A. "Administrative" - relating to a specific department or agency which employs the Participant.
B. "Administrative Office" - the administrative office of the Legal Defense Trust:
Riverside Sheriffs Association
6215 River Crest Drive, Suite A
Riverside, CA 92507
C. "Association" - references the Riverside Sheriffs' Association (RSA).
D. "Benefit Plan" - one of the plans described below in Article III under which the Participants are entitled to certain benefits.
E. "Board of Trustees" or "Trustees" - the Board of Trustees of the Legal Defense Trust.
F. "Calendar Quarter" - the three-month period beginning on the first day of January, April, July and October of each calendar year.
G. "Concerted Labor Activity" - concerted failure to work, to respond to orders of work, or concerted use of sick leave or calling in sick, but not to encompass criminal conduct, including but not limited to vandalism, petty theft, arson or assault.
H. "Employment" - employment as a Peace Officer or Public Safety Employee, as defined herein.
I. "Event" - act or omission of a Participant which gives rise to civil, criminal or administrative action; "event" does not refer to civil, criminal or administrative action.
J. "Field Representative" - an individual ineligible for active membership in a Member Association and experienced in the representation of employees in administrative disciplinary matters who works under the supervision of a Panel Attorney or has established a relationship with a Panel Attorney satisfactory to the Trustees.
K. "Administrator" - a person or legal entity appointed from time to time by the Trustees to supervise the provision of services under the Plan.
L. "Legal Defense Trust" - the entity created by the Trust Agreement, and property and money held by such entity, including all contract rights and records.
M. "Member Association"- any association of Peace Officers and/or Public Safety Employees whose members are active participants in the Legal Defense Trust.
N. "Military Service" -full-time, active duty service with the armed forces of the United States, including the Coast Guard, or the State of California, provided that such service occurs (1) during a war involving the United States as a belligerent, (2) during a national security emergency, as declared by the President of the United States or by Congress, or (3) during a domestic civil disturbance or natural disaster, as declared by the appropriate state or federal office. "Military Service" shall also mean the time spent by a Participant on active duty training or on weekend training with a reserve component of the armed forces or of the National Guard.
O. "Miranda" - Miranda v. Arizona (1966) 384 U.S. 436, requires that criminal suspects be advised of the right to remain silent, that any statements made can and will be used against the suspect, of the right to counsel, and of the right to appointed counsel if the suspect cannot afford one.
P. "Monitor" - action by the Administrator or his or her designee to observe the progress of a civil case against a Participant in which the defense has been tendered to the Participant's employer under Article IV, Section B.1.(b), to determine whether the appointment of a Panel Attorney as individual counsel for the Participant is necessary. Monitoring may include but shall not be limited to receipt and review of pleadings, discovery documents and status reports from employer's legal counsel, and discussion with the employer's legal counsel when necessary.
Q. "Panel Attorney" - an attorney ineligible for active membership in a Member Association and selected from time to time by the Trustees to supervise and provide legal services under the Plan.
R. "Participant" - a Peace Officer or Public Safety Employee who qualifies for benefits under this Plan pursuant to Article II hereof.
S. "Peace Officer" - (1) any active peace officer or (2) any reserve peace officer who is certified by the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (P.O.S.T.), provided that each such peace officer is a member of a Member Association or is someone in whose name a Member Association makes contributions to the Legal Defense Trust. In California, to determine issues of peace officer status or basic training, reference shall be made to applicable California statutes, e.g., Penal Code Section 830 et seq., or Penal Code Section 832.6.
T. "Plan" or "Legal Defense Trust Plan" - the group prepaid legal services plan set forth herein and any amendment thereto.
U. "Public Safety Employee" - any person not a peace officer who is employed by a law enforcement or public safety agency and who is a member of a Member Association or in whose name a Member Association makes contributions to the Legal Defense Trust.
V. "RSA" - The Riverside Sheriffs' Association.
W. "Scope of Employment" - generally defined as actions or omissions by a Peace officer or Public Safety Employee which are typical of or associated with the duties which a Peace Officer or Public Safety employee is hired, trained, and paid to perform, as determined by the Board of Trustees.
X. "Skelly" - Skelly v. State Personnel Board (1975) 15 Cal. 3d.194, requires a public agency to provide employees with an opportunity to respond to the disciplinary authority, personally or in writing, within a reasonable time. This applies only to employees with a property right or a liberty interest in their employment.
Y. "Trust Agreement" - the Trust Agreement establishing the Legal Defense Trust, and any amendments, extensions or renewals thereof.
A. Initial Entitlement to Benefits
ENTITLEMENT TO BENEFITS
A Peace Officer or Public Safety Employee shall be entitled to benefits for events which occur after all of the following has occurred:
- Proper Application to the Legal Defense Trust - the date on which the Administrator is in actual receipt of an application to the Legal Defense Trust which, in the judgment of the Administrator, properly meets the requirements of Sections A.3. and B. of this Article; and
- Contributions Made to the Legal Defense Trust - the Member Association makes required contributions on behalf of more than fifty percent (50%) of its members; and
- Review By Board of Trustees - The Board or the Administrator, if the Board so provides, shall review each application to insure that the Member Association satisfies eligibility policies adopted by the Board.
B. Method of Application
- Application - Application for participation in the Plan shall be submitted by a Member Association to the Legal Defense Trust on forms provided by the Trustees. A Peace Officer or Public Safety Employee can make application to the Plan only through his or her Member Association.
- List of Participants - There shall be attached to each application a list of each and every Peace Officer or Public Safety Employee on whose behalf application is made.
- Choice of Plan -
(a) The application shall indicate in which Benefit Plan as described in Article III hereof the Member Association chooses to participate.
(b) Reserve Peace officers may be enrolled only in Benefit Plan II. Those Member Associations with reserve Peace Officers shall inform the Administrative Office of the names of any reserve Peace Officers in the Member Association, and shall pay the contributions applicable to such reserve Peace Officers.
C. Required Contributions
- Quarterly Contributions - Each Member Association shall make quarterly contributions per Participant, based on a monthly rate as set from time to time by the Board of Trustees. Contact the Administrator for details on the contribution schedule for each Benefit Plan.
- Time of Payment of Quarterly Contributions - Payment of the contributions set forth in Section C.1. of this Article, absent compelling circumstances and subject to such conditions as determined by the Trustees, shall be made in full on a quarterly basis by each Member Association to the Legal Defense Trust on or before the day preceding the first day of such Calendar Quarter for which each payment applies and shall be deemed delinquent on the first. A Member Association or Participant may join mid-quarter by payment of a prorated contribution.
Termination of a Participant's participation in the Legal Defense Trust shall not result in any refund of the contributions. A Member Association shall receive credit for up to one quarter's worth of contributions in a subsequent quarter for the contributions paid on behalf of the Participants whose coverage terminated in the current or in an earlier quarter. Requests for credit in excess of one quarter's worth of contributions shall be determined by the Trustees and granted only upon a showing of compelling circumstances.
- Method of Payment - Payment shall be deemed to have been made as of the date of the postmark on the envelope containing the payment, provided it has been properly addressed to the Legal Defense Trust at its Administrative Office. The foregoing shall not apply, however, where payment is made by check, which is not honored at the bank upon which it has been drawn.
- Effect of Delinquency - If payments are not made as required in this Section, benefits under the Plan for Participants of the delinquent Member Association shall cease on the first day of the Calendar Quarter following the payment due date described in Section C.2. of this Article. Neither the delinquent Member Association nor any of its Participants shall thereafter be entitled to the benefits of the Plan for any period during which the delinquent Association is in default of payment.
Late Payment - Notwithstanding the provisions of the immediately preceding paragraph, if the delinquent payment is made within two (2) months of the payment due date, entitlement to benefits shall be reinstated, effective retroactively to the payment due date, on the date of the actual payment of all contributions and interest, if any, billed. Any such late payments shall automatically be applied first to the periods of delinquency and then, if sufficient, to the current period.
New Application - If the delinquency continues for more than two (2) months, the Association shall be deemed to have terminated its participation and must reapply for membership. Upon reapplication within the current or subsequent quarter, and subject to the determination of good cause by the Trustees, entitlement to benefits may be reinstated, effective retroactively to the original payment due date. In such cases, the Association shall pay all delinquent contributions and interest.
D. Termination of Benefits
The benefits for a Participant shall automatically terminate:
- When his or her participation (i.e., through non-payment of contributions) in the Legal Defense Trust terminates; or
- When membership in his or her Member Association terminates; or
- Subject to Section E. of this Article, when the employment of the Participant terminates; or
- When the Participant voluntarily resigns as a Peace Officer or Public Safety Employee and Section E.1.(e) of this Article does not apply; or
- When the participation of the Member Association in the Plan terminates, whether voluntarily, by failure to pay Plan contributions, or otherwise; or
- When the participation of the Member Association in the Plan falls to fifty percent (50%) or less of the Member Association's membership, not including retirees and reserves; or
- When the Participant ceases to participate in the Plan through the Member Association, which is the recognized employee organization for the bargaining unit which includes the Participant's position.
E. Extended Coverage
Notwithstanding subsections 1. through 5. but subject to subsections 6 and 7. of Section D. of this article, a Participant shall be entitled to the applicable benefits of subsections 1. through 6. of this section, provided in all cases that the Participant would otherwise be entitled to benefits.
- Involuntarily Terminated Participants
(a) A Participant who is being involuntarily terminated shall be entitled to benefits for actions arising from events involving the involuntary termination of employment.
(b) Provision of benefits for one type of action, i.e., administrative, shall not automatically entitle the Participant to benefits for another type of action, i.e., criminal.
(c) If coverage has been granted under subsection 1.(a) above and a second or subsequent action involving the Participant is commenced after termination of employment, the Participant shall be entitled to benefits for the second or subsequent actions only if (1) the new action arises from the events giving rise to the involuntary termination and (2) the Particpant notifies the Administrator of the second or subsequent action within twelve (12) months of termination of employment.
(d) A Participant who is being or has been involuntarily terminated shall be entitled to benefits for (1) actions for which coverage was granted prior to termination of employment and (2) actions involving events which preceded and are unrelated to the events involving the termination of employment, provided that the Participant notifies the Administrator of the action within twelve (12) months of termination.
(e) A Participant who resigns after the occurrence of any of the following shall be deemed to have been involuntarily terminated for purposes of civil and criminal coverage only:
(1) receipt from his or her employer of a written notice of intent to terminate, i.e., a Skelly notice; or
(2) the existence of surrounding circumstances which clearly and convincingly indicate that issuance of a Skelly notice is imminent; or
(3) the Participant's assigned Panel Attorney or Field Representative has advised the Participant to resign, with the advice being reduced to writing, signed by the Participant, and transmitted within five (5) working days of signing to the Administrator; or
(4) other good cause as determined by the Board of Trustees.
A Participant's administrative coverage shall not under any circumstances be reinstated, including but not limited to circumstances where a criminal proceeding against the Participant ends favorably for the Participant. Nor shall such a Participant be entitled to coverage to bring a constructive discharge, wrongful termination, or related action.
- Laterally Transferred Participants
Subject to Article III, Section D., a Participant who laterally transfers from one agency to another agency within a reasonable period not to exceed ninety (90) days and who immediately becomes and remains a Participant at the second agency shall be entitled to benefits in accordance with the Benefit Plan in effect at the initial agency for any event occurring while the Participant was employed as a Peace Officer or Public Safety Officer at the initial agency.
- Retired Participants
A former Participant shall be entitled to benefits in accordance with the Plan for any act or omission occurring while he or she was a Participant, if, subsequent to the act or omission, he or she retires pursuant to the retirement rules of his or her jurisdiction.
- Laid-Off Participants
A Participant who has been involuntarily laid off from employment due to a reduction in force, a reorganization of operations, the disbanding of the department, or the consolidation or merger of the Participant's department with another department or agency shall be entitled to the legal representation in accordance with the Benefit Plan in effect on the effective date of the lay-off in any civil or criminal action brought against him or her arising from any act or omission of the Participant within the scope of his or her employment, provided that the Participant notifies the Administrator of the actions no later than the end of twelve (12) calendar months from the effective date of the lay-off. Absent compelling circumstances, a Participant shall not be entitled to receive representation with respect to any administrative disciplinary action brought against the Participant.
- Promoted, Demoted, or Transferred Participants
Subject to Section D. of Article III, a Participant who, due to a promotion, demotion or transfer within an agency, becomes a member of another Association shall be entitled to benefits for events occurring prior to the promotion, demotion, or transfer in accordance with the Benefit Pan applicable to the Participant on the date of the event.
- Leave of Absence for Military Service
A Participant while on a voluntary or involuntary leave of absence for Military Service shall be entitled to benefits under the Benefit Plan applicable to the Participant immediately prior to the leave of absence for events occurring prior to the leave of absence. For events occurring during the leave of absence, such coverage shall be provided only if each of the following is satisfied:
(a) the Participant pays dues during the leave of absence for Military Service; and
(b) the event occurs within the jurisdiction in which the Participant is legally authorized to exercise peace officer powers or, in the case of a public safety employee, the jurisdiction in which the employee is employed; and
(c) the event does not arise out of or relate to, either directly or indirectly, the Participant's scope of Military Service responsibilities.
The Participant's Association is to notify the Trust promptly if the Participant does not elect to pay dues during the leave of absence for Military Service.
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