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Interpreting RONR p.463, re:discipline by the Exec Cmte.??

Guest Sam

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RONR, page 463 states in part:

"an organization . . . has the ultimate right . . . to require that its members refrain from conduct injurious to the association or its purposes. No one should be allowed to remain a member if his retention will do this kind of harm."

Our By Laws, under Discipline, authorize our Executive Committee two and only two courses of action (where a formal complaint is made against a member), (1) the Executive Committee "shall investigate" the complaint and then MAY (2) "propose expulsion before the membership at a general meeting".

Our Executive Committee claims they're not bound to only (1) and (2) above. The Executive Committee says they can impose probation, fines, temporary suspension of privileges, and temporary bans on member coming onto club property. The Executive Committee adamantly claims RONR page 463 (as noted a bove) gives them this authority.

I have argued to the Executive Committee that they're interpreting page 463 incorrectly, and that they can ONLY do what the By Laws authorize them to do with regards to discipline, which is "investigate" complaints and "propose expulsion" before the membership.

Who's right? Me or the Executive Committee.

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I think you mean p. 643 (RONR 11th ed.).

I think you're right; after all, the quoted passage says that "an organization or assembly has the ultimate right to..."; it does not say that "an organization's executive committee has the ultimate right to..."

You also may want to read the principles of bylaws interpretation (pp. 588-591), and apply these rules to your executive committee's claim that they can exercise disciplinary options beyond those specified in the bylaws. Principle #4 looks relevant; #5 probably also.

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