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Motion to Postpone


SeeCwriter

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I'm not sure how to handle a particular situation.

The Board of Trustees called a special membership meeting to consider a recommendation to the membership to purchase some equipment.

At the special meeting the membership decided they needed more information before they could vote on the matter. So a motion to postpone

was made and passed. Since there was no date or time specified in the motion, I'm assuming that this is the equivalent of a motion

to postpone indefinitely. Although the intent of the motion was to delay the vote until the additional information could be presented. If

correct, what is the proper way to reconsider the motion before the membership in another special meeting?

Do we call the special meeting, then have one of the members make a motion to reconsider the original motion?

Steve

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Do we call the special meeting, then have one of the members make a motion to reconsider the original motion?

No - the time in which the motion to reconsider could have been used is over (RONR, 10th ed. p.304-305 - It would have to have been made at the same meeting). But you can now just call another special meeting with the recommendation to the membership as the noticed business. Then if you want more information, use the motion to commit/refer (RONR, 10th ed. p. 160) to establish a committee with instructions to report back to the membership at a specified time.

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Since there was no date or time specified in the motion, I'm assuming that this is the equivalent of a motion

to postpone indefinitely.

No, the motion to Postpone Indefinitely is a completely different motion, and its effect is to kill the main motion. The unqualified motion to Postpone means the motion to Postpone to a Certain Time but if the time is actually uncertain then a reasonable assumption is that it is a postponement until the next meeting. This can mean the next regular meeting, or if that's too long to wait, another special meeting called for that same purpose

Do we call the special meeting, then have one of the members make a motion to reconsider the original motion?

You can just call a special meeting and take the matter up where you left off. You could also have referred it to a committee to do the actual research on whatever information was needed, or you could have adjourned the first special meeting to another time (or place) and continued the consideration of the question.

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No, the motion to Postpone Indefinitely is a completely different motion, and its effect is to kill the main motion. The unqualified motion to Postpone means the motion to Postpone to a Certain Time but if the time is actually uncertain then a reasonable assumption is that it is a postponement until the next meeting. This can mean the next regular meeting, or if that's too long to wait, another special meeting called for that same purpose

You can just call a special meeting and take the matter up where you left off. You could also have referred it to a committee to do the actual research on whatever information was needed, or you could have adjourned the first special meeting to another time (or place) and continued the consideration of the question.

A motion to Postpone Definitely adopted at a regular meeting cannot be used to postpone an item to a special meeting. Since no adjourned meeting was set, the motion to Postpone Definitely could only be used to postpone the item to later in the same meeting or the next regular meeting. Either way, the result at this point is that the motion is scheduled to come up at the next regular meeting (under either General Orders or Unfinished Business). To call up the motion before that time requires a motion to Suspend the Rules.

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A motion to Postpone Definitely adopted at a regular meeting cannot be used to postpone an item to a special meeting. Since no adjourned meeting was set, the motion to Postpone Definitely could only be used to postpone the item to later in the same meeting or the next regular meeting. Either way, the result at this point is that the motion is scheduled to come up at the next regular meeting (under either General Orders or Unfinished Business). To call up the motion before that time requires a motion to Suspend the Rules.

Why not? If the motion is read to "postpone the motion until June 15th", does this not mean that a special meeting would be required if the next regular meeting is not on June 15th.

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Why not? If the motion is read to "postpone the motion until June 15th", does this not mean that a special meeting would be required if the next regular meeting is not on June 15th.

And what if the bylaws don't allow for special meetings to begin with?

I think p. 175 ll. 27-31 covers it. I think p. 175 l. 31ff also supports that a motion can't be postponed to any old day and time if there isn't a meeting at that day/time to which to postpone.

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Why not?

Special meetings are, by definition, called to take up items which arise between regular meetings and cannot wait until the next regular meeting. Such meetings are, therefore, called between regular meetings. Motions may not be postponed to meetings which do not yet exist.

There is, however, a better way. If an assembly wishes to postpone an item to a date before the next regular meeting, the proper course of action is to first set up an adjourned meeting.

If the motion is read to "postpone the motion until June 15th", does this not mean that a special meeting would be required if the next regular meeting is not on June 15th.

No, it does not mean that. If there is no regular or adjourned meeting scheduled for June 15th, the chair should rule the motion out of order. The assembly would need to first adopt a motion to Fix the Time to Which to Adjourn to create an adjourned meeting on June 15th, and the motion may then be postponed to that meeting.

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A motion to Postpone Definitely adopted at a regular meeting cannot be used to postpone an item to a special meeting.

But this motion was not adopted at a regular meeting; it was adopted at a special meeting and postponed to a Time Uncertain. Can the assembly then not reach it again before the next regular meeting except under suspension of the rules?

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But this motion was not adopted at a regular meeting; it was adopted at a special meeting and postponed to a Time Uncertain. Can the assembly then not reach it again before the next regular meeting except under suspension of the rules?

Yes. While I missed the fact that the original meeting was a special meeting, it doesn't change anything. While the motion to Postpone Definitely was incomplete, none of the legitimate options involve postponing the motion to a special meeting of a new session. The motion may be brought up at a special meeting if notice is given, but it will require a motion to Suspend the Rules.

Of course, the next time someone says, "I move to postpone the motion," the chair should figure out what the member is attempting to do, so the assembly is not required to sort through the mess afterward.

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Of course, the next time someone says, "I move to postpone the motion," the chair should figure out what the member is attempting to do, so the assembly is not required to sort through the mess afterward.

Absolutely. There's a bit of irony in calling a special meeting to address an item that purportedly "cannot wait" until the next regular meeting, and then claim more time is needed. Better had the needed info been gathered while the next meeting approached, and a well-researched motion been brought up under new business at the regular meeting.

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Absolutely. There's a bit of irony in calling a special meeting to address an item that purportedly "cannot wait" until the next regular meeting, and then claim more time is needed. Better had the needed info been gathered while the next meeting approached, and a well-researched motion been brought up under new business at the regular meeting.

Well, I think the proper course of action would have been to set up an adjourned meeting and postpone the item to that meeting. The fact that the motion was not yet ready at this special meeting does not necessarily mean it can wait until the next regular meeting.

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