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Secretary position after discipline


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At a recent board meeting, our club president removed from the board meeting and censured the club secretary after repeated points of orders. The club  president called for a penalty and made a motion  of a 30 day suspension of the secretary.  The vote passed 4 to 2.  Now the president is stating that because of the 30 day suspension, the current secretary is removed from the position as well as any other position currently held.  the president is also instructing the secretary to deliver all records of the club to himself. The president feels that the current club secretary can be removed from the position because the 30 day suspension defines the secretary as a member "not in good standing"'  

 

According to our bylaws.  it states that under Article 3 Directors and officers , Section 1 Board of Directors "all of whom shall be members in good standing for at least two (2) years proceeding their nomination and who reside in the United States".

 

Can our club president proceed with these actions in a legal manner.

 

Their are 7 members of our board of directors with three of the members of the board voting with the club president against the secretary as this has become a personal issue with these board members.

 

Without the votes of the board of directors, how can we stop an action which we feel is unjust and not in the bylaws.  Is their a legal authority to contact when a board is acting out of the realm of the current bylaws?  AS a club member and officer of the club,  are their any actions or steps to taken that can help?

 

our club is incorporated in the state of New York.  Is their any legal ramifications or concerns that should be addressed?

 

Help is needed

 

Should we contact a parliamentarian and how and/or where? .And would this even make a difference?

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"Help is needed"

 

Indeed so.  Since your disciplinary procedures are (I sincerely hope) spelled out in your bylaws, they supersede those described in RONR.  So you are on your own figuring out how to use them fairly.  See p. 588 ff. for (some) help in interpreting your bylaws.  

 

Heres a few specialized notes about things in your posting that caught my eye:

 

In Good Standing:

RONR/11 defines the term "member in good standing" on p. 6 in the footnote as referring to a member whose membership rights are not in suspension, either as a consequence of disciplinary proceedings (Chapter XX) or by operation of some specific provision in the bylaws of the organization.

So if you use the phrase "in good standing" in the bylaws, be sure to define exactly what you mean: what causes a member not to be in good standing, what he has to do to get back into the good graces of the association, &c. Also, you should specify which membership rights, duties, privileges, &c. are lost or suspended (or retained) by a member as a consequence of his being in "bad standing" as distinct from his being in good standing or ceasing to be a member at all.

 

"Legal" involves lawyers, not us parliamentarians.

 

If in a meeting when "bad" things happen, you can, and should raise a point of order to point out the problem. Whatever it may be.  But the assumption is that some rule has been violated  --  we can help you only with Robert's rules, not those in your bylaws.

 

Anticipate your
Continuing  big troubles
Are procedural?

Should get in touch with
Real parliamentarian
In your area

As soon as you can
(Not virtual ones like us)
For consultations.

(Can you do Haiku better, please?)

Contact either (or both) the ...

National Association of Parliamentarians
213 South Main St.
Independence, MO  64050-3850

Phone: 888-627-2929
Fax: 816-833-3893;  
e-mail: hq@NAP2.org  
<<www.parliamentarians.org>>

or

American Institute of Parliamentarians
550M Ritchie Highway #271
Severna Park, MD  21146

Phone: 888-664-0428
Fax: 410-544-4640
e-mail: aip@aipparl.org
<<www.aipparl.org>>

for a reference or information.

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At a recent board meeting, our club president removed from the board meeting and censured the club secretary after repeated points of orders. The club  president called for a penalty and made a motion  of a 30 day suspension of the secretary.  The vote passed 4 to 2.  Now the president is stating that because of the 30 day suspension, the current secretary is removed from the position as well as any other position currently held.  the president is also instructing the secretary to deliver all records of the club to himself. The president feels that the current club secretary can be removed from the position because the 30 day suspension defines the secretary as a member "not in good standing"'  

 

According to our bylaws.  it states that under Article 3 Directors and officers , Section 1 Board of Directors "all of whom shall be members in good standing for at least two (2) years proceeding their nomination and who reside in the United States".

 

Can our club president proceed with these actions in a legal manner.

 

I agree with the President that a member who is suspended is "not in good standing." It's not clear, however, that the board has the authority to suspend a member in the first place. While RONR does grant the board the authority to discipline members for misconduct in meetings, the maximum penalty which may be imposed is to require the member to leave for the duration of the meeting. The board does not have the authority to suspend anyone's rights as a member of the society, unless the bylaws so provide. RONR reserves that authority for the general membership.

 

Even if the board does have the authority to suspend the member, then it's not entirely clear to me that the rule in your bylaws would cause a member who is currently in office to lose office if he loses good standing. See RONR, 11th ed., pgs. 588-591 for some Principles of Interpretation.

 

Without the votes of the board of directors, how can we stop an action which we feel is unjust and not in the bylaws. 

 

Raise a Point of Order at a meeting of the general membership, followed by an Appeal if necessary.

 

Is their a legal authority to contact when a board is acting out of the realm of the current bylaws?  AS a club member and officer of the club,  are their any actions or steps to taken that can help?

 

our club is incorporated in the state of New York.  Is their any legal ramifications or concerns that should be addressed?

 

Legal questions should be directed to a lawyer.

 

Should we contact a parliamentarian and how and/or where? .And would this even make a difference?

 

See Dr. Stackpole's post for the how/where. As to whether you should or whether it would make a difference, I'd note that the main role of the parliamentarian is to serve as an advisor on parliamentary procedure on RONR and your organization's rules. Is that what you need?

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