case. Once a claim is submitted, Court is required to contact any active assistants, as assistants have priority for obtaining mayorship. If an assistant has been inactive for three months or more, Court is not required to contact them.
Once contacted, assistants have two weeks to reply to Court before their claim is forfeit. If all assistants decline to undertake mayorship or fail to respond within the two week time period, regular towny members will be eligible to obtain mayorship.
Should an assistant decide to accept mayorship, they must submit their own claim case and any other cases pertaining to transferring town mayorship will be tossed. If the plaintiff is an assistant of the town, it is treated on a first come first serve basis. A permit will be issued through Court then Court will communicate the results directly to Staff via ticket. Should the town fall, the case will be processed as a standard land claim.
Inactive Resident Evictions
Towns are permitted to host their own rules regarding inactive resident evictions. For those rules to be acceptable, they must be posted in a clear and easily visible location within the town. If a town fails to post their inactive resident eviction rules clearly, they will be considered void. Court Officials will inspect the posted rules for any recent changes made within the last 60 days prior to case completion. Any town rules that violate the Constitution will not be enforced by Court and must be reported to Staff.
If the eviction time frame is less than three months of inactivity, mayors or assistants are required to store the evicted resident’s items and resources in a separate designated chest(s) or area. If the evicted resident returns before reaching three months of inactivity, the mayor or assistant is required to return their items and resources. If the mayor or assistant would like to claim the evicted resident’s items and resources after they have been inactive for three months or more, they must submit a follow up land claim case to request the items.
If there are no town hosted rules regarding inactive resident evictions, a mayor or assistant can submit a land claim for any resident that has been inactive for three months or more. Any such land claims submitted by a mayor or assistant will be processed as a standard land claim. These claims must be submitted only by the town mayor or assistant. Residents are not permitted to submit land claim cases within the town.
Mayors or assistants who have abused their permissions to illegally evict a resident or grief a resident’s home will be ticketed and subject to Staff disciplinary action.
Soulbound Items in Land Claims
Players are permitted to keep soulbound items as part of a land claim. However, those items will remain bound to the original owner. The plaintiff can either keep the soulbound items to display, disenchant, or collect, or they can ticket for the items to be removed by Staff. If a player requests to have soulbound items removed, Staff will verify the land claim before destroying the soulbound items. They will not be granted back to the original owner(s) as they have lost the rights to the items as part of the approved land claim.
Reverting a Land Claim
In the event that a player returns after their land has been granted to another player by Court, the returning player is not entitled to any of the land or items that were claimed. It is at the new owner’s discretion to choose to return the land. Should the new owner agree to return the land, the agreement must be made on server and the original owner must submit a Court case to revoke the land claim with the current owner as the Defendant.
The Defendant is required to publicly confirm to Court that they are revoking their claim. If the Defendant is unable to attend the Court hearing, a Judge must be provided in-game confirmation from the Defendant through intra-server mail or PMs that they are revoking their claim. Court will screenshot the Defendant’s confirmation and document it in the Drive. Court will then an issue a new permit to the Plaintiff before submitting a ticket for Staff to destroy the Defendant’s land permit.
The land must be returned in as close to original condition as possible at the time of the agreement. Any items left behind at the time of the agreement are considered part of the claim and should not be displaced. The Defendant is allowed to remove items from the claimed land that originally belonged to them. Players are not required to rebuild any builds that were torn down or altered nor are they required to return items that were removed prior to the agreement. Any signs of excessive destruction after the agreement can be ticketed for grief by the returning owner. Staff will review the ticket per normal grief guidelines to determine if destruction was malicious or not.
If a returning player griefs or loots their previously owned land, the current owner can submit a ticket to Staff per normal griefing guidelines. Court is not to be involved as the land and items are not in dispute. Staff will review the grief to determine if it was accidental or if it was intentional or malicious. If it’s determined as accidental grief, Staff will work with both parties to mediate a compromise or roll back the area if deemed appropriate. If the grief is determined as intentional or malicious, Staff will follow standard disciplinary procedures.
Claiming Staff or VIP Owned Land
Due to the sensitive nature of items stored and handled by Staff or VIP players, any claim for Staff or previous Staff owned land submitted is to be ticketed by the judges to be reviewed by an Admin, PM, or Zombiemold before the case is completed. These will be addressed on a case by case basis, and only when the ticket is closed and the land is approved by a member of Staff management can the case proceed.
Trespassing is defined as cases where a player builds or places blocks within five chunks of another player’s area or town. Court Officials will determine who the original landowner is before asking the offender to relocate. Should the offending player fail or refuse to move within two weeks after the case conclusion, Court may submit a ticket for Staff intervention. In the event the Defendant is inactive from the server, Court Officials should treat the case as a Land Claim instead.
In the event that case is in regards to an instance of landlocked, defined as surrounding a player-owned area to the point where they cannot expand any further, the case should be redirected to Staff and ticketed.
If a player is reported to be constantly intruding in an area without permission despite being told not to, it should be ticketed as harassment rather than treated as a Court case.
Lawsuits are defined as a non-disciplinary dispute between players that require Court mediation. Lawsuits can include trespassing, border disputes, and any other player disputes that are not covered by Vox Populi rules. In most cases, the result of a lawsuit will end with a binding verdict that is communicated to Staff without needing a permit. A verdict can come with additional Strikes in accordance with Court Policies. If a verdict is ignored by any of the parties involved, the offense must be reported to Staff via ticket and the offending party(s) will be subject to Staff disciplinary action.
Active Resident Evictions
Mayors and assistants have the ability to evict active residents at their own discretion. Should an active player be evicted, the mayor and assistants are required to allow the evicted player to retrieve their items and builds placed on their designated area(s).
If the eviction cannot be executed in an agreeable manner, a Lawsuit can be filed by any of the involved parties. Once Court has completed mediation and passed a verdict on the Lawsuit, all parties are required to follow the ruling. If a verdict is ignored the offending party will be subject to Staff disciplinary action.
A trespassing lawsuit can be filed when a player is disrespectful in their compliance with a previous trespassing case. This includes, but is not limited to, moving to the five chunk boundary or adding a town claim to prevent future expansion. A mayor or assistant may represent a town when handling these cases.
If two or more existing town borders or player areas are too close to allow for expansion, they can request Court assistance in mediating their border dispute. Court will research the area and work with all parties involved to the best of their ability in an attempt to reach an agreement. If Court reaches a verdict granting any land to either party, Court will grant a land claim permit for the contested area to the designated party.
If a mutual agreement is reached between all parties or if neither party is granted the area, Court will record their verdict in the Drive. If a party is ordered by Court to withdraw their border as part of the verdict, they have two weeks to comply with the Court order. Failure to comply with the Court order or verdict may result in Staff disciplinary action.
Other Player Disputes
If players have a dispute they are unable to settle and which falls outside of Staff action, they can submit a case requesting Court mediation. Any dispute involving e-store or real money trades are at the player’s own risk and will not be mediated by Court nor be addressed by Staff. Court will work with all players involved to attempt to resolve the dispute. Any resulting verdict will be recorded in the drive and considered binding.
Mayors Annexing or Claiming an Existing Town
If a mayor or assistant wishes to annex, merge, or combine towns with another town, both mayors of both towns must be in documented agreement witnessed by a Judge. The mayor who is annexing a town into theirs will submit a court case with the mayor of the opposing town as the defendant. After the Judge documents the agreement between both mayors, the same Judge must confirm that 90% residents of the town being annexed are either inactive for 90 days, or agree that they are okay with the becoming part of the plaintiffs’ town. If a player is not in agreement they
No plots in the annexed town become the property of the plaintiff, each resident retains full rights to their belongings. All residents of the town being annexed must be added back to the plaintiff’s town if they decide to stay. There will be no staff involvement or transfer of plots, ranks, money, or towny builds. The town being annexed will lose all money, towny builds, town plots, bonus plots, etc. All other Constitutional guidelines must be followed. The mayors and presiding Judge must document all details and announce them to the court room when running the case.
Any player, including fellow Court Officials and Staff, can and should report the misbehavior of Court Officials. All reports are to be submitted as tickets to Staff and will be completely anonymous. Any player who breaks the anonymity of the ticket will be subject to disciplinary action. Staff will thoroughly investigate any Court behavior ticket and review them on a case-by-case basis. There are three reasons that a player may report Court behavior: Constitutional Violations, Unconstitutional Policies, or a Vote of No Confidence.
A Constitutional Violation is any behavior from a Court Official, Staff Member, or player that violates the Constitution. If a player suspects a Court Official, Staff, or player has violated the Constitution, that player can submit a ticket to Staff. Disciplinary Staff will have a week to begin investigating the ticket to determine its validity. During the investigation, the player may be asked to provide supporting evidence. All tickets and evidence will be recorded by Staff throughout the investigation. Once the investigation is complete, Staff will close the ticket with their findings. If Staff determines a Constitutional Violation did occur, they will begin the process for permanently removing the Court Official, or initiating Staff disciplinary action.
There are no limitations on submitting Constitution Violation tickets. Staff are required to take all Constitution Violation claims seriously and process them in a timely manner. Players are encouraged to submit a ticket if they feel something is wrong within Court, however abuse of the ticket system is not allowed. Players who are found to be abusing this process will be subject to disciplinary action.
An Unconstitutional Policy is any Policy that violates or counteracts the Constitution. If an Unconstitutional Policy is proposed, it is to be reported to Staff through a ticket. Once reported, an Admin will review the Policy for any Constitutional Violations. If the Policy is deemed unconstitutional, it will be immediately removed. If the Policy is proposed again with the same Violation, the Policy will be removed and the submitting Court Official will be subject to Permanent Removal.
Vote of No Confidence
A Vote of No Confidence can be submitted when a player is dissatisfied with a Court Official’s performance or has doubt in their ability to complete their duties. Any player, staff member, or Court Official can commence a Vote of No Confidence by submitting a ticket to Staff privately. The ticket must include justification for the Vote of No Confidence with supporting evidence. Once a ticket is submitted, an Admin will begin investigating the ticket within a week.
Once an Admin has completed their investigation, if the complaint is considered to be valid, the Admin will submit an Impeachment Lawsuit to Court. The ticket will be closed and the player will be notified of the lawsuit being filed. If the claim is not sufficient enough for Impeachment, the Admin will log the complaint and close the ticket with their findings. Once closed, the player must wait two weeks before they can file another Vote of No Confidence against that Court official. If the claim is in regards to lack of activity, the Admin may request the Court Official to improve their activity in a 2 week time span. If the improvement is not significant then the Admin may continue with an Impeachment case. Any player that submits multiple tickets for the same issue without providing new evidence will be seen as abusing the ticket system and subject to disciplinary action.
If a Vote of No Confidence is considered valid or a Court Official violates the Constitution, there are two processes which can occur: Impeachment and Permanent Removal.
Impeachment occurs when a Court Official is removed by the community after a Vote of No Confidence. For Impeachment to occur, a Court Official must lose an Impeachment Lawsuit. Afterwhich, the Court Official must step down from Court but is not prevented from holding another Court position in the future. Should they be impeached a second time, they will be permanently removed.
The purpose of an Impeachment Lawsuit is to bring the potential Impeachment of a Court Official up to a community vote. Impeachment Lawsuits can only be submitted by an Admin after a valid Vote of No Confidence ticket has been completed.
Once an Impeachment Lawsuit is submitted, the Court Official brought up for Impeachment is suspended from working any cases until the lawsuit is settled. The submitting Admin will notify the Court Officials of the filing and a Court Official must process the case within two weeks. Failure to process the case within the time limit will result in a case avoidance investigation. Once the case has been processed an Emergency Judge will be appointed to take the case to trial.
Once the Impeachment Lawsuit is processed and ready for vote, the case must be scheduled during a high traffic time and announced in the Vox Discord. A minimum of 15 voting players are required for the case to be brought to a legal vote. All Disciplinary Staff and Project Managers are required to recuse themselves from any Impeachment Lawsuit and cannot be counted as part of the 15-player requirement. Non-Disciplinary Staff are permitted to vote as they are not involved in the disciplinary process.
Should the Impeachment Lawsuit fail, the Court Official is permitted to return to working cases. If the Impeachment case was for a Judge, their term limit will be extended to reflect the time they spent under case suspension.
Once the Impeachment Lawsuit fails, there will be a two-week waiting period for any further Vote of No Confidence tickets to be considered for that Court Official. This is to prevent abuse of the system and allow an appropriate amount of time for the Court Official to adjust their performance. Should a Court Official receive multiple Vote of No Confidence tickets against them, Staff are permitted to determine if Permanent Removal is necessary.
Court Officials who are impeached are permitted to hold a Court position again in the future. This allows them time to address any issues that were brought up during Impeachment. If a previously impeached Court Official is brought up for Impeachment again, the Court Official will be permanently removed from Court.
Permanent Removal occurs when a Court Official has violated the Constitution, proposed multiple Unconstitutional Policies, or has been brought up for Impeachment a second time. Staff also reserves the right to permanently remove a Court Official who has violated Server Rules while completing their Court duties.
If a Court Official is found to have violated the Constitution, Staff will reach out to the Court Official privately to coach them on the violation and review Constitutional adherence. The Court Official will be placed on probation for the remainder of their term. Any further violations while on probation will result in Permanent Removal from court.
Constitutional Violations include, but are not limited to:
- Abuse of power
- Abuse of Judge Surveyor tool
- Abuse of case filing (illegal tossing)
- Unapproved Court Strike/Policy enforcement
- Interfering with Secretary appointments
- Use of unofficial Court Resources
- Purposefully ignoring Conflict of Interest
- Bribery and Conspiracy
- Case Interference
- Extreme Case Avoidance
- Sharing sequestered Court information
- Staff impersonation
- Receiving Server Warnings related to Court activities
Any Court Official that is permanently removed by Staff will be notified of the decision and the reason for the removal. After the Court Official has been informed of their removal, they will have their Court rank stripped.
A Server Admin will make a public announcement within a public-facing court channel in the Vox Discord about the removal, citing the Violations within the announcement. This announcement is to ensure transparency between Staff, Court, and Players throughout the process. Players will not be permitted to publicly discuss Permanent Removals. Any questions regarding the Permanent Removal should be directed to the Admins through a direct message. Any public discussion within Vox Channels will be addressed by Staff and the player(s) may be subject to disciplinary action.
Any expelled Court Official is not permitted to hold any position within Court again as they have shown they are unable to abide by the expectations of Court or uphold the rights of our players.
The Constitution is intended to be a living document and is subject to future amendments as deemed necessary by Staff. Players and Court Officials are permitted to submit amendment recommendations to Staff. All approved amendments will go into effect immediately and will be logged in the revision history below.
March 7, 2019 – Initial Version ~JE
March 11, 2019 – Fix up minor errors, general document formatting, removing redundant information, capitalization errors, and moving “Player Expectations” and “Staff Expectations” ~SP, NF, ND, JE
March 20, 2019 – Fixed up minor errors, addressed court feedback on initial draft. Made various consistency changes as needed – SP, JE, LN, Sh
March 22, 2019 – Added Emergency Judge Definition. Minor clarifications for specificity in Land Claims. ~SP, JE
March 25, 2019 – Updated Court Drive to Court Resources to cover a broader range of application ~SP, JE, Mi
March 28, 2019 – Crossed i’s and dotted t’s. ~SP, JE, Mi
April 1, 2019 – Minor clarification of Strikes and Land Claims ~ SP, JE
April 30, 2019 – Added Communication Expectations for Players and Court Officials. Updated residential evictions in Land Claim cases and Lawsuits ~SP, JE
May 21, 2019 – Amended Permanent Removal to include the process and a list of Violations ~SP, JE, LN
May 23, 2019 – Amended Impeachment Lawsuit to clarify the Court Official suspension process. ~SP, JE
August 25, 2019 – Adjusted Staff Ranks to their current naming schemes. ~NF
April 1, 2021 – Added notice about temporary court system. Secretaries now fall under the 14 day inactivity rules. Assistants may now claim land for towns like mayors can. Added a section to the Court Cases page to detail court rulings on Annexed towns. Clarified how staff will act on activity based Vote of No Confidence tickets. ~GS
April 13, 2021 – Adjusted Staff ranks to their current naming schemes. ~NF
April 18th, 2021 – Clarified that Court Officials cannot hold multiple positions in Court and may not run simultaneously with their own alternate accounts. ~NF
June 27th, 2021 – Players are now only allowed 4 cases per month, though a 5th is allowed if it is a lawsuit or trespassing case. Wording of various sections have been adjusted and expanded upon, including Claiming Staff or VIP Owned Land, Conflicts of Interest, Trespassing, and Permanent Removal. Fixed up minor spelling and grammatical errors. ~NF