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Retro-activily change a By-Law Rule


Guest Greg
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The Bylaws have a rule that dues have to be paid by a Certain date by the Executive committee officers and if not paid they lose the Office they hold and voting rights.

Several members have not paid. It appears that they want to ignore this bylaw and change it so it applies retro-active, that you do have to pay. 

Is this possible? From my perspective they have no vote per the Bylaws.  

Thanks for any help.

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1 hour ago, Guest Greg said:

The Bylaws have a rule that dues have to be paid by a Certain date by the Executive committee officers and if not paid they lose the Office they hold and voting rights.

Several members have not paid. It appears that they want to ignore this bylaw and change it so it applies retro-active, that you do have to pay. 

Is this possible? From my perspective they have no vote per the Bylaws.  

The bylaw could be changed, but only those who are voting members under the current bylaws will be able to vote on the amendment.

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3 hours ago, Guest Greg said:

The Bylaws have a rule that dues have to be paid by a Certain date by the Executive committee officers and if not paid they lose the Office they hold and voting rights.

Several members have not paid. It appears that they want to ignore this bylaw and change it so it applies retro-active, that you do have to pay. 

Is this possible? From my perspective they have no vote per the Bylaws.  

Thanks for any help.

Assuming that the board can amend the bylaws, they can make a retro active change. 

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5 minutes ago, Gary Novosielski said:

Really?  So they could raise last year's dues to a million bucks?

No, they can't. Bylaw amendments do not have, and cannot have, retroactive effect.

For example, while it is possible for a bylaw amendment to abolish an office, thus legislating an officer out of office before the expiration of the term for which he was elected, this does not mean that he was not in office up until the amendment was adopted, and actions taken by him as an officer prior to that date do not lose their validity.

(Dan Honemann, disguised as Scorpion)

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The example of a bylaw amendment legislating an officer out of his office is one where an adopted bylaw, at the time of its adoption, has an immediate effect that occurs before the end of a current term of office. But does RONR prohibit an organization from adopting a bylaw amendment in June, say, raising the dues and making the amendment retroactive to Jan 1? or even earlier?

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22 minutes ago, Bruce Lages said:

The example of a bylaw amendment legislating an officer out of his office is one where an adopted bylaw, at the time of its adoption, has an immediate effect that occurs before the end of a current term of office. But does RONR prohibit an organization from adopting a bylaw amendment in June, say, raising the dues and making the amendment retroactive to Jan 1? or even earlier?

Short answer is no.  provided that the change was carried out in accordance with the bylaws. 

That said, if the dues had been set by a motion, it would require the vote need to R/ASPA in order to change it.

If the dues were set it the bylaws, the strictures needed to amend the bylaws.

You might find this interesting:  John of Gaunt

 

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5 hours ago, Scorpion said:

No, they can't. Bylaw amendments do not have, and cannot have, retroactive effect.

For example, while it is possible for a bylaw amendment to abolish an office, thus legislating an officer out of office before the expiration of the term for which he was elected, this does not mean that he was not in office up until the amendment was adopted, and actions taken by him as an officer prior to that date do not lose their validity.

(Dan Honemann, disguised as Scorpion)

The could be made to have a retroactive effect.  For example:  The bylaws of Society A could mandate that members must be members for three year.  A group, Society B, merges with A.  The bylaws could be amended to declare members use to be in Society B, that were members for three years shall be retroactively become three year members of Society A.

 

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1 hour ago, J. J. said:

The could be made to have a retroactive effect.  For example:  The bylaws of Society A could mandate that members must be members for three year.  A group, Society B, merges with A.  The bylaws could be amended to declare members use to be in Society B, that were members for three years shall be retroactively become three year members of Society A.

 

A bylaw amendment such as this has absolutely no retroactive effect. It may provide that, from the date of its adoption onward, certain persons shall be considered as if they had been members of A for three years, but this does not have the effect of actually making them members of A prior to its adoption. 

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2 hours ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

A bylaw amendment such as this has absolutely no retroactive effect. It may provide that, from the date of its adoption onward, certain persons shall be considered as if they had been members of A for three years, but this does not have the effect of actually making them members of A prior to its adoption. 

It could have a past effect, or perhaps could make correct incorrect.  Suppose that the Society A's rule in that members can only vote for certain officers if they have members for three years.  A group of Society B's voted in one of these elections, nobody caught it at the time.  The amendment, as stated above, would prevent a challenge to the election on the ground.

(BTW, though I usually don't recommend it, I believe that a bylaw amendment could make valid a previously  invalid election.)

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24 minutes ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

In attempting to understand what is meant by "retroactive" in this connection, it may be helpful to look at General Robert's response to (c) in Q&A 58 on pages 429-30 of PL, and to Q&A 108 on pages 452-53.

Neither question suggests that an assembly could not, with a properly drafted motion, apply something retroactively.  It does say that those particular motions do not apply retroactively; I agree with that.   That is not the question.

In the question posed by guest Greg, provided that the board has the ability to change the bylaws, it did so according to the rules for changing the bylaws, and that there are no higher authority rules prohibiting it, it is possible for the board to adopt that bylaw. 

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2 minutes ago, J. J. said:

Neither question suggests that an assembly could not, with a properly drafted motion, apply something retroactively.  It does say that those particular motions do not apply retroactively; I agree with that.   That is not the question.

In the question posed by guest Greg, provided that the board has the ability to change the bylaws, it did so according to the rules for changing the bylaws, and that there are no higher authority rules prohibiting it, it is possible for the board to adopt that bylaw. 

Maybe we should find out exactly what Greg means by "retroactive."

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