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Member not in good standing have rights to bring charges on another member


aqwnbee
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A member who was not in good standings brought another member up on charges. Now the question is arising if that was allowed. Our bylaws are not specific on that subject. The bylaws say that all members not in good standing shall be debarred from all rights of membership. Is it a right of membership to bring someone up on charges? I could not find the answer in our version of Roberts Rules and I will be ordering the newest version ASAP. Any help would be greatly appreciated!   

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I'm afraid you might be pretty much on your own when it comes to defining a "member in good standing".  That is something your bylaws should do.  Here is what little RONR has to say on the subject in the newest 11th edition.  This comment is contained in a footnote on page 6:

"Members in good standing are those whose rights as members of the assembly are not under suspension as a consequence of disciplinary proceedings or by operation of some specific provision in the bylaws. A member may thus be in good standing even if in arrears in payment of dues (see pp. 406, 571–72). If only some of an individual's rights as a member of the assembly are under suspension (for example, the rights to make motions and speak in debate), other rights of assembly membership may still be exercised (for example, the rights to attend meetings and vote)."

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Here's a bit pf boilerplate that might help (quoted from me, not RONR):

In Good Standing:

RONR/11 (Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised, 11th Edition) defines the term "member in good standing" on p. 6 in the footnote as referring to a member whose membership rights are not in suspension, either as a consequence of disciplinary proceedings (Chapter XX) or by operation of some specific provision in the bylaws of the organization. 

So if you use the phrase "in good standing" in the bylaws, be sure to define exactly what you mean: what causes a member not to be in good standing, what he has to do to get back into the good graces of the association, &c. Also, you should specify which membership rights, duties, privileges, &c. are lost or suspended (or retained) by a member as a consequence of his being in "bad standing" as distinct from his being in good standing or ceasing to be a member at all.

End of  b-plate.

If your bylaws really do say "all members not in good standing shall be debarred from all rights of membership" that seems to me to be essentially equivalent to ceasing to be a member at all, as far as things a member can do by right of membership. (He still may be obliged to do some things, like paying dues, &c.) So I'd conclude that your "bad standing" member cannot bring charges within the context of your organization at all.  Of course, he could take legal steps, if things are serious, but that is beyond the scope of this b-board.

And, of course, all these possible restrictions are contingent on the definition of "in good standing", or more exactly, what puts a member in bad standing.  And that should be in your bylaws.  If not, then, as R. Brown notes, you are on your own.

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This site is great and I thank you soo much for answering question... With that said... Is it a right of membership to bring someone up on charges? The bylaws say "all written petitions submitted to the president shall be investigated" It does not say who has the right to or that it is a right to petition the president. I welcome all exports out there to give there opinions. Thank you all!!! 

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George and I don't really disagree.  To be sure, as George sez, a single member cannot "prefer charges"  --  that is the job of an investigating committee, &c., as detailed in Chapter XX.

But a single member can move that an investigating committee be established, and argue for the adoption of his motion.

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Since our bylaws are first and then it revert to RR I believe the petition is allowed. The question really becomes what is a members rights or what rights do they give up if debarred from all rights of membership? The petition to look into the other members conduct  was given to the president by a member in bad standings. (Many people have been investigated in the past by this petition method) The president presented the letter to the investigation committee who did review the petition. The investigation committee gave their recomendation to the president. Now the member who the petition was about is saying that because the member who petitioned the committee was not in good standings he did not have the right to petition the president. Our bylaws are not specific in what exactly what you are disbarred from. Apparently our bylaws are written very poorly. I  am going to Barns and Noble tonight to buy the newest RR as we are depending on a very old copy. 

 

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Guest Who's Coming to Dinner

There is no right to petition under Robert's Rules. If all your bylaws say is that "all written petitions submitted to the president shall be investigated," then it doesn't really matter who submits the petition, now does it? I could submit a petition to your president and (s)he will have to investigate according to this rule. If that outcome seems absurd, then it's up to your organization to interpret the rule differently.

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On 2/21/2017 at 11:59 AM, aqwnbee said:

I  am going to Barns and Noble tonight to buy the newest RR as we are depending on a very old copy. 

Boy, I hope you actually bought The right Book (Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised, 11th Edition, from Da Capo Press, Reg. Penna. Dept. Agr.). I myself lucked out in 1992,

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On 2/21/2017 at 3:59 PM, Guest Who's Coming to Dinner said:

If all your bylaws say is that "all written petitions submitted to the president shall be investigated," then it doesn't really matter who submits the petition, now does it? I could submit a petition to your president and (s)he will have to investigate according to this rule. If that outcome seems absurd, then it's up to your organization to interpret the rule differently.

 

On 2/21/2017 at 9:04 PM, aqwnbee said:

Thank you!

 

On 2/21/2017 at 11:59 AM, aqwnbee said:

The question really becomes what is a members rights or what rights do they give up if debarred from all rights of membership? The petition to look into the other members conduct  was given to the president by a member in bad standings. (Many people have been investigated in the past by this petition method) The president presented the letter to the investigation committee who did review the petition. ... Now the member who the petition was about is saying that because the member who petitioned the committee was not in good standings he did not have the right to petition the president

That's partly why this is a question of interpreting your bylaws, which is up to your organization to do, not us parliamentarians (or aspiring parliamentarians like me) on this, The World's Premier Internet Parliamentary Forum.  As the "Dinner Guest" points out, your bylaws don't specify who can petition:  if we -- like dubiously sensible people--  sensibly interpret the bylaw rule to mean it's only regular, in good standing, members, not some random dorks or random neighbors like me or who knows. Mike Pence or your grandma or whoever -- then, duh, it's only your members in good standing who can do anything, period.

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Just now, Gary c Tesser said:

The question really becomes what is a members rights or what rights do they give up if debarred from all rights of membership?

You kidding?  You're asking what rights are deprived if all rights are deprived?

(OK  maybe give me an example of a right that is retained when all rights are removed..)

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