Jump to content
The Official RONR Q & A Forums

Strange rule re appeals


Richard Brown
 Share

Recommended Posts

A nine member board has a rather strange rule regarding appeals from rulings of the chair.  This board has no constituent membership and is a public body, but I don't believe that is of any significance for the purpose of this discussion.  The board has adopted  RONR as its parliamentary authority.

 

The board's special rule regarding the vote required on an appeal from a ruling of the chair reads as follows.  (The Board calls its special rules "policies" and "rules of protocol").  Pay particular attention to the last sentence: 

 

"The presiding officer of any meeting shall conduct such meeting in accordance with the Rules of Protocol and shall have authority to make rulings on interpretation of these Rules of Protocol and any other matter or question which may arise with regard to conducting the meeting, including recognition of speakers, whether a speaker is out of order, etc."

 

"The decision of the presiding officer shall be final unless appealed by a Board member or committee member to the entire Board or committee as set forth herein below.  Any member who disagrees with a decision of the presiding officer may appeal such decision to the total Board or committee. Such appeal may be taken by a statement to that effect and no second is required.  The presiding officer shall immediately call for a vote on the question of whether or not the ruling of the presiding officer shall be sustained.  Upon a favorable vote of a majority of those Board or committee members present and voting including the presiding officer, the rules of the presiding officer shall be sustained."

 

What is the opinion of others on here as to the effect of a tie vote on an appeal?   RONR says it takes a majority vote to reverse a decision of the chair and that a tie vote sustains the chair, but this rule says "upon the favorable vote of a majority of those board or committee members present and voting including the presiding officer, the rules (ruling??) of the presiding officer shall be sustained."

 

Does that mean that on a tie vote the ruling of the chair is reversed?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A nine member board has a rather strange rule regarding appeals from rulings of the chair.  This board has no constituent membership and is a public body, but I don't believe that is of any significance for the purpose of this discussion.  The board has adopted  RONR as its parliamentary authority.

 

The board's special rule regarding the vote required on an appeal from a ruling of the chair reads as follows.  (The Board calls its special rules "policies" and "rules of protocol").  Pay particular attention to the last sentence: 

 

"The presiding officer of any meeting shall conduct such meeting in accordance with the Rules of Protocol and shall have authority to make rulings on interpretation of these Rules of Protocol and any other matter or question which may arise with regard to conducting the meeting, including recognition of speakers, whether a speaker is out of order, etc."

 

"The decision of the presiding officer shall be final unless appealed by a Board member or committee member to the entire Board or committee as set forth herein below.  Any member who disagrees with a decision of the presiding officer may appeal such decision to the total Board or committee. Such appeal may be taken by a statement to that effect and no second is required.  The presiding officer shall immediately call for a vote on the question of whether or not the ruling of the presiding officer shall be sustained.  Upon a favorable vote of a majority of those Board or committee members present and voting including the presiding officer, the rules of the presiding officer shall be sustained."

 

What is the opinion of others on here as to the effect of a tie vote on an appeal?   RONR says it takes a majority vote to reverse a decision of the chair and that a tie vote sustains the chair, but this rule says "upon the favorable vote of a majority of those board or committee members present and voting including the presiding officer, the rules (ruling??) of the presiding officer shall be sustained."

 

Does that mean that on a tie vote the ruling of the chair is reversed?

 

Sure sounds that way.  Also at variance with RONR are that the appeal requires no second, and is not debatable.    All of which shows that public bodies are not immune from badly written rules.  Badly written, but no less binding.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 5 years later...
On 4/25/2015 at 11:28 PM, Gary Novosielski said:

"...All of which shows that public bodies are not immune from badly written rules.  Badly written, but no less binding."

At variance with RONR? No question. But badly written? A rule is not badly written, good Sir, simply because it happens to differ from RONR! In fact, "badly written" is a matter of opinion -- and not mine. I happen to think both differences to be at least minimally appropriate:

1. In an assembly so small (tiny, even -- nine members!?) I wouldn't expect (or want) any motion to need a second. (For that matter, under the rules for small boards and committees, this is entirely valid procedure, even within RONR!)

2. In an assembly that teensy, a tie vote overturning the chair is probably more aporopriate; and in any case, it's their own rule.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 minutes ago, TheGrandRascal said:

At variance with RONR? No question. But badly written? A rule is not badly written, good Sir, simply because it happens to differ from RONR! In fact, "badly written" is a matter of opinion -- and not mine. I happen to think both differences to be at least minimally appropriate:

1. In an assembly so small (tiny, even -- nine members!?) I wouldn't expect (or want) any motion to need a second. (For that matter, under the rules for small boards and committees, this is entirely valid procedure, even within RONR!)

2. In an assembly that teensy, a tie vote overturning the chair is probably more aporopriate; and in any case, it's their own rule.

I have no disagreement that removing the requirement for a second is a perfectly reasonable rule in a small assembly, but I am puzzled as to why it is felt that "a tie vote overturning the chair is probably more appropriate."

I would note that another difference in the rule is that it provides that appeals are always undebatable, while RONR provides that appeals are (generally) debatable. It would seem to me that generally it is best for members to discuss why it is felt that the chair's interpretation of the rules is incorrect before being forced to make a decision on that matter.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, TheGrandRascal said:

I happen to think both differences to be at least minimally appropriate:

With a bar sufficiently low, I cannot but agree.

In general, I support the sentiment that, in small groups, seconds are unnecessary.  But if I had to cling to one motion for which I would require them, it would be the Appeal.  I  think it is reasonable to insist that more than one member should believe a ruling is faulty before business is interrupted for an appeal.  This is mitigated by the fact that here appeals are undebatable and so can be quickly disposed of, but exacerbated by the odd voting threshold which increases the likelihood of an appeal's success. 

But I can't deny it is a matter of opinion.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Gary Novosielski said:

In general, I support the sentiment that, in small groups, seconds are unnecessary.  But if I had to cling to one motion for which I would require them, it would be the Appeal.  I  think it is reasonable to insist that more than one member should believe a ruling is faulty before business is interrupted for an appeal.  This is mitigated by the fact that here appeals are undebatable and so can be quickly disposed of, but exacerbated by the odd voting threshold which increases the likelihood of an appeal's success. 

It should be noted that RONR itself does not require a second for motions under the small board rules (and it makes no exception for an Appeal), and it would appear that the board in question consists of nine members, so the board's rule does not differ from RONR in this regard.

Edited by Josh Martin
Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 hours ago, Josh Martin said:

It should be noted that RONR itself does not require a second for motions under the small board rules (and it makes no exception for an Appeal), and it would appear that the board in question consists of nine members, so the board's rule does not differ from RONR in this regard.

Yes, well noted.  I should should be clear that in that respect it was a personal opinion, not a rule in RONR.  Thanks.

Link to comment
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.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...