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  1. Hello, I am on a committee to review our organizations Bylaws. As we were reviewing our parent organizations recommended text changes, a question was raised regarding the usage and application of Special Rules of Order. Our current Bylaws state: Article X - Parliamentary Authority Section 1. In all matters not specifically covered by the provision of these Constitution and Bylaws, the rules contained in Robert's Rules of Order (Revised) shall govern the Club in all cases to which they are applicable. The proposed Bylaws state: Article X - Parliamentary Authority Section 1. The rules contained in the current edition of "Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised," shall govern the club in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these bylaws and any other special rules of order the club may adopt. 1st question: Under the current bylaws wording, is our organization permitted to adopt Special Rules of Order? 2nd question. If Special Rules of Order are adopted, are they documented similar to our standing rules, or can/should/must they be made part of the bylaws? Lastly, I'm having a difficult time grasping the concept of a special rule of order and how we are allowed to use them. I understand the difference between a special rule of order vs standing rule and also understand that an adopted special rule of order supersedes any rules of the parliamentary authority with which they may conflict. Specifically, my confusion lies with, Chapter I - Rules of Order, p15 The usual and preferable method by which an ordinary society now provides itself with suitable rules of order is therefore to place in its bylaws a provision prescribing that the current edition of a specified and generally accepted manual of parliamentary law shall be the organization's parliamentary authority, and then to adopt only such special rules of order as it finds needed to supplement or modify rules contained in that manual. I understand the need to supplement or modify the rules for particular situations, i.e. limiting the length or number of speeches permitted each member in debate, but can a Special Rule of Order substantially change an existing rule in RONR? What does "supplement and modify rules" mean specifically? Example: Chapter XIII - Voting, p407 ABSTAINING FROM VOTING ON A QUESTION OF DIRECT PERSONAL INTEREST. No member should vote on a question in which he has a direct personal or pecuniary interest not common to other members of the organization. For example, if a motion proposes that the organization enter into a contract with a commercial firm of which a member of the organization is an officer and from which contract he would derive personal pecuniary profit, the member should abstain from voting on the motion. However, no member can be compelled to refrain from voting in such circumstances. Question 3: Could you adopt a Special Rule of Order that changed "should" to "shall" and struck the last sentence; now requiring a member to abstain from voting? Is this allowed as a modification of an existing rule, or is it not allowed because it significantly changes the intent of the rule? If you got this far, thank you for your consideration of my questions. Regards, Bill W
  2. My organization only meets twice a year. To accommodate the unique needs of each biannual meeting, the by-laws state that "the Secretary must propose special rules of order for each biannual meeting." Adopting special rules of order normally requires a 2/3 vote and notice. However, since the by-laws require that he or she propose special rules of order, need the Secretary give notice? Additionally, can notice for special rules of order merely summarize the proposed special rules of order, rather than include their exact text?
  3. A follow-on question, picking up on one of the points raised in the reply to http://robertsrules....-be-called-for/ I gather that when a society adopts RONR as its parliamentary authority, within bylaws that contain no other language to govern any deviations therefrom, the RONR provision which allows the adoption of special rules of order extends only to the society, but that this privilege does not extend to the society's Board – despite that meetings of the Board are themselves deliberative assemblies, albeit smaller ones. Is this limitation, in which a Board cannot deviate even from the parliamentary authority, anywhere specifically provided within RONR, or is it more the case that – as a small deliberative assembly imbued with the powers of the society between meetings of the society – any special rules of order adopted or presuming to have been adopted by the Board between meetings of the society are (1) lacking in authority, and therefore having to be ratified by the society at its next meeting in order for decisions already taken to be permitted to stand (and advisedly better that these not be practiced until after the opportunity to have had them properly approved by the society , or (2) considered to be in authority, but only until such time as the first opportunity for the society to consider these special rules, at which meeting the rules must either be approved or rejected, or (3) considered to be in authority, but only until such time as the first opportunity for the society to consider these special rules, at which meeting the rules must either be approved or rejected, or (4) considered to be in authority, until such time as the society may choose to overturn / rescind them? Thanks!
  4. Guest

    Agenda violation

    The agenda starts with a special rules of order item which reorders items on the agenda. For example it moves an item to be dealt with on the next day to be moved immediately following the reading of the special rules of order. This results in many members missing that agenda item. This seems to be a violation of some principle. What is that principle and what is the status of motions addressed in the earlier time?
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