Personal Hearing

See below for updated guidelines for players, clubs, match officials and county witnesses

If your Personal Hearing is validated, your Club Secretary and you as a participant will be contacted with a Personal Hearing date and time.
 
Personal Hearings are normally conducted in the evenings between Monday and Thursday with slots starting at 18:00hrs. Hearings are held at the County FA Headquarters (PR25 2LF).
 
If you are aware that some dates are unsuitable at the time of the request it is advisable to put these in with the pro-forma to avoid any delays.
 
The pro-forma also asks that you provide reasons for requesting a Hearing and also an approximate number of witnesses this will allow the independent Commission to prepare fully for questioning and being aware of the number of witnesses also allows the Secretary to schedule other Hearings accordingly to avoid unnecessary delays.

How long until I receive a date for a Personal Hearing I have requested?

We endeavour to send a date of a Hearing within 24 hours of receiving and processing the request. The Club will receive a copy and so will the participant. If you are aware of any specific dates that the Club or Participant cannot attend please specify on the pro-forma. This will ensure that we can conclude your case as swiftly as possible.

 I cannot make the Appeal date

The Appellant will be given 14 days notice of a Personal Hearing. Any Written request to the Disciplinary Manager for a postponement of the Hearing will be given consideration. Please e-mail the Discipline Manager as soon as it is apparent there is a problem.

 Club attendance

In a case of a Hearing for a player/official of the club (not a club charge) you will find an invitation for a club representative to attend the Personal Hearing. As a club you may not want to or cannot attend a Hearing for various reasons and it is not necessary that you do. The reason we do invite a club representative is to support the Appellant and also to provide verbal character references for the Appellant should the case be Proven. If you are unavailable to attend please ensure that you complete the return slip detailing the reasons for your non-attendance.

Children in the disciplinary process

CHILDREN UNDER THE AGE OF 14
Generally a child aged 13 or under should not appear at a disciplinary commission. An alternative method should be adopted which could include:
•          A meeting - bring the parties together to talk through the issues.
•          County Football Association (CFA) Welfare Officer (CFA WO) to talk to the child to warn them about their behavior. A parent/carer should be present at any meeting.
•          CFA WO to obtain written statement from child and disciplinary commission to then proceed on paper basis only – the CFA WO may need to write the statement in conjunction with the child and parent/carer.
•          Private meeting between child and CFA WO to establish child’s version of events, CFA WO to report verbally to disciplinary commission. A parent/carer should be present throughout the meeting.

CHILDREN AGED 14 THROUGH 16 YEARS
A child between the ages of 14 and 16 years inclusive can attend a disciplinary commission provided that:
•          he / she understands it is his / her duty to speak the truth.
•          his / her evidence is sufficiently important to justify it being heard.
•          the appropriate procedures relating to minors are adopted. The child must be accompanied by a parent/carer.

CHILDREN AGED 17 YEARS

•          Best practice when dealing with a disciplinary commission involving those aged 17 years would be to follow the guidance established for adults, except in cases where the individual has special needs. Special needs should be treated in a manner consistent with their mental capacity. If the suggestion is that the participant has the cognitive reasoning of a child of a particular age, follow that guidance.
•          Where a child is aged 17, consent of the parent should be obtained for the child to attend the disciplinary commission where possible / appropriate.
•          By law a 17 year old is still a child and if they choose to have adult representation this should be allowed.

Representation – including Legal Representation

A participant is entitled to be represented by one individual at the Hearing, should you wish to be represented please let this be known before the Hearing commences. If a Participant is under 18 and is unable or does not wish to represent them again please inform us on the evening of the Hearing who will be fulfilling such role.

A participant may be legally represented only with prior consent of the Discipline Commission. Request for consent must be made with at least 7 days notice in writing to the Discipline Manager.

 Witnesses

A participant has the opportunity to invite to the Hearing any witnesses he/ she feels would aid their case. We would however request that if you are bringing more than 3 witnesses it is notified to the Discipline Manager 7 days before the Hearing.

It is NOT the responsibility of the Lancashire FA to invite witnesses other than those in support of the charge.

 Witness Statements

If a witness is unable to attend the Personal Hearing date or wishes to give a written account of their version of the events in addition to attending a Hearing they can do so. We do however request that these are submitted 7 days prior to the Hearing so they can be validated by the Commission. Please ensure that any witness statements are fully signed and dated by the witness and that they contain contact details including address/ telephone number/ e-mail and also reference the Case ID they relate too.

 Personal Hearing Procedures

How are Commission decisions made?

After the evidence is assessed both in support and against the charge the Commission will make a decision on if the case is proven or not proven (guilty or not guilty). This decision will be made on the balance of probability. The more serious the allegations, taking into account the nature of the Misconduct alleged and the context of the case, the greater the burden of evidence required to prove the matter.

Additional Costs

If a case is Proven by Lancashire County F.A we have the right to levy costs of the Commission. These are determined on the costs incurred from the Hearing and take into account the deposit paid and number of Personal Hearings on the evening.

Hearing results

Results of a case are usually disclosed verbally on the evening of the Appeal, but we are not limited in anyway to disclose these if deemed inappropriate for whatever reason.

If a charge is found not proved, any record of it will be expunged. If the charge is found proved the Disciplinary Commission will decide what punishment, if any, is to be imposed.

Following a Personal Hearing the Club Secretary will receive confirmation of any decision in writing from the Discipline Manager.

I wish to appeal against a decision of the Lancashire FA?

An opportunity to request a Board of Appeal is available if you are not satisfied with the findings of a Commission. Full details of how to do this are on the results pro-forma that is sent to the Club and Participant after a correspondence or personal hearing.

The right of appeal is limited to punishments in excess of 21 days suspension and/ a fine of £15.

There are currently five grounds of Appeal:

1. Failed to give the appellant a fair hearing and/or
2. Misinterpreted or failed to comply with the rules or regulations relevant to its  decision; and/or
3. Came to a decision to which no reasonable body could have come and/or
4. Imposed a penalty, award, order or sanction that was excessive

Emergency Contact Number

If for any reason you need to contact us on the evening of the Hearing ONLY please use the contact details below. These contacts will only be available after 5.00pm until 9.00pm on the day of the scheduled Personal Hearing.

Lancashire Football Association – Venue number            07738321886

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