There used to be a posted explanation of warnings and points in the rules area. When we switched software a couple of years ago, the explanation got lost. Here's a summary:
Moderators can give warnings for rules violations.
Moderators can choose to give no-point warnings, or they can choose to give warnings with up to 50 points.
There is a default number of points that goes with a warning. However, a moderator is free to override that, using his judgement. Typically, repeat warnings for the same issue will garner more points than an initial warning.
Along with the number of points, there is an option to control how long they last. For most infractions, the points expire in anywhere from a week to 3 years. The warnings with permanent points are:
Sassin the mods, 40 points
Racism or bigotry 30 points.
The forum software tracks warning points for each member and when they expire.
If an account reaches 50 unexpired points, the software will automatically ban the account.
I gave you a warning for insulting another member in a discussion forum, and in particular, for bringing that member's family into the insult. Insults are not allowed in the discussion forums and we consider insults that drag family into it to be to be particularly uncool.