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Guest Kitty Holm

Additions to Standing Rules

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What is the process for adding to an association's Standing Rules?

 

It is necessary to know exactly what you mean when you refer to an association's "Standing Rules." If these rules are a part of an association's governing document (bylaws, for example), then they can be added to or amended only by amending that governing document.

 

If you are referring to individually adopted rules related to the details of administration of the association rather than to parliamentary procedure, such rules can be adopted or changed the same way as any ordinary act of your association can be adopted or changed. A majority vote is sufficient to adopt such a rule. To amend such a rule requires either a two-thirds vote, a majority vote if previous notice has been properly given, or a vote of a majority of the entire membership, any one of which will suffice. These are the kind of rules which RONR (11th ed.) refers to as "standing rules", and are discussed on page 18.

 

Rules relating to parliamentary procedure are referred to as "rules of order", not "standing rules." Rules of order are discussed in RONR (11th ed.) on pages 15-17.

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If you are referring to individually adopted rules related to the details of administration of the association rather than to parliamentary procedure, such rules can be adopted or changed the same way as any ordinary act of your association can be adopted or changed. A majority vote is sufficient to adopt such a rule. To amend such a rule requires either a two-thirds vote, a majority vote if previous notice has been properly given, or a vote of a majority of the entire membership, any one of which will suffice.

 

This may belong in the "advanced discussion" but...

 

If the association wished to add a brand new standing rule to a clearly identified collection of such rules, and the new rule was clearly independent of the existing ones, would that require the RASPA (p. 305) process, or would a simple main motion do the trick?

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This may belong in the "advanced discussion" but...

 

If the association wished to add a brand new standing rule to a clearly identified collection of such rules, and the new rule was clearly independent of the existing ones, would that require the RASPA (p. 305) process, or would a simple main motion do the trick?

 

I think the answer depends upon how this "clearly identified collection of such rules" came into being. If it is simply a compilation of individually adopted rules, gathered together for convenience of reference purposes, that's one thing. If, on the other hand, it was adopted in its entirety by the assembly at some point, then it will need to be amended in order to add to it or otherwise change it in any way.

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If it is simply a compilation of individually adopted rules, gathered together for convenience of reference purposes, that's one thing.

 

Just to be clear (I'm still on my first cup), in this case a main motion would be sufficient to adopt a "new" rule, ultimately to be added to the "clearly identified collection"?

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Guest Wondering

I think the answer depends upon how this "clearly identified collection of such rules" came into being. If it is simply a compilation of individually adopted rules, gathered together for convenience of reference purposes, that's one thing. If, on the other hand, it was adopted in its entirely by the assembly at some point, then it will need to be amended in order to add to it or otherwise change it in any way.

What if it were a combination of both? An initial set adopted in its entirety with individual rules added sporadically throughout the years.

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What if it were a combination of both? An initial set adopted in its entirety with individual rules added sporadically throughout the years.

 

I'd say Mr. Honemann's last sentence indicates that if the "initial set" were adopted as a distinct collection (a single document in its entirety, that is), any additional rules to be adopted over the years would require a motion to Amend Something Previously Adopted. 

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What if it were a combination of both? An initial set adopted in its entirety with individual rules added sporadically throughout the years.

You will have to sort that out from (old-?) minutes to be sure, but it sounds like it would be Dan's (#4) second option:  a "bundle" of rules, all adopted by one vote, additions to which  would indeed be amending something (i.e., the "bundle" of rules) previously adopted.

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Guest Wondering

That's interesting because in many organizations an initial set was likely adopted at the outset or shortly thereafter. Thank you.

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That's interesting because in many organizations an initial set was likely adopted at the outset or shortly thereafter. Thank you.

 

RONR makes a different observation -  "Standing rules generally are not adopted at the time a society is organized, but individually if and when the need arises."  RONR (11th ed.), p. 18

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I'd say Mr. Honemann's last sentence indicates that if the "initial set" were adopted as a distinct collection (a single document in its entirety, that is), any additional rules to be adopted over the years would require a motion to Amend Something Previously Adopted. 

 

I'm not so sure about that. I agree with Dan that if the set of rules "was adopted in its entirety by the assembly at some point, then it will need to be amended in order to add to it or otherwise change it in any way," but this does not necessarily mean that the assembly cannot adopt separate standing rules on other subjects, provided that they do not modify or conflict with what is in the adopted set of rules.

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I'm not so sure about that. I agree with Dan that if the set of rules "was adopted in its entirety by the assembly at some point, then it will need to be amended in order to add to it or otherwise change it in any way," but this does not necessarily mean that the assembly cannot adopt separate standing rules on other subjects, provided that they do not modify or conflict with what is in the adopted set of rules.

 

But wouldn't that fall under the heading of "add to it" [Per Dan] (it meaning the "clearly identified collection of such rules" [Per JD])?

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But wouldn't that fall under the heading of "add to it" [Per Dan] (it meaning the "clearly identified collection of such rules" [Per JD])?

 

No, the newly adopted rule will not fall under the heading of "add to it" unless an attempt is made to add it to it. :)

 

Refer back to post #3, and its reference to a new rule which is "clearly independent of the existing ones." Post #4 was in response to post #3, and must be read in that context.

 

Suppose an organization has adopted, in its entirety, a set of standing rules relating to use of its club house entitled, "Club House Rules." To add to or change this set of rules in any way will require its amendment, but obviously a standing rule relating to making charitable contributions can be adopted without amending the Club House Rules.

 

Now suppose that a motion is made to adopt a rule which, although relating to use of the club house, does not actually conflict with anything in the adopted set of rules and is not offered as an amendment to it. This presents a more difficult question, since I think it is necessary to determine if, at the time the Club House Rules were adopted, it was intended that they be the only rules related to club house use. Normally, I think that this would be the case, but I suppose there can be situations in which it is not. The assembly itself may have to decide the question as to whether or not the new rule is "clearly independent of the existing ones."

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