By-Laws and Roberts Rules of Order

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  #1  
Old 09-24-13, 02:20 PM
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By-Laws and Roberts Rules of Order

I have a club of about 50 members. We are trying to determine how to remove an officer from office. Our 3 page By-Laws do not include anything about removal from office. However, we do have the following paragraph:

8) Meeting Procedures
Meetings should be conducted under the Roberts Rules of Order, revised edition. A copy of these Rules of Order should be kept by the President.

The question is whether this paragraph says we can use the process/procedure in Roberts Rules of Order for removal of an officer or do we need to explicitly change our By-Laws to include a removal process.

Thanks in advance
 
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  #2  
Old 09-24-13, 02:52 PM
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No lawyer here but it does sound like this would cover you.

No hope of just getting a resignation?
 
  #3  
Old 09-24-13, 03:32 PM
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The board already wrote him a letter stating the issues and gave him a vote of no confidence. We asked but he refused to resign.
 
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Old 09-24-13, 04:41 PM
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Im a member of the elks and it uses similar protocol. Sure take a secret ballot if you like. You need to make a motion and get a second on it. Then move it to the next meeting. You cant do it secret and must give the member time to attend these meeting.

Dont make it personal....

Introduction to Robert's Rules of Order
 
  #5  
Old 09-24-13, 05:13 PM
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A couple of folks are getting hung up that the by-laws say "Meeting Procedures" so they think it just affects how meetings are conducted and not the removal process. I think the removal process is really a set of meetings so we can use Roberts Rules.
 
  #6  
Old 09-24-13, 07:43 PM
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Let me throw a monkey wrench in the works; certain words have specific meanings. Words commonly used in rules, regulations, and instructions include "may", "shall", and "should". The term "shall" is generally construed to mean a mandatory requirement of some sort. "May" and "should", on the other hand, generally denote something short of an absolute requirement. Just because Roberts' Rules of Order should be used and maintained, does not necessarily mean they are mandatory or required.

I'm not an attorney, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night [also spent 27 years in Naval Aviation where the above terms are used as described].
 
  #7  
Old 09-25-13, 09:45 AM
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Good info on the may/shall/should. Thanks. This answers the question whether we must use Roberts Rules to conduct meetings.

However, the question is really CAN we use Roberts Rules to remove an officer since the wording is "Meetings". So, is the Roberts Rules pertaining to removing an officer just detailing a set of meetings?
 
  #8  
Old 09-25-13, 09:58 AM
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Even though you are the board, you may not have the authority to remove a president. - You are just a "we".

Often, a board can pass a motion for a new General Election of officers and even a new board (usually requires advance notice of an election). This eliminates a organized general approval and cuts out the "kangaroo" courts.

The president is obligated to follow the "Roberts Rules" by virtue of the By-Laws and only presides the meeting, but there may be something else in the by-laws regarding structure, terms and elections. Every set of by-laws are unique.

Is your club non-profit? There may also in the tax laws about representation and organization to maintain the status.

Dick
 
  #9  
Old 09-25-13, 09:59 AM
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If the person disregarded your vote of no confidence, what makes you think he will abide by Robert's Rules? Whatever happened Mob Rule? Can't you just kick the guy out and have the new guy sitting in his chair at the next meeting? I'm joking of course but is there some actual legal procedure that you must abide by other than your club's bylaws? Also, and just being nosey here, is this a unanimous opinion or are there opposing member factions involved?
 
  #10  
Old 09-25-13, 11:40 AM
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OK. Here's the real scoop. I tried to simplify the question without providing much detail - my bad.

This is a non-profit "fun" club that has been around for many years. We (board and general club) followed the procedure in Roberts Rules of Order to remove an officer. The end activity was a general club meeting where we voted him removed from office.

It looked like a done deal and we scheduled a new election to replace the officer. However, at the meeting, a couple of people said the removal was not "legal" since we do not explicitly have a removal process in our bylaws. They think the term "Meeting Procedures" is just how you conduct a meeting. Others think the procedure for removal, as detailed in Roberts rules, is a set of meetings so we can use Roberts Rules.
 
  #11  
Old 09-25-13, 12:01 PM
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Ugh. I think a consultation with an attorney and maybe new by-laws would be in order.

That takes the fun right out of the club, doesn't it?
 
  #12  
Old 09-25-13, 12:10 PM
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Sounds to me like a bunch of hairs being split; if the majority voted for removal, sooner or later he's out. And I agree with mitch's take on the "fun".

Frankly, I didn't even know that Roberts covered topics like removing officers. AFAIK it's primary function is to standardize parliamentary procedures, i.e. quorems, motions, debate, votes, etc. Rules covering such local situations like removing officers/members, etc would be in bylaws.
 
  #13  
Old 09-25-13, 12:15 PM
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I found this from ask.com.... You may have to do the latter first, then proceed as the new bylaw is written.

Since you do not seem to have that in your by-laws, ask the President to formally consider the removal of the person from the office they hold. State your reasons for the request during the "Good Of The Order" section, usually at the end of the meeting.

Also ask for a change in the by-laws concerning the area of removing officers from their positions.
 
  #14  
Old 09-25-13, 04:49 PM
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A member will be consulting with an attorney on this at some point but I was hoping for an attorney to give an opinion in this forum. We have no funds to pay for time so were looking for a freebee.

Perhaps though this isn't even an attorney question. What I may need is someone well versed in the practice of By-laws and Roberts Rules.

Worst case scenario is we wait out the six month until the end of his term even though I doubt the majority will put up with him that long.
 
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