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Charges file against officers


Guest Mitch - CRYC

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Guest Mitch - CRYC

Charges was filed against 2 of our officers. Our constitution states that when this happens, the officers are suspended, a is scheduled and is conducted by the board of trustees. Within our bylaws, the trustees make the final decision and if their decision is to uphold the charges the officers are removed from office.

Our trustees followed the constitution and bylaws to the letter and upheld the charges filed and the officers was removed from office. In a general membeship meeting a motion was brought up on the floor to ignore the constitution and bylaws and reverse the decision made by the trustees.

From what I remember of Roberts Rules, if a bylaw exist and a process is in place within the constitution and bylaws Roberts Rules cannot over rule it; a motion and vote to aviod/bypass a bylaw is not permitted and is out of order.

Lastly, within our bylaws it clear states that our meetings will be conducted in accordance with Roberts Rules. Our constitution clearly state that a "hearing" is to be held, not a meeting. Would Roberts Rules apply in the case of a hearing?

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Lastly, within our bylaws it clear states that our meetings will be conducted in accordance with Roberts Rules. Our constitution clearly state that a "hearing" is to be held, not a meeting. Would Roberts Rules apply in the case of a hearing?

I think RONR assumes that the hearing takes place at a meeting. In other words, the two terms are not mutually exclusive.

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Our trustees followed the constitution and bylaws to the letter and upheld the charges filed and the officers was removed from office. In a general membeship meeting a motion was brought up on the floor to ignore the constitution and bylaws and reverse the decision made by the trustees.

From what I remember of Roberts Rules, if a bylaw exist and a process is in place within the constitution and bylaws Roberts Rules cannot over rule it; a motion and vote to aviod/bypass a bylaw is not permitted and is out of order.

You are correct. Rules in the Constitution may not be suspended unless they are in the nature of a rule of order (this one isn't) or if the rule provides for its own suspension.

Lastly, within our bylaws it clear states that our meetings will be conducted in accordance with Roberts Rules. Our constitution clearly state that a "hearing" is to be held, not a meeting. Would Roberts Rules apply in the case of a hearing?

I think that so far as RONR is concerned, the hearing you have described is either a portion of a meeting or a special type of meeting, and even if not, I would suggest that RONR would still apply. It's ultimately up to your organization to interpret its own Bylaws (see RONR, 11th ed., pgs. 588-591 for some Principles of Interpretation), but I would always lean toward the interpretation that the parliamentary authority applies in all cases except where it conflicts with the organization's own rules, unless the rule explicitly states otherwise. I've seen rules before that say "Meetings shall be conducted in accordance with Robert's Rules of Order" or something to that effect, but in my experience, this is not intended to suggest that RONR does not apply outside of meetings.

It probably wouldn't hurt to change it to the recommended wording in the future, though.

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