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Motion to postpone without specifying when


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A motion was made, seconded and passed to postpone the motion on the floor.  No time or date was stated in the motion.  It was stated as: I make a motion to postpone the motion on the floor.  What happens now?  Is the original motion then just postponed indefinitely?  The speaker intended for the original motion to be continued at the next monthly meeting, but did not state it in the motion, and feels that "everyone knew what she meant".

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What did the Chair indicate when they put the motion to Postpone to a vote? The Chair should ensure that the assembly is clear on the question they are voting on. It may be that the Chair also felt that "everyone knew" what was meant.

Has your association ever actually Postponed a motion Indefinitely (it's uncommon in most organizations I've been involved with)? If not, it seems reasonable to assume that the assembly did understand this to be the motion to Postpone To a Certain Time (Postpone Definitely), in which case it should show up under Unfinished Business and General Orders next month.

Edited by Atul Kapur, PRP "Student"
complete title of the subdivision of Order of Business
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Since the motion was not specific as to when it is being postponed to, I would take the position that it was postponed until the next meeting. That is because it is improper to postpone a motion beyond the next meeting, assuming that meeting will take place within a quarterly time interval.

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44 minutes ago, Atul Kapur, PRP "Student" said:

What did the Chair indicate when they put the motion to Postpone to a vote? The Chair should ensure that the assembly is clear on the question they are voting on. It may be that the Chair also felt that "everyone knew" what was meant.

Has your association ever actually Postponed a motion Indefinitely (it's uncommon in most organizations I've been involved with)? If not, it seems reasonable to assume that the assembly did understand this to be the motion to Postpone To a Certain Time (Postpone Definitely), in which case it should show up under Unfinished Business next month.

Well, technically as a General Order, but that's typically the same heading: Unfinished Business and General Orders.

Based on what has been presented here, I have no clue whether it was postponed or killed.  I guess what I would do is attempt to take it up after Unfinished Business, if any, and see if anyone raises a point of order that it was supposed to be killed.  I would then defer the ruling to the judgment of the assembly.

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1 hour ago, Gary Novosielski said:

attempt to take it up after Unfinished Business, if any, and see if anyone raises a point of order that it was supposed to be killed.  I would then defer the ruling to the judgment of the assembly.

and if the assembly says that the motion was killed at the last meeting, it could be renewed at this one (it is a new session as we are told the meetings are monthly).

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5 hours ago, Richard Brown said:

Since the motion was not specific as to when it is being postponed to, I would take the position that it was postponed until the next meeting. That is because it is improper to postpone a motion beyond the next meeting, assuming that meeting will take place within a quarterly time interval.

By postponing it without setting a time, the motion would become a general order.  It would come up under "Unfinished Business and General Orders."   It is possible that the assembly postponed the motion at some point in the order of business prior to reaching that point. 

I would disagree that it was automatically is postponed until the next meeting. 

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It's possible that the assembly intended to postpone the motion to later in the same meeting, but if they then went on to adjournment without taking it up, and nobody noticed, that would suggest that they intended to postpone it to the next meeting.

But it's all guesswork.  My first instinct is that when an assembly postpones, and does not postpone definitely, it has postponed indefinitely. As is often the case, I fault the chair for sloppy presiding.

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