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Question Regarding Motion to Rescind

Guest Jack

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Have a question I could use so feedback on.  In our organization, a new board just took office, composed primarily of new individuals.  As one of their first actions in office, they want to rescind an action taken by the previous board.  Is it in order for a new board of officers to rescind an action of a previous board of officers?


If so, I have a follow-up.  Robert's Rules state that votes "cannot be rescinded after something has been done as a result of that vote that the assembly cannot undo."  What would that constitute?  For example, let's say an national organization wanted to rescind a motion that granted a state a charter under the national organization.  Would the fact that the state had certified delegates to the national convention and voted in elections at that national convention between the time they were chartered and the time the new board voted to rescind the granting of the charter constitute something done as a result of that vote that the assembly cannot undo?  Or would it have to be something more material?  All thoughts are appreciated.



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In the order you asked:


Yes.  The standard example is a motion to paint the gazebo.  Once the paint is applied, the motion can no longer be rescinded.  A rescindable motion example might be one to support or endorse a candidate in an election.  Even though letters of support may have been written, the support could be "canceled" by rescinding the motion prior to the election. (Afterwards, probably not, since the support has little meaning then.)


Whether your case of a chartered chapter is a gazebo or an endorsement probably depends on the exact wording of your bylaws.  Do they have a section detailing how a chapter can be un-chartered?  If so, then a simple rescind won't do it. That would be like the election of officers; that action cannot be rescinded - it requires a separate motion to "remove from office", or more complicated disciplinary actions.  See p. 653.


I suspect (but this is my opinion only) that once a charter is granted, the deed is done, even if there are no un-chartering provisions in your bylaws.  Chartering is not a "continuing action" like an endorsement would be.  But your association will have to do the bylaw interpretation for itself.  See p. 588.

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