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Standard Operating Procedure

From Delta-V Wiki

This page covers the standardized guidelines and procedures aboard the station, but are not written in law; be aware that in cases of dire emergency the commanding officer or certain individuals are authorized to temporarily alter current SOP as they see fit, at the risk of criminal penalties in the case of misuse or abuse! Make sure to look at Alert Procedure for guidelines that change based on the alert level.

Definitions: The terms specified below are defined for further use in the procedure herein.

  • Captain: The officer legally appointed by Nanotrasen as Commanding Officer of the station. This title is not transferable unless done so by Central Command.
  • Commanding Officer / CO: An officer appointed to lead the station and its Command department, whether it be the Captain by Nanotrasen, or an Acting CO by Station Command.
  • Command Staff/Station Command: Members of the Command department who lead a department aboard the station.
  • Crew: All sophonts employed by Station Command, or by NT to reside on the station and perform an established function therein.
  • Inhabitants: All sophonts residing long-term on the station, including crew.

General Regulations

Right to Refuse Service

All standard service and logistics members that operate within a secure area are given the right to refuse service to patrons at any time if they are disorderly or abusive. Additionally, all crew members are permitted to use nonlethal force to remove noncompliant or disorderly individuals only when such persons pose a threat to the safety of staff members, or disrupt the orderly functioning of the secure areas and staff quarters.

Hiring Procedure

While Nanotrasen handles the staffing and recruiting needs of the station, Station Command is additionally authorized to hire any sophont into their respective department, as well as terminate the employment of any crew in their respective department per company policy. For a member of Station Command to personally employ a sophont into their department, a contract must be written stating the name of the employee, the department of employment, the position, and finally bearing the stamp of the Station Command member.

Controlled Items, Substances, & Areas

Controlled Items & Substances

Controlled substances are any substances that have been restricted or made illegal under space law. A noncomprehensive list of controlled substances is as follows:

  • Space Drugs and other hallucinogenic agents.
  • Mindbreaker Toxin and other psionically restrictive agents.
  • Corpium and other highly infectious or rapidly-acting chemical or biological agents.
  • Desoxyephedrine and other stimulants.
  • Nocturine and other sedatives.
  • Explosive and pyrotechnic compounds.
  • Toxins and poisonous compounds.

Any individual who requires any of the above items in the course of their job or for regular function may request access to a prescription or special dispensation from the CMO or psychologist in the case of psychoactive drugs. The prescription must describe the controlled substance(s) being prescribed, the amount where applicable, and a certification of authority, such as a stamp or signature.

Controlled items are items that have been restricted or made illegal for passenger possession and use. Additionally, any information, intelligence, or technology providing insight into the development, production, or procurement of a controlled item is also itself a controlled item. The current list of controlled items is as follows:

  • Weapons and ballistic or reflective body armor (see Armament Licensing)
  • EMP and high impact electromagnetic disturbance technology.
  • Cryptographic systems, software or technology.
  • Nuclear materials, weapons, and technology.
  • Long-range telecommunications and broadcast technology.
  • Navigation and maritime guidance equipment or technology.
  • Telecommunication and signal jamming technology.
  • Hypodermic spray tools and refillable hypodermic auto-injectors.
  • Cloaking, chameleon, and IFF-inhibiting technology.
  • Technology that utilizes bluespatial manipulation technology as an integral part of its function.
  • Teleportation and portal technology.

Any individual who requires any of the above items in the course of their job or for regular function may request a document of authorization which is to contain an itemized list of the approved information, intelligence, or technologies, the name and position of the holder, and a stamped statement of approval from the commanding officer; this document must be held secure by both parties. Should the holder of such a document commit crimes pertaining to the listed items, the authorizing party may be found guilty of accessory to said crimes, in addition to endangerment and abuse of power where applicable.

Controlled Armaments

Controlled armaments are grouped in increasing tiers of danger and determine the severity of possession charges, and allow for categorized armaments licensing. The tiers are as follows:

T1: Weapons designed for melee combat, or those that are not easily concealable. Ammunition that is not lethal.

  • Standard cutting, slashing, or stabbing melee-based weapons, including training weapons.
  • Ballistic arms that do not possess an internal magazine or feeding system, and are not concealable within a pocket or coat.
  • Energized arms that do not deal lethal damage or stun their targets.
  • Non-lethal ammunition.
  • High-powered bulb and flash items.

T2: Less-lethal weapons and ammunition, or those not capable of rapid or mass damage. Standard armor.

  • Weapons or ammunition capable of incapacitating a target without lethal force, either energized or ballistic.
  • Ballistic arms that possess an internal feeding mechanism or magazine, and are not able to be concealed within a pocket or coat.
  • Energized arms incapable of automatic fire that are not able to be concealed within a pocket or coat.
  • Armor not able to withstand low-pressure environments.
  • Explosives not intended for direct combat purposes.

T3: Lethal ammunition, automatic weaponry, exotic or special weapons and armor.

  • Melee weapons or arms capable of being concealed within a pocket or coat.
  • Ballistic or energized arms capable of automatic fire.
  • All forms of lethal ammunition.
  • Combat explosives, including explosive payloads.
  • Any crew-served or stationary emplaced weapon.

Armaments licenses may be issued by the Commanding Officer, Warden, or the Head of Station Security. The license must include the name of the holder, a list of allowed armaments, and the stamp of the issuer.

Departmental Dispensations

Certain bodies, groups, or personnel may require certain controlled items in the course of their job, and as such must be provided exceptions. Any department which begins their shift with a controlled item in their possession or within their department’s allocated area is assumed authorized for its possession and use.

Logistics

The logistics department aboard a station is permitted to approve any order with the permission or approval of an individual with access to the contents of that shipment. Additionally, they may deny any order for lack of funds, lack of authority, or for any other reason deemed sufficient by their direct superior, the Logistics Officer. Should cargo technicians be forced to store crates containing controlled items, substances, or weapons, they are required to retain a copy of the invoice and store the order securely within their department. Unlocked crates, orders stored outside of the department, and supplies illegally distributed to unauthorized personnel carries a risk of endangerment or even black marketeering charges.

Research

Epistemics employees are permitted to use their lab spaces as they see fit, with the following caveats:

  • Any human experimentation must be done with the consent of the test subject, and must not have an undue risk of life. The Mystagogue or CO may terminate any experiment for safety or ethical purposes and at their discretion.
  • Self-experimentation is prohibited and is chargeable with endangerment at a minimum.
  • Testing of any explosives or weapons that risk hull penetration or mass destruction must be done at an off-station site.

Additionally:

  • Distribution of experimental technology to research personnel for testing purposes may be approved or denied by the Mystagogue or CO.
  • Epistemics employees are not subject to laws regarding controlled substances or items while using said items in the course of research and in a manner approved by the Mystagogue or CO.
  • Experimental technology may be provided to crew departments for testing and use with the approval of the relevant head officers.

Medical

Medical doctors, paramedics, and other personnel may carry, use, or prescribe any controlled substance as well as hypodermic spray tools and refillable injectors in the course of their job and in a manner approved by the CMO or CO, with the following caveats: Any controlled substance with the capability to cause rapid and grievous bodily harm or death may not be carried outside of the chemistry or treatment areas without a stamped document authorizing the carrier’s possession of the substance.

  • Any substance with the capacity to cause harm as a consequence of overdose may not be stocked, stored, or displayed in an area and fashion that :* leaves such substances open and accessible to the public.
  • Any hypodermic spray tool or refillable hypodermic auto-injector must be kept secure within locked storage or on the person of an authorized entity.

Engineering

Engineering personnel are fully authorized to possess and use any technology in the course of their job and in a manner approved by the Chief Engineer or CO, with the following caveats:

  • Engineering personnel may not use or possess controlled items or technology in the course of their job if their tasks may be completed without the use of the aforementioned items or technology.
  • Engineering personnel may not use controlled items or technology in a manner that compromises the security of said items, unless directly approved by the CE or CO.
  • Advanced, proprietary, or classified objects and entities are to be regarded as controlled items or technology for the above caveats.


High Security Areas

High Security Areas, or HSAs, should be restricted, and, during standard station operations, secured where applicable or per alert level. They differ from regular secure areas in that they may contain items, technology, or other assets of high importance or value, and must therefore be held safe. Unauthorized persons within HSAs may be guilty of trespass, or of breaking and entering. Common HSAs for commercial and military vessels are as follows:

*  Bridge
*  Armory
*  Gun Deck
*  Vault or Strongroom
*  Gravity Generator and Life Support
*  Telecommunications and Telemetry

Sophonts and Synthetics

To be defined as a sophont, a being must be demonstrated as:

  • being able to utilise a structured language,
  • communicate (written, verbal, body, otherwise),
  • and possess reasoning and introspection.

Any being that is granted the title of sophont is to be a considered a legal person, regardless of their make, origin, disposition, or prior cognition. As part of their rights, they are to be governed under the same laws as any other sophonts, and given the ability to press charges as a sophont. The unauthorised jailbreaking or uplifting of property into the status of Sophont is still a criminal offense however, and those found guilty of doing so may be found guilty of sabotage or vandalism.

An entity’s status as a non-sophont may be challenged during the process of charging and trialing the individual or another for crimes which utilize the term sophont in the legal language of the crime. The entity or its representatives will present evidence indicating that it meets the legal criteria. The Chief Justice or CO will then arbitrate upon the entity's status as a sophont.

Any synthetic/silicon/inorganic entity with a non-sophont status, is to be classified as a standard synthetic entity. Synthetic entities are the property of the party that constructs or employs the entity, unless otherwise stated by relevant contract or legal document. To damage or destroy such an entity is to damage or destroy the aforementioned party’s property.

Medical Regulations

Standard of Care

Upon agreeing to provide medical care, medical personnel assume a duty of care wherein they are expected to provide a reasonable level of skill and quality care. While normal errors are permissible, any errors resulting in major personal injury or death can incur endangerment charges and civil liability. Medical personnel are expected to show diligence in providing treatment to injured both inside and outside the medical department area during their shift, and to provide privacy to patients in non-emergency circumstances. If novice medical personnel are not yet skilled enough to provide care alone, they may be overseen as an apprentice by an experienced member of the medical department. During care provided by an apprentice, the doctor overseeing assumes the duty of care to ensure no harm results from the apprentice’s inexperience. Additionally, surgery and invasive procedures, including implant removal and search, must be done by trained medical personnel as they have a reasonable level of skill required for the safety of the patient.

Medical Evaluation

Given good medical reason and with documentation, the Chief Medical Officer of a vessel may declare any on-duty personnel unfit for duty and order them to be demoted from their position; this includes the Commanding Officer, who may not overrule this procedure.

In order for a medical evaluation to be considered lawfully applicable, the CMO and the relevant head of department must both agree that the specified crewmate is unfit for duty for the demotion for it to take effect.

Right to Refuse Service

All medical staff may, at any time, refuse medical care to patients for any of the following reasons:

  • Lack of expertise; the medical staff does not have the necessary skill, knowledge, or capability to provide treatment.
  • Illegal or unethical request; the medical staff cannot in good conscience provide treatment due to illegality or violation of ethical principles.
  • Patient refusal; the patient, being legally competent to make such a decision, refuses treatment.
  • Disruptive or abusive patient; the patient exhibits violent or threatening behaviour, posing a danger to staff and to other patients.
  • Resource constraints; there are limited resources available to medical staff, necessitating allocation by triage.

Quarantine

Medical staff are afforded the right to quarantine individuals that currently suffer from infectious or contagious diseases, and may confine them within predesignated quarantine areas in the course of treatment, until the point that they are no longer infectious or harmful to the rest of the crew.

DNRs

Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) orders are commands issued to medical personnel to restrict the revival of a specified individual. DNRs are issued for the following reasons:

  • Lawful execution;
  • Patient refusal;
  • Suicide in security custody, verified by a security witness.
  • DNRs that do not involve execution must be verified by the CMO before going into effect.

Surgical Procedures

Invasive procedures and surgeries, including that of implant removal or inspection, must be done by trained medical personnel only. The surgeon, once operating, assumes the standard duty of care.

Security Regulations

Detainment and Arrest

Members of security and of command are fully authorized to withhold crew members at their discretion. The crew member ordered to answer to the authority is obligated to do so, regardless of whether they consider their orders lawful or not. Any grievances and suspicions of unlawful proceedings or mistreatment are to be directed up the Chain of Command and resolved judicially, ideally enlisting legal counsel if available.

Any person may be detained with Probable Cause. In detainment, the officer will inform the detainee of the crime they are suspected of committing. They may then be held on-site or moved to a more strategically sound location, possibly restrained at the officer’s discretion, and invariably detained for the time necessary for security officers to determine the circumstances of the incident and whether to effect an arrest or not. A detainee may or may not be searched prior to being either released or arrested.

Any person that is charged with having committed a crime may be arrested. In the event of an arrest, the suspect will be restrained by an officer, informed of their charges, and taken to the security department for a search and processing. Contraband and other dangerous items used to commit the crime can be confiscated and held indefinitely by security.

Capital charges cannot be charged by security and must be filed with the Prosecutor or Clerk to be approved, denied, or modified; or clearly outlined in a warrant. If the charge results in a criminal trial in any way, the arresting officer must file the charges with the Justice department so that the Prosecutor or other available members may take the case. An attorney or legal counsel may be requested by the arrestee and must be provided if available. After which, they are considered to have served their sentence and are to be released.

Sentencing

Any Security Officer is authorized to pass misdemeanor and felony sentences; however, the Prosecutor is responsible for overseeing all Security sentencing, and therefore has the authority to correct sentences, or acquit them entirely in accordance with Space Law. Capital sentences can only be charged by the Prosecutor or Court Clerk in their absence.

In the case that the accused requests an appeal for a felony sentence, the Court Clerk should be called to preside over a small, prompt adjudication, where the Prosecutor and accused will argue their sides. The Clerk will be responsible for deciding the sentence or acquittal of the accused. If the Clerk is not available, then the Chief Justice can perform appeals. If neither are available, then an appeal can go to any command member for adjudication.

Additionally, any sentences exceeding 20 minutes, regardless of the severity of crime(s) committed, will require a trial. If the total sentence still exceeds 20 minutes after a lawful trial is performed, the judge is fully authorized to upgrade the sentence to Extended Confinement at their own discretion. Once the sentence commences, it must be concluded at or before the agreed time; however, the convict may be held responsible for any crime they commit while serving their sentence.

Security Jurisdiction

Security personnel are bound by trespass and assault laws, and thus cannot operate outside their accessible areas, or perform searches without a warrant or heightened alert level that specifically allows them to do so. Advanced surgical procedures, cursory implant inspections, and any other other invasive searches, however, must be done with a warrant regardless of alert and with the assistance of Medical personnel. Security is given an exception to trespass only when in active pursuit of a suspect that has fled from an accessible area, who they have Probable Cause to believe has committed a crime.

Rules of Engagement

Security personnel hold a nigh unrestricted armaments license under T3, and are authorized at all times to use lethal force to the extent necessary to neutralize adversaries under any of the following circumstances:

  • If the adversary’s number or strength leave the officer at a severe tactical disadvantage.
  • If the adversary exhibits a clear and present danger to the vessel by physical means.
  • If the adversary poses a significant threat of serious bodily injury or death to the officer or others.
  • If the adversary presents an existential threat to the chain of command by illegal means.
  • If the adversary cannot be reasonably subdued through non-lethal means without great bodily harm to the officer.

…wherein an “adversary” is an entity that demonstrates a hostile intent, commits or directly contributes to a hostile act that does not constitute an actual attack, or is actively attacking the vessel or its crew.

Probable Cause

In the line of security work, officers may be held to the standard of Probable Cause. This phrase represents a reasonable suspicion that a crime has been committed, or that evidence of a crime is present in a certain area. This can include the officer witnessing a crime being committed, credible reports of crime, or other such suspicious behaviors. For probable cause to be met, there must be a significant probability that a crime has been or is being committed, not solid evidence. When judged, it is interpreted with the context of the entirety of the station’s circumstances in mind. Actions requiring probable cause are warrant-less in the case of security, and once concluded, should be reported by the security officer to the Prosecutor, Warden, or Head of Security for review.

Brigging Procedure

The Brig area is under the authority of the Warden. When confining someone inside of the brig, the suspect should be handed to the Warden for processing. It is then the responsibility of the Warden to search, confine, and process the suspect in alignment with sentencing procedures. If the suspect is awaiting trial, then they are to be transferred to the extended confinement area pending a trial. If the Warden is not available, then it is the responsibility of the arresting officer to process the suspect and handle evidence according to Evidence Handling.

Armory Procedure

The armory and its usage are governed by the Warden. The Warden is responsible for stocking, distributing, and recording the collection of weapons used by the station during the shift. They are also afforded the authority to arm security at their discretion, so long as the weaponry distributed is in appropriate response to the alert level. All weaponry distributed from armory is issued on a temporary basis. While issued, the weaponry remains as station property, and the wielder assumes a duty to protect the weapon and return it to the Warden when ordered. No non-crew may be issued weaponry from the armory. The Warden is accountable for responsibly issuing weapons to the security department. Heightened weaponry may be issued to security during heightened alert levels. Weaponry issued during these alert levels must be returned when the alert has been lowered, or when the threat is no longer present. The weaponry issued must be proportionate to the threat posed, and destructive explosives should not be used unless absolutely necessary.

Evidence Handling

When evidence of a crime is secured, it is the responsibility of the arresting officer or Warden to properly handle it, at the penalty of Obstruction of Justice or demotion. Evidence should be organized by individual and crime, and stored together (e.g., in a bag, in one separate locker, etc) and then placed in an area locked behind security access.

Treatment of Prisoners

Prisoners have certain rights that must be upheld by security and command personnel. Prisoners must be provided with the following:

  • Adequate medical care and moral, spiritual, or legal counseling if it is requested and available.
  • Access to the common radio channel, and the common radio channel only. This right may be revoked should it be abused.
  • Clothing, food, and water on request.
  • Should the holding cells or permabrig become uninhabitable, prisoners must be securely and safely relocated to another area for confinement, until the holding cells or permabrig are returned to a serviceable state.
  • Prisoners should be granted freedom of movement within their holding area unless there is an undue risk to life and limb.

Additionally, prisoners in Extended Confinement have certain rights but also more firm restrictions that must be upheld by law enforcement:

  • Visitation may be permitted only for prisoners sentenced to Extended Confinement. A maximum of one individual may be permitted to visit a single convict every 10 minutes; a reason must be provided for the visit, and the visitor must consent to a search of their belongings.
  • Prisoners who intentionally and maliciously cause structural damage to the permabrig, to a degree that makes it unreasonable to hold prisoners within, are thereby guilty of a capital crime and may receive trial.
  • Prisoners who intentionally, maliciously, and repeatedly cause significant bodily harm to their fellow inmates, visitors, and/or security staff are thereby guilty of a capital crime and may receive trial.
  • Prisoners may request retrial for capital crimes; these requests may be refused depending on the discretion and availability of the court clerk, chief justice, or at the discretion of the warden or head of station security.
  • Prisoners may request or may otherwise be given parole with a hearing by the Chief Justice, Court Clerk, or in their absence, the head of station security or commanding officer (see Paroles and Pardons).

Should prisoners repeatedly and maliciously antagonize law enforcement, to an extent where continued extended confinement becomes infeasible, the warden is fully authorized and encouraged to temporarily upgrade the relevant prisoners’ sentences to Preservative Stasis summarily.

Paroles and Pardons

Prisoners that peacefully comply and assist officers with their duties and display clear signs of remorse concerning the committed crime and/or criminal behaviors, they may be admitted for parole by the warden or head of security, or may apply for parole at the discretion and availability of the aforementioned parties. If they request parole, they may receive a parole hearing conducted by the Court Clerk or Chief Justice, where they will state their case on why they should be released; they may request legal counsel in this hearing, but must represent themselves. Additionally, the sentencing officer of an arrest, the judge or arbiter of a trial, or the warden, where permabrigged prisoners apply, may pardon members accused or sentenced for crimes if deemed in the best interest of the crew and vessel, and when the circumstances of the defendant or offense warrant suspension of sentence.

Due Legal Process

Pressing Charges

Criminal Charges

Any crew member may press charges against any other crew member. An individual may be charged of a crime if and only if it can be argued beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused had committed an act in the nature and fashion as described by a particular criminal charge. Multiple counts of one crime can be charged. For illegal actions against the station abroad, each incident separated by a reasonable period of inaction, lawful conduct, or another crime is interpreted as one count. For crimes directly bereaving a person (violent acts, theft of personal property etc.), the same applies in addition to each victim being one count. In the case of possession, theft, or any incident involving several separate and distinct items, one charge may be applied per relevant item.

Charges that are a direct escalation of one another in nature cannot be simultaneously held against the perpetrator if they pertain to the same incident and the same victim/item (if applicable). Then, only the most severe of these charges applies. Additionally, if one charge incorporates another charge within its definition or description, the perpetrator cannot be held accountable for both; rather, only the most severe of these charges applies.

Civil Charges

Any crew member can sue any other crew member for inflicting them with damages caused by a breach of duty. To sue is to request compensation for said damages. To do so, the victim must prove:

  • Damages: That the victim was inflicted with an emotional, physical, or monetary damage
  • Breach of duty: That the defendant had a duty which they failed to uphold(e.g., a duty to not endanger crew, a duty to act respectfully), leading to the victim being inflicted with a damage
  • Severity: That the damage was severe enough to warrant the compensation requested

Compensation can either be explicitly specified by the victim or left for the court to decide. Either way, the court is free to modify the compensation as it sees fit. Most often, compensation is rendered in the form of court orders compelling a crew member to do something (e.g., return an item, make an apology, or permanently avoid a certain area). Court orders should be written and stamped with the notary stamp.

Court Orders

The individuals specified in the three sections below can issue Court Orders, which are legally-enforced documents that carry the penalty of an Obstruction of Justice charge and forced compliance with the order by security. Each order has its own requirements and authorized issuers, but are all implied to require the stamp of the issuer to be valid.

Warrants

Warrants represent official orders to the security department, issued by relevant officers or the Justice Department. Warrants are only valid when issued by either the Chief Justice or Court Clerk, or in both of their absences, the commanding officer or head of station security. Individual Warrants may order the search or detainment of an individual, or the arrest of the individual with evidence. This may also include surgical procedures, cursory implant inspections, or any other invasive searches with both probable cause and evidence. These warrants should include a name, the actions prescribed (detainment, search, arrest, etc.), and a description if applicable. Search Warrants may order the search of an entire departmental area, by force if necessary, and may order the arrest of listed individuals implicated in a crime or crimes with probable cause and evidence. Search Warrants should include an area, a brief description of the probable cause, and a list of individuals if applicable.

Injunctions

The Chief Justice, Commanding Officer, or legally-selected judge are fully authorized to issue injunctions: legally-binding, written orders restricting Inhabitants from doing something disruptive to station productivity or personal rights. These may be issued on discretion or as relief for Civil Trials. Injunctions may not compel someone to violate Space Law or SOP, and the issuer is liable for abuse of power charges if this is misused. An injunction must include a list of affected names and a detailed description of the restrictions to be valid.

Subpoenas

The Chief Justice or Court Clerk may issue Subpoenas, which are trial-related Court Orders compelling an individual to produce evidence or make themselves present at a location for court. A subpoena can order an individual to:

  • Appear as a witness in court;
  • Produce evidence for court;
  • Appear for a trial in which they are the defendant, plaintiff, or the prosecution;
  • Appear for questioning in deposition.

A subpoena must include a list of names, a detailed description of evidence requested or reason for appearing, and a reasonable time frame no shorter than 3 minutes. The individuals summoned by the subpoena must be informed of its presence for it to be a valid order. This can be done via general announcement, fax, verbal announcement, or otherwise.

Trial Procedure

A trial may only be requested for civil disputes and capital charges. While trials for disputes may be refused depending on the availability and discretion of the potential judge, capital crimes necessitate a mandatory trial. While legal and spiritual counsel is not required, if it is available then it must be provided upon request. A trial can be waived if the suspect pleads guilty to a member of the Justice department, or in their absence, Command Staff, while in custody, who will then be responsible for deciding the sentence for the crime. Additionally, in situations where Standard Operating Procedure allows for capital punishments to be used in response to charges at or below the felony level, a trial is also mandatory. The trial takes the format of an arbitration court hearing, presided over by the Chief Justice or Clerk if the former is unavailable. If no impartial members of the Justice department are available, a member of command must preside over the legal proceedings. To begin a criminal or civil trial, all charges, arguments, and evidence must be filed with the court clerk beforehand to be presented to the judge. After the clerk has submitted the compiled court case to the judge, the trial shall begin when the defense, prosecution, judge, and bailiff appointed by the judge are present. Such procedures do not apply to miscellaneous hearings such as paroles and pardons or felony appeals, which only require the involvement of the judge and the defendant. The judge of the trial is in-charge of ensuring the trial is completed in a timely manner, but has the ability to extend a trial if needed. The judge also has the power to charge someone with contempt of court, a felony, if they disrupt the case. In the event that the defendant is held in contempt of court, the necessity of a trial may be waived and sentence passed by the judge or arbiter without a full hearing.

Criminal Trials

A criminal case should take no longer than 25 minutes in total. Criminal cases should either have security personnel present, or plan to have them present by the end of the trial.

  • The judge brings the court in session with the gavel.
  • Prosecution opens the proceedings, stating the charges and introducing witnesses and exhibits that will be brought forward during the presentation of evidence. They may also recommend a sentence to the judge, appropriate to the charge based on their opening statement.

Defense then pleads guilty or not-guilty

  • If the defense pleads not-guilty, then provide their opening statement, contradicting the prosecution's theories and assertions. They will also introduce their witnesses and exhibits where applicable.
  • The presentation of evidence then follows, led by the prosecution then the defense. Cross-examination may be requested following submission of individual testimonies and granted at the discretion of the judge.
  • Finally, closing statements are to be made by the prosecution, the defense, and the prosecution once more due to the burden of proof. The evidence should be reiterated by both sides and arguments refuted with no new evidence presented.
  • A ruling will be made by the judge, written and stamped by the notary stamp.
  • The judge adjourns the court with the gavel.

Any present or soon-to-be-present Security personnel will then enact the ruling.

Civil Trials

Civil cases do not require attorneys or prosecutors, but they may receive assistance from either both before and during the case. Both the defendant and plaintiff must be made to summon at the court, if a party does not appear out of either refusal or negligence, or fails to comply with a court order from a civil trial, that party may be charged with contempt of court, a felony. A civil case involves seeking damages from a defendant, which could be monetary, an item, or otherwise. A civil case should take no longer than 15 minutes in total.

  • The judge brings the court in session with the gavel.
  • Plaintiff opens the proceedings, stating the counts, damages, and introducing witnesses and exhibits that will be brought forward during the presentation of evidence. They may also recommend civil relief to the judge, appropriate to the damages based on their opening statement.

Defense follows with their opening statement, contradicting the plaintiff's theories and assertions. They will also introduce their witnesses and exhibits where applicable.

  • The presentation of evidence then follows, led by the plaintiff then the defense. Cross-examination may be requested following submission of individual testimonies and granted at the discretion of the judge.
  • Finally, closing statements are to be made by the plaintiff, the defense, and the plaintiff once more due to burden of proof. The evidence should be reiterated by both sides and arguments refuted with no new evidence presented.
  • A ruling will be made by the judge, written and stamped by the notary stamp.
  • The judge adjourns the court with the gavel.

Presentation of Evidence

Eyewitness Testimony

Any Sophont, or being willing and capable of presenting themselves before court under oath and present at the scene of the crime as a bystander or a victim at the time of its commission, may offer eyewitness testimony before the court at request of defense or prosecution. Extra time may be granted to either side at the behest of the arbitrator or judge to allow for witnesses not currently present.

Objection to Testimony

Any witness that falls under the following conditions may be excused as a witness or have their testimony deemed inadmissible:

  • The witness lacks the mental, intellectual, or other capacity to understand the context of the case.
  • The witness's inclusion will cause substantial cost or delay to the case, proceedings, or upkeep of the station.
  • The witness is the judge.

General Objections

Both parties in a trial may object to testimony to have the testimony deemed inadmissible, move past the question, or rephrase a question to keep a trial within time limit:

  • Hearsay: The witness testifies using an out-of-court statement by an individual not present in court, thereby rendering it impossible to verify. This testimony will be inadmissible.
  • Asked and answered: A question is posed that has already been answered previously by a witness. Such a question must be skipped.
  • Narrative: A question is posed that would require a significantly long answer with multiple facts, or when the witness chooses to answer a question in this way. The question must be reworded, or the witness must be reminded to answer promptly and stay on topic.

Objections are completely at the discretion of the judge, who does not always need to sustain an objection even if it is within these guidelines. It is up to the judge to decide if an objection is proper or necessary to keep the trial quick and fair.

Procedural Defense

Whereas a defendant is placed on trial, they are granted the privilege to challenge the legitimacy of charges or claims brought against them by the legal process. Any of the following may be invoked:

  • Issue Preclusion/Double Jeopardy Clause: accused persons may not be tried on the same charges following an acquittal or conviction, except in the case of acquittal and subsequent credible admission of guilt.
  • Entrapment Clause: accused persons found to be induced or coerced by law enforcement into the commission of the crimes listed in the charges may be acquitted or have their sentence reduced.
  • Exclusionary Clause: evidence collected and/or analyzed in violation of accused persons’ rights under law may be inadmissible in court.

Foreign Vessels

Should civilian and military vessels receive a docking request from another neutral vessel, they may approve or deny such a request. Any vessel may, with consent from the docking entity, be searched by security or law enforcement upon arrival, and its crew granted free movement accompanied by an escort at the discretion of the CO or security. Crew of foreign vessels may be refused entry, at any time and for any reason, and must be returned to, or be escorted to, their own vessel where applicable. Failure to comply may constitute trespass. Docking vessels bearing a warrant or commission represent an exception, and may not be denied entry or be forced to submit to a search. Crimes committed against the station or its inhabitants, on station or abroad, are grounds to charge the perpetrator according to the laws of the station. Should visiting entities break the law, or be suspected of doing so, and flee aboard their own vessel, security or law enforcement personnel are authorised to board the vessel in continuous “hot” pursuit and are fully authorised under space law to effect an arrest upon the relevant party.

Commanding Officer

Captain’s Authority

The Commanding Officer of a commercial or military vessel is afforded several rights that are as follows:

The CO of a vessel is granted Captain’s Authority over their vessel, in that while they are the formally and legally appointed CO, they are the ultimate authority aboard the vessel until they are directly dismissed by a superior.

The CO of such a vessel is granted the authority to personally execute any station-borne threat unless they are already in custody of its security, so long as the threat is an immediate danger with the intent to commit a capital crime.

The CO of such a vessel is additionally granted the authority to personally pardon and/or parole individuals accused and sentenced for crimes if deemed in the best interest of the crew and the vessel. Only misdemeanor and felony crimes may be pardoned, and the CO may be held legally responsible for criminal acts committed by those who they pardon. Whenever any pardon is granted, a general announcement must be made detailing who was pardoned, for which crimes, and for what reason.

These rights carry a responsibility, however; the CO of the vessel must do everything possible to save the inhabitants and assets aboard the station, and, unless their life is in immediate danger, must not abandon ship if there is reasonable hope that it could be saved.

The legally appointed Captain of a vessel is afforded additional rights over that of a CO:

The Captain is authorized to temporarily modify or alter SoP in times of emergency, at the risk of criminal penalties in the case of misuse or abuse. The Captain is authorized to deputize members of their crew to carry out law enforcement temporarily, during times of emergency. Deputies created by the Captain are bound by security procedure and Space Law, and the Captain may be held legally responsible for criminal acts committed by those who they deputize.

Line of Succession

It is the responsibility of Command to ensure that a station retains a CO immediately at the start of the shift and thereafter. If the CO dies and is unrecoverable, or if a CO is not assigned at the start of the shift, an Acting CO must be selected forthwith per the following guide:

  • Step 1: All head officers currently alive must vote on a head to make the new Acting CO; proceed to step 3. If no head officers remain, proceed to the next step.
  • Step 2: Each Department must internally nominate a temporary Delegate. These Delegates must meet and vote on establishing a new Acting CO; proceed to the next step.
  • Step 3: The Acting CO must both duly inform CentComm through fax and make a general announcement of the result; proceed to the next step.
  • Step 4: Await the end of your shift.

After Central Command has received the results of the Line of Succession, the Acting CO is afforded all prescribed powers of a CO. An access biscuit may or may not be sent by Centcomm to assist with this. When a legally appointed Captain arrives, it is the express duty of the Acting CO to hand over any and all Captain-related equipment and accesses to the new CO, and to resign themselves to their original role before their temporary promotion.

Command Promotions

The CO of the vessel is authorized to promote Crew into Station Command positions if it is determined that the vacancy is a detriment to station productivity. The CO has a duty to ensure that the Crew they promote are of a reasonable level of skill, and can be held liable if they disregard this duty. Crew members promoted into Station Command positions are considered to be acting members of command. When Nanotrasen-appointed Command Staff arrive, the acting command members are required to hand over command equipment and resign themselves to their original position from before their temporary promotion.

Mutiny

Should such a situation arise in which the CO is unfit for their position and declines relinquishment of position and power, and where all alternative legal options have been exhausted, officers may be permitted to lead a mutiny. Officers leading a mutiny must inform Central Command of this occurrence before the mutiny has begun.

A mutiny, defined as a coordinated effort to depose the commanding officer or officers of a vessel for committing unlawful acts, requires the crew to neutralize the offending staff with non-lethal force where applicable, and lethal measures and weapons only in acts of self-preservation or when given no other option. The commanding officer or officers, as well as their loyalists, are all bound to Space Law, the current alert level and its corresponding RoE.

Should the mutiny be unsuccessful, only the head officer(s) who approved the mutiny may be charged with sedition and receive a trial, while all mutineers may be demoted, processed by the security department and charged for the crimes committed by them. Should the mutiny be successful, the head officer(s) who approved the mutiny must select a new Commanding Officer per Line of Succession. The new CO will then sentence the previous heads of staff for their crimes per Space Law.