Jump to content
The Official RONR Q & A Forums
George Mervosh

Even when there are no absentees.

Recommended Posts

For the purpose of this question, assume these two facts are not in dispute:

 

1) Article V, Section 3 of the Sample Bylaws in RONR applies (p. 586)

 

2) Notice of a special meeting was sent 2 days before the meeting. 

 

All members of the society are present at the appointed time of the meeting and the meeting is called to order.  Immediately after the meeting is called to order, Member A raises a point of order that the notice for the special meeting was sent with less than the required 3 days notice.

 

Questions:

 

1) Should the point of order be well taken?

 

2) If it should be well taken what action should the presiding officer take next?  If not, why not?

 

3) If Member A waits to raise his point of order until after the assembly begins to take up the matter for which the special meeting is called or he participates in any way prior to raising his point, should the point still be well taken?

 

4) If so, what action should the presiding officer take?  If not, why not?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1) Yes.

2) He should rule that the meeting cannot continue as there was not sufficient notice given.

3) No.

4) He should rule that since there were no absentees their rights couldn't have been violated.

 

In my opinion if there were no absentees RONR p. 251(e) wouldn't apply and thus any question regarding sufficient notice would need to be timely (as soon as the meeting was called to order).

 

There could be an interesting twist to this scenario that I might want to throw out there later in another thread (assuming someone else doesn't bring it up first).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1) Should the point of order be well taken?

 

Yes.

 

2) If it should be well taken what action should the presiding officer take next?  If not, why not?

 

The presiding officer may wish to point out that the rule in question may be suspended since there are no absentees, since many members may be unaware of this fact. If no such motion is forthcoming, or if such a motion is made and defeated, the chair should then declare the meeting adjourned. If such a motion is made and adopted, the chair should proceed with the meeting.

 

3) If Member A waits to raise his point of order until after the assembly begins to take up the matter for which the special meeting is called or he participates in any way prior to raising his point, should the point still be well taken?

 

Yes, I think so. I think a Point of Order regarding this issue would be timely up until a motion was actually adopted.

 

4) If so, what action should the presiding officer take?  If not, why not?

 

The same as in #2.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the replies.  I'm having trouble quoting back text on this pad for some reason, but Josh, in your answer to Question #3, specifically the last part of my question, would your answer change if the member had participated in debate or offered a proper amendment?  Mine would, as I don't think a member can claim his rights with respect to this motion's consideration and possible adoption at an improperly called meeting are violated when he's exercising them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For the purpose of this question, assume these two facts are not in dispute:

 

1) Article V, Section 3 of the Sample Bylaws in RONR applies (p. 586)

 

2) Notice of a special meeting was sent 2 days before the meeting. 

 

All members of the society are present at the appointed time of the meeting and the meeting is called to order.  Immediately after the meeting is called to order, Member A raises a point of order that the notice for the special meeting was sent with less than the required 3 days notice.

 

Questions:

 

1) Should the point of order be well taken?

 

2) If it should be well taken what action should the presiding officer take next?  If not, why not?

 

3) If Member A waits to raise his point of order until after the assembly begins to take up the matter for which the special meeting is called or he participates in any way prior to raising his point, should the point still be well taken?

 

4) If so, what action should the presiding officer take?  If not, why not?

 

Since the meeting was not a regular or properly called meeting of the society to begin with, any action taken at it is null and void, even if no point of order is raised at the meeting at all, or if one is raised after some business has been transacted. Not speaking on behalf of my colleagues, it seems evident to me that a rule in the bylaws specifying how meetings are to be called cannot be suspended at all, especially not at a "meeting" held in breach of the rule.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If a rule requiring previous notice of a proposed bylaw amendment is (per p.264) a rule protecting absentees, why isn't a rule requiring previous notice of a special meeting also a rule protecting absentees?

 

And if there are no absentees to protect, why isn't this a case of "no harm, no foul"?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If a rule requiring previous notice of a proposed bylaw amendment is (per p.264) a rule protecting absentees, why isn't a rule requiring previous notice of a special meeting also a rule protecting absentees?

 

And if there are no absentees to protect, why isn't this a case of "no harm, no foul"?

 

A rule requiring a certain number of days' notice of a meeting (I don't think the term "previous notice" applies here) is certainly intended to protect members who might otherwise not be able to attend the meeting, so in that sense it is a rule protecting absentees. But when the bylaws have not at all been complied with in calling the meeting, it's not a question of whether any member is absent from the meeting, since there is no proper meeting of the assembly taking place.

 

The non-existence of absentees is relevant only in a situation where there is some rule that, by its nature, could be suspended if not for the protection it affords to absentees.

 

As far as "no harm, no foul", that may be the case, but the members will have to work out among themselves whether the breach of the bylaws is acceptable. As far as RONR is concerned, it is not acceptable, since an assembly cannot take any action outside a regular or properly called meeting (other than as may be provided specifically in the bylaws).

Edited by Shmuel Gerber

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

The non-existence of absentees is relevant only in a situation where there is some rule that, by its nature, could be suspended if not for the protection it affords to absentees.

 

Thank you for this clarification.  It's quite helpful.  I'll propose a new set of facts in another thread and ask these questions as they relate to the new facts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...