Author Topic: Right to silence  (Read 408 times)

nodig

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Right to silence
« on: November 11, 2017, 16:56:43 »
Sorry to wake everyone up but I would like some opinions on this hypothetical situation.  Plot holder A accuses plot holder B of some rule breaking activity, because he has a grudge against him.  Let's assume A is well connected to the committee whereas B isn't.  The committee puts the 'charge' to the accused (B) for him to present his defence.  The only evidence against B is A's testimony.  Now if B denies A's version, he is in fact calling A a liar and risks being found guilty anyway as they will probably back their friend anyway.  Another option is for B to not make any defence and leave the management to prove his guilt.  Without any evidence other than A's testimony do you think a committee should ever find someone guilty and possibly evict?  Anyone interested enough please make a comment.

Bill Door

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Re: Right to silence
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2017, 19:38:28 »
Any one can "put a charge" as you say to anyone.  It isn't the "charge" that has to be tested it is the evidence that backs up that charge that needs to be tested.  So if the committee tells B that he has been "picking his nose" on the allotment contrary to the constitution.  Then evidence would have to be provided as to When (day/hour/minute); how (right nostril/left index finger); where (specific being next to the shed on his plot); who (if anyone was there); was he told at the time it was against the constitution(if not why not), what was A doing at the time?

Yes I know that it isn't a great example but it does demonstrate the point.  B can then go away and prove that any one of those "facts" is impossible to the satisfaction of the committee he doesn't have to call A a liar. But that he has his facts wrong.  If he gets two or more facts proven as impossible then he has no problem as he can then claim that he feels as if A has been harassing him and that he hopes that the committee record that unfounded allegations have been made and that they will consider taking actions if this continues.

Bill

This is hypothetical of course so B could also just ignore it all and wait until facts are presented.

Beersmith

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Re: Right to silence
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2017, 22:38:37 »
I count myself fortunate that my field committee are sensible, hard working and do the things by the book. While they are friends and get on well, they are certainly not a clique. They would take a complaint seriously, as they should, but they would not assume the complaint proven without evidence.

As for your hypothetical case, avoid making any accusations or personal attacks. A clear and strong rejection of any wrongdoing should suffice. Also make clear that unfounded allegations are, in themselves, a serious issue.  Then, with luck, your committee will behave like intelligent adults, and judge the issue strictly on the evidence.
Not mad, just out to mulch!

nodig

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Re: Right to silence
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2017, 12:28:23 »
Bill Door - did you know it is almost impossible to prove you didn't do something? If I had accused you of putting a caterpillar on your neighbours cabbages last summer, how would you prove you didn't? - assume you were down the allotment on the same day as me.

Beersmith - can't see how simply saying I didn't do it loudly would do the trick.

Bill Door

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Re: Right to silence
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2017, 14:04:07 »
Ah!  I like it when some one says it is almost impossible, so it can be done then?  You might not be able to prove that you didn't put caterpillars on the cabbage on that day.  However, you might be able to prove that there were caterpillars on the cabbage the day before or even the day before that.  Stop being so negative.  Don't waste time on trying to prove the hard bits tackle the easy bits first.  remember "Who, what, why, where, how and when".

Just remember you have two eyes and two ears but only one mouth. That doesn't mean you have to talk twice as much only that you have to gather more information before you speak.  So when anyone says anything be prepared to say nothing for at least 10 seconds and look attentive.  They will fill the silence with more information.  You do not have to respond and they will either walk away or give more information.  If you can record the one sided conversation (you probably have a smart phone) but don't engage in conversation, they might say something "nasty" which could be used against them.  If they choose to put it in writing then don't comment on what they say ask for more information.

You know you are innocent  so it is up to them to prove it.

Bill

johhnyco15

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Re: Right to silence
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2017, 14:37:30 »
as a site manager this is how i would see it no evidence no case i would have a chat to both party's  to try and mediate the bad feeling and steer a happy ship we have a 7 man committee if there was evidence of wrong doing the  7 would try and sort it out without eviction saying that if it was theft or bullying and the evidence was compelling eviction would be the only option however most other problems would be sorted with a chat and a warning if the allegation  was totally unfounded the accuser would be delt with accordingly  hope this helps
johhnyc015  may the plot be with you

Beersmith

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Re: Right to silence
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2017, 14:41:58 »
Nodig,

It is all about evidence.  Common law is that an accused person is innocent until proven guilty. No one in court has to prove their innocence. That is extremely difficult and not required. The prosecution has to prove guilt.

If someone levels an accusation, the accused can either confess or deny the accusation. So if you feel you have been unjustly accused, make a clear denial and ask what evidence has been given to prove the accusation.  If it is simply one person's word against another, that is not proof and a sensible committee will not accept the accusation as true on that basis alone.  Jonnyco15 gives an excellent summary of how a good committee will work.
Not mad, just out to mulch!

nodig

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Re: Right to silence
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2017, 14:55:55 »
Well done Bill Door you make some good points, especially on indicating other possible reasons why the caterpillar is munching on your neighbours cabbages.  Of course I would add that the caterpillar should be properly tested for fingerprints.  The absence of your fingerprints wouldn't prove your innocence of course, but the presence of your fingerprints would almost certainly be compelling evidence against you.

I am not sure whether allotment managers can insist on fingerprinting plot holders to eliminate them from their enquiries, but of course I know an innocent people like yourself would not hesitate to have your fingerprints taken, so that hopefully you will be acquitted by the allotment jury.

Remember to make sure that it is properly recorded that you were acquitted of the charge not simply that not enough evidence was found against you to proceed with a conviction.  You have the right to have the charge and the subsequent acquittal properly documented for legal reasons - a simple verbal judgement wouldn't be sufficient.

Something like this-

We the Fartington Allotment Society find Bill Door innocent on all charges in respect of the caterpillar on cabbage incident, and his character remains unsullied, but we will keep an eye on him.

 

 

nodig

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Re: Right to silence
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2017, 15:05:37 »
johnyco15 - in Bill Door's case there is no evidence of Bill putting the caterpillar on his neighbours cabbage, just the testimony of his accuser.  So as there is no real evidence are you saying you would sort it out by giving Bill Door a chat and a warning - are you warning him about something he hasn't done?

Bill Door

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Re: Right to silence
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2017, 15:18:08 »
Nodig

Beersmith and I are trying to be helpful.  You seem intent on being provocative and have many axes to grind with all the wrong people.  After all you asked for comments and if you can't see how inflammatory your comments are to those that are on your side then there is no hope.

Bill

nodig

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Re: Right to silence
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2017, 16:10:07 »
Oh dear Bill Door, it doesn't take much to rattle your cage, but I still hope they don't find you guilty of placing the caterpillar on the cabbage or give you a verbal warning because I don't think you did it.  Good luck!

DrJohnH

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Re: Right to silence
« Reply #11 on: November 12, 2017, 17:16:40 »
Nodig,

It is all about evidence.  Common law is that an accused person is innocent until proven guilty. No one in court has to prove their innocence. That is extremely difficult and not required. The prosecution has to prove guilt.

If someone levels an accusation, the accused can either confess or deny the accusation. So if you feel you have been unjustly accused, make a clear denial and ask what evidence has been given to prove the accusation.  If it is simply one person's word against another, that is not proof and a sensible committee will not accept the accusation as true on that basis alone.  Jonnyco15 gives an excellent summary of how a good committee will work.

For what it's worth... "Guilt" means "beyond all reasonable doubt" in a (criminal) magistrates court, but "weight of evidence" in County Court (civil) litigation...   I'm not suggesting getting the judiciary involved by any means, but- is this so serious and has the situation gone so far as to warrant this level of hostility?

nodig

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Re: Right to silence
« Reply #12 on: November 12, 2017, 17:28:24 »
Good point DrJohnH and perhaps the allotment committee men on this forum can let us know if they lean towards beyond reasonable doubt or on the weight of evidence.  This is a hypothetical case, and I offered it up for comments, I am not looking for anyone to take a side, there isn't really a side.

ACE

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Re: Right to silence
« Reply #13 on: November 13, 2017, 10:51:47 »
I would set fire to their shed, then everybody will be too busy  for hypothetical arguments.

johhnyco15

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Re: Right to silence
« Reply #14 on: November 13, 2017, 12:56:58 »
nodig first line in my previous statement no evidence no case
johhnyc015  may the plot be with you

nodig

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Re: Right to silence
« Reply #15 on: November 13, 2017, 13:07:25 »
I agree with you johnyco15, 'no evidence no case' sums it up perfectly.

gardenqueen

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Re: Right to silence
« Reply #16 on: November 13, 2017, 13:41:26 »
Surely, if there is no evidence then there is no  :BangHead:case!

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Re: Right to silence
« Reply #16 on: November 13, 2017, 13:41:26 »

 

anything