Information for Witnesses


Witnesses: those who are not a party in a hearing and who may present information in the course of the COD process. Witnesses are not required to be eyewitnesses to the incident in question, but should have relevant information to present. Character witnesses are not permitted, per COD rules. Witnesses may not serve as advisors. Both parties have equal rights to have witnesses or witness statements presented. Parties are responsible for contacting and for arranging the participation of their witnesses.

Serving as a Witness

If you are serving as a witness or providing a witness statement, you play an important role in the process. As a witness, you may provide your information related to a situation by:
  • Submitting a written statement
    • A written statement alone does not allow the Panel to ask you questions, but can still be a useful source of information
    • If submitting a written statement you can use this template; please try to be detailed.
  • Meeting with OSC staff
  • Participating during a COD panel meeting
  • A combination of the above options
If you are serving as a witness, you should check with the person you are serving as a witness for regarding deadlines to submit documentation.

During a COD Panel

If you are serving as a witness to a COD panel, you will be called in to speak at a specified time. Most witnesses wait outside the panel room in a nearby location. When it is your turn to speak, the OSC staff will walk you to the panel room. The Chair will ask you to introduce yourself and provide a brief statement about your understanding of the incident. Given that you have not been present for the entire panel meeting, the panel may already have some of the information you share. That said, please feel free to provide a general summary of your perspective. Following that, you will be asked questions by the COD Panel and the involved parties. You are not required to answer questions; you may respectfully decline. Once the questioning has concluded, you will be excused. You will be instructed to either leave or wait nearby until the end of the panel meeting. The panel occasionally asks witnesses to remain in the event of follow-up questions.