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Status of a motion


Ian Watt
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I am the Secretary  and stand-in parliamentarian of a Grand Jury and came upon an interesting dilemma.......
A suggested motion from the Foreperson wanted to reschedule a Q&A of a government instrumentality due to a DA investigation of that agency having been announced several days go - the motion was not supported and therefore lapsed.
Several people wanted a new motion that said the schedules appointment should stand, was moved and seconded, voted upon overwhelmingly with one abstension, mine.
Many years ago I was told that a motion like this could not be permitted because it did not change anything either positive or negatively.
Am I out of date?
And should the motion be allowed given that the schedule remained unchanged with no motion made to change it?
I await with considerable interest!

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Well, while this has answers from a parliamentary perspective, I'm going to decline to answer because of the obviously legal situation and the likely interaction of complex criminal procedure laws, federal and state. If there is a question of procedure in a grand jury, it should be directed to available counsel.

I note, though, that you didn't say anything about objecting to this or raising a point of order. As a general matter, people doing something you think is out of order, when you haven't spoken up, doesn't mean what you think is out of date. It could mean they are wrong.

On another matter, according to RONR, a motion to not take any action is out of order. For example, a motion to not modify a schedule would be out of order. But that is a side point, and has little to do with your situation.

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1 hour ago, Ian Watt said:

I am the Secretary  and stand-in parliamentarian of a Grand Jury and came upon an interesting dilemma.......
A suggested motion from the Foreperson wanted to reschedule a Q&A of a government instrumentality due to a DA investigation of that agency having been announced several days go - the motion was not supported and therefore lapsed.
Several people wanted a new motion that said the schedules appointment should stand, was moved and seconded, voted upon overwhelmingly with one abstension, mine.
Many years ago I was told that a motion like this could not be permitted because it did not change anything either positive or negatively.
Am I out of date?
And should the motion be allowed given that the schedule remained unchanged with no motion made to change it?
I await with considerable interest!

If the rules in RONR apply:

A motion which would have the same effect if adopted as the status quo is not in order.  But if nobody raises a point of order, and the motion is adopted this would not appear to create a continuing breach, so a point of order no longer seems timely.

But so as far as RONR is concerned, you're not out of date at all.

Disclaimer:
To what extent the rules in RONR apply to grand jury proceedings is a subject on which I can claim no knowledge whatsoever.

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17 hours ago, Ian Watt said:

And should the motion be allowed given that the schedule remained unchanged with no motion made to change it?
I await with considerable interest!

In case you are asking whether the  motion should be recorded in the minutes, the answer is "yes."

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I should have said that this is not a criminal grand jury but is what could be described as 'civil' if there was a term for it.
I did raise it as a point of order (which was vigorously challenged) but in the end the motion was accepted and voted unanimously bar my abstention vote.
Thankyou for your comments, I am glad that I haven't lost it all to age!!

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39 minutes ago, Ian Watt said:

I should have said that this is not a criminal grand jury but is what could be described as 'civil' if there was a term for it.

I'm not sure this changes my opinion that this is more of a legal question.

40 minutes ago, Ian Watt said:

 I did raise it as a point of order (which was vigorously challenged) but in the end the motion was accepted and voted unanimously bar my abstention vote.

Hmm, well, leaving aside that I just noticed you are fill-in parliamentarian, what happened when you raised the point of order? Did the chair rule? 

40 minutes ago, Ian Watt said:

 Thankyou for your comments, I am glad that I haven't lost it all to age!!

The only thing worse than getting old, is not getting old.

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