Overview of the Resolution 33 Grievance Filing Process


    • Grievance Received Within Chapter: Member (Reporting Party or RP) initiates a grievance with the chapter using the confidential HGO email; OR the Chapter HGO (CHGO) becomes aware of a situation or conflict that may violate DSA’s grievance policy, Res. 33 (R33)/chapter codes of conduct/bylaws provisions (“grievable conduct.”)
    • Chapter HGO Establishes Files and Solicits Help: At this stage the CHGO may reach out to the National HGO for advice on the process and how to properly handle the investigation. The CHGO should also create intake documents to be kept confidentially.
    • CHGO Validates Grievance: Has RP reported grievable conduct?
      • If RP doesn’t want a grievance, there may be other ways to resolve the conflict. 
      • If RP does want a grievance, the HGO should take a broad view of grievable conduct and potential harm to others, leaning towards acceptance.
      • If the HGO has a conflict of interest or is involved with the grievable conduct, they should recuse themselves and find another HGO to handle the grievance.
    • CHGO Sends Grievance Form to RP: Chapters may adapt the Model Harassment Grievance Form or develop their own grievance form. There’s no filing deadline.
    • CHGO Acknowledges RP’s Grievance: The CHGO should acknowledge receipt, determine what RP wants to share with Accused Party (AP) and inform RP about R33’s confidentiality and anti-harassment provisions, warning RP against escalation.
    • CHGO Notifies AP and Requests Response: The CHGO asks AP to respond. If AP:
      • Admits to the conduct: the CHGOs will work with parties and chapter leaders to determine appropriate consequences, which may include steps to repair harm, a voluntary period of separation, or other agreed-upon measures to end conflict.
      • Doesn’t respond: after seven days, if AP is unresponsive to CHGO efforts to confirm receipt, then HGOs may investigate without AP’s participation
      • Denies the conduct: AP should respond within seven days/as arranged with CHGOs. The CHGO should discuss Resolution 33’s confidentiality and anti-harassment provisions, and warn AP against escalating the conflict.
  • CHGO Conducts Investigation: Once AP has responded, CHGOs start an investigation by interviewing parties and witnesses, and reviewing relevant documents such as emails, social media posts, and screen caps. CHGOs should keep parties informed of progress and delays beyond 30 days.
  • CHGO Assesses if the Grievance is Credible: Is it “more likely than not” that the conduct violated Resolution 33, assessing evidence presented by each party? CHGOs focus on reported conduct and harm, rather than intent, character, or political alliances.  
  • CHGO Writes Report and Recommendation: After finishing the investigation, CHGO(s) prepares findings of whether conduct violated DSA policies, with a recommendation to chapter steering committee (SC) to resolve the grievance.  
  • CHGO Presents Findings to Chapter SC: The CHGO(s) presents confidential findings to the SC in executive session, with all members signing Chapter Impartiality Forms. SC should generally follow CHGO recommendations, unless unsupported by the evidence. The SC should also focus on the reported conduct and harm, rather than intent, character, or political alliances, to ensure fairness and consistency among grievances.  
  • CHGO Notifies Parties of SC Ruling: The SC should produce a written ruling to be shared with the parties. If the ruling includes expulsion, an unsatisfied party may be able to appeal to the NPC. Parties/CHGOs/Chapter Leaders with questions should contact the National HGO. SC should generally not issue a public statement at this time but should wait until after any appeal is decided.

* Questions? HGOs and Chapter Leaders can contact the NHGO with questions or problems at any time; however, Parties should not contact the NHGO unless appealing a chapter ruling or with process questions only.