Jump to content
The Official RONR Q & A Forums

ALDiablo
 Share

Recommended Posts

In a meeting I cited a passage from Robert’s Rules for Dummies (3rd Edition) which referenced Roberts Rules of Order (11th Edition) and I am trying to find the exact text in Robert’s Rules 11th Edition that is referenced but I haven’t been able to.

The text I quoted from Robert’s Rules for Dummies is found on page 92, fifth paragraph and states “However, if someone rises and starts making comments in support or opposition (even without being recognized by the chair or without saying “Second”, the motion is considered seconded because another member has expressed interest in discussing the motion.”

I am still looking for the text in the official Robert’s Rules of Order 11th Edition but I don’t know if it is a literal reference or paraphrasing but either way I want to find the passages that support my citation in the meeting in the official Robert’s Rules. If anyone has experience to help me find the pages containing the text I am searching for, I would really appreciate it.

Thank you in advance,

ALDiablo

PS, This is my first time using parliamentary procedure so I apologize if my request isn’t very polished.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

He might be referring to this - "After debate has begun or, if there is no debate, after any member has voted, the lack of a second has become immaterial and it is too late to make a point of order that the motion has not been seconded. "  RONR (11th ed.), p. 37

I'm not sure I'd agree that the motion is properly considered seconded, it's just that it doesn't matter at this point.  See pp. 35-37 for the passage on seconding a motion.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with Mr. Mervosh.  It is quite clear that once debate or voting begins, the lack of a second is immaterial. 

Edited to add:  I don't think it really matters whether one says that the motion has, in effect, been seconded once debate begins or if we say that the lack of a second becomes immaterial.  The effect is the same:  The  lack of a formal second is no longer important.

Edited by Richard Brown
Added last paragraph
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Richard,

Thank you for your input. I guess the main point of wonder for me is what constitutes debate on a motion. I made a motion in a meeting and there was no initial second but another member started talking about the motion and based on what I read in the book that made reference to Roberts Rules, I made the assertion that that counted as a second based on the fact that a discussion on the matter had been initiated. It didn’t make people very happy but as I understood it, that was how it worked (or could work).

This was my first ever motion following parliamentary procedures and I thought I was following the rules but I think some thought it was slightly underhanded. That was not my intent and I am continuing to make sure I have a comprehensive understanding of this particular instance.

Thanks again for your input, it helps clarify my thoughts.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Who's Coming to Dinner

What were they unhappy about? That you insisted on having your motion properly disposed of? I wonder if your group labors under the common but mistaken idea that discussion comes first, before the motion is made.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Perhaps this (pg. 29, RONR 11th ed.):

Quote

Before a member in an assembly can make a motion or speak in debate -- the parliamentary name given to any form of discussion of the merits of a motion...

Curiosity question.

At the instant another member started his speech, did anyone or the presiding officer say anything in reference to the then-lack of a second?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

GWCD,

Mostly, they were taken aback that I indicated that by talking about the motion, my understanding was that counted as a second. Basically, the majority didn’t want to discuss it but one of them did anyway and that is when I made the statement that that counted as a second.

I am new to this and had been reading through Robert’s Rules for Dummies to help me get up to speed on content in Robert’s Rules of Order New Edition. I had no intent on trickery but as I read it and it was a companion to the official Robert’s Rules, it was a valid point.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Zev,

Nobody said anything at that point at the lack of a second. I think everyone was taken aback. Someone handed me a copy of Robert’s Rules of Order New Edition and wanted me to find it.  Well I found the passage referenced here by George Mervosh but I guess it wasn’t registering to me as the same thing I read in the book Roberts Rules for Dummies. The attorney present really couldn’t find the exact wording either but we were both on the page with the passage George Mervosh mentioned and he suggested that he couldn’t say this passage either confirmed or was not correct so he just suggested that the motion be seconded so as we could move on to discussion which is what all I wanted anyway.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Basically, I am new to this so I was reading through Roberts Rules for Dummies to just try to get up to speed and be able to sound reasonably intelligent when I was making my first ever motion. I understand that some might have thought it was bad form but I am still learning this and it was written in the book and I interpreted it as a useful tool. I really wasn’t trying to trick anyone although I think there will be some fence mending needed in the near future.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not sure what Robert's Rules of Order New Edition is, but it does not sound like Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised 11th Edition.

The text you're looking for is in §3 under Seconding a Motion.  Note that technically it does not say that someone debating "counts" as a second.  But it does say that it is then too late to raise a point of order that the motion was not seconded.  So you were correct that those not wishing to discuss it were too late once someone began to debate the motion.

Quote

In handling routine motions, less attention is paid to the requirement of a second. If the chair is certain that a motion meets with wide approval but members are slow in seconding it, he can state the question without waiting for a second. However, until debate has begun in such a case—or, if there is no debate, until the chair begins to take the vote and any member has voted—a point of order (see 23) can be raised that the motion has not been seconded; and then the chair must proceed formally and ask if there is a second. Such a point of order should not be made only for the sake of form, if it is clear that more than one member wishes to take up the motion. After debate has begun or, if there is no debate, after any member has voted, the lack of a second has become immaterial and it is too late to make a point of order that the motion has not been seconded. If a motion is considered and adopted without having been seconded—even in a case where there was no reason for the chair to overlook this requirement—the absence of a second does not affect the validity of the motion’s adoption.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You are doing the right thing. You have nothing to apologize for, and I don't think you need to make any excuses. You could, however, suggest they purchase a copy of Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised, 11th edition. And make sure the presiding officer has one also.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Gary,

My apologies, on the book title,  I am using Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised 11th Edition. Thanks for the input. I think I am just having some trouble reading a companion book written in layman’s terms and then finding the exact text it is meant to reference in the official Robert’s Rules.

Thanks for response, it has been very helpful.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Zev,

Thanks for the support. I  guess only the person that commits an action truly knows what their intent is and I didn’t mean it to be “trickery”. I  just picked the book up to start reading on how to make motions and what happens if there is no second. I am sensitive to the concept of not being more formal than needed but this is something that anyone could have read through if they wanted to.

The sad thing is that the members who are not happy with me,  for the most part, have been doing this for much longer than I.

Thanks again Zev and to everyone who has commented so far.  I appreciate your insight.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A couple of points. First, I don't think you did anything wrong. Many people who "have been doing this for years" are actually not doing it correctly and are taken aback when the actual rules are presented to them, as it sounds like you did. I'm not surprised the attorney also didn't back you up because most of them didn't actually get trained in parliamentary procedure (No offence intended to attorneys in the forum),

Second (No pun intended) it may be clearer if we go back to the purpose of the concept of seconding. It's to indicate that more than one person wants to discuss / debate the motion. So if another person starts debating it, that fulfills the condition - two people (the mover and this other person who's debating) both want to debate it. So at that point, a formal second is unnecessary. 

Note that the seconder doesn't need to support the motion. They just want it debated and dealt with in some way. They may even want it defeated, so that the assembly is on record as being against the idea. This may be the source of the confusion and consternation amongst some of your group: they may think that the requirement for a seconder is to indicate that more than one person supports the motion, which is incorrect.

Third, I suggest that you graduate from the Dummies book and get a copy of Rules of Order Newly Revised In Brief which is a simple evening's reading, is also fairly straightforward, is cheaper than the Dummies book, and has all the references to The Big Book, because it's written by the same authorship group.

Edited by Atul Kapur
Expanded a bit on my thoughts as flight delayed taking off
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Atul,

Thank for your thoughts. Yes indeed, I  do plan on purchasing Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised In Brief, I  have learned the shortcomings of a  non-official companion to the RORN. The  for Dummies version is a good read but I  need direct reference (1:1) for conducting business in meetings without wasting others time.

Thanks again,  Atul.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Atul Kapur said:

 I'm not surprised the attorney also didn't back you up because most of them didn't actually get trained in parliamentary procedure (No offence intended to attorneys in the forum),

No offense taken, of course, because parliamentary law is not the sort of law with which lawyers are concerned, and is not something which is taught in law schools. Ohm's law isn't taught in law school either.  🙂

Some rules of parliamentary procedure may be incorporated into statutes regulating the conduct of business in the deliberative assemblies of certain organizations, but this is then a part of the corporate law, constitutional law, labor law, or whatever, which is applicable to such organizations, and is the sort of law with which lawyers are expected to be familiar. 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...