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Guest Chloe
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We need your help our bylaws state that you need to be member of the organization in order to vote and attend meetings.  When we got a new system somehow or another the membership column got deleted we lost all the membership expirations dates so we don't know who is a member and who is not. What do we do?

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Guest Who's Coming to Dinner

According to Robert's Rules, only members have the right to vote and attend meetings, so your bylaws are redundant. Otherwise, there is no advice in the book for your situation. I suppose you can keep looking for a backup or paper copy somewhere. Failing that, you'll have to go on the honor system, call a meeting, and let the members decide how to re-create the roster.

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1 hour ago, Guest Chloe said:

We need your help our bylaws state that you need to be member of the organization in order to vote and attend meetings.  When we got a new system somehow or another the membership column got deleted we lost all the membership expirations dates so we don't know who is a member and who is not. What do we do?

Ultimately, the membership will need to determine how to resolve this issue. In the interim, I think you will have to assume that all persons listed in the roster are members.

In the future, you really should keep backups of such important documents.

1 hour ago, Guest Who's Coming to Dinner said:

Failing that, you'll have to go on the honor system, call a meeting, and let the members decide how to re-create the roster.

My understanding is that the only piece of information which is missing is the membership expiration dates, not the roster in its entirety.

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10 minutes ago, Guest Who's Coming to Dinner said:

Without the expiration dates, it would be difficult to know who is and isn't a member right now, wouldn't it? That is the same thing as not having a roster.

Yes, but it might not be as hard to know who can exercise the rights of members, most importantly voting, unless the bylaws specifically say that your membership "expiring" takes away those rights.  Many organizations issue documentation showing an expiration date, and maintain expiration dates in their records, without such a bylaw - and their members can vote after the expiration date unless the organization takes action to take away that right.

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Take the computer to a computer store that has technicians. They may have tools to recover accidentally-deleted files. Do this right now.

Then, identify of the person that deleted the file, give them the choice of paying the bill or suffer a reprimand from the assembly. And tell them not to do this again. Unless it is a sweet little old lady.

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12 hours ago, Guest Who's Coming to Dinner said:

Without the expiration dates, it would be difficult to know who is and isn't a member right now, wouldn't it? That is the same thing as not having a roster.

I don’t think it’s quite the same thing. If only the expiration dates are missing, the society has a record of those who were a member of the society at the time the roster was last updated, but it does not know which members’ rights have expired since then (if indeed the bylaws provide as much). If there was no roster at all, there would be no record at all of who is a member of the society.

11 hours ago, Guest Zev said:

Take the computer to a computer store that has technicians. They may have tools to recover accidentally-deleted files. Do this right now.

Then, identify of the person that deleted the file, give them the choice of paying the bill or suffer a reprimand from the assembly. And tell them not to do this again. Unless it is a sweet little old lady.

Just to be clear, my understanding is that the file itself has not been deleted. It would appear that a single column in the file, which contains the expiration dates, was deleted, and the file was saved in this new form. It is still conceivably possible that an earlier version of the file could be recovered, although there is no guarantee that this can be done.

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