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Revisit or new motion?


Guest Dick F
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 A few years ago at a meeting, a member made a motion to hold one of our annual events always on the 3rd Saturday in March. The motion was seconded, debated and passed with a majority vote.  A month ago ( 3 meetings ago), a different member made a new motion to hold this event on a different Saturday in March this coming year, so a dignitary would be able to attend. This motion was seconded, debated and passed with around a 80 % majority vote. There was no wording or motion to "revisit"  amend, or rescind the motion from the earlier meeting. Two meetings later a different member complained that the last motion was made illegally according to Roberts Rules. 

First: Was this an illegal motion?

Second: If this was an illegal motion, what would be the best procedure to correct the situation?

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7 hours ago, Guest Dick F said:

 A few years ago at a meeting, a member made a motion to hold one of our annual events always on the 3rd Saturday in March. The motion was seconded, debated and passed with a majority vote.  A month ago ( 3 meetings ago), a different member made a new motion to hold this event on a different Saturday in March this coming year, so a dignitary would be able to attend. This motion was seconded, debated and passed with around a 80 % majority vote. There was no wording or motion to "revisit"  amend, or rescind the motion from the earlier meeting. Two meetings later a different member complained that the last motion was made illegally according to Roberts Rules. 

First: Was this an illegal motion?

Yes.  "Apart from a motion to Rescind or to Amend Something Previously Adopted (35), no main motion is in order that conflicts with a motion previously adopted at any time and still in force." (RONR, 11th ed., p. 111)

7 hours ago, Guest Dick F said:

 Second: If this was an illegal motion, what would be the best procedure to correct the situation?

Assuming that there is a legitimate question as to whether or not this motion was adopted by at least a two-thirds vote, a point of order concerning its validity can be raised at any time (RONR, 11th ed., p. 251). Whether or not this is what happened at the meeting held two weeks later is not clear.

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3 hours ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

Assuming that there is a legitimate question as to whether or not this motion was adopted by at least a two-thirds vote, a point of order concerning its validity can be raised at any time (RONR, 11th ed., p. 251). Whether or not this is what happened at the meeting held two weeks later is not clear.

Wouldn't p. 251, ll. 12-15, apply in this case, i.e. that the motion was "adopted by the vote required to rescind or amend the previously adopted motion?"    It may be a situation where the action was wrong, but it is too late to do anything about it. 

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41 minutes ago, J. J. said:

Wouldn't p. 251, ll. 12-15, apply in this case, i.e. that the motion was "adopted by the vote required to rescind or amend the previously adopted motion?"    It may be a situation where the action was wrong, but it is too late to do anything about it. 

Those are my thoughts, too. What  are JJ, Mr. Huynh and I missing?

Edited by Richard Brown
Added Mr. Huyhn
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4 hours ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

Assuming that there is a legitimate question as to whether or not this motion was adopted by at least a two-thirds vote

Mr. Honemann did preface his comment with this statement. I took it to mean that if there was no question about the 80% vote in favour (or any vote >2/3), then a point of order would not be well taken.

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5 hours ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

Yes.  "Apart from a motion to Rescind or to Amend Something Previously Adopted (35), no main motion is in order that conflicts with a motion previously adopted at any time and still in force." (RONR, 11th ed., p. 111)

Assuming that there is a legitimate question as to whether or not this motion was adopted by at least a two-thirds vote, a point of order concerning its validity can be raised at any time (RONR, 11th ed., p. 251). Whether or not this is what happened at the meeting held two weeks later is not clear.

 

54 minutes ago, Guest Student said:

Mr. Honemann did preface his comment with this statement. I took it to mean that if there was no question about the 80% vote in favour (or any vote >2/3), then a point of order would not be well taken.

Why wouldn't a challenge to the chair's possible incorrect announcement that the motion was adopted have to be challenged by a timely point of order at the time of the announcement?    A question as to whether a quorum was present may be raised at any time (but is subject to a high burden of proof), but I'm not aware of any provision in RONR that allows the chair's incorrect announcement as to whether a motion was adopted to be a continuing breach that can be challenged at any time.

Edited to add:  Allowing the announced vote result  to be challenged at any time during the continuance of the breach also seems to conflict with Official Interpretation 2006-18:  http://www.robertsrules.com/interp_list.html#2006_18

Edited by Richard Brown
Added last paragraph
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Unlike the situation in Official Interpretation 2006-18, this was not an instance in which the motion under consideration was a motion to Rescind or to Amend Something Previously Adopted. The motion which was made here was not in order because it conflicted with a motion previously adopted and still in force. Such improper motions, if declared to be adopted, are null and void unless adopted by the vote required to amend or rescind the motion previously adopted, and a point of order concerning their validity can be raised at any time. If and when such a point of order is raised, the motion so adopted should be declared to be null and void unless it is determined, at that time, that it had been adopted by the vote required to amend or rescind the previously adopted motion.

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8 hours ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

Unlike the situation in Official Interpretation 2006-18, this was not an instance in which the motion under consideration was a motion to Rescind or to Amend Something Previously Adopted. The motion which was made here was not in order because it conflicted with a motion previously adopted and still in force. Such improper motions, if declared to be adopted, are null and void unless adopted by the vote required to amend or rescind the motion previously adopted, and a point of order concerning their validity can be raised at any time. If and when such a point of order is raised, the motion so adopted should be declared to be null and void unless it is determined, at that time, that it had been adopted by the vote required to amend or rescind the previously adopted motion.

Around 80% of the voters were in favor, according to the Guest Dick F. 

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13 minutes ago, J. J. said:

Around 80% of the voters were in favor, according to the Guest Dick F. 

Yes, and this no doubt is why Mr. Honemann prefaced his statement by saying “Assuming that there is a legitimate question as to whether or not this motion was adopted by at least a two-thirds vote“.

Conversely, if we assume that Dick F’s statement on this matter is correct and undisputed, then certainly a Point of Order alleging that the motion is null and void should be ruled not well taken.

Edited by Josh Martin
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13 hours ago, Guest Student said:

Mr. Honemann did preface his comment with this statement. I took it to mean that if there was no question about the 80% vote in favour (or any vote >2/3), then a point of order would not be well taken.

I'd say a point of order would have been well taken if it had been made at the time. But if the vote was 2/3 or better, the otherwise valid point of order would no longer be timely, but if it was less than 2/3 then a point of order could be raised at a later time.

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In this sort of case should the Chair's default position be that the Point of Order is Well Taken and it would be up to someone to provide some evidence that the motion got the 2/3 or majority of the entire membership?  Or can the Chair rely on his memory of the event that the vote seemed to have garnered the required number?  Also, would it be proper for the Chair upon the Point being raised to instruct the Secretary to refer to the minutes of the meeting in question to determine if the vote was counted or taken by ballot?

Edited by Chris Harrison
Added bolded question
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"Clear and convincing evidence" (a phrase used in quorum discussions, but presumably applicable here too) in the RONR context would appear to mean "whatever convinces a majority that the statement is true".    What else could it mean?  The assembly is the ultimate authority, judge, and jury (short of legal approaches, of course).

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2 hours ago, jstackpo said:

"Clear and convincing evidence" (a phrase used in quorum discussions, but presumably applicable here too) in the RONR context would appear to mean "whatever convinces a majority that the statement is true".    What else could it mean?  The assembly is the ultimate authority, judge, and jury (short of legal approaches, of course).

Well, that's also what convincing would mean. What is "clear" doing, then?

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3 hours ago, Chris Harrison said:

In this sort of case should the Chair's default position be that the Point of Order is Well Taken and it would be up to someone to provide some evidence that the motion got the 2/3 or majority of the entire membership?  Or can the Chair rely on his memory of the event that the vote seemed to have garnered the required number?  Also, would it be proper for the Chair upon the Point being raised to instruct the Secretary to refer to the minutes of the meeting in question to determine if the vote was counted or taken by ballot?

I think that the chair may certainly use his own judgment and knowledge in this matter when determining how to rule. It would seem to be prudent to instruct the Secretary to refer to the minutes of the meeting in question.

Edited by Josh Martin
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12 hours ago, Josh Martin said:

Yes, and this no doubt is why Mr. Honemann prefaced his statement by saying “Assuming that there is a legitimate question as to whether or not this motion was adopted by at least a two-thirds vote“.

Conversely, if we assume that Dick F’s statement on this matter is correct and undisputed, then certainly a Point of Order alleging that the motion is null and void should be ruled not well taken.

I wanted it clarified that, in this case, the motion was adopted and it is too late to raise a point of order regarding the validity of the motion on that ground.

Edited by J. J.
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Thank you for the opinions. 

After seeing all the discussion here, I don't feel bad about being unsure of the validity of the challenge. 

What I have garnered here is that the motion was made improperly, but as long as it passed with at least a 2/3 majority the motion will stand as it is to late to bring up a challenge.

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1 hour ago, Guest Dick F said:

Thank you for the opinions. 

After seeing all the discussion here, I don't feel bad about being unsure of the validity of the challenge. 

What I have garnered here is that the motion was made improperly, but as long as it passed with at least a 2/3 majority the motion will stand as it is to late to bring up a challenge.

Well, no, I do not think that it is too late to raise a point of order, but if, when the point of order is raised, it is then determined that the motion was adopted by a two-thirds vote, the adoption of the motion will stand.

This assumes that when you said that it "passed with around a 80 % majority vote" this was just your estimation as to the percentage of the votes cast that were in favor of adoption, and not based upon an actual count.

 

 

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