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Guest David Milburn

Quorum and Ability to Conduct Business

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Guest David Milburn

Our condominium association had our annual meeting last night. The main item was the election of board members and proxies were sent out to get the votes of owners that would not be attending the meeting. At the start of the meeting it was determined/announced that a quorum was present. During the meeting a motion was made from the floor and was ruled out of order because the number of owners physically present at the meeting did not represent a quorum.

 

Is this ruling correct? How can you have a quorum for one agenda item but not other items that come up during the meeting?

 

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In the absence of a quorum, any business transacted is null and void. If the chair notices that a quorum is no longer present, it is his duty to declare the fact, at least before taking any vote or stating the question on any new motion.

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How can you have a quorum for one agenda item but not other items that come up during the meeting?

 

RONR does not support the use of proxies.but it's possible that your rules do. If so, they might, for example, permit the use of proxy votes for some questions (e.g. the election of board members) even in the absence of a (physical) quorum. They might also require the presence of a (physical) quorum for other questions.

 

In short, you'll find the answer to your question in your bylaws (and any other applicable rules or laws), not in RONR.

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Most bylaws that provide for proxy voting also provide that members may be present in person "or by proxy" for quorum purposes.  What do your bylaws say?    If they are silent on that point, then it will be up to your organization to determine whether members who have turned in a proxy are considered to be "present by proxy".  

 

If so, those members "present by proxy" are present just as much as are the members who are there in person and would count towards a quorum.

 

Edited to add:  As Mr. Guest pointed out, it is possible that your bylaws allow proxy voting only in limited circumstances and provide that for other types of business a quorum of members must be physically present in person.  Check your bylaws carefully.  The proxy provisions and quorum provisions could be spread out in several places.

Edited by Richard Brown

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