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Guest Chrysanthemum

Is a quorum always required?

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Guest Chrysanthemum

We have 24 members in our group. Our Treasurer developed a budget that was endorsed by Executive Committee. In the absence of Treasurer, the Deputy Treasurer presented budget that was unanimously accepted by those present. We had 11 present. The next day, our secretary noted that we didn't have a quorum, so vote didn't count. That we would need to redo the vote at the next meeting if a quorum present. There is no controversy, and I fully expect it to be adopted unanimously again by those present at the next meeting. Is it necessary to vote again a month later?

We had a second question for discussion. It concerned eliminating a project. The 11 present unanimously agreed to drop the project. Again, no controversy, and no real support to continue project. Is it necessary to redo the vote the next month. I believe 13 present would be required to have a forum.

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Neither the secretary nor the president have the unilateral authority to declare something null and void outside of a meeting.  The time to raise a point of order that a quorum was not present was at the time of the meeting.... and at the time of the vote if a quorum was lost during the meeting.  The point of order must ordinarily be timely.... made at the time of the breach.

If it is discovered or believed after the meeting has ended that a quorum was not present, RONR requires that the absence of a quorum must be established by clear and convincing evidence.... at a meeting.... that a quorum was not present.  That "rulling" cannot be made outside of a meeting.

Here is a quote from RONR about a retroactive ruling that a quorum was not present:  "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).*

The action taken at the prior meeting is presumed valid until a point of order is raised in a meeting and there is a ruling by the chair that a quorum was not present.  That ruling can be appealed to the assembly, which has the last word. 

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