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Complaint Procedures
RCTS Complaint Policy

At RCTS, we want you to have the best experience possible.  If for some reason we fall short of your expectations we want to know so that we can strive to do better in the future.  The following is a copy of our local Complaint Policy.


To resolve conflicts involving RCTS, the following complaint procedure has been established by the RCTS Board of Directors.  The objectives of this policy include:

  1. To provide all complainants a consistent, expeditious and equitable means of adjusting grievances.
  2. To protect the complainant’s right to file grievances without fear of reprisal or prejudice.
  3. To set up a forum for review and settlement of complainant grievances.


  1. Complaint: a transportation system participation related grievance or dispute initiated by a person or agency regarding program procedures, process or lack of process.
  2. Hearing Committee:  a committee of three members appointed by the RCTS Board of Directors. One committee member must receive the concurrence of the complainant, one committee member must receive the concurrence of the Transportation System Manager (TSM) and the final member must receive concurrency of both the complainant and the TSM.  This member will also chair the hearing committee.


An informal inquiry period procedure shall be considered prior to any formal or written complaint or grievance.

Step 1:  Inquiry Period

Every effort should be made to find an acceptable solution at the lowest possible grievance procedure level within 15 working days of knowledge of the alleged incident.

The agency having the grievance may consult with the TSM for informal discussion, investigation and possible resolution of the grievance during this time.

The TSM has five working days to respond informally to the complaint or grievance.  If the TSM fails to respond to the complainant’s dissatisfaction, the complainant may begin the Formal Grievance and Complaint Procedure.

Step 2:  Formal Grievance and Complaint Procedure

Within five working days of the TSM’s informal response or failure to respond, the complainant may submit by certified mail, a formal written grievance to the TSM and a copy to its Board of Directors.  The formal written grievance must contain the following information.

  1. Name of the Person initiating the grievance
  2. Position Title
  3. Agency Name if Applicable
  4. Agency Address
  5. Phone Number
  6. Complaint Description
  7. Desired Solution

Hearing Committee

The RCTS Board of Directors will make arrangements for the hearing.  Selection of a committee must be completed within ten working days.  A committee of three persons will act as arbitrators for the grievance.  Committee members will be selected as defined in the “Definitions” section.

The hearing committee will conduct an inquiry on the grievance within ten working days after selection of the final committee member.  Once the hearing date is set, the complainant shall be notified of the hearing date, time, and place of meeting by certified mail.

A complainant has the right to assistance by a representative of the complainant’s choice at any step of the Formal Grievance and Complaint Procedure.   Costs of representation shall be paid by the complainant.

Basic principle of due process will govern the hearing.  Both parties shall have:

  1. Notice of specific complaints or charges;
  2. The right to produce evidence, both in writing and through witnesses;
  3. The right to question others who produce evidence;
  4. The right to a recommendation by the hearing committee made strictly on recorded evidence.

A majority vote of the committee will determine the final decision.

The complainant will receive a copy of the hearing committee’s recommendation and may state acceptance or rejection of the hearing committee’s recommendation.

Either party may request a typed transcript of the hearing recording.  The party requesting a transcript shall bear the cost.

All actions and reports shall accompany the final recommendation of the hearing committee.

Title VI Complaint Policy





Richland County Transportation Service (RCTS) hereby agrees to comply with the following Federal statutes, Federal Highway Administration Regulations, Federal Transit Administration, and the Montana Department of Transportation, and the policies and procedures promulgated by the Federal Highway Administration, as a condition to receipt of Federal funds.

I. Overview:

            A. PURPOSE

To define organizational procedures for Richland County Transportation Service's implementation of the Federal Highways Administration (FHWA) and Federal Transit Association (FTA) Title VI compliance program under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and related civil rights laws and regulations.


                  The provisions of this Title VI Program apply to Richland County Transportation Service.

           C.  DEFINITIONS

                 All applicable definitions are found in 23 CFR 200.5.

 Protected Groups: means any person or group of persons who is included in any of the  identified nondiscrimination areas by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and its amendments  (race, color, national origin, age, sex, and low income).

            D. AUTHORITIES

Federal statutes, to the extent they apply to programs receiving federal financial assistance subject to Title VI, are found in 23 CFR 200.5 (p) (1).

               Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 142 U.S.C. 200.

"No person in the United States shall, on the grounds of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance."

         1.  Sex added by Federal Aid Highway Act of 1973 {29 U.S.C. 790).

         2.  Handicap added by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 {29 U.S.C. 790).

         3.  Age added by Age Discrimination Act of 1975 (42 U.S.C. 6101).

         4.  Scope expanded by Civil Right Restoration Act of 1987 {P.L. 100-2091 to     include all of a recipient's and contractor's programs or activities whether federally assisted or     not.

            5.  Income: Executive Order - 12898 - "Federal Actions to Address        Environmental Justice Issues in Minority Populations and Low-income Populations." Signed February 1994 - required identification of high and adverse human health or environmental effects of programs, policies, and activities on minority and low-income populations.

            State nondiscrimination statutes:

1. The Montana Human Rights Act, Title 49, Chapter 2, M.C.A.

2. The Governmental Code of Fair Practices, Title 49, Chapter 3, M.C.A.

            E.  ORGANIZATION

          Jodi Berry, Coordinator for Richland County Transportation Service, has Title VI  responsibility for Richland County Transportation and is responsible for initiating and monitoring Title VI activities, preparing required documents, conducting complaint investigations, and generally implementing the procedures described in the Program.  Jodi Berry, Coordinator for Richland County Transportation Service, also has the authority to delegate responsibility for certain items to other individuals, where appropriate.  All reports, investigations, and reviews will be prepared by or submitted to Jodi Berry within the prescribed time constraints.  The Montana Department of Transportation will be notified of any deficiencies or problems.


            A. PURPOSE

The purpose of the complaint procedures is to help resolve problems at the lowest level possible.  The procedure must function to determine whether or not a violation of a law or regulation has occurred, and if so, the appropriate means for relief and/or corrective action.  It is developed under the directive of 23 CFR 200.9 (b) (3).

 A log shall be maintained of all complaints.  A copy of the complaint, together with a copy of the Recipient report of the investigation shall be forwarded to the Title VI Representative, Montana Department of Transportation, Planning Division, within 60 days of the date the complaint was received by the Recipient.

            B. BASIC PROCEDURAL RIGHTS (Applicable to all levels of the complaint procedure).

 Persons Eligible to File: Any person who believes that he or she, individually, as a       member of any specific class of persons, or in connection with any minority group, has been subjected to discrimination prohibited by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 may file a complaint, as stated in 49 C.F.R. 21.1 l(b).  A complaint may also be filed by a representative on behalf of such a person.

            1.  Each party shall have the right to representation, to present witnesses and evidence, and to question opposing witnesses.

            2.  Intimidation, or retaliation of any kind is prohibited by law.

            3.  This procedure does not deny the fight of the complainant to file formal  complaints with other state or federal agencies or to seek private counsel for complaints alleging discrimination.

            C.  PROCEDURE

            1.  An individual should first discuss a complaint with the immediate supervisor or the Title VI Representative for Richland County Transportation Service in an effort to settle the issue at the lowest possible level.  Discussion should occur within IO working days of the incident.

            2.  If the complaint is not resolved at Step 1, a written complaint shall be filed with Jodi Berry, Coordinator for Richland County Transportation Service within 180 days of the alleged incident.  The Montana Department of Transportation and Richland County Transportation Service shall be notified of the complaint, within 5 days of filing with Jodi Berry, Coordinator for Richland County Transportation Service.

            3.  Within 7 days of the receipt of the complaint, an investigation by Richland County Transportation Service will commence.  The investigation shall include interviews with the complainant and the respondent.  Relevant data shall be obtained.  Interrogations may be used.  Informal conferences between the affected parties under the direction of the investigator may be utilized for the resolution.

            4.  Within 40 days from the date the complaint was received, the investigator will prepare a written report for Jodi Berry, Coordinator and Richland County Transportation Service.

            5.  The recommendation shall be reviewed Jodi Berry, Coordinator- Richland County Transportation Service, within 5 days.

              6.  If the complaint cannot be resolved by Richland County Transportation Service, the complainant shall be notified of all appeal rights pursuant to 49 CFR 21 as well as other applicable forms including the right to counsel.

  1.  Should the complainant decide not to pursue the complaint, a signed withdrawal statement shall be obtained. 

               D.  DEFINITIONS

            1.  Discrimination: That act (or action) whether intentional or unintentional, through which a person in the United States, solely because of race, color, national origin, age, sex, disability, or income, has been otherwise subjected to unequal treatment under any program or activity receiving financial assistance from the Federal Highway Administration or Federal Transit Administration under Title 23, U.S.C. and 49 CFR part 21; and related statutes and regulations.

            2.  Complaint: means a complaint alleging a violation of any policy, procedure, or practice which would be prohibited by Title VI and other federal and state civil rights laws, rules, and regulations.

            3.  Complainant: means any aggrieved person, or individual, who submits a complaint.

            4.  Complaint Investigation Form:  means the form which shall, pursuant to 23 CFR 200.9(b)(3), identify each complainant by race, color, sex, national origin, age, income, or disability; the respondent; the nature of the complaint; the dates the complaint was filed and the investigation completed; the disposition; and other pertinent information.  This form is contained in Appendix V.

            5.  Day: means a working day; the calculation of days in a complaint procedure shall exclude Saturdays, Sundays, and State holidays.

            6.  Federal and State Civil Rights Laws, Rules and Regulations: See "I        OVERVIEW," "D AUTHORITY."

            7.  Investigator: means the person within the Recipient agency, normally the           Title VI Representative, with the assigned responsibility to investigate            complaints.

            8.  Respondent: means any person, persons, or agency against whom a complaint is filed.

            9. Title VI: means Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act (78 Stat. 252, 42   U.S.C., Sec. 2000d), the implementing regulations and any memoranda,         directives, guidelines, or subsequent legislation that may be issued or enacted.

           10. MDT Title VI Representative: means the individual within a Montana   Department of Transportation respective program area with Title VI            responsibilities.

Richland County
201 W. Main
Sidney, MT 59270