Guest W. Watson

Is a motion required to adjourn a meeting in the absence of a quorum

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There is some question as to whether the chair acted properly in our last regular meeting when the organization found itself without a quorum to start the meeting. After calling the meeting to order the chair said “the meeting is adjourned due to lack of a quorum” and the members departed. After the meeting, another member read to me from RONR p. 349, ll. 11-12 that the chair must entertain the motion to adjourn (after declaring the absence of a quorum). My position was that the chair simply assumed the motion to adjourn and no one objected at the time. I am rather curious now, was my assembly member correct? Should the chair have asked for a motion to adjourned, have it seconded, and if adopted then adjourned the meeting?

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6 minutes ago, Guest W. Watson said:

There is some question as to whether the chair acted properly in our last regular meeting when the organization found itself without a quorum to start the meeting. After calling the meeting to order the chair said “the meeting is adjourned due to lack of a quorum” and the members departed. After the meeting, another member read to me from RONR p. 349, ll. 11-12 that the chair must entertain the motion to adjourn (after declaring the absence of a quorum). My position was that the chair simply assumed the motion to adjourn and no one objected at the time. I am rather curious now, was my assembly member correct? Should the chair have asked for a motion to adjourned, have it seconded, and if adopted then adjourned the meeting?

 

The chair can assume a motion to adjourn. The chair should have said - “ If there is no objection, the meeting will adjourn due to the lack of a quorum” and paused to be sure there was no objection before declaring it adjourned, as there are other actions the assembly could have taken prior to adjourning.

Edited by George Mervosh

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I would add that the Chair should do whatever is feasible to get additional members to attend--this might mean calling non-attendees, etc.  See RONR (11th ed.), p. 348, ll. 3-7.

 

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Of course, unless the assembly has the power to compel its members to attend, there is little that the Chairman, or any member/person present, can do to force quorum to be met.  Phone calls, recesses, etc. are all nice - but how long do you wait.  The end result in most cases is that the meeting will be adjourned.  I see nothing wrong with the Chairman calling the meeting to order, declaring that there is no quorum and adjourning the meeting unless someone insists on waiting.  Of course, those in attendance are free to wait around talking amongst themselves.  But why not simply make it official that the meeting is over.

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