CoJ Case 008
Basic Case Information
- Kromtal Stormfyld
- Disreputable Behavior
After the Brotherhood split from the Emperor's Hammer, many members of both clubs perpetrated acts against each other. During one such event, Kromtal got in a lengthy argument via an email thread with the head of the EH, and was instructed by the Grand Master to cease all harassment activities in any way related to the EH or it's leaders. Soon thereafter it was brought to the attention of the GM that someone had repeatedly vandalized the EH's Wookiepedia page. These vandalizations were all removed, but would be quickly replaced with worse material, finally culminating in the posting of the EH leaders home phone number and address. When contacted with this information, the GM forwarded it to the Justicar, who initiated an investigation. The Wookiepedia account used to vandalize the page was matched to Kromtal, and he was charged by the Chamber of Justice with Disreputable Behavior. The defendant initially claimed this violated the new statute of limitations clause of the Dark Covenant, however he misunderstood the wording, use, and start date of the statute - as the Chamber explained. The defendant refused to enter a plea, and an automatic "guilty" plea was entered in the record. The Chamber then demoted Kromtal from Krath Priest to Dark Jedi Knight, issued him an Official Letter of Reprimand, and put him on probation for one year.
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Chamber of Justice Communique #013a
Posted By Kir Katarn - 2/15/2007
On this day, February 15, 2007 of the Liberated Brotherhood, I the Justicar of the Brotherhood now announce the punishment that this Chamber lays upon Krath Priest Kromtal Stormfyld.
Upon the conclusion of fair and just proceedings, this Chamber finds you:
On the Charge of Disreputable Behavior -
You willingly and knowingly partook in action that brought disrepute to the Brotherhood as a whole, after being warned to cease. This action included repeatedly defacing the Emperor's Hammer Wookieepedia page with increasing severity, up to the point of publishing GA Ronin's name, home phone number, and address - and encouraging people to visit him at home. These acts were not in the best interest of the Brotherhood and you were aware of this when he repeatedly committed said acts - this Chamber finds you GUILTY.
Sentencing for the party is as follows:
- Demotion from Krath Priest to Dark Jedi Knight
- Official Letter of Reprimand entered in your file
- One year of Probation
The terms of probation are thus:
- The guilty party may not receive promotion, appointment to position, or any citation or honor of merit without the explicit permission of the Justicar
- In addition, he may not hold any leadership position until his probationary period expires
Signed and Sealed in Justice,
Dark Side Adept Kir Taldrya Katarn
Justicar and High Protector of the Dark Brotherhood
Justicar's Opinion – Case #008 DB vs. Kromtal Stormfyld
Posted By Kir Katarn - 2/15/2007
The complaint brought against Kromtal Stormfyld was that of Disreputable Behavior. He was accused of vandalizing the Emperor's Hammer wookieepedia page several times, finally posting Ronin's home phone number and address, and encouraging members to harass him at home. He was warned several times to cease this behavior but did not heed the warnings. This complaint was originally brought to Justicar Firefox, who began an investigation of the event. Unfortunately real life events prevented him from completing the case, and it was passed onto me to finish.
The evidence collected included copies of the several different posts made by Kromtal, matched by both IP and known alias. These posts caused harm to the Brotherhood's image and to the relations between our club and the Emperor's Hammer. The Disreputable Behavior rule states that actions taken by members outside of club activities that reflect on the club can be prosecuted, and in this case Kromtal willingly acted against the clubs best interest.
Kromtal was formally approached with the charge against him and offered the standard time to plea, however he responded with several emails in which he refused to plea and contested the Chamber's authority over him. After several warnings and consultations with the Left Hand of Justice, Kromtal still refused to plea, and after the plea period ended, an assumed guilty plea was entered in the record as is precedent in the Brotherhood. This was followed by the sentencing period, during which it was decided Kromtal would be demoted from Krath Priest to Dark Jedi Knight, have an Official Letter of Reprimand put into his dossier, and serve one year on probation.
Points of Interest
This case contains three interesting topics - the automatic guilty plea, the introduction of the statute of limitations, and the prosecution of crimes outside the Brotherhood itself. In case 006 DB vs. Gilkane, Justicar Keirdagh Taldrya Cantor established the precedent for an automatic "guilty" plea in the event a defendant refuses to enter a plea of his own. This precedent was followed by Justicar Kir Taldrya Katarn in this case - however it's use led to a discussion among the Chamber of Justice and Dark Council. After this case was concluded, it was decided that in future cases a refusal to plea would result in an automatic "not guilty" plea, and a Trial by Justicar. This was deemed to be more fair to defendants - even though they refused to cooperate, they would still be treated as if they were contesting the charge.
The statute of limitations was a topic that had been talked about in the Chamber of Justice and Dark Council previously, and the momentum to establish such a statute was strong after the events during 007 DB vs. Oberst. On January 1, 2007, Grand Master Jac Cotelin announced that the statute had officially been added to the Dark Covenant. The statute states that all complaints must be received within three months of the discovery of the underlying event, or else they will be dismissed. This statute was enacted with an initial three-month grace period, during which any complaints from the past could be made without restraint. This grace period was how the complaint about Kromtal's behavior was permitted to move forward.
The final topic is the prosecution of the Brotherhood member for actions which were taken on Wookiepedia, which is not a DB website or resource. The defendant argued that these actions were outside the Chamber's jurisdiction, however the charge was based on the wording of the Disreputable Behavior statute used at the time. This statute said:
"Disreputable Behavior: No member shall willfully partake in any action that brings disrepute onto the Dark Brotherhood, as a whole. They are expected to act in the organization's best interest. Dark Jedi found to be causing harm to the organization's image shall be punished based on their actions. This category includes many actions taken by members outside the club activities that reflect on the organization, such as treason, acts to sabotage, or stealing of property of Dark Brotherhood members or other organizations."
The Chamber argued that repeatedly vandalizing the EH Wookieepedia page with increasing severity, up to the point of publishing a real life name, phone number, and address, and encouraging people to visit him at home were not acts in the best interest of the Brotherhood, and that these acts brought disrepute onto the Dark Brotherhood. Since this argument could be used for a DB member committed real-life crimes, the Chamber also stated that the EH and the Dark Brotherhood have a direct, known relationship and Kromtal's actions brought direct harm to the relations between the two clubs. Therefore while the details of this specific case permitted the Chamber to prosecute a member for actions outside of the DB, the precedent for doing so again in the future was set to a very narrow, specific set of circumstances.