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Membership Status Reversed


burlee04

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For years, our non-profit club has allowed spouses of Active Members to bypass the 2-year Associate Membership requirement, and they become instant "Active" Members with full voting rights.

My husband was granted such status this year. He subsequently voted on judges for upcoming events, etc. Sunday I received an email that his Active (full) Membership status is being reversed (remember, he's already voted on issues) to Associate Membership status with no rights to vote for two years.

My questions: (1) Can this be done if precedence is already set? (2) If so, shouldn't all the Active Memberships who never had to wait thru the 2-year Associate membership process be reversed? (3) If not reversed, shouldn't the members granted Active status and who've voted be grandfathered in? (4) Shouldn't this new decision take effect at the new membership renewal? (5) If a couple applies for full, Active Membership, instead of a combined application shouldn't they each have to submit their own, individual one?

Thank you in advance for any help you can provide.

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(1) Can this be done if precedence is already set?

Do the bylaws require that someone has to be an Associate Member for 2 years before becoming an Active Member?

(2) If so, shouldn't all the Active Memberships who never had to wait thru the 2-year Associate membership process be reversed? (3) If not reversed, shouldn't the members granted Active status and who've voted be grandfathered in? (4) Shouldn't this new decision take effect at the new membership renewal? (5) If a couple applies for full, Active Membership, instead of a combined application shouldn't they each have to submit their own, individual one?

The answers to these questions depends on the answer to the first question.

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Bylaws excerpt below. Spouses, through the 2011 membership renewals, were added for $15 and were granted automatic Active (full) membership status with voting rights. Ballots were voted on between Jan. 1 and June 19, 2011. On June 19, I received a note that my husband's Active Membership has been reversed to Assoc. Membership. As precedence had been set in preceding years to allow spouses automatic full membership, and ballots have gone out, can a board change such memberships in the middle of the year? Shouldn't this new policy go into effect 1/1/2012? If backtracking, shouldn't all Active Members who never went thru a 2-year Assoc. Member status also be reversed? Wouldn't their votes have to be discounted? Help! Thanks.

Excerpt:

“Associate Membership” is open to all persons 18 years of age and older who are residents of the

United States. Associate Members shall enjoy all the privileges of the PWDCA except the right to

vote, hold office, participate in the Breeder Referral Program. Associate members and shall not count

in the determination of a quorum. After two years from the date of being approved as an Associate

Member by the PWDCA Board, Associate Members may apply for Active Membership. However,

Associate Members need not apply for Active Membership and may continue as Associate Members

for an indefinite period of time.

b. “Active Membership” with all rights, privileges, and responsibilities shall be open to all individuals

18 years of age or older who have been an Associate Member for at least two years and who are

residents of the United States. If an Active Member becomes an International Member, the status as

an Active Member will continue.

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b. “Active Membership” with all rights, privileges, and responsibilities shall be open to all individuals

18 years of age or older who have been an Associate Member for at least two years and who are

residents of the United States.

The wording in bold clearly states that you must be an Associate member for at least 2 years in order to become an Active Member so the bylaws are finally being complied with (although whether the Board has the authority to change the rules like that-no matter how correctly-is another question you all will need to decide for yourselves). I would STRONGLY urge you all contact a local parliamentarian ASAP to assist you all (this is WAY beyond what a bunch of folks over the computer can handle) because every spouse who bypassed the Associate Membership step were for (at least) two years improperly voting on all motions and any time that their votes could have affected the results of the vote that action is null and void (RONR p. 244[d]). In other words you all are in a heap of pickles. :(

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Where is the discrimination?

(And oh -- I was beginning to worry about the dog clubs.)

The discrimination "could" be in that all others who skipped the 2-year Assoc. requirement aren't having their memberships reversed, but now the board is backtracking to those who paid their dues in late 2010 only. And since my original post, I've been told, by the board, that my husband and I are the only married couple who had one person's membership reversed. (If two people are in the same household but not legally married (whether same sex or not), I totally agree that the one party should have to apply under their own application.) My husband got full membership. He's voted on issues. The new membership book came out and he's listed as a full member in the book.

Our Bylaws don't even state that married couples can join as one. Technically, to nit pick, each individual wanting to be a member, whether married or not, should have to apply independently.

I agree the Bylaws weren't adhered to by the club for years. So, start in 2012. But don't go backwards and just reverse a select few.

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I agree the Bylaws weren't adhered to by the club for years. So, start in 2012. But don't go backwards and just reverse a select few.

The problem with that approach is that those who were "admitted" as members in violation of the bylaws were never members at all. It matters not whether they were listed as members, thought they were membners, everyone else thought they were members, or whatever. You may have a good point about selective enforcement, but the proper solution is to enforce against all who were not properly admitted. That will not help your husband; he still will need to go through the proper procedure, as will all of the others. And if it can be proven that the result of any vote could have been affected by the vote of non-members, that vote is null and void.

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Raising points of order to invalidate past actions could literally destroy the society. Start following the rules and move on.

You have a good point, George. The problem is that there may be members (now or at some time in the future) who are so disgruntled that they do not care of the society is destroyed. I believe all of those who were not properly admitted as members must either be properly admitted as soon as possible, or told that they were admitted in error and are not in fact members; but I would not advocate deliberatly going back through the records to see if there are any decisions that could be invalidated. For most ordinary decisions, where the vote was taken by voice, it probably would be impossible anyway.

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You have a good point, George. The problem is that there may be members (now or at some time in the future) who are so disgruntled that they do not care of the society is destroyed. I believe all of those who were not properly admitted as members must either be properly admitted as soon as possible, or told that they were admitted in error and are not in fact members; but I would not advocate deliberatly going back through the records to see if there are any decisions that could be invalidated. For most ordinary decisions, where the vote was taken by voice, it probably would be impossible anyway.

We're on the same page my friend. :)

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