American Philatelic Society

Wendy Masorti,

ext. 218
Complaint Procedure

APS Bylaws, Article 3 Membership governs the filing and investigation of complaints.

Every reasonable effort to resolve disagreements between the parties should have been made prior to the filing of a complaint.

The APS Board of Vice Presidents is not a small claims court. Standing Resolution 2.2.2 prohibits members from using the APS as a bill collection agency.

Do not file a complaint with the APS if you are pursuing the matter with a bill collector, preparing to file a civil lawsuit, or pursuing criminal charges. APS postpones consideration until any or all of those actions are concluded.
See the APS policy on "Complaints while Parties are in Litigation".

To File a Complaint:

  1. Verify APS Membership
    Verify that the individual you are complaining about is an APS member (online verification or call 814-933-3803). The APS has no jurisdiction to take action against someone who is not a member.
  2. Set a Deadline for Settlement
    Before filing a formal complaint with the Society, we suggest you send a final letter to the other party setting a deadline date by which you expect to have the matter resolved and advising that you will file a formal complaint with the APS if the matter is not resolved by the deadline date. Often such a letter leads to settlement. But, if the deadline passes and the matter is not resolved, you may file a formal complaint with the Society.
  3. File the Complaint
    All complaints must be in writing with a formal complaint report form (.pdf) and accompanied by all relevant documentation detailing how the individual is in violation of the APS Code of Ethics. Charges levied should be specific and where appropriate, a chronology of events should be supplied. If there is no evidence to support your allegation, the Society will not be able to accept the complaint.

Once a Complaint is Filed

  1. When a complaint is filed, the Society notifies the member against whom the complaint has been lodged and provides reasonable time for that individual to respond. If the party does not respond within thirty days, the Society will send a follow-up request. If the complaint continues to go unanswered or if the matter has not been resolved, the complaint will be referred to the APS Board of Vice Presidents.
  2. The three-member Board of Vice Presidents serves as the disciplinary body of the Society. When a complaint reaches the Board of Vice Presidents, the Board will set a hearing date to consider the evidence submitted and rule on the complaint. If the Board finds that a violation has occurred, the Board may impose an appropriate penalty. The findings of the Board and any penalty imposed will be made in writing. Actions taken by the Board of Vice Presidents are final and may be published unless an appeal is made to the APS Appeals Tribunal.
  3. Either party to a dispute has the right of appeal to the APS Appeals Tribunal (Bylaws 3.11.6 Appeal). The Appeals Tribunal may uphold, overturn, or modify any Board of Vice Presidents’ ruling. The decision of the Appeals Tribunal is final and conclusive on all parties, and may be published in The American Philatelist.
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