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Discipline and Removal


J. J.
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After being named by the chair, the assembly orders Mr. D to leave the hall for the duration of the meeting.  Mr. Z refuses to leave.

The chair, fearing a lawsuit, does not wish to appoint a committee to remove the member.  He wishes to have the police brought in to remove the member.

Question 1:  May the chair call the police and direct them to remove the member or does the assembly have to vote to have the police brought in to remove the member?

Question 2a:  If the chair may do so on his own, may his decision be appealed? 

Question 2b:  If a vote of the assembly is needed, is such a motion debatable? 

(I would say that if a vote was needed, the chair states the question as, "Should the police be called to remove Mr. Z?")

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8 hours ago, J. J. said:

Question 1:  May the chair call the police and direct them to remove the member or does the assembly have to vote to have the police brought in to remove the member?

I think the chair may make this decision on his own. The chair is using his own best judgment on how to best carry out the assembly’s order that the member be removed. Nothing that I read in the text suggests that, when the society has ordered a member removed from the hall, the chair is required to follow up with the assembly for approval regarding the methods used to accomplish this.

8 hours ago, J. J. said:

Question 2a:  If the chair may do so on his own, may his decision be appealed? 

No, I do not think the chair’s decision in this matter may be appealed. This decision is not, in my mind, a decision regarding the exercise of the chair’s authority as presiding officer, and is therefore not the sort of decision which is subject to appeal. The decision of how a member is to be removed (rather than whether he is to be removed) seems to be an administrative decision, not a parliamentary one.

I do think that it would be in order, however, for a member to make a motion ordering the chair not to call the police regarding this matter. Presumably, this motion would also specify the method the motion maker intends to use to remove the disruptive member instead (such as having the sergeant-at-arms complete the task, or having the chair appoint a committee for the purpose). Given the circumstances, I think this is in the nature of a question of privilege, and it may well need to be addressed immediately. I think that such a motion would be debatable.

Edited by Josh Martin
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8 hours ago, J. J. said:

Question 1:  May the chair call the police and direct them to remove the member or does the assembly have to vote to have the police brought in to remove the member?

Question 2a:  If the chair may do so on his own, may his decision be appealed?

A good chair does not take action in a vacuum.

The chair ought to announce his intentions.

• "If there is no objection, the chair will dial 911 (or "dial hotel security") for a police officer to execute the removal of the member from the hall."

If there is an objection, then Robert's Rules is clear on what to do next.

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39 minutes ago, Kim Goldsworthy said:

For the sake of this thread, shall we call the targeted member "Z" or "D"?

Since you're having trouble figuring out what his real name is, just go ahead and called him Mr. X.

37 minutes ago, Kim Goldsworthy said:

A good chair does not take action in a vacuum.

Unless, of course, the meeting is held in a vacuum.

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40 minutes ago, Kim Goldsworthy said:

If there is an objection, then Robert's Rules is clear on what to do next.

Is it?  It seems to me that that's exactly what the discussion is about.  

 

2 minutes ago, Shmuel Gerber said:

Since you're having trouble figuring out what his real name is, just go ahead and called him Mr. X.

40 minutes ago, Kim Goldsworthy said:

Why not Mr. E?

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38 minutes ago, Kim Goldsworthy said:

The chair ought to announce his intentions.

• "If there is no objection, the chair will dial 911 (or "dial hotel security") for a police officer to execute the removal of the member from the hall."

If there is an objection, then Robert's Rules is clear on what to do next.

You're answering the question but without any supporting rule or reason (other than your "no vacuum" rule). Also, announcing one's intention is not the same thing as seeking permission, which is what the chair would be doing by saying "If there is no objection . . . ."

RONR (pp. 648-49) says, "If a person—whether a member of the assembly or not—refuses to obey the order of proper authority to leave the hall during a meeting, the chair should take necessary measures to see that the order is enforced, but should be guided by a judicious appraisal of the situation. The chair can appoint a committee to escort the offender to the door, or the sergeant-at-arms—if there is one—can be asked to do this. If those who are assigned that task are unable to persuade the offender to leave, it is usually preferable that he be removed by police—who may, however, be reluctant to intervene unless representatives of the organization are prepared to press charges."

I agree with Mr. Martin that this means the chair can call the police, if he or she deems it necessary to enforce the removal order, without seeking the approval of the assembly.

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1 hour ago, Shmuel Gerber said:

RONR (pp. 648-49) says, "...If those who are assigned that task are unable to persuade the offender to leave, it is usually preferable that he be removed by police—who may, however, be reluctant to intervene unless representatives of the organization are prepared to press charges."

Which raises the issue of what happens if the police arrive and ask whether the organization wishes to press charges.  Does the Chair have the authority to say yes on behalf of the organization or would he need to place that question before the assembly?

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4 hours ago, Chris Harrison said:

Which raises the issue of what happens if the police arrive and ask whether the organization wishes to press charges.  Does the Chair have the authority to say yes on behalf of the organization or would he need to place that question before the assembly?

Filing charges would be one of those "necessary measures" to enforce the removal order.  The assembly gave the chair the authority to call the police when it voted to remove Mr. Z (with "Mr. D" being an alias).

 

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13 hours ago, J. J. said:

Filing charges would be one of those "necessary measures" to enforce the removal order.  The assembly gave the chair the authority to call the police when it voted to remove Mr. Z (with "Mr. D" being an alias).

 

i agree.  If the decision has been made that Mr. Z. (if in fact that is his real name) must leave, yet he refuses to leave under his own power even after the arrival of police, and if the police will not remove him without someone pressing charges of, at the very least, trespassing, then I believe no further action on the part of the assembly is necessary before following through on this.

The ball is in Mr. Z.'s court.

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7 hours ago, Gary Novosielski said:

i agree.  If the decision has been made that Mr. Z. (if in fact that is his real name) must leave, yet he refuses to leave under his own power even after the arrival of police, and if the police will not remove him without someone pressing charges of, at the very least, trespassing, then I believe no further action on the part of the assembly is necessary before following through on this.

The ball is in Mr. Z.'s court.

That was one of the things that I was thinking about in the question.  Mr. Martin effectively answered it (for me) before I asked it. 

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