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Daniel H. Honemann

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    Timonium, Maryland

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  1. John Stackpole is someone I have known and greatly admired for a long time, going all the way back to my days of activity in Maryland's Association of Parliamentarians. In the very early days of this Forum when, as its only active Moderator, I tended to be overly strict in enforcing its rules relating to posts deemed to be irrelevant, erroneous or misleading, John took to warning posters about what he called the "Wrath of Dan." As a consequence, he's the guy responsible for that thing (whatever it's called) that appears at the bottom of all of my posts. He will, indeed, be sorely missed, and richly deserves his place in this Forum's Hall of Fame.
  2. Proof exceeding two digits is unlikely during meetings of the 2FP, but we strive to come as close as we can.
  3. But if such a motion to suspend the rules is defeated, no motion remains pending.
  4. No, you do not record discussion in the minutes, and if no clearly stated proposal has either been voted on or agreed to by unanimous consent, there is nothing to record in the minutes because nothing has been decided. This is the "more lenient" rule referred to: "When a proposal is perfectly clear to all present, a vote can be taken without a motion's having been introduced. Unless agreed to by unanimous consent, however, all proposed actions must be approved by vote under the same rules as in larger meetings, except that a vote can be taken initially by a show of hands, which is often a better method in small meetings." (RONR, 11th ed., p. 488.) To obtain agreement to something by unanimous consent, the chair states that "If there is no objection ... [or, "Without objection ..."]," the action that he mentions will be taken; or he may ask, "Is there any objection to ... ?" (RONR, 11th ed., p. 54.) Note that, in order to obtain unanimous consent to anything, the chair must make clear what it is that the assembly is being asked to agree to.
  5. If I remember correctly, in this case the absence of a quorum does not prevent rejection, it ensures rejection, but I'm not anxious to pursue this either.
  6. Since in this case the affirmative vote is intrinsically irrelevant, should the chair call for only the negative vote?
  7. "A member of an assembly, in the parliamentary sense, as mentioned above, is a person entitled to full participation in its proceedings, that is, as explained in 3 and 4, the right to attend meetings, to make motions, to speak in debate, and to vote.... Whenever the term member is used in this book, it refers to full participating membership in the assembly unless otherwise specified. Such members are also described as "voting members" when it is necessary to make a distinction." (RONR, 11th ed., p. 3) "Whenever a meeting is being held in executive session, only members of the body that is meeting, special invitees, and such employees or staff members as the body or its rules may determine to be necessary are allowed to remain in the hall." (RONR, 11thy ed., p. 95)
  8. Strike the words "have the church members vote on the request to" and you may be okay.
  9. It seems to me that the answer to question No. 2 is no, since the constitution clearly requires no less than 14 days notice. As a consequence, nothing in the bylaws can validate a notice sent out less than 14 days prior to the meeting. Question No. 1 is not so easy to answer. The constitution provides that any notice given more than 60 days prior to the meeting is invalid, and certainly nothing in the bylaws can validate a notice sent out more than 60 days prior to the meeting. But is this provision in the constitution also intended to mean that any notice sent out at least 14 days and not more than 60 days prior to the meeting is valid even if the organization adopts a bylaw provision saying that notices must not be sent out earlier than 50 days prior to the meeting? I don't know. I also don't know if this provision in the constitution is intended to mean that the organization cannot validly adopt a bylaw provision saying that at least 20 days notice is required. But since you say that I have to take a position on this, I think I'll vote in favor of the idea that this provision in the constitution means that any notice sent out at least 14 days and not more than 60 days prior to the meeting will be valid no matter what different time limits the bylaws may attempt to impose.
  10. These questions evidence what appears to be a misunderstanding of what is meant by "parliamentary law". As has been noted, the term "parliamentary law'" refers to rules which have gradually evolved over many years from rules and precedents adopted by deliberative assemblies for the governance of their proceedings, and parliamentary law continues to evolve in this fashion. This is the general (or "common") parliamentary law which is codified in RONR. Parliamentary law isn't taught in law schools because it isn't law. It isn't the kind of law that lawyers deal with. Parliamentarians, not lawyers, are (or at least are supposed to be) the experts in parliamentary law.
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