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Cancellation of a Meeting


Guest Georgia

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For an organization with a Board of Directors and the bylaws do not cover cancellation of a meeting - but the bylaws do state that meetings shall be run in accordance with Roberts Rules of Order. Okay - my question. For a regularly scheduled meeting - does it take a quorum (for us a simple majority) to cancel a meeting, even if the vote is via email? Circumstance is president unable to attend, apparently contacted VP and they decided to cancel the meeting. Is that in accordance with Roberts Rules of Order? My brain just tells me that the Board itself should be involved in those decisions. There are people who have prepared minutes from last meeting, treasurer's reports, publication reports, etc., as well as ongoing issues. Things seem to me to be getting sloppy and I would like to be able to either accept that this was handled appropriately in accordance to Roberts, or I would like to be able to cite the Roberts Rule that guides us on how a meeting is cancelled. Thank you in advance.

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There is no provision in RONR for canceling a properly scheduled meeting.

So go ahead and hold it with or without the president. And, if you have a quorum, go ahead and conduct business. You might even want to adopt a resolution censuring the president for attempting to cancel a meeting.

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I'm shocked - I would think there would be protocol - I would think a quorum at least. If we choose in a meeting to cancel and upcoming meeting we vote. Hmm - I'm amazed. Thank you for your answer.

Often regular meetings are scheduled by the bylaws. You can't cancel a meeting that has been scheduled by the bylaws.

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For a regularly scheduled meeting - does it take a quorum (for us a simple majority) to cancel a meeting, even if the vote is via email?

It depends on how the meeting was scheduled in the first place. In any event, e-mail votes are not permitted unless permitted by the Bylaws or required by applicable law.

There is no provision in RONR for canceling a properly scheduled meeting.

If the assembly schedules its meetings by resolution, the resolution could be rescinded or amended.

Circumstance is president unable to attend, apparently contacted VP and they decided to cancel the meeting. Is that in accordance with Roberts Rules of Order?

No.

I'm shocked - I would think there would be protocol - I would think a quorum at least. If we choose in a meeting to cancel and upcoming meeting we vote.

Well, it depends on how the meetings are scheduled. If the meeting schedule is in the Bylaws, then a meeting could only be canceled by amending the Bylaws (which is generally not a practical option), unless the Bylaws provide for some other method. If the meetings are scheduled by resolution, the resolution could be rescinded or amended, which requires a 2/3 vote, a vote of a majority of the entire membership, or a majority vote with previous notice. Either way, a quorum must be present for the assembly to conduct business.

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If the assembly schedules its meetings by resolution, the resolution could be rescinded or amended.

Since, per p.89, notice must be sent in advance of each such meeting, I think I'm inclined to argue that the sending of the notice for a particular meeting completes the action authorized by the resolution and, therefore, there's nothing left to rescind or amend (for that particular meeting). Otherwise, what procedure is in place (e.g. when is it too late) for notifying all members that the meeting has been cancelled? I see none.

You can't un-ring the bell.

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Since, per p.89, notice must be sent in advance of each such meeting, I think I'm inclined to argue that the sending of the notice for a particular meeting completes the action authorized by the resolution and, therefore, there's nothing left to rescind or amend (for that particular meeting). Otherwise, what procedure is in place (e.g. when is it too late) for notifying all members that the meeting has been cancelled? I see none.

You can't un-ring the bell.

I was thinking more of an assembly which schedules several meetings in one resolution, and wishes to cancel (or change) the date of a meeting that has been scheduled further out - and thus, the call has not yet been sent. Since decisions must be made at a meeting under RONR, it will not be practical to cancel the upcoming meeting.

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Since, per p.89, notice must be sent in advance of each such meeting, I think I'm inclined to argue that the sending of the notice for a particular meeting completes the action authorized by the resolution and, therefore, there's nothing left to rescind or amend (for that particular meeting). Otherwise, what procedure is in place (e.g. when is it too late) for notifying all members that the meeting has been cancelled? I see none.

You can't un-ring the bell.

I would think that the action is not complete until the meeting (the one set in the future by resolution) is called to order. Allowing for that, let's say the meeting is set for two months out. It is later accepted by most members that the date will ultimately not work out. A special meeting is called (yes, the bylaws allow them with 14 days notice) to Amend the resolution and change the date of the upcoming meeting. Maybe?

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I would think that the action is not complete until the meeting (the one set in the future by resolution) is called to order. Allowing for that, let's say the meeting is set for two months out. It is later accepted by most members that the date will ultimately not work out. A special meeting is called (yes, the bylaws allow them with 14 days notice) to Amend the resolution and change the date of the upcoming meeting. Maybe?

I think the question here is not whether the action is carried out but whether this would violate the rights of absentees, and I could see an argument that canceling a properly noticed meeting could violate such rights. Additionally, I doubt it's practical that the assembly would be able to obtain a quorum at the special meeting you're describing.

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OP Georgia, you getting this? A meeting is the organization's essential opportunity to express its will. To cancel a meeting therefore fundamentally prevents the organization from saying what it wants done. So cancelling a meeting emasculates the organization itself. That's why, I think, Robert's Rules is not big on it.

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A meeting is the organization's essential opportunity to express its will. To cancel a meeting therefore fundamentally prevents the organization from saying what it wants done.

But what if the organization (that is, by a majority, or perhaps even especially 2/3, of the members) doesn't want to express its will? What if they favor the status quo, and have nothing else to say about it? Why can't it (or they, more accurately) cancel the meeting then?

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But what if the organization (that is, by a majority, or perhaps even especially 2/3, of the members) doesn't want to express its will? What if they favor the status quo, and have nothing else to say about it? Why can't it (or they, more accurately) cancel the meeting then?

I think the preceding discussion makes it reasonably clear that a meeting can be cancelled under certain circumstances, and not under others. So what circumstances do you have in mind? :)

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  • 11 months later...
Guest sheilaandroy@aol.com

What if, at a Board meeting the next meeting was scheduled by the majoity of that Board.  And the membership of the club was advised of the next meeting and the time and place was the same as always been.  Now, we get a huge snow storm, some of the Board members will be at an event in another State and want to change it to "that state, another date and time".  Which will not be fair to anyone else to attend as the meeting is miles away again in another state.  Would that be ok?  Can not the President cancel the meeting altogether due to weather and reschedule it when the Board and its other club members can meet in the State and place it normally does?

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What if, at a Board meeting the next meeting was scheduled by the majoity of that Board.  And the membership of the club was advised of the next meeting and the time and place was the same as always been.  Now, we get a huge snow storm, some of the Board members will be at an event in another State and want to change it to "that state, another date and time".  Which will not be fair to anyone else to attend as the meeting is miles away again in another state.  Would that be ok?  Can not the President cancel the meeting altogether due to weather and reschedule it when the Board and its other club members can meet in the State and place it normally does?

 

Unless your bylaws provide otherwise, there is no method to cancel or reschedule the meeting in advance (except at another meeting, which doesn't seem applicable here). Those members who attend the meeting can set up an adjourned meeting at a time and place of their choosing. This can be done even in the absence of a quorum, and even if this is horribly inconvenient for everyone else... although I imagine doing so may cause difficulty in obtaining a quorum and may bode ill for those responsible when the next election rolls around. :)

 

For future reference, it's generally best to post a new question as a new topic, even if an existing topic seems similar.

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What if, at a Board meeting the next meeting was scheduled by the majoity of that Board.  And the membership of the club was advised of the next meeting and the time and place was the same as always been.  Now, we get a huge snow storm, some of the Board members will be at an event in another State and want to change it to "that state, another date and time".  Which will not be fair to anyone else to attend as the meeting is miles away again in another state.  Would that be ok?  Can not the President cancel the meeting altogether due to weather and reschedule it when the Board and its other club members can meet in the State and place it normally does?

 

If you're talking about the board scheduling or un-scheduling meetings of the membership, the board doesn't have that authority in the first place, unless the bylaws (or superior rules) gives that authority to it.  But if the board does have the authority, then not the president, nor anybody else, has the authority to countermand that decision of the board's -- unless, of course, the bylaws or those other rules do give that authority to him.

 

The part about fairness is, if you do give the board the authority to schedule your membership meetings, you are entrusting the board with the decision as to what's fair or not.

 

OH, and while I usually agree with advising posters that it's best to post a new question as a new topic, I think this one is fine, both because it seamlessly continues Guest_Georgia's discussion from 3 January 2013, and because it's so deliciously almost to the year.  It could become a tradition.  Like that Anne Hathaway movie.

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