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  1. This is a question regarding the membership and board of a nonprofit corporation. We have a board of 14, including 4 officers who serve 2 year terms, 9 board members who serve 3 year terms in a 3-year rotation, and an immediate past president. According to our bylaws the general membership elects the officers and board members and RONR is our parliamentary authority. We currently have several members on the board that have something of a disdain for parliamentary procedure and refuses to recognize or comply with the fiduciaries. When breaches of either are pointed out, other board members chime in in defense of the bad actor and say, "so what?" Several board meetings, including meetings that the organization has to pay the organization's attorney to attend to try to train these people, have been held to no avail. The board is at an impasse. The bylaws provide that board members may be suspended by a majority of the board members and removed "upon cause" by the membership. Unfortunately, there are enough of these bad board members that there has not even been a motion on the board to suspend any of them. A membership meeting is coming up soon. I am confused about the disciplinary process and am afraid this is another of those "how do we get rid of board members" questions. I understand that the bylaws trump the disciplinary process of RONR, but is a statement "for cause" enough to take the proceedings outside of RONR or do we need to comply with the general requirements there including a hearing? In other words, do any disciplinary terms in the bylaws automatically remove the process from RONR disciplinary process or do they actually have to replace/override each element of RONR? I understand that interpreting bylaws is outside of the scope of this forum, but appreciate your insights. The bylaws also have a disciplinary section that provides that prohibited conduct includes violating the CRs or misconduct affecting the purpose of the organization. It is intended for dealing with complaints about members at large, deals with discipline such as expulsion, and the hearing panel is the board. Given the fact that the board members are the problem, hopefully we are not stuck with that procedure, but it does not specifically exclude the "for cause" removal of board members. My hope is that simply presenting the bases for the claim of "cause" and calling for a motion, discussion, and vote as to removal is enough to properly remove these board members if the membership finds that appropriate. No one is seeking their expulsion from the organization, just removal from the board. Thank you in advance for your help!
  2. I was at a Town Council Board of Zoning appeals meeting where the majority of people were against a property being zoned a multi-family home even though a judge had ruled the property a multi-family home more then 30 years prior. The person heading the meeting claimed the Board used Roberts Rules to conduct their meeting. Initially time was not mentioned, but since only the homeowner was for the zoning change he needed to present his case. Those opposed each had an opportunity to talk as well as having a lawyer talk for them. The Board would not allow a person to speak more then once. The question is although Roberts Rules says a speaker should be given 10 minutes to talk and then a second 10 minutes after everyone else has had a chance to speak, in the case of an official town meeting where presenting one's case may take more then 10 minutes should the person be allowed more time under Roberts Rules and if they are should they be given equal time as the complainants? Should the person be allowed to challenge statements made by other presenters?
  3. In our organization, we have a "mother" organization with several associated regions who affiliate by annual dues. Within each region, there are several clubs. The regions are expected to be in conformity with the mother organization. Each club is expected to be in conformity with the regions. This particular region has violated our bylaws by refusing to pay certain fees (the clubs voted by a 2/3 majority not to pay) which then resulted in late fees added. The mother organization simply went ahead and placed them in "not good standing". During our 2012 meeting, we heard from the President of that particular region during our Executive Council meeting and were told of the "issues/reasons/excuses" to which the Executive Council (made up of all the regions and the mother board) denied the reason for non-payment. We also barred the President from being involved in that meeting and the next subsequent meeting of the day by taking away both voicing and voting rights for that day's meetings. 8 months later, the region wants to appeal the fees and late fines. They have demanded that we use our appeal process for the upcoming 2013 meeting. The problem is (other than 8 months later) - our appeal process is geared towards individuals/clubs who may have violated the bylaws, code of conduct, ethics, etc. We have a full appeals/grievance process for that. But our bylaws do NOT have an appeals process for the region itself. If a region is suspended or placed on probation, that includes the entire regional membership. Is there any specific citation of the suspension/appeals process for items not in our own bylaws for handling this? If at our 2012 meeting, the decision was to deny their excuse for non-payment and it was further reported in the larger delegate meeting and no one objected, wouldn't that become the "official" act after the meeting ends? Even though there was not a motion made to suspend or place the region on probation, it was still reported that they could not voice nor vote at the 2012 meeting due to the decision of the Executive Committee. The response/answer to this will bring about at least 2 more questions. Thanks.
  4. We have a 7 member Board, of which 3 people were voted in by the Board to serve on a Hearing Committee (for a trial). The three voted in to serve on the committee, were the only people eligible due to the severe conflicts of interest with the defendant. Of the three people on the Hearing Committee, two of their terms are up at the end of the year. Our by-laws state specifically that the Hearing Committee must be made up of Board Members. The Hearing is currently scheduled for the last weekend of the year. The Certified Mail sent to the defendant to notify them of the charges, response due dates, and hearing schedule, took a week to be delivered. Now the defendant is claiming she doesn't have enough time to prepare. Our by-laws don't give a specific timeline for responses The Hearing Committee is in place and ready to move forward, but we are concerned with the change of the BOD at the end of the year. To make it worse, the plaintiff and defendant are candidates in the election taking place now, with the new Board Members taking office January 15, 2012. My question is: Does the current Hearing Committee continue to serve in that capacity once their positions are over, or do we have to put together a new committee with the new Board Members after the first of the year? Thanks for your help.
  5. We will be holding a disciplinary hearing at the end of the month and one of the key witnesses is seven hours away over a mountain pass. There is concern than snow will keep them from attending the hearing in person. Can Skype be used at a hearing? Our by-laws don't address using electronics.
  6. I belong to a private national club. I was brought up on charges by another member, and a diciplinary hearing was held. I have sent emails to various board members requesting a copy of the transcript or minutes, and have been told that the board decided the meeting was a closed meeting and no minutes were taken. Yet a professional transcriptionist was preent and I was asked to give copies of all my documentation to her to for inclusion in her transcript. She did type throughout the hearing and ask for clarification on the spelling of names. My question is how do I go about getting a copy of the transcript when the board is telling me there are no minutes to give me and the subject is closed?
  7. If a member is requested to attend a hearing as a witness in a complaint against another member, is the member/witness entitled to a copy of the complaint before the scheduled hearing or does the member/witness have to wait until the hearing to know what the complaint involves ?
  8. Guest

    Disciplinary Charges

    If a member of an orginization brings charges against another, can the complainant drop the charges prior to the hearing? Our by-laws are silent on the matter.
  9. I have a rather serious situation concerning a nonprofit (member) organization. I haven't seen referenced here in the forum. An recently elected member of an executive board (of about 25 elected and appointed members) discovered that the board had been repeatedly violating the organization' s bylaws. This executive board member noticed the entire executive board of the violations and requested that the board members immediately correct the conditions, follow its own bylaws including comply with all state and federal laws, in addition to requesting that the entire board undergo a fiduciary duty training for nonprofits. The rest of the board remained silent upon notice and as usual practice deferred to the board president to respond. The board president repeatedly refused the newly elected board members attempt to resolve the matter, (as the organization is being run more like a dictatorship ; To the extent, that three members of the organization are making all of the decisions for the entire organization. Which is in clear violation of the bylaws. ( I do not want to go into detail, but they are rather serious infractions, and most of the board members have no clue as to what is going on as there is a long established culture of deference to the Board President) Within the organization's Bylaws there is no mechanism for a grievance procedure/ disciplinary action for one executive board member against all of the other executive board of directors. Although there are very specific and different protocols for grievance, disciplinary action removal of the President, Vice President, and other officers, This protocol requires the direct involvement of other officers who are also apart of the same grievance. The Bylaws are silent as to this situation, as this situation involves breaches of fiduciary duty (i.e. grievances against the entire board). Which is the reason the newly elected board members gave notice of the breaches of fiduciary duties. The Bylaws do state that no retalitory actions of any kind should be taken against a member seeking redress under the disciplinary/grievance procedures. However, in clear retaliation, the President, and other three officers have held closed door executive sessions and barred this elected member, who is an executive member, and has refused to give her minutes of those meetings and several meetings afterwards. The Board then held a teleconference call (again in violation of the bylaws) and voted to pursue disciplinary actions in attempt to remove this board member for conduct unbecoming of an officer. The board set this "disciplinary hearing for a teleconference call (another violation of the bylaws) in a few short weeks. The Bylaws do state that any hearings shall be conducted in accordance with the polices established by RRONR as a guide. As the organization's Bylaws are silent on this specific matter, and does defer to RRONR where not covered under the Bylaws, I am looking for specific RRONR rules regarding the following. 1. Availability and access to executive Board minutes to executive board members. 2. Any authority under RRONR that executive board members can hold secret or closed door meetings and exclude an executive board member. 3. As the Secretary and Assistant Secretary have not turned over board meeting minutes to this member after repeated requests, is there a reasonable time period under RRONR that these minutes are to dispersed to the executive board members? ( It has been more than 6 mos. and still no production of meeting minutes) 4. What other rules under RRONR apply to this situation? I understand this is rather involved but any insight, is greatly appreciated.
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