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Suspend the Rules related to Reconsider

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A board was given new information about a motion adopted two weeks earlier.  This motion was adopted at that meeting after being reconsidered.  In the current meeting they moved to suspend the rules related to the motion to reconsider so they could reconsider the two weeks old motion.  (I know, they should have used rescind, but their advisor [not me] told them they had to move to reconsider.)  Their special rules allow them to "waive" their rules by a 4/5 vote.  The vote to suspend the rules was unanimous.  Can all the rules of reconsider be suspended at one time?  If they are suspended, does that still apply to the listed motions that are out of order?

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"Can all the rules of reconsider be suspended at one time?"  Yes, but that is a generalized question.

 

"If they are suspended, does that still apply to the listed motions that are out of order?"  Yes. 

 

What the board did was out of order, based on p. 251 b.  However, it appears to have been done by a vote neccessary to rescind the main motion (p. 251,  ll. 12-13), so it too late to raise a point of order.  If the motion required something other than a 2/3 vote, or it didn't enough votes to rescind in the circumstance, a point of order could still be raised.  :)

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Their special rules allow them to "waive" their rules by a 4/5 vote.  The vote to suspend the rules was unanimous.

 

Wouldn't that render whatever RONR had to say on the subject moot?

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A board was given new information about a motion adopted two weeks earlier.  This motion was adopted at that meeting after being reconsidered.  In the current meeting they moved to suspend the rules related to the motion to reconsider so they could reconsider the two weeks old motion.  (I know, they should have used rescind, but their advisor [not me] told them they had to move to reconsider.)  Their special rules allow them to "waive" their rules by a 4/5 vote.  The vote to suspend the rules was unanimous.  Can all the rules of reconsider be suspended at one time?  If they are suspended, does that still apply to the listed motions that are out of order?

 

Yes, the rules that interfered with reconsideration of the motion adopted (upon reconsideration) two weeks earlier could be suspended, and apparently were.

 

I don't know why J.J. thinks that p. 251 b. has anything to do with this, but maybe I have the facts wrong.

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Yes, the rules that interfered with reconsideration of the motion adopted (upon reconsideration) two weeks earlier could be suspended, and apparently were.

 

I don't know why J.J. thinks that p. 251 b. has anything to do with this, but maybe I have the facts wrong.

 

I don't think that you could suspend the rules beyond the current session, which is being done by making a motion limited to one session being in order in another session.  There has been a suggestion that rules may be suspended only prospectively.

 

A given main motion,  Motion A, is adopted at the June monthly meeting.  An attempt to reconsider Motion A at the July (or a subsequent) monthly meeting is out of order.    The members at the June meeting knew that no further action could be taken in regard to Motion A, except by R/ASPA, once the June meeting adjourned finally (and there was no Reconsider and Enter).

 

The rules were suspended to permit reconsider to made in regard to the now adopted Motion A at the July meeting.  That would violate the rights of any member absent at the July meeting who knew that Motion A could not be reconsidered.  Suspending the rule to permit reconsider something adopted at the previous session would violate the rights of those absentees.

 

Now, those presumed absentees also knew that  Motion A could amended or repealed by the vote required to R/ASPA, which includes a 2/3 vote.  In this process, there was a 2/3 vote to permit some changes to be made in Motion A.  The changes in Motion A were permitted by a vote needed for R/ASPA, which triggers p. 251, ll. 12-15.

 

In other words, had main Motion A been reconsidered at the July meeting, even without suspending the rules, but without a point of point of order being raised, and the changes in Motion A been adopted by the vote needed to R/ASPA, the changes would be comply with p. 251, ll. 12-15, and would be properly adopted.

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The rules were suspended to permit reconsider to made in regard to the now adopted Motion A at the July meeting.  That would violate the rights of any member absent at the July meeting who knew that Motion A could not be reconsidered.  Suspending the rule to permit reconsider something adopted at the previous session would violate the rights of those absentees.

 

 

Rules requiring a 2/3 vote (for example to rescind or ASPA) do not protect absentees.  I don't see any applicable reason on page 263-265 that the time limits on reconsider could not be be suspended.

 

I seem to remember something similar to this discussion came up once before, but I cannot find it. It was slightly different, in that in that case a motion to rescind was declared passed (without previous notice) by a voice vote, and the question was on whether a point of order needed to be timely since you could not know if the required 2/3 vote was achieved.   Does anyone recall this and can provide a pointer?

 

Edit: I found it: http://robertsrules.forumflash.com/index.php?/topic/18041-conflicting-motion-adopted-by-less-than-required-vote/

Edited by DrEntropy

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I am confused by JJ's post #5. As I understand the question, the board wanted to reconsider, not to rescind. And they suspended the rules and reconsidered. What they did after that, we haven't been told. It's confusing (distracting?) to go into 251 b, timeliness of a point of order, etc.

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I am confused by JJ's post #5. As I understand the question, the board wanted to reconsider, not to rescind. And they suspended the rules and reconsidered. What they did after that, we haven't been told. It's confusing (distracting?) to go into 251 b, timeliness of a point of order, etc.

 

Well, let's take up what I now understand to be J.J.'s points one at a time.

 

If I understand him correctly, J.J. is saying that the rule on page 316, lines 22-30, is a rule protecting absentees, and, therefore, may not be suspended.

 

I disagree. What do you think?

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Well, let's take up what I now understand to be J.J.'s points one at a time.

 

If I understand him correctly, J.J. is saying that the rule on page 316, lines 22-30, is a rule protecting absentees, and, therefore, may not be suspended.

 

I disagree. What do you think?

 

 

I do not think the time limit for moving Reconsider is a rule to protect absentees.  So far as I can determine, the timeliness is designed to expedite business. If it were a rule to protect absentees, I think General HMR would have required a higher vote and perhaps even previous notice. As a result of this thread, I'm now driven to my PL for the next few hours instead of making dinner!

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Rules requiring a 2/3 vote (for example to rescind or ASPA) do not protect absentees.  I don't see any applicable reason on page 263-265 that the time limits on reconsider could not be be suspended.

 

I seem to remember something similar to this discussion came up once before, but I cannot find it. It was slightly different, in that in that case a motion to rescind was declared passed (without previous notice) by a voice vote, and the question was on whether a point of order needed to be timely since you could not know if the required 2/3 vote was achieved.   Does anyone recall this and can provide a pointer?

 

Edit: I found it: http://robertsrules.forumflash.com/index.php?/topic/18041-conflicting-motion-adopted-by-less-than-required-vote/

 

 

The rule requiring Reconsider be made in the same session does protect adsentees.  My point is that you could not use the motion to Reconsider, in a different session, even under suspension, without violating absentee rights.

 

That said, if the action taken, in a different session, that meets the voting standard of R/ASPA, it does not violate absentee rights. 

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Well, let's take up what I now understand to be J.J.'s points one at a time.

 

If I understand him correctly, J.J. is saying that the rule on page 316, lines 22-30, is a rule protecting absentees, and, therefore, may not be suspended.

 

I disagree. What do you think?

 

 

I would not cite that page, but I would cite p. 4, ll. 13-17.  It is fairly explicit. 

 

Once a main motion has been adopted, there are a few methods to reach it in the next session.

 

1.  Reconsider and enter, or

 

2.  Rescind or Amend Something Previously Adopted (R/ASPA), or

 

3.  Adopt some motion that has the effect of changing or permitting the change by the vote needed to R/ASPA that previously adopted motion.

 

Assuming that the main motion in question was a "Plain Vanilla Main Motion" the 2/3 vote need to suspend the rule would meet the third criterion.

 

While you could not suspend the rule saying that reconsideration may be made regarding a motion adopted in a previous session, adopting that motion by using a 2/3 vote (which is the vote needed to both suspend the rules and adopt R/ASPA) is permitted.  :)  In other words, it does not make a difference if you suspend the rules or not for the vote to be valid.

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Absentees didn't need to be protected because all the board members were present at both meetings.  What bothers me is whether the rules related to certain things being out of order were included in that suspension.  Were they?

The matter concerned funding for a project.  At the earlier meeting, the board was informed by staff that they had already approved the funding and at the time all they were doing was setting at a lower amount.  The party to receive the funding was present at the meeting as a guest (not a member of the board) so apparently some action was taken based on the approval.  Then in the second meeting when the rules for reconsider were suspended, ultimately the board voted to drop the project entirely and provide no funding at all.   Is the rule that a partially carried out action cannot be reconsidered also suspended?

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The rule requiring Reconsider be made in the same session does protect absentees.  

 

Interesting, my initial reaction is to disagree with this statement, but I might be convinced otherwise.  I would opine instead that this rule protects the majority or even the whole assembly from instability with a fluctuating majority.  You would like to think that a motion passed has some stability as an action of the assembly, and would not be (easily) reconsidered even if one were present at the next meeting.  Also, as a practical matter, it might be difficult to establish what side someone voted on at a later meeting.   

 

In PL, page 83, we have "To prevent its too great interference with the work of the Assembly, the time for making the motion is limited to the day and the next calendar day ...."    

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Absentees didn't need to be protected because all the board members were present at both meetings.  What bothers me is whether the rules related to certain things being out of order were included in that suspension.  Were they?

The matter concerned funding for a project.  At the earlier meeting, the board was informed by staff that they had already approved the funding and at the time all they were doing was setting at a lower amount.  The party to receive the funding was present at the meeting as a guest (not a member of the board) so apparently some action was taken based on the approval.  Then in the second meeting when the rules for reconsider were suspended, ultimately the board voted to drop the project entirely and provide no funding at all.   Is the rule that a partially carried out action cannot be reconsidered also suspended?

 

 

The board seems to have had the authority to adopt to Rescind or Amend Something Previously Adopted, and seems to have done that at least with authorization of a two-thirds vote, at least.  It may have aslo reached the majority of the entire membership as well.

 

In any event, p. 251, ll. 12-15 still applies.

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Can all the rules of reconsider be suspended at one time?  If they are suspended, does that still apply to the listed motions that are out of order?

 

Any and all rules relating to Reconsider which can be suspended can be suspended at one time. Some of the rules relating to when Reconsider is not in order could be suspended, while others could not be.

 

The rules relating to the time limits for Reconsider may be suspended.

 

I don't think that you could suspend the rules beyond the current session, which is being done by making a motion limited to one session being in order in another session.  There has been a suggestion that rules may be suspended only prospectively.

 

Suspending the rules to permit a motion to Reconsider beyond the usual time limits does not have effect beyond the current session.

 

A given main motion,  Motion A, is adopted at the June monthly meeting.  An attempt to reconsider Motion A at the July (or a subsequent) monthly meeting is out of order.    The members at the June meeting knew that no further action could be taken in regard to Motion A, except by R/ASPA, once the June meeting adjourned finally (and there was no Reconsider and Enter).

 

The rules were suspended to permit reconsider to made in regard to the now adopted Motion A at the July meeting.  That would violate the rights of any member absent at the July meeting who knew that Motion A could not be reconsidered.  Suspending the rule to permit reconsider something adopted at the previous session would violate the rights of those absentees.

 

Now, those presumed absentees also knew that  Motion A could amended or repealed by the vote required to R/ASPA, which includes a 2/3 vote.  In this process, there was a 2/3 vote to permit some changes to be made in Motion A.  The changes in Motion A were permitted by a vote needed for R/ASPA, which triggers p. 251, ll. 12-15.

 

In other words, had main Motion A been reconsidered at the July meeting, even without suspending the rules, but without a point of point of order being raised, and the changes in Motion A been adopted by the vote needed to R/ASPA, the changes would be comply with p. 251, ll. 12-15, and would be properly adopted.

 

I'm not buying it. The motion might be defeated or amended as a result of Reconsider. Since the same result could be reached by Rescind or Amend Something Previously Adopted, I don't see how suspending the rules to use Reconsider instead violates the rights of any absentees. Suspending the rules to use Reconsider requires the same vote as adopting Rescind or Amend Something Previously Adopted. (Actually, it appears that Suspend the Rules requires an even higher vote in this society.)

 

Absentees didn't need to be protected because all the board members were present at both meetings.  What bothers me is whether the rules related to certain things being out of order were included in that suspension.  Were they?

The matter concerned funding for a project.  At the earlier meeting, the board was informed by staff that they had already approved the funding and at the time all they were doing was setting at a lower amount.  The party to receive the funding was present at the meeting as a guest (not a member of the board) so apparently some action was taken based on the approval.  Then in the second meeting when the rules for reconsider were suspended, ultimately the board voted to drop the project entirely and provide no funding at all.   Is the rule that a partially carried out action cannot be reconsidered also suspended?

 

I don't believe the rule that a motion which has partially been carried out may not be reconsidered can be suspended. If action has already been taken, that action cannot be undone either by means of Reconsider or Rescind.

 

The board seems to have had the authority to adopt to Rescind or Amend Something Previously Adopted, and seems to have done that at least with authorization of a two-thirds vote, at least.  It may have aslo reached the majority of the entire membership as well.

 

Rescind cannot be used to undo what has already been done.

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I don't believe the rule that a motion which has partially been carried out may not be reconsidered can be suspended. If action has already been taken, that action cannot be undone either by means of Reconsider or Rescind.

 

I agree. The rule that Reconsider cannot be applied to "an affirmative vote in the nature of a contract when the party to the contract has been notified of the outcome" (p. 319, ll. 1-3) is not one that can be suspended, because it is impossible for the assembly to place itself back into the position it was in immediately before the original vote was taken.

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Any and all rules relating to Reconsider which can be suspended can be suspended at one time. Some of the rules relating to when Reconsider is not in order could be suspended, while others could not be.

 

The rules relating to the time limits for Reconsider may be suspended.

 

 

Suspending the rules to permit a motion to Reconsider beyond the usual time limits does not have effect beyond the current session.

 

 

I'm not buying it. The motion might be defeated or amended as a result of Reconsider. Since the same result could be reached by Rescind or Amend Something Previously Adopted, I don't see how suspending the rules to use Reconsider instead violates the rights of any absentees. Suspending the rules to use Reconsider requires the same vote as adopting Rescind or Amend Something Previously Adopted. (Actually, it appears that Suspend the Rules requires an even higher vote in this society.)

 

 

I don't believe the rule that a motion which has partially been carried out may not be reconsidered can be suspended. If action has already been taken, that action cannot be undone either by means of Reconsider or Rescind.

 

 

Rescind cannot be used to undo what has already been done.

 

 

 

As a technical matter, I do not agree that the time requirement for Reconsider can be suspended in a different session.  However, if a main motion was reconsidered improperly, and adopted as a result of a 2/3 vote (as Suspension of the Rules requires) the motion would be validly adopted per p. 251, ll. 12-15.  In other words, while a point of order could be made while the motions were pending, the main motion would still be effectively adopted by the vote needed to adopt a motion to R/ASPA.

 

Suspending the rule is, in theory, something that should be done prospectively.

 

A motion that was partially carried out cannot be reconsidered, but the unexecuted part can subject to R/ASPA (p. 218, ll. 29-30; p. 308, ll. 20-24).

 

In this case, the motion was reached by means of an action that required a 2/3 vote to R/ASPA, without a point of order being raised, it was validly adopted. 

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Well, let's take up what I now understand to be J.J.'s points one at a time.

 

If I understand him correctly, J.J. is saying that the rule on page 316, lines 22-30, is a rule protecting absentees, and, therefore, may not be suspended.

 

I disagree. What do you think?

 

I do not think the time limit for moving Reconsider is a rule to protect absentees.  So far as I can determine, the timeliness is designed to expedite business. If it were a rule to protect absentees, I think General HMR would have required a higher vote and perhaps even previous notice. As a result of this thread, I'm now driven to my PL for the next few hours instead of making dinner!

 

At first glance, I thought the notion that this rule protects absentees was a bit preposterous, but the more I think about it the less sure I become.

 

Generally, if an assembly wants to take an action in violation of some rule, the mere fact that a member is absent (and "knew" that the action could not be taken at the time) is obviously not enough to prevent suspending the rules; otherwise, no rule could ever be suspended when any member is absent.

 

But I think a good argument could be made that the particular rule which limits making a motion to Reconsider to a set period within the same session does in fact protect any members who are absent after the time for making the motion has expired. It is somewhat analogous to a rule that limits certain substantive business to a particular session, such as a rule that dues may be increased (only) at the annual meeting, which I think we all agree cannot be suspended.

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Okay, factoring out suspension for a second.

 

Motion A, a main motion that was in the nature of a contract with Sam, was adopted at the previous monthly meeting.  Sam was notified.

 

At the current monthly meeting, someone moves to reconsider Motion A.  No point of order is raised.  Reconsider is adopted.  Motion A becomes pending; no point of order is raised.  It is amended, and then adopted, by the vote needed to ASPA; we'll call it Motion A.1.  Was Motion A.1 validly adopted and in force?

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Post #12 reveals that action had been taken after adoption of the motion. I agree that suspending the rules to reconsider the motion was improper when action had been carried out. Rescinding unexecuted parts of the motion would have been the proper motion. I'm still unconvinced, though, that the motion to Reconsider was created to protect absentees. I'll have to keep thinking about that ...

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 I'm still unconvinced, though, that the motion to Reconsider was created to protect absentees. I'll have to keep thinking about that ...

 

I don't think anyone here has suggested that the motion to Reconsider was created to protect absentees, at least not in its ordinary form (as opposed to Reconsider and Enter on the Minutes, which definitely is supposed to protect absentees).

The question is whether the rules limiting when Reconsider can be made have the effect of protecting absentees after those limits have been reached.

And please keep in mind that we are (or at least I am) discussing specifically whether the motion to Reconsider, which has very particular procedural effects, can be made at a later session under a suspension of the rules, not about whether the assembly has the ability to reach the substantive matter of the original motion in some other way. In other words, the protection -- if any -- afforded to absentees would be that the other members could not (by making the motion to Reconsider) immediately "[suspend] all action that depends on the result of the vote proposed to be reconsidered" (p. 321, ll. 11-12) and then (by adopting it) "place before the assembly again the question on which the vote is to be reconsidered -- in the exact position it occupied the moment before it was voted on originally" (p. 324, ll. 23-27).

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Post #12 reveals that action had been taken after adoption of the motion. I agree that suspending the rules to reconsider the motion was improper when action had been carried out. Rescinding unexecuted parts of the motion would have been the proper motion. I'm still unconvinced, though, that the motion to Reconsider was created to protect absentees. I'll have to keep thinking about that ...

 

 

I am not saying that Reconsider was created to protect absentees.  I am saying that some of its characteristics have the effect of protecting absentees, and that this part technically could not be suspended without suspending an absentee right.

 

From your comments, I would take if from your answer that you would feel that the reconsidered motion, as it is now worded, was validly adopted.  I would agree, but for a very different reason.

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In post #1 we are told that a board was given new information about a motion that was adopted two weeks earlier, after being reconsidered, and that they moved to suspend the rules related to the motion to reconsider so they could reconsider the two weeks old motion. Based upon this statement of the facts, it appeared that the rules being suspended were (i), the rule that the motion to Reconsider is subject to time limits (p. 316, ll. 22-30), and (ii), the rule that a question cannot be reconsidered twice (p. 321, ll. 3-5).

 

I am still inclined to believe that neither of these rules is a rule protecting absentees, and that both can be suspended, but if I felt all that sure about it I wouldn't have asked, as I did in post #8, "What do you think?"   :) 

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In the specific case, that Ann G gives, I will agree with those that say the main motion, as amended, is validly, if not properly, adopted.  I disagree with the reasoning given in some cases.

 

If, instead of a "plain vanilla main motion," this was a motion that required something more than a 2/3 vote, e.g. a special rule, and it did not have notice, did not receive a vote of the majority of the entire membership, would you answer the same way?  I would not.

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In the specific case, that Ann G gives, I will agree with those that say the main motion, as amended, is validly, if not properly, adopted.  I disagree with the reasoning given in some cases.

 

If, instead of a "plain vanilla main motion," this was a motion that required something more than a 2/3 vote, e.g. a special rule, and it did not have notice, did not receive a vote of the majority of the entire membership, would you answer the same way?  I would not.

 

Excellent point! It would seem if you could go around suspending the rules to reconsider a question beyond the time limits this could be abused in such cases.  This might be a bit argumentum ad consequentiam, but on the other hand under principle of interpretation #2 (pg 589) we should use the interpretation that doesn't break other rules :).      In other words, JJ has has a strong case that the rule on time limits does protect absentees and cannot be suspended.

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