Author Topic: About the Courthouse  (Read 3953 times)


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About the Courthouse
« Topic Start: July 15, 2011, 06:40:04 PM »
The Courthouse is a new, at this time still experimental way of resolving in-game disputes. If it works well, it may replace the current Titan system.

What Cases to Bring Forward
The Courthouse is strictly for disputes between players. Any and all in-characters disputes (i.e. between characters) are to be resolved in-game.

You should bring a case forward for actions by other players that violate the Inalienable Rights or break the Social Contract.

You can, and in fact are encouraged to, bring cases even if you are not affected. If you see someone violating the right of another player, do speak up on behalf of that other player. He may not dare to or know how.

The main Courthouse board itself is purely for announcements and meta-information. The actual disputes are restricted to the sub-boards - one for complaints and one for questions people want to ask without bringing a complaint (aka "hey, is this ok?").

Cases can only be initiated through the "Contact Magistrate" page within the game. This makes sure they start with an identical format and with all required information present. Also, this makes sure the accused party is notified and thus can defend himself.

After a topic was started, replies are open for all. They are, however, moderated by the Magistrates. All replies need to follow these rules, or they will be moderated:
  • remain strictly on topic. Information relevant to the actual case only. This goes especially for speculations, hypotheticals, variations - discussing of the this could be... if... kind are unwanted. We have a specific case before us and will decide that case, nothing else.
  • be positive and friendly. Don't insult or troll.
  • add new information. Repeating a point does not increase its truth value.

The Magistrates are judges and executioners of the Courthouse. They will arbitrate all cases, listen to arguments brought forth, and then make a decision and - through an in-game interface - execute it.
The identity of the Magistrates is public knowledge - you can look them up in the Members list.

Magistrates enjoy special, personal protection from me. These people are volunteers doing a job that is guaranteed to make them enemies. Anyone who makes their life difficult outside the Courthouse and its sub-boards will feel my unrestrained wrath. That includes shunning them in-game, badmouthing them on IRC, bullying them in any way, or absolutely anything else negative.

Any complaints about Magistrates or their behavior have to go through e-mail to and absolutely nowhere else.

How Cases are Resolved
All cases go through roughly the same basic flow:
  • Case initiation through the in-game page.
  • Open discussion on the board. Anyone who wants to comment on a case can do so. The Magistrates can moderate the board, to clean out off-topic comments.
  • Decision by the Magistrates.
  • Short post-decision discussion, for questions and clarifications.
  • There is no appeal. If you think the decision was totally wrong, you can try to mail - but your chances aren't very good. Unless the decision is obviously faulty, I will stand behind my Magistrates.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2012, 03:47:18 PM by Tom »