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BYLAWS SAY VOTE BY BALLOT- BUT VOTE WAS OPEN


Guest YORAM
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iN THE MATTER OF PUNISHING A MEMBER, The Bylaws say  vote by ballot:

..."arbitrator’s    ruling    of    the    facts    of    the    matter    and    recommendation    of    punishment,    if    any,    shall    be  

 submitted    to    the    general    membership    for    approval,    at    the    next    GMM,    before    the    proposed    punishment

    can    become    final.        At    the    GMM,    held    in    an    executive    session,    [that    safeguards    the    privacy    of    the    accused  

 and    the    Association]    a    simple majority of Active members present and voting by ballot is needed to affirm..." [Emphasis added]

The GMM voted NOT by ballot, but by show of hands.

Is that OK? Does the punishment stand? Or is it invalid?

 

Thank you

 

Yoram

 

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According to RONR, if the bylaws require a ballot vote, that provision cannot be waived or suspended. RONR , p. 251. I believe the vote was invalid. Whether you may (or must) vote again or if it is too late I cannot tell you based on the information you gave us.

Stay tuned. Others May disagree or want to add more information

Edited by Richard Brown
Added citation to RONR
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6 hours ago, Guest YORAM said:

Is that OK? Does the punishment stand? Or is it invalid?

Well, it's not okay, in that it is never okay to violate your bylaws.

If I were answering on a fresh piece of paper, so to speak, I would say that the decision nonetheless stands since no complaint was made at the time, and the procedural defect is now not timely.  The rule in RONR, in my opinion, simply means that waiving or suspending it is out of order, not that the issue remains timely after the decision is made.  But Mr. Brown's taking a different position makes me question my own.  Having thought it through, I still don't see a way clear to agreeing with Mr. Brown, but I can't answer with confidence.

Edited to add:  Shows what I get for writing without looking in the book.

Edited by Joshua Katz
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Guest Who's Coming to Dinner

The Book is quite clear that violating a rule that a vote be taken by ballot constitutes an ongoing breach susceptible to a Point of Order at any future time.

RONR (11th ed.), p. 251, l. 20–22

 

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I agree with Mr. Brown.  RONR notes that a vote will be null and void and subject to a point of order after the fact where there is a violation of "a rule in the bylaws requiring a vote to be taken by ballot (p. 251, ll. 21-22)."  In such cases, a point of order may be raised while the breach is continuing. 

This would not be the case if the breach of the rules was not continuing, e.g. the member was suspended for one hour and the suspension had no detrimental effects to the member from then on.   

 

Edited by J. J.
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