THE AMERICAN LEGION
Title: Add Article XI Section 4(b) of the Constitution of the Department of Tennessee
Origin: Sgt Donnie E. Horton Post 254
Submitted by: Stephen T. Weismann
WHEREAS, The American Legion Officers Guide and Manual of Ceremonies contains a guide to member expulsion and suspension; and
WHEREAS, The American Legion, Department of Tennessee adopted a Department Practice and Procedure to
Member Expulsion and Suspension; and
WHEREAS, Expulsion and suspension policy should be easily understandable and accessible for all Legionnaires; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, by Post 254, The American Legion, Department of Tennessee, in a regular meeting assembled on September 5, 2019, That Article XI Section 4(b) of The American Legion, Department of Tennessee Constitution shall be added to read;
"(b) MEMBER EXPULSION OR SUSPENSION:
1. To initiate the process in all actions of expulsion or suspension against a member of The American Legion in good standing, the accuser or accusers, all of whom must be members of the same post as the accused, shall file with the Post Adjutant, written charges. Charges set forth must be for disloyalty, neglect of duty, dishonesty, and conduct unbecoming a member of The American Legion, and shall be in terms of simplicity and understanding in order the accused may properly prepare a defense.
2. The Post Adjutant shall issue formal charges specifying what conduct and sign it, directing the Sergeant-at Arms (or some other member of the post in good standing), to read and present the charges, as well as, summon the accused to appear at the post meeting place at the next regular meeting (provided 15 days’ written notice has been given), to show cause why they should not be suspended or expelled.
3. Before the accused defends in their own proper person, or through counsel, they shall file, in writing, an answer to said charges, on or before the date of the regular meeting to which the accused has been summoned to appear.
4. If the accused fails to answer the charges as set last forth, the charges and matters and things therein stated shall be taken as confessed, and the request for suspension or expulsion granted.
5. Whenever the accused has filed an answer to the charges preferred, the entire proceedings shall automatically be continued until the next regular post meeting, at which time the trial shall be had.
6. The Post Judge Advocate shall preside at the trial and shall have the power and authority to pass upon the materiality and relevancy of all the evidence presented, and shall have the general power to prescribe the necessary and reasonable rules and regulations for the orderly procedure of said trial. In the absence of a Post Judge Advocate, it shall be the duty of the Department Commander, when duly notified by the Post Adjutant, to appoint a special Judge Advocate to fill such vacancy.
7. The Post Officers and Post Executive Committee (if the post has no executive committee, the Judge Advocate shall instruct the Sergeant-at-Arms to select 5 post members in good standing), are hereby selected as jurors to ascertain under the guidance of the judge advocate the truth of the charges preferred. Subject matter is strictly limited to questions of fact and exclusive consideration of the matters that have been proven by evidence of the interested parties in the course of the trial.
8. To expel or suspend a member of The American Legion in good standing, two-thirds of the members selected to sit as jurors shall vote in the affirmative.
9. Any member who has been suspended or expelled has the right to appeal to the Department Executive Committee or the Department Convention. The decision of the Department will be final.
10. All appeals to the Department Executive Committee or the Department Convention shall be filed within 40 days after judgement of suspension or expulsion. It shall be the duty of the accused to obtain from the Department Adjutant the date of the Department Executive Committee meeting or Department Convention and the exact time and place of said trial.
11. Where an appeal is taken and the Department Executive Committee or Department Convention sustains the appeal, the expelled member automatically becomes a member in good standing of said post. Any post failing to comply with this provision is subject to having its charter suspended or revoked."
This is to certify that the above resolution was adopted by Sgt. Donnie E. Horton American Legion Post 254 on September 5, 2019