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Guest May

common sense

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Guest May

On a point of order for example where the by-law states that $500 should be held in an account, but there is only $400 and the member states that unless we have $500 any consideration of the motion to allow $400 in the account is out of order and the motion to approve must be dismissed.  Where would I find in the rules that confirms that any bylaw clause would not be applicable based on common sense and therefore the motion to accept $400 will be allowed to stand.  

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If your bylaws say you shall have $500 in said account, I don't think you may consider a motion to suspend that bylaw and have $400 in said account.

But I'm not entirely sure that's what the question is, and I'm not sure if the $500 stipulation is mandatory or a suggestion.

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Guest Who's Coming to Dinner

Bylaws which are not rules of order and which do not provide for their own suspension cannot be suspended. Any motion to do something in violation of such a bylaw is out of order.

RONR (11th ed.), p. 263, ll. 1–7; p. 343, ll. 14–17

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2 hours ago, Guest Who's Coming to Dinner said:

Bylaws which are not rules of order and which do not provide for their own suspension cannot be suspended. Any motion to do something in violation of such a bylaw is out of order.

RONR (11th ed.), p. 263, ll. 1–7; p. 343, ll. 14–17

This is accurate. If there is only $400 in the account and the bylaws require $500, then you must either amend your bylaws or put another $100 in. You cannot pass a regular motion that overrides the bylaws.

That said, a lot depends on the exact wording of the bylaw and its interpretation. For instance, if the bylaw states "There shall be a $500 reserve fund", then clearly that fund is meant to be used in cases of emergency. Your assembly (which is the ultimate authority on interpreting the bylaws) may interpret that as saying, for instance, that the fund can be dipped into in case of emergency, but must be replenished as soon as possible after. Under this interpretation, then it might be acceptable to pass a motion saying that it's not currently possible so it's ok to stay at $400.

Ultimately, your organization will have to interpret its bylaws for itself.

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I can't follow what the member is saying, but I agree that if the bylaws require $500 to be in the account, any motion to keep it at $400 is out of order.

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6 hours ago, Guest May said:

Where would I find in the rules that confirms that any bylaw clause would not be applicable based on common sense...

You won't find it. There is no such rule.

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