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Email Lists
Dispute Resolution Protocol and Appeal Information

This is the standard procedure for resolution of disputes regarding the use of Listserv lists hosted by Sierra Club. Dispute resolution procedures as outlined below are designed to provide a framework for resolving differences which may arise on lists hosted by Sierra Club. Listmaster is not responsible for the resolution of conflicts. The Sponsor of a list always has final say in a dispute.

Please note that List Owners should not monitor messages posted to the list for copyright content. Consistent with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), the Club only has an obligation to act after the copyright holder notifies the Club of an alleged copyright infringement. In such cases, Club staff will remove the content in question and ask the subscriber to refrain from posting copyright material. If the subscriber continues to post copyright material, Club staff will drop the subscriber from the list.

To learn how to change the settings of a subscriber as described below, if you have questions about the interpretation of any of the referenced documents, or if you require clarification of the Dispute Resolution Protocol, please contact listmaster@sierraclub.org or review the List Management pages for list owners.


  1. Warning: If the List Owner finds a subscriber exhibiting inappropriate behavior, they must contact the subscriber individually (this means sending an email to the individual, not to the entire list). Sending an email with a copy of the offending posting is a good idea. We also suggest including a copy of the specific list restrictions, Sierra Club List Participant Terms and Conditions, Sierra Club Email List Policy, and Etiquette on Lists, with clear identification of what portion(s) of the document(s)  were violated. The subscriber must be made aware that if they do not comply, they may have their subscription to the list set to REVIEW.

  2. Review: If there is a second violation of the same kind by the same subscriber, List Owner should set the subscriber to REVIEW. The List Owner must notify the subscriber when they change the subscription settings, outlining the first and second offenses, and the ramifications of the REVIEW setting. The REVIEW setting may stay in effect for up to 90 days. After the 90 days, the subscriber may be restored to normal subscription. If there is a third offence in the 30 days after the 90 day REVIEW period, the subscriber may be set to NOPOST.

  3. No Post: This setting may last up to 90 days. If there are no further problems, the subscriber may be restored to normal status, or set to REVIEW for another 90 days, at the List Owners discretion. If, after being restored to normal status, there is a fourth offence in the 30 days after the change in setting, the subscriber may be dropped from the list.

  4. Drop: Dropping a subscriber is not something that is taken lightly; however, neither is abuse of Sierra Club Lists. Dropping a subscriber to a list is the last step a List Owner can take to protect the rest of the subscribers to the list, and maintain the focus of the list.

Appealing Disputes: The highest level of appeal for a Listowner of subscriber is the Sponsor of the list. Complaints about the management of a list, or issues with an individual's behavior on a list, should be directed to the chair or executive committee of the sponsoring entity.


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