The Gazette requested an interpretation of this Society Seneschal’s official announcement from one of our editors to assist our readers in understanding its implications to them.  The original announcement sections are in italics and her interpretations are indicated below each section.  Our thanks to Mistress Katherine Barr for taking on this task.  The interpretation is not an official statement by the SCA.

Greetings from Mistress Katherine Barr, previous East Kingdom Seneschal.  A formal communication from the Vice President of Operations, SCA Inc. (Society Seneschal) was issued concerning contracts for events/services and insurance issues.

In an effort to streamline the information to be more readily useful for the administration of our kingdom, I provide this interpretation.

  1. In terms of contracts, only seneschals should be signing contracts for events or services. If the seneschal chooses to designate the autocrat/steward (i.e. a deputy seneschal) as the signatory to a contract, that contract must first be completely read and reviewed by the ranking seneschal before the ranking seneschal gives authority IN WRITING to the designated deputy (autocrat/steward). As such, the Kingdom Seneschal must review all contracts for Kingdom events, Principality Seneschal for Principality events or Baronial Seneschals for Baronial events; in terms of all other local events, the local group seneschal must review the contract for the event prior to granting the autocrat/steward the authority to sign the contract and this must b in writing. In the event the seneschal wishes to designate a deputy (autocrat/steward) to sign the contract, that signatory must be an actual and recognized/authorized deputy Seneschal with a valid membership (i.e. autocrat/steward) and said contract must be first reviewed by the ranking Seneschal (Kingdom Seneschal, Principality Seneschal, Baronial Seneschal et al.).

Interpretation from Katherine Barr:  The local seneschal of a group must review a contract for events or services within their respective group, be it a local group, barony, principality or kingdom.  After review by the respective seneschal, the seneschal may then either sign the contract themselves, or designate the autocrat/steward (the recognized/authorized deputy Seneschal) to sign the contract.  The designation to the autocrat/steward must be in writing and the autocrat/steward must hold a valid membership with the SCA.   The Kingdom Seneschal must review all contracts for Kingdom events.

  1. 2.  In terms of contracts calling for something other than the usual surety of a “named insured” insurance policy, the contract must be submitted to the Society Seneschal (V.P. of Operations), Renee (V.P. of Corporate Operations and the President of the SCA.  If the written contracts calls for any surety, indemnification, provision for repayment or action in furtherance of acting to bind the SCA Inc. to some known or unknown liability, then that contract must be submitted to the Society Seneschal, Renee and President. This excludes security deposits  We are currently dealing with a landowner who is requiring something other than a “named insured” policy and this requirement of indemnification/additional surety is causing a great deal of concern.  As such, if you see something in a contract that proposes that the SCA accept some form of liability (anticipated or not anticipated), acceptance of indemnification, offer of a surety– in short, anything that is not a simple and usual “named insured” policy– you must forward that contract. If you are unsure about a contract, send it to me for review. Trust me, no one wants to explain why the SCA is now on the hook for something either anticipated or not anticipated pursuant to a contract, i.e. in this case, it is paramount that permission is sought prior to the signing of this type of contract.

Interpretation from Katherine Barr:  Contracts for events or services may have additional clauses for surety, indemnification, provision for repayment or action in furtherance of acting to bind the SCA Inc. to some known or unknown liability.   In essence, this means that a clause is put into a contract that may make the SCA liable for known or unknown occurrences.  If a contract proposes that the SCA accept any form of anticipated or not anticipated form of liability, acceptance of indemnification, offer of surety, or other responsibility beyond the usual “named insured” policy, then the contract must be forwarded for approval prior to being signed.

This section requires that the contract be sent to the Society Seneschal (V.P. of Operations), Renee Signorotti (V.P. of Corporate Operations) and the President of the SCA.  However, as this communication appears to be written to the Kingdom Seneschals, it is unclear as to who should be forwarding the contract to these individuals.  This is an issue for the Kingdoms.  However, if I was a local seneschal and came across a contract issue of this nature, I would forward it to the regional seneschal for clarification of who would be responsible to send the contract for review.  In any case, permission to sign the contact from the Society Seneschal (V.P. of Operations), Renee Signorotti (V.P. of Corporate Operations) and the President of the SCA must be received prior to signing the contract.

This portion of the communication does not apply to security deposits or the standard adding a “named insured” to the policy.

  1. 3.  This is a reminder in view of the theft of golf carts this year…always obtain insurance for all moveable items rented as anything moveable can be stolen; this includes but is not limited to golf carts, rented trailers, rented trucks et al.  If it has wheels, ask the renting agency to provide us with the opportunity to seek insurance.  Stolen moveable items are not covered by the SCA’s insurance and the cost of the stolen item will be the responsibility of the group hosting the event.

Interpretation from Katherine Barr:  Whenever moveable items are rented from a third party, including but not limited to golf carts, rented trailers and/or rented trucks, insurance should be obtained from the renting agency.  If a moveable item is stolen, it is not covered by the SCA’s insurance, and the cost of the stolen item will be the responsibility of the group hosting the event.

  1. Equestrian insurance if acquired [sic] if there are any horses present at any event or demo (demonstration); even if it is just one horse for people to view in an enclosed arena, equestrian insurance must be obtained. Horses and their “accidents” are considered strict liability under the law because horses are inherently dangerous, i.e. even if we are not negligent, the SCA will be liable. Even if there is a single horse present at an event, Equestrian Insurance must be obtained. If there is no equestrian insurance and someone wants to bring their horse to the event, that horse is prohibited from entry in terms of the event. If you are unsure about the circumstances, please contact me immediately.

Interpretation from Katherine Barr:  Equestrian insurance is required and must be obtained if there are any horses present at any event or demo, even if it is just one horse, and regardless of the reason the horse(s) is/are present at the event or demo. If equestrian insurance has not been obtained, horses are prohibited from entry to the event/demo.

Without the required equestrian insurance, the SCA will be liable for any damages caused by horses as under the law, they are considered inherently dangerous and strict liability will be applied.

At this time, I am not an officer of the SCA, and this is strictly my interpretation of the formal communication