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Asking a non club member to leave a Board Meeting


Guest Vicki Kepnes

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Guest Vicki Kepnes

We had a Board of Directors Meeting and a member of the Board brought her husband.  We asked him to leave the meeting and he could stay in the kitchen area or wait in his car, as we have never allowed non-members of the club to attend, as financial matters are discussed and we are not a 501-C3.  Is this correct?

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RONR (11th ed.), p. 648, ll. 17-22:  "The chair has the power to require nonmembers to leave the hall, or to order their removal, at any time during the meeting; and the nonmembers have no right of appeal from such an order of the presiding officer.  However, such an order may be appealed by a member."

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RONR (11th ed.), p. 648, ll. 17-22:  "The chair has the power to require nonmembers to leave the hall, or to order their removal, at any time during the meeting; and the nonmembers have not right of appeal from such an order of the presiding officer.  However, such an order may be appealed by a member."

That is true but the part left out was the previous lines (15-17) which say, "An assembly has the right to protect itself from annoyance by nonmembers, and its full authority in this regard - as distinguished from cases involving disorderly members - can be exercised by the chair acting alone." 

 

Nothing the OP said suggests the nonmember was being annoying or disruptive so that provision wouldn't seem to apply in this case.  If the Board didn't want him there they as a Board could "ask" him to go to the kitchen and (hopefully) tell him where the coffee is while he waited.

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As I read the question, the chair did not rule on this, and nobody was unruly; instead "we" (the board) asked the non-member to leave. 

 

That's completely appropriate.  The board has the right to determine when and if any non-member may attend.  The chair acting unilaterally can exclude non-members only when unruly.

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 . . . we have never allowed non-members of the club to attend . . .

 

Even if the husband was a member of the club he'd have no right to attend a meeting of the board if he wasn't a board member. In other words, the board is as free to exclude members of the club (who aren't board members) as it is to exclude non-members of the club.

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