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Point of Order on a Point of Order


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A Point of Order was made on a Motion that is violated the constitution.

Chair Ruled against and his ruling was appealed.

During the Debate, Someone realized that the person who made the motion was not a member and raised that as a point.

Debate continued and the vote overturned the Chair's ruling.

Things worked out, but was wondering what would have been the correct way.

So

My question is - During the debate on the appeal of constitutionality ruling by chair:

1. Could someone raise a point of order on the main motion being out of order because the person was not allowed to make a motion.

2a. Would that point take prescience over the current appeal of chairs ruling on previous point,so that the chair would have to rule on the new point

2b. If that ruling was appealed, would its debate and vote taken first.

2c. If for some reason the point (and appeal) failed, then would things go back to vote on appeal of chairs initial ruling.

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So

My question is - During the debate on the appeal of constitutionality ruling by chair:

1. Could someone raise a point of order on the main motion being out of order because the person was not allowed to make a motion.

2a. Would that point take prescience over the current appeal of chairs ruling on previous point,so that the chair would have to rule on the new point

2b. If that ruling was appealed, would its debate and vote taken first.

2c. If for some reason the point (and appeal) failed, then would things go back to vote on appeal of chairs initial ruling.

Just expanding. Once the original point of order was appealed, it would be too late to rule the point of order out of order on the ground that the person making it was not a member.

The "non member point of order" would be ruled on upon being raised. What would be pending was the appeal of point of order that the motion violated the constitution.

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Just expanding. Once the original point of order was appealed, it would be too late to rule the point of order out of order on the ground that the person making it was not a member.

The "non member point of order" would be ruled on upon being raised. What would be pending was the appeal of point of order that the motion violated the constitution.

It's not entirely clear, but I think it was the main motion which was made by a non-member (which would still mean the point would not be timely in this scenario).

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Maybe I don't understand the responses but you guys can set me straight on what you're saying. Once the original point of order regarding the violation of the constitution was made, ruled upon, and now it's in the middle of an appeal, why is any point of order (other than one arising out of the appeal process itself) in order before the appeal is decided upon?

Edited by George Mervosh
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Maybe I don't understand the responses but you guys can set me straight on what you're saying. Once the original point of order regarding the violation of the constitution was made, ruled upon, and now it's in the middle of an appeal, why is any point of order (other than one arising out of the appeal process itself) in order before the appeal is decided upon?

I don't think it would be, and I certainly wasn't trying to suggest otherwise.

I'll let J. J. speak for himself. :)

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It's not entirely clear, but I think it was the main motion which was made by a non-member (which would still mean the point would not be timely in this scenario).

Just to be clear, the second point of order was made on the main motion.

So Order was:

Main Motion.

Point Made on main motion violating constitution.

Chair Decides.

Appeal Chair decision.

Debate on Appeal.

During Debate on Appeal, Different point raised on main motion being made by non-member.

Now What?

So which gets done first? Debate and Vote on Appeal, or does the chair have to rule on the second point first (See Original post for my other questions.)

Also, how is the second Point not timely. No debate has begun on main motion. The debate is on the appeal of the chair ruling.

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So which gets done first? Debate and Vote on Appeal, or does the chair have to rule on the second point first

While an Appeal is pending the only time that a Point of Order should be entertained is if the violation of the rules has something to do with the question at hand (such as if someone was breaking decorum in debate or someone who is not the Chair tries to speak a second time in debate). The Point of Order that a nonmember made the Main Motion should be ruled not in order while the Appeal is pending. However, after the Appeal is disposed of the Point of Order can then be dealt with.

Also, how is the second Point not timely. No debate has begun on main motion. The debate is on the appeal of the chair ruling.

That is a good question. I don't think that when there are competing Points of Order where one member is a bit slower in rising and calling out "Point of Order" than another member that he should be penalized (provided that his Point of Order would have been timely if he wasn't beaten to it by another member).

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While an Appeal is pending the only time that a Point of Order should be entertained is if the violation of the rules has something to do with the question at hand (such as if someone was breaking decorum in debate or someone who is not the Chair tries to speak a second time in debate). The Point of Order that a nonmember made the Main Motion should be ruled not in order while the Appeal is pending. However, after the Appeal is disposed of the Point of Order can then be dealt with.

As a practical matter, I'm not sure I see the logic in this. If the conclusion of the Appeal is that the motion is not in order because it violates the Constitution, then the other Point of Order is moot. On the other hand, if the assembly is willing to spend the time to debate the constitutionality of the measure and ultimately determines it is in order, it seems likely that at least two members support the motion, and thus at that point, the other Point of Order seems pointless.

Just to be clear, the second point of order was made on the main motion.

So Order was:

Main Motion.

Point Made on main motion violating constitution.

Chair Decides.

Appeal Chair decision.

Debate on Appeal.

During Debate on Appeal, Different point raised on main motion being made by non-member.

Now What?

So which gets done first? Debate and Vote on Appeal, or does the chair have to rule on the second point first (See Original post for my other questions.)

Also, how is the second Point not timely. No debate has begun on main motion. The debate is on the appeal of the chair ruling.

If the motion is ruled out of order on the grounds that it was made by a non-member, then it seems likely (given the support for the motion) that an actual member will then make the motion and you'll be right back where you started. So why bother? Just have the chair keep better track of who the members are in the future.

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Messrs. Harrison, Mervosh, and Martin:

"While an Appeal is pending the only time that a Point of Order should be entertained is if the violation of the rules has something to do with the question at hand..." (Harrison, Post 10; apparent concurrence by the others cited)

If you please, where does the book provide this limitation?

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In other words ...

... Once the original point of order regarding the violation of the constitution was made, ruled upon, and now it's in the middle of an appeal, why is any point of order (other than one arising out of the appeal process itself) in order before the appeal is decided upon?
(Post 7)

... What in RONR would prohibit it? ISTM that p. 256, line 27, "Can be applied to any ruling by the presiding officer," explicitly says it's proper, unless you figure that the exceptions that follow are applicable, which I don't see. What have you got?

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In other words ...

(Post 7)

... What in RONR would prohibit it? ISTM that p. 256, line 27, "Can be applied to any ruling by the presiding officer," explicitly says it's proper, unless you figure that the exceptions that follow are applicable, which I don't see. What have you got?

SDC 1 for Point of Order and for Appeal answer this question for you.

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SDC 1 for Point of Order and for Appeal answer this question for you.

An hour and a half of four re-readings do not yield it for me. I regret getting you out of bed pointlessly on this ... but a lovely indigo pre-sunup now on the US East Coast, no? -- unless the timonium radiation impedes the view?

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We're in no hurry. Take as long a time as you need.

Ha! Very funny indeed, but let me see if I can help speed up the process (bearing in mind always the risk of thereby slowing it down).

p. 256: "An Appeal . . . yields to incidental motions arising out of itself."

p. 247: "A Point of Order . . . Takes precedence over any pending questions out of which it may arise."

pp. 72-74: "Incidental motions take precedence over other motions according to the following principle: An incidental motion is in order only when it is legitimately incidental to another pending motion, or when it is legitimately incidental in some other way to business at hand (see p. 69); it then takes precedence over any other motions that are pending. . . . Usually, but not always, an incidental motion is legitimately incidental to another pending motion only while the other motion is immediately pending.

". . . By the principle stated in the preceding paragraph, an incidental motion yields to any motion legitimately incidental to itself—as all motions do. . . .

"While a series consisting of a main motion and a number of subsidiary or privileged motions is being considered, it is possible for some of the incidental motions—such as a Point of Order, an Appeal, or a Division of the Assembly—to arise more than once, in connection with different motions in the series." [Original emphasis omitted; my emphasis added. The last paragraph is not strictly relevant, but we can use a little imagination to make it relevant.]

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As a practical matter, I'm not sure I see the logic in this. If the conclusion of the Appeal is that the motion is not in order because it violates the Constitution, then the other Point of Order is moot. On the other hand, if the assembly is willing to spend the time to debate the constitutionality of the measure and ultimately determines it is in order, it seems likely that at least two members support the motion, and thus at that point, the other Point of Order seems pointless.

During consideration of the Appeal, the assembly is only supposed to be determining whether the main motion violates the Constitution or not. In theory, the assembly may feel that the chair is completely off base in his ruling, and not wish to allow a bad precedent to be set, without anyone (other than the maker of the motion, who might not even be a member) being actually in favor of considering the measure at that time.

If the motion is ruled out of order on the grounds that it was made by a non-member, then it seems likely (given the support for the motion) that an actual member will then make the motion and you'll be right back where you started. So why bother? Just have the chair keep better track of who the members are in the future.

Why not bother? Non-members shouldn't be making motions; and raising a Point of Order, instead of trying to guess whether any member actually supports the motion, will provide an incentive for the chair to keep better track of who the members are in the future.

As far as the original scenario goes, if the assembly wanted to handle the simpler Point of Order (regarding the maker of the motion not being a member) first, the whole question of order (Point of Order / chair's ruling / Appeal) regarding constitutionality* could have been withdrawn by unanimous consent, and then the chair could rule on the simpler point. If any member then wanted to make the main motion, the Point of Order that it violates the constitution could be raised again and appealed again.

Or one Point of Order could have been raised to cover both questions of order at the same time, and the chair would presumably rule that point well taken, since one of the reasons (i.e., that the maker of the motion was a non-member) would be uncontested. If any member then made the main motion, another Point of Order could be raised on just the question whether the motion itself violates the constitution, and then the chair's ruling could be appealed if necessary.

* What a great word, constitutionality. Is there a word for the state of being in accordance with the bylaws? Bylegality, maybe? (Not to be confused with billegailty or even bilegality.)

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As far as the original scenario goes, if the assembly wanted to handle the simpler Point of Order (regarding the maker of the motion not being a member) first, the whole question of order (Point of Order / chair's ruling / Appeal) regarding constitutionality* could have been withdrawn by unanimous consent, and then the chair could rule on the simpler point. If any member then wanted to make the main motion, the Point of Order that it violates the constitution could be raised again and appealed again.

An excellent solution that I had not considered.

So it looks like Mr. Harrison had it right in Post #10.

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Assume that the body is split on the issue, so the chance of withdrawing the first point/appeal is not going to happen.

Also assume that the second point on non-member motion is not as simple as it seems, so it needs to be considered and regardless of decision will also probably result in an appeal.

The way I read RONR, is that the point can only be made when the motion is pending. Since the appeal has to finish before the motion is back in play, that process must finish and the only points that could be made would be about the appeal (for instance if the non-member had made the motion to appeal).

Is that how you read it?

Wondering more from a intellectual exercise on what is correct vs how to handle?

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Since the appeal has to finish before the motion is back in play, that process must finish..

Just be aware that if the chair's ruling or the result of the appeal is that the motion is declared in violation of the constitution, then that motion will not be 'back in play' - ["No main motion is in order that conflicts with the corporate charter, constitution, or bylaws..." (RONR. 11th ed. p. 111, ll.4-10)] - so I think a subsequent point of order about the motion being made by a non-member would probably be moot.

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Assume that the body is split on the issue, so the chance of withdrawing the first point/appeal is not going to happen.

Well, it could still happen if the member who made the first point/appeal is willing to withdraw it, since a majority vote can grant permission to withdraw a motion,

The Point of Order and Appeal could always be raised again after the debate on the membership issue was finished - it doesn't mean they're giving up on that issue. Since the membership issue is apparently more complex than it would seem, however, perhaps this wouldn't be desirable after all.

Also assume that the second point on non-member motion is not as simple as it seems, so it needs to be considered and regardless of decision will also probably result in an appeal.

There is a dispute as to whether the individual is a member?

The way I read RONR, is that the point can only be made when the motion is pending. Since the appeal has to finish before the motion is back in play, that process must finish and the only points that could be made would be about the appeal (for instance if the non-member had made the motion to appeal).

Is that how you read it?

Yes, that is my understanding. After the Appeal had concluded, if the assembly determined the motion was constitutional, a Point of Order could then be raised that the motion was out of order since it was made by a non-member.

I concur with Mr. Lages, however, that if the assembly concludes that the motion is out of order due to being unconstitutional, then the motion would no longer be before the assembly, and at that time a Point of Order that a non-member had made the motion would be moot and certainly would not be timely.

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Ha! Very funny indeed, but let me see if I can help speed up the process (bearing in mind always the risk of thereby slowing it down).

p. 256: "An Appeal . . . yields to incidental motions arising out of itself."

p. 247: "A Point of Order . . . Takes precedence over any pending questions out of which it may arise."

pp. 72-74: "Incidental motions take precedence over other motions according to the following principle: An incidental motion is in order only when it is legitimately incidental to another pending motion, or when it is legitimately incidental in some other way to business at hand (see p. 69); it then takes precedence over any other motions that are pending. . . . Usually, but not always, an incidental motion is legitimately incidental to another pending motion only while the other motion is immediately pending.

And a Point of Order that the maker of the motion is not a member is not incidental to the ruling/appeal that the motion violates the constitution. Is that it?

If so, I have a followup.

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Guest Nancy N.

J. J., on 06 April 2013 - 08:21 PM, said:

And a Point of Order that the maker of the motion is not a member is not incidental to the ruling/appeal that the motion violates the constitution. Is that it?

Yes.

Mirabile dictu, I thought this from the start (it's part of my issue, if not all of it). How illuminating will be the followup.

CT 2.

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