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crazy situation


Guest Mr. Jonnas

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Medium sized Men's group...

While taking nominations for board positions no one running (3 people) is qualified for President per bylaws so they are removed from slate

Men decide not to suspend by laws to forgo qualifications (no write ins allowed) nominations were allowed from floor, no one ran.

Vice President, 2nd Vice qualify and are duly elected.

By laws state in absence of Pres.. Vice steps in. Is the Vice automatically Pres? Does he have to be vetted for Pres position? Does there need to be another election?

Thanks in advance!

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Let's  back up just a little.  What, exactly, do your bylaws say about the terms of office, especially for the president?  Do they say he serves for exactly one year?  For one year or until his successor is elected?   For one year and until his successor is elected?  All of that makes a difference.

 

What about state law?  If you are incorporated, check to see what state law says about terms of office and whether an officer continues to serve until his successor is elected.

 

It may be that your "outgoing" president continues to serve as president until a successor is elected.... or until he resigns or is removed.

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Medium sized Men's group...

While taking nominations for board positions no one running (3 people) is qualified for President per bylaws so they are removed from slate

Men decide not to suspend by laws to forgo qualifications (no write ins allowed) nominations were allowed from floor, no one ran.

Vice President, 2nd Vice qualify and are duly elected.

By laws state in absence of Pres.. Vice steps in. Is the Vice automatically Pres? Does he have to be vetted for Pres position? Does there need to be another election?

Based on the additional facts you have provided, it seems to me that the most likely result is that the Vice President becomes President, the Second Vice President becomes Vice President, and there will be a vacancy to fill the office of Second Vice President.

I don't see why there should be any need to vet the Vice President. The requirements for office for the Vice President are the same as for the President, right?

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What is meant by "Men decide not to suspend by laws to forgo qualifications"? Generally qualifications for office specified in the bylaws cannot be suspended. Is there a provision in your bylaws to allow for suspension of the qualifications rule?

 

How frequently does your group meet? Could you complete the election for president at your next meeting?

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It was said that in order to vote someone in who does not meet the qualifications that there needs to be a motion/vote to suspend the by laws which state the qualifications for the office of Pres so that someone who doesn't meet the qualifications could run.

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As Hieu Huynh said, bylaw provision such as those cannot be suspended.  Only bylaw provisions which are clearly in the nature of rules of order can be suspended.  A bylaw with the qualifications for holding office is not such a provision.  It cannot be suspended.

 

The bylaws can be amended to change the requirements, but they cannot be suspended.

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No the requirements are not same...this is getting me thinking that that may need to change..

 

That complicates things a bit. This will ultimately be a question of bylaws interpretation. It seems that, one way or another, there will need to be an exception to the general rules on this subject, since they are in conflict. Whether the bylaws provide that the Vice President shall become President in the event of a vacancy even though he would not be qualified to be elected to that office, or whether the bylaws provide that the office of President shall be filled in some other way in such a case, even though it is normally filled by the Vice President, is a question your society will need to answer for itself. See RONR, 11th ed., pgs. 588-591 for some Principles of Interpretation.

 

In the future, it would be prudent to amend the bylaws to either make the qualifications for office for the President and Vice President the same, or to clearly provide in the bylaws what happens in the event that there is a vacancy in the office of President and the Vice President is ineligible.

 

Lastly, if it is ultimately determined that the Vice President shall not automatically become President and there will be a vacancy in that office (possibly for some time, since it seems that the requirements for President are especially onerous), the Vice President will preside at meetings until the vacancy is filled, but he does not assume any other authority that your bylaws may confer upon the office of President.

 

It was said that in order to vote someone in who does not meet the qualifications that there needs to be a motion/vote to suspend the by laws which state the qualifications for the office of Pres so that someone who doesn't meet the qualifications could run.

 

Eligibility requirements cannot be suspended unless the bylaws so provide. "Rules contained in the bylaws (or constitution) cannot be suspended—no matter how large the vote in favor of doing so or how inconvenient the rule in question may be—unless the particular rule specifically provides for its own suspension, or unless the rule properly is in the nature of a rule of order as described on page 17, lines 22–25." (RONR, 11th ed., pg. 263) A rule providing eligibility requirements for office is not in the nature of a rule of order.

 

It would be in order to amend the bylaws in order to permanently change the eligibility requirements for President. Considering that the Vice President and all three of the candidates for the position were ineligible, this seems like it might be worth considering. Alternately, the bylaws could be amended to provide a method for suspending the eligibility requirements.

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