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“NAPPS is not…bound by the First Amendment” ~ Mr. Admin

2012-01-24

We received a hushmail some time ago stating that the Sep-Oct-Nov-Dec 2011 newsletter (yes, you read that right, 4 months) was posted online and then suddenly removed from the NAPPS website.  It remained unavailable until recently.  In comparing the two versions, we focused on the Administrator’s Notebook report and discovered that in fact, the published version that members will receive in the mail – and the one currently online – is slightly different from the version initially posted online.

Several private messages to us on the subject basically said the same thing -

‘Mr. Admin went too far.’   ‘He’s being told to tone it down.’

At the bottom of this post is the original version of  Mr. Admin’s report (2 pages).  The document is annotated at the top and in (2) places in the right hand margin.  The highlighted section represents the two sentences that were removed from the original article and won’t be found in the published version.  The now deleted sentences read:

“However, there is no First Amendment argument to the violation of our Code of Ethics.  NAPPS is not a governmental entity bound by the First Amendment.”

It’s difficult to comprehend any lucid person making such a statement in this day and age but Mr. Admin continues on in a section that wasn’t removed or edited:

“Even speaking the truth is not a defense.  The Code (of Ethics) does not prohibit impugning another’s reputation “unless what you say is true.”

Huh?  Can someone tell us what this means?

To us, it almost sounds like Mr. Admin is attempting to create or interpret what NAPPS policies are and should be.  In our most recent reading of the NAPPS bylaws, that would be the board’s purview, not Mr. Admin.

It seems to NAPPS Watcher that someone in the NAPPS leadership has woken up and challenged Mr. Admin.  If so, good!  This article should be an embarrassment to any professional process server, especially those of you who espouse the importance of  due process.

It’s sad really.  Mr. Admin struggles to answer his own question, what is NAPPS?  It’s a terribly important question and members deserve better than what was offered.

Link to the original (first) Administrator’s Notebook report

- If you want the complete copy of the original newsletter, please email us.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. The Good Witch permalink
    2012-01-25 04:35

    Mr. Admin does not get it. He believes that HE is NAPPS and he has the responsibility to set the tone. WRONG. He is a contractor working for the membership, we are his boss and employer. What he is doing is causing more discourse. What he should be doing is working to insure the fair and just management of the association. Instead he is more invested in playing a divisive unproductive games at the expense and reputation of the association. Anyone that is paying close attention knows his actions are that of a desperate man who want nothing more than to discredit and destroy Jeff Bannister. Desperate people do desperate things. He has exposed himself as a self righteous jerk who will stop at nothing to make sure Jeff knows that he and his cronies won. The only thing transparent about NAPPS is Mr. Admin’s negative attitude and destructive actions toward those that disagree with him. His contract is up this May, we can only hope that the board remembers this episode and treats Mr. Admin accordingly. Perhaps we need an all new board that is willing to stand up and hold Mr. Admin accountable.

    • Man In Black permalink
      2012-01-27 17:44

      The Federal Volunteer Protection Act (VPA) of 1997 (42 USCA Sec. 14501 et seq.),

      The law states that “no volunteer of a nonprofit organization or governmental entity shall be liable for harm caused by an act or omission of the volunteer on behalf of the organizations or entity.” The liability limitation only applies if:
      •the volunteer was acting within the scope of his/her responsibilities;
      •the volunteer, if appropriate or required, was properly licensed, certified or authorized to act in the state in which the harm occurred;
      •the harm was not caused by willful or criminal misconduct, reckless misconduct, gross negligence, or a conscious, flagrant indifference to the rights or safety of the individual harmed by the volunteer; and
      •the harm was not caused by the volunteer operating a motor vehicle, vessel, aircraft, or other vehicle requiring the operator or owner to possess an operator’s license or maintain insurance.

      On the down side, the law allows the nonprofit or governmental entity to bring a civil action against the volunteer (so the organization can still sue the volunteer). Plus, the law does not provide any protection or limit the liability of the nonprofit, governmental entity or its employees (that could be you). Therefore, the entity still needs insurance to protect itself and its employees and provide defense for the volunteer even if the volunteer’s liability is limited.

      The devil is always in the details. First, who is a volunteer? A volunteer is an individual performing services for a nonprofit organization or governmental entity who does not receive compensation or anything of value in excess of $500 per year over and above reimbursement of expenses. The term includes people serving as a director, officer, trustee, or direct service volunteer.

      Second, what qualifies as a “nonprofit organization?” A nonprofit is a 501(c)(3) or any not-for-profit organization that is organized and conducted for public benefit and operated primarily for charitable, civic, educational, religious, welfare, or health purposes. According to the American Society of Association Executives, the law applies to 501(c)(6)s, including trade and professional associations, although they are not specified in the act. The sponsors of the bill did not change the statutory definition but included language in the House Judiciary Committee Report stating their intent to cover volunteers of 501(c)(6)s. However, coverage for 501(c)(4) and 501(c)(5) organizations by the law is dependent upon a finding that the organization meets the “public benefit” and “operating primarily” tests. That is a big “if.”
      The term “harm” means physical, nonphysical, economic and non-economic losses. Non-economic losses are physical and emotional pain, suffering, inconvenience, physical impairment, mental anguish, disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of society and companionship, and loss of consortium. It also includes hedonic damages, injury to reputation and all other non-pecuniary losses of any kind or nature. Non-economic damages are often where the big money is within claim settlements and lawsuits.

      The short answer for your board chair is that the Volunteer Protection Act only applies to the volunteer; there is no protection for either the entity or its employees. The law will not prevent the filing of a claim nor pay for the defense of an allegation of harm arising from a volunteer’s misconduct. The volunteer can raise the VPA as a defense to any such suit but that costs money. A liability insurance policy will pay the defense expenses if the claim is covered. From a Directors and Officers’ perspective, there are many possibilities for a claim to be filed against the board and organization that would not be covered by the VPA, such as employment practices, anti-trust or general mismanagement of the organization.

      The second point is that the law does not protect the volunteer if he/she acted willfully, criminally, recklessly or is grossly negligent. Most, if not all, lawsuits will allege the defendant acted in such a manner (that is where the big money is). The volunteer immunity also does not apply if the action results in the volunteer being convicted of: a crime of violence, a hate crime, a sexual offense, violating federal or state civil rights laws, or being under the influence of intoxicating alcohol or any drug.

      The Law.

      http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/usc_sec_42_00014503—-000-.html

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volunteer_Protection_Act

      Civil Right – right or rights belonging to a person by reason of citizenship including especially the fundamental freedoms and privileges guaranteed by the 13th and 14th amendments and subsequent acts of Congress including the right to legal and social and economic equality.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution

      Washington trial court Judge William Thomas McPhee may have said it best in his 2000 decision in Beidler v. North Thurston School District: “Schools can and will adjust to the new challenges created by … students and the internet, but not at the expense of the First Amendment.”

      Mr. Admin is NOT a Volunteer. He’s a contracted employee >$500, not a board or director volunteer; therefore, he has no VPA protections and should keep his mouth shut about whether a member retains his/her civil rights when he/she joins NAPPS or not. Obviously he hasn’t read the governing laws, yet “FLAGRANTLY” threatens us from his bully pulpit, The Mockery Sheet (another form of “The Press.”)

      Smooth Move Exlax!

      Social networks ARE another form or an extenuation of “THE PRESS” according to Supreme Court Rulings, Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, Citation: 393 U.S. 503 (1969.)

      The aggrieved member COULD now potentially legally OWN Mr. Admin and NAPPS if he chose to do so, thanks to the revision of this article.

      NAPPS should be thanking their lucky stars Mr. Ex. is not suing their pants off.

  2. Never Faked an Affidavit. permalink
    2012-01-29 15:13

    I am amazed that the Administrator implied that JB said the truth. He and and another member of his office have openly called him a liar. I think those who know JB know that it is not true. JB gets criticized by the way he tells the truth. It is ashamed most members don’t care about the association. People please ask the Administrator what he and the director from Az. are trying to hide by getting rid of JB?

  3. NAPPS is Broken permalink
    2012-02-02 06:38

    In the last NAPPS newsletter the Administrator wrote a “report” entitled “What is NAPPS”? In this “report” the Administrator began to recite from his point of view what he believed NAPPS is. He focused on what NAPPS is and how it should operate again from his point of view. His opinion and assessments might have been appropriate if he were the President or if he were speaking on behalf of the Board of Directors. His comments in the context of his role as Administrator were nothing more than the ramblings of an egoist. It is not his place or role to tell the membership what NAPPS is or isn’t. His role is that of administrator. His duties include executing the wishes of the board as it relates to the business of the association. To be clear he has a contract and his job is to faithfully execute on that contract nothing more and nothing less.

    Instead he has chosen to use the power of the Newsletter as his tool to manipulate the membership and carry out his selfish agenda. That agenda includes among other things sending message to anyone that would dare to publicly have a point of view that challenged the status quo. The evidence is not only in the last “report” but his prior one as well. In that newsletter he let the members know that there are only two ways that you are allowed express dissenting of view. Again, I will say it is not his place to set policy or lead the association. Yet there he is newsletter after newsletter making sure the people understand that he sets the tone and rules as it relates to the governance for the association. Why is his conduct tolerated by the board of directors? The answer is either they are lazy and or they forgot that they are the elected body whose job it is to make all decisions and lead the association.

    What he is doing is classic manipulation, there are two ways that one typically manipulates, either they sell fear or they inspire us. Both are effective, but one is used more often if the desired result is to control uppity members (Jeff B, Jeff K and others). The last thing that the Old Gaurd and their point man (the administrator) want is an open, honest and transparent association. If NAPPS were transparent it would be harder to control all the moving pieces necessary to insure that his 189K+ a year contract is renewed and the Old Guard continues to travel to Sheriff Association meetings twice a year and travel internationally every year all on the members dime. By the way – what value exactly are the members getting for the 189K contract and all that globetrotting?

    Notice I said “if” NAPPS were transparent, that is exactly how the Administrator referred to transparency in his “report”. He spoke about it but in a way that suggested that NAPPS was but he cleverly phrased his written words in a manner that careful not say it actual was. That’s because he knows it’s not and never will be if he has anything to say about it.
    So what is he hiding? Well he got so mad at Jeff B for stating that he thought the Administrator was over paid and had too much influence. So much so, that he orchestrated the expulsion of Jeff B along with the help of a few like minded board members. I he upset that it has been exposed that for years he has been having NAPPS pay his personal credit card that he has been using to pay for NAPPS expenses. Why would he do that? Maybe he did so that he could enrich himself with the literally hundreds of thousands of credit card points? Maybe he is upset because for the first time in NAPPS history there is starting to be some financial oversight of the association? Or is it that there is now a budget process? IS he afraid that an audit will uncover other questionable practices? Maybe he just wants to hang on to his cushy job, a job where he is not accountable to anyone.

    Hopefully this blog will help bring an end to the Gary Crowe and Old Guard era and NAPPS can get back to basics.

    • NAPPS Watcher permalink*
      2012-02-03 01:32

      Dear NAPPS Is Broken,

      Should your day job not pan out, we could use you on our editorial board. You know where to reach us.

  4. Man In Black permalink
    2012-02-03 03:19

    Excellant Op-Ed, Napps Is Broken.

    Question Sir or Madam Broken; how does one cause every NAPPS member to be made aware of this WordPress blog site?

    While they’re (TPTB) gallivanting on their elite, VIP Caribbean extravaganza and congratulating themselves for vanquishing the South Carolina, Alligator Hunter, AND gifting (after it’s all said & done) 50K to the Big Apple, Nappswatcher bloggers should be spreading the word to every hard working & long suffering member about this simple blog that was started for us.

    Hopefully, this will be TPTB’s farewell tour come convention time.

    A member and friend to remember, (link removed by request)

    • NAPPS Watcher permalink*
      2012-02-03 04:15

      We’ve opted not to spam the NAPPS members list (it’s easy to get btw) with our drivel ala Mr. Tamaroff. Besides, that may not be entirely necessary if our customized stat/logging tool works as good as advertised. Daily readership is almost at 10% of the NAPPS membership number.

      Speaking of freedom of the press, an idea springs to mind. We understand that a handful of members led by former bad boy Bruce Lazarus (NY) published their own newsletter for conference attendees in 2005 (Scottsdale). At that time the dissent was over electronic service of process and these members took matters into their own hands in an effort to educate the membership Obviously to go to that time and trouble, they must have felt strongly that folks were being led astray by the NAPPS leadership.

      Does anyone still have a copy of that publication? If so, we’d sure appreciate seeing it.

  5. Robinson permalink
    2012-02-04 17:07

    A NAPPS DIRECTIVE:

    “Proofs of Service, Not Found Returns, Other Reports

    All documents shall be returned timely upon completing the work order. Each member shall comply with all instructions given by the forwarding agency. If a proof of service is provided by the sending party, it is mandatory that the serving party use that proof and fill it out in the manner requested”

    Dear Readers “it is mandatory that the serving party use that proof and fill it out in the manner requested”.

    Here is one such example of NAPPS problem. This statement is as clear as the impugn statement where JB was expelled.

    A company telling you to deceptively fill out a return has the full faith and support of NAPPS rules.

    So could one conclude the credibility of all the rules are at stake if one clearly requires the following of a deceptive instruction mandated upon the serving party?

    New process servers don’t listen to wrong or illegal requests even if NAPPS rules tells you you must, mandatory! Keep good notes and records to defend your self.

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  1. MaryLee Rustand Gary Crowe vs. Jeff Bannister – PART II « NAPPS Watcher

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