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motion and quorum


Guest sue

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at the last meeting three motions were made voted on and passed. a few days later at the executive meeting the president said there was not a quorum so technically there was not a meeting and motions do not pass. do we have a right to bring this motion up at the next meeting. There are many who do not want these motions raised again.

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Your president got it wrong, on two counts.

 

Since no "clear and convincing proof" (see p. 249) that there was no quorum at the meeting was adduced by the president, his claim that the motions "didn't pass", or something, is empty.  The motions stand as adopted.

 

On a less important matter, even if there was no quorum present, you still had a valid meeting - see p. 347.  That's the second thing your pres got wrong.

 

QUICK! - get him a copy of RONRIB:

"Roberts Rules of Order Newly Revised In Brief", Updated Second Edition (Da Capo Press, Perseus Books Group, 2011). It is a splendid summary of all the rules you will really need in all but the most exceptional situations. And only $7.50! You can read it in an evening. Get both RONRIB and RONR (scroll down) at this link. Or in your local bookstore.

 

before he digs himself in any deeper.

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at the last meeting three motions were made voted on and passed. a few days later at the executive meeting the president said there was not a quorum so technically there was not a meeting and motions do not pass. do we have a right to bring this motion up at the next meeting. There are many who do not want these motions raised again.

As of now, the motions stand. The executive committee doesn't have the authority to declare a motion adopted by the membership null and void. The President would need to make his ruling at the next meeting of the membership, and his ruling may be appealed from. Ultimately, the assembly itself will settle the issue. A motion may not be declared null and void due to the lack of a quorum after the fact unless there is clear and convincing proof that a quorum was not present.

If the motions are declared null and void, it is in order to make the motions again at a meeting with a quorum. It is also in order to make a motion to Ratify the motions adopted at the inquorate meeting.

Since no "clear and convincing proof" (see p. 249) that there was no quorum at the meeting was adduced by the president, his claim that the motions "didn't pass", or something, is empty.  The motions stand as adopted.

We don't know that there was no "clear and convincing proof," although I agree that it''s unlikely.

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The president is quoting.as on page 347 Robert's Rules of Order newly revised 11th edition 40: 20 in the absence of a quorum any business transacted except for the procedural actions noted in the next paragraph is null and void..

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The president is quoting.as on page 347 Robert's Rules of Order newly revised 11th edition 40: 20 in the absence of a quorum any business transacted except for the procedural actions noted in the next paragraph is null and void..

Well, the president needs to keep reading for  a couple of additional pages, to the bottom of page 349, where RONR says this about a situation, such as yours, when the absence of a quorum is not questioned until  after the meeting.  Pay particular attention to the last sentence in this quote:

 

"When the chair has called a meeting to order after finding that a quorum is present, the continued presence of a quorum is presumed unless the chair or a member notices that a quorum is no longer present. If the chair notices the absence of a quorum, it is his duty to declare the fact, at least before taking any vote or stating the question on any new motion—which he can no longer do except in connection with the permissible proceedings related to the absence of a quorum, as explained above. Any member noticing the apparent absence of a quorum can make a point of order to that effect at any time so long as he does not interrupt a person who is speaking. Debate on a question already pending can be allowed to continue at length after a quorum is no longer present, however, until a member raises the point. Because of the difficulty likely to be encountered in determining exactly how long the meeting has been without a quorum in such cases, a point of order relating to the absence of a quorum is generally not permitted to affect prior action; but upon clear and convincing proof, such a point of order can be given effect retrospectively by a ruling of the presiding officer, subject to appeal (24).*"

 

There must be clear and convincing proof that a quorum was not present at the time the motions in question were adopted.  Any ruling by the presiding officer is subject to appeal to the assembly.

 

Edited to add:  Also, he cannot unilaterally make that ruling outside of a meeting.  Any rulings on points of order by the presiding officer can be made only in a meeting and are subject to appeal.

 

Edited again  to add:  Your president is mistaken on another issue, too:  The absence of a quorum doesn't change the fact that you had a meeting.  The absence of a quorum only affects what can be done at such a meeting.

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There must be clear and convincing proof that a quorum was not present at the time the motions in question were adopted.  Any ruling by the presiding officer is subject to appeal to the assembly.

 

Edited to add:  Also, he cannot unilaterally make that ruling outside of a meeting.  Any rulings on points of order by the presiding officer can be made only in a meeting and are subject to appeal.

 

 

Does someone else have to raise a point of order at a later date or can the presiding officer raise the point of order/ruling of his own initiative?

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By the way. Thank you . The help this forum is providing is very much appreciated. I am trying to understand Robert's Rules I have been reading it and I often get quite lost . Thank you again

 

Whoever you are, Guest_Guest, take a look at RONRIB:

"Roberts Rules of Order Newly Revised In Brief", Updated Second Edition (Da Capo Press, Perseus Books Group, 2011). It is a splendid summary of all the rules you will really need in all but the most exceptional situations. And only $7.50! You can read it in an evening. Get both RONRIB and RONR (scroll down) at this link. Or in your local bookstore.

 

It is a bit more approachable than the big book for a beginner.  But the big book is still essential so keep it around.

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