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Can/should a meeting with no quorum have minutes?


Guest Barngirl

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Guest Barngirl

Your bot security feature is not functioning properly and so I can't submit my question. I'm using and iPhone 6 and never have issues with them.  Very frustrating. 

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Guest Barngirl

My question was misspelled - my apologies. 

Should a meeting with no quorum produce minutes? I attended a meeting where they waiting for 15 minutes for enough people to show, and when there were not, the president stated that the meeting is canceled due to lack of a quorum. Than last night I received "minutes" of the meeting that listed listed who was in attendance and the words "no quorum". This can't possibly be correct, can it?

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Yes, because it WAS a meeting,  but a meeting without a quorum. If a meeting is properly called or scheduled, it is still a meeting regardless of whether it has a quorum. Therefore, minutes should be taken, although those minutes will of course be very brief.

The minutes should reflect primarily that the meeting was called to order, that a quorum was not present, and that the meeting adjourned. Robert's Rules does not require that attendance be listed in the minutes, but you may of course do so if that is a rule or the custom in your organization.

One more point: The President should not have declared the meeting cancelled. He probably does not have the authority to cancel a meeting. He should have declared the meeting adjourned due to lack of a quorum.

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Assuming this was a regular or properly called meeting, the president should have called the meeting to order, announced the absence of a quorum, and entertained a motion to adjourn or any of the other motions which are allowed to be made in the absence of a quorum. Minutes of the meeting should be kept, since a meeting was held, even although no quorum was present.

The fact that the president failed to call the meeting to order but, instead, stated that the meeting was cancelled, may raise technical questions as to whether or not the meeting was in fact held, but I don't think I would worry to much about that. I think the secretary did the right thing in going ahead and preparing minutes anyway.

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Guest Barngirl

Thanks for the very useful responses!  @Transpower Even worse, we all had to sit there while the chair and secretary sat at the front of the room basically waiting for the 15 minutes to ticktock by (rather than simply taking action at the scheduled start time). 

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55 minutes ago, Guest Barngirl said:

Thanks for the very useful responses!  @Transpower Even worse, we all had to sit there while the chair and secretary sat at the front of the room basically waiting for the 15 minutes to ticktock by (rather than simply taking action at the scheduled start time). 

"If a quorum is not present, the chair waits until there is one, or until, after a reasonable time, there appears to be no prospect that a quorum will assemble. If a quorum cannot be obtained, the chair calls the meeting to order, announces the absence of a quorum, and entertains a motion to adjourn or one of the other motions allowed, as described above."  (RONR, 11th ed., p. 349)

I thought you were concerned about the question as to whether or not minutes should have been kept. Now I gather your question is about whether or not 15 minutes is an unreasonably long period a time for the chair to wait for a quorum to appear. I'm inclined to think that it probably isn't, but that's just my view of it. Did anyone raise any sort of objection to waiting?

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23 minutes ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

Now I gather your question is about whether or not 15 minutes is an unreasonably long period a time for the chair to wait for a quorum to appear. I'm inclined to think that it probably isn't, but that's just my view of it. 

At our 2FP meetings we can always find a way to pass the time when this happens, right? :) 

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10 hours ago, Richard Brown said:

Yes, because it WAS a meeting,  but a meeting without a quorum. If a meeting is properly called or scheduled, it is still a meeting regardless of whether it has a quorum. Therefore, minutes should be taken, although those minutes will of course be very brief.

The minutes should reflect primarily that the meeting was called to order, that a quorum was not present, and that the meeting adjourned. Robert's Rules does not require that attendance be listed in the minutes, but you may of course do so if that is a rule or the custom in your organization.

One more point: The President should not have declared the meeting cancelled. He probably does not have the authority to cancel a meeting. He should have declared the meeting adjourned due to lack of a quorum.

Of course, anything else that was done, such as a recess to make inquiries in order to attempt to get quorum.

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1 hour ago, sandymc481 said:

If there is no quorum can someone make a motion to continue as "a committee of the whole"? 

I agree with Mr. Honemann's one word answer above.

Robert's Rules says you can officially do only the following four things in the absence of a quorum:

Adjourn, recess , take action to obtain a quorum ( such as calling missing members), and fix the time to which to adjourn (set an adjourned meeting). Those are the only four actions an assembly can legitimately take in the absence of a quorum.

However, after the meeting adjourns for lack of a quorum, all of you who are present can sit around and talk informally all you want to, just like you could if you were to all go down the street to Bill's Bar or Joe's Java shop or to Dot's Diner. However, those talks are informal and unofficial and are off the record and are not part of a meeting in any fashion. You cannot take any binding action on anything. It is simply a group of friends sitting around talking. You can talk about the clubs affairs and what you would like to do, but you cannot actually do anything about it at that "gathering" (it's no longer a meeting of the organization).

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  • 3 years later...
Guest Carl

What if 3 members of a Board totaling 13 call have separate meetings from the other ten members, do not take or provide any minutes, and do not share with the other ten members specifics of the meeting with just the 3? Is this legal, is there a rule that says this is inappropriate according the Robert’s Rules of Order?

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