Whoever suspects a clanmate of falling short in his or her stature turns to a Court of Blood to attain permission to execute (and even diablerize) him or her. To obtain this permission, the incompetence of the Lasombra in question needs to be proven by circumstantial evidence.
The Court consists of three to thirteen members that the Amis Noirs deem capable of such a job. The court's decision is made with no regard to political motives. The permission to execute is granted only if the evidence clearly speaks against the defendant, which rarely is the case.
The defendant never is informed about the petition. If found guilty, defendants are informed only if the Court thinks they deserve a chance. If, on the other hand, the accusation proves completely unjustified, the defendants usually are informed about the accuser's petition.
Typically, there is no subsequent hearing with reversed roles; generally, the affair is settled out of the court, which does not mean it becomes any more pleasant for the accuser.
USING THE COURTS
Ductus Andrew tells me that you're about to present your first case to a Court of Blood. Just as I did for him, I offer you a few words of advice on getting what you want.
1. Be prepared in advance. Make sure that you are clear on your target, and make sure that you can document your grievances. This doesn't mean that all your charges must be true. They must be plausible and supported by what appears to be good evidence. Do not, however, attempt to fake things beyond your capacity to succeed in the deception.
2. Be concise. If the court has questions, the judges will ask you for more information. Do not start by insulting their intelligence or experience.
3. Offer kickbacks and incentives. If possible, explain how your action will benefit the probable members of the court. Do not make too many assumptions in this direction. Above all do not confidently assume that you know who isn't on the court and explain how this action hurts that absent Friend. Inevitably, either he or an ally of his will be on the court. If a judge has shared blood with him, she might heed the Vinculum's call to oppose you.
4. Be respectful and confident. The court could, after all, decide to destroy you. Show yourself a worthy heir to the clan's tradition of authority. Respect the judges. Command your inferiors. It helps in this regard to have some inferiors to command.
5. Cultivate subordinate members of your pack for the purpose if you expect to do this on a regular basis. Follow all instructions the court gives. Follow them completely. Do not go beyond them. Do not stop short of them.
6. Do not get greedy. If you petition more than once every few years, you'll draw skeptical attention. The court may well authorize your destruction as a disruptive threat to clan interests. Do not waste your effort on trivial matters. You and your target are in principle immortal. Take your time.
- Encyclopaedia Vampirica, p. 55