When a complaint is received, a member of the investigative team will perform an Initial Investigation to determine if the complaint requires a Formal Investigation. They will interview all parties involved to determine what has happened and if the issue may be resolved through mediation. If both players agree to a resolution and / or mediation during this phase, the issue will be documented in the permanent record but no further actions will be taken.
If the Initial Investigation fails to resolve the complaint, it moves to a Formal Investigation. The Investigator will create a report on all evidence around the complaint, and may interview / re-interview the reporting player, the accused, any witnesses as well as any evidence presented. Once this is complete a report will be presented to the Investigation Team who will vote on the outcome based on the evidence gathered. The results of all Formal Investigations will be posted on the Darkwood Nights Discord.
A complaint levied against a player who has had similar accusations within the last 24 months proceeds directly to phase II and is not eligible for phase I. Members of the investigative team reserve the right at any time to bypass conflict resolution and proceed directly to phase II.
Dropping the Complaint: At any time the reporting player may drop the complaint. Doing so ends any investigation immediately. If the Investigation Team believes the complaint is serious enough, they may continue the investigation. In this case the reporting player is removed from public records.
Phase I : Initial Investigation
As quickly as possible a member of the investigative team will be assigned; they will:
Interview Parties: Gather any additional information needed from the reporting player and then discuss the complaint with the accused player one on one.
Mediation: Conflict resolution is a way for the parties to find a peaceful solution to a disagreement. When a dispute arises, often the best course of action is a negotiation to resolve the disagreement. The goal of this phase is to produce a solution that all parties can agree to, to work as quickly as possible to find this solution and to improve, not hurt, the relationship between the parties in conflict. A member of the Investigative Team will conduct a mediation with both parties present to discuss and work out the issues at hand.
If a resolution is reached and both parties agree, the matter will be closed.
If both parties cannot agree, or the Investigative Team Member believes the action warrants consequences, the complaint moves to Formal Investigation.
Phase II: Formal Investigation
If the complaint moves to Formal Investigation the team member who performed the initial investigation will be assigned as the Lead Investigator. They will research any and all evidence available including re-interviewing the accused player, the reporting player, all provided evidence, and any other witnesses. If the initial investigator is unable to serve in this capacity the Program Manager will appoint a new investigator.
The investigation must be completed within four (4) weeks of the complaint submission. If the investigator requires more time to complete the investigation, they will present what they have by the four (4) week mark to the investigative team and explain the need for more time. When the investigator has completed their report they will submit the findings and the consequence recommendation (if any) to the Investigative Team for a vote. The vote will have one of two outcomes.
Unanimous: proceeds to notification.
Not Unanimous: If consensus is not unanimous a different member of the team will have two (2) weeks to investigate the areas found lacking. They will then add their notes to the report and the Investigative Team will discuss and vote. A majority is required after the supplemental investigation to reach a decision.
Once a decision is reached the accused player will be notified of the findings via email and given two (2) weeks to appeal the decision (if necessary) with any additional information.
If the accused player appeals, the Program Manager will review the appeal and within one (1) week of submission present it to the Investigative Team for a vote to determine whether the new information changes the prior vote on the infraction.