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Rescind or reconsider prior action or decision


BabbsJohnson
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Would you say that it is a members right to be able to bring up the past decision of the board if they plan on asking for reconsideration or rescinding of the original motion?

Can a board make a special rule of order or implement a rule on an  agreement of some kind that says that a member can never bring up a past decision for reconsideration?

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In the order you asked...

1)  Yes.

2)  Probably not.  A restriction on a single members right like like that would a) have to be in the bylaws (the board couldn't do it alone) and b) probably require a unanimous vote INCLUDING the vote of the member who was thus voting to restrict his/her own right.  See p. 261, paragraph 7.

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32 minutes ago, jstackpo said:

2)  Probably not.  A restriction on a single members right like like that would a) have to be in the bylaws (the board couldn't do it alone) and b) probably require a unanimous vote INCLUDING the vote of the member who was thus voting to restrict his/her own right.  See p. 261, paragraph 7.

Would you distinguish here between a rule that only prohibits the motion to RASPA in board meetings, vs. one that extends to a membership meeting?

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I think one problem here is clearly that the board cannot adopt a rule of order restricting the rights of the membership to make motions unless the bylaws give it that right. That is something which I think would have to be adopted by the membership, assuming that the membership even has the right to do it by means of a rule rather than only with a bylaw provision.

If done by a rule rather than a bylaw amendment, it is clearly a rule of order which can be suspended by two-thirds vote. The same thing would apply to a bylaw provision unless the provision itself, or some other bylaw provision, says that provision may not be suspended.

Question: why on earth would you want such a provision?

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I seem to recall more than one thread on this forum discussing the use of a Special Rule of Order to prevent the Renewal of a particular motion within a certain period of time. So I am unclear why a motion to Rescind / ASPA could not be prohibited by a Special Rule of Order.

I do not read OP's term "a member" as meaning that the prohibition applies only to one particular member. Rather, I understood it to mean any member.

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I am still unclear, after reading the 2 responses above, whether we're talking about the board adopting a special rule of order for the conduct of board meetings, or (attempting to) adopt one for membership meetings. 

I agree with Mr. Brown that such a rule will always be suspendable.

I agree with Dr. Kapur that the OP seemed to refer to any member, not to a specific member. I also agree that it strikes me as no different (if the board is adopting a rule for itself) than preventing renewal.

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I am in agreement with Mr. Brown, Mr. Katz, and Dr. Kapur.

It is in order to adopt a special rule that would prohibit* R/ASAP, or any other motion.  It might not be advisable to do so, but it is possible.  The rule is a rule of order and may be suspended.  It would be possible to adopt a special rule prohibiting R/ASPA and later suspend the rules to permit this special rule to be rescinded.

*If the bylaws contain a provision for their own amendment, a special rule could not prevent amendments to the bylaws. 

Edited by J. J.
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Let me clarify...

When I say member I mean board member, and it would apply to all board members.

They are asking all board members to sign a document that makes them promise to only bring up a disagreement with a prior action in executive session (and also to keep it secret) which, unless it had to do with a strict list of executive session topics, it would not qualify to be brought up in executive session (and according to our state laws, it would be illegal to discuss or do business on an authorized topics)

 It’s a bit circular, and I’m not even sure if they planned it that way, but if signed, that would be it’s effect... that nothing would be able to be brought up in open session that any board member disagreed with, even if they planned on asking for reconsideration.

I know this seems a bit convoluted, but I hope that the meaning is clear...

I’d like to be able to argue (when the time comes) that bringing up a prior decision for reconsideration is as strong of a right as making a  motion. Do you think it is?

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20 minutes ago, .oOllXllOo. said:

I’d like to be able to argue (when the time comes) that bringing up a prior decision for reconsideration is as strong of a right as making a  motion. Do you think it is?

If I understood the thread correctly it seems as though the intention is not to prevent a motion to Rescind or Amend Something Previously Adopted but instead to adopt a special rule of order to cause such motions to automatically be considered in executive session unless they fit the category of motions that may not be considered in executive according to statutory limitations.

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10 minutes ago, Guest Zev said:

If I understood the thread correctly it seems as though the intention is not to prevent a motion to Rescind or Amend Something Previously Adopted but instead to adopt a special rule of order to cause such motions to automatically be considered in executive session unless they fit the category of motions that may not be considered in executive according to statutory limitations.

 In essence, this agreement says we will not disagree with any prior action of the board unless we keep it a secret by bringing it up only in executive session...  

but due to the restrictions on executive session, that means that a huge number of topics can never lawfully be brought up at all for reconsideration.

It seems the agreement is intended to severely restrict or even eliminate the ability for board members to bring up a prior action for reconsideration.

 

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As you feel this may violate state law or, at least, that the provisions of state law will have an impact here, you should consult an attorney familiar with the applicable law.

More generally, it is a good idea to get legal advice before signing any agreements such as is being proposed

Edited by Atul Kapur
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4 minutes ago, Atul Kapur said:

As you feel this may violate state law or, at least, that the provisions of state law will have an impact here, you should consult an attorney familiar with the applicable law.

More generally, it is a good idea to get legal advice before signing any agreements such as is being proposed

A wise consideration, thank you.

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24 minutes ago, .oOllXllOo. said:

It seems the agreement is intended to severely restrict or even eliminate the ability for board members to bring up a prior action for reconsideration.

The motion to Reconsider must be made on the day the motion was adopted or the following day under certain circumstances. If we are talking solely about the motion to Reconsider then I fail to see the utility of this so-called agreement. If the so-called agreement covers any motion to Rescind or Amend Something Previously Adopted then I would call such a thing a recipe for disaster. If the society makes a mistake a strict adherence to the agreement would then make it near impossible to reverse course and implement a fix. Besides, since when did an agreement between two or more members of an assembly take precedence over the rules established in the bylaws?

It appears as though a person could refuse to sign such an agreement or they could sign it and then in the future violate it with impunity since the bylaws do not stipulate any penalty for refusing to sign it or disregarding it once having signed it. The individuals that have concocted this scheme have not thought out its probable consequences very carefully.

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On 6/15/2019 at 3:22 PM, .oOllXllOo. said:

Would you say that it is a members right to be able to bring up the past decision of the board if they plan on asking for reconsideration or rescinding of the original motion?

Yes, provided such a motion is pending or the member will conclude their remarks by making such a motion. Merely planning to make such a motion at an undefined point in the future is not sufficient.

On 6/15/2019 at 3:22 PM, .oOllXllOo. said:

Can a board make a special rule of order or implement a rule on an  agreement of some kind that says that a member can never bring up a past decision for reconsideration?

In my opinion, only a stand-alone board could adopt such a rule. Boards which are part of a larger society could not adopt such a rule (assuming RONR is the parliamentary authority), as such boards may not adopt rules conflicting with any rule of the society (including the parliamentary authority), and such a rule certainly conflicts with RONR. The society could adopt such a rule.

On 6/15/2019 at 3:45 PM, jstackpo said:

Probably not.  A restriction on a single members right like like that would a) have to be in the bylaws (the board couldn't do it alone) and b) probably require a unanimous vote INCLUDING the vote of the member who was thus voting to restrict his/her own right.  See p. 261, paragraph 7.

My understanding was that the rule would apply equally to all members.

On 6/15/2019 at 4:18 PM, Joshua Katz said:

Would you distinguish here between a rule that only prohibits the motion to RASPA in board meetings, vs. one that extends to a membership meeting?

I would not make such a distinction.

18 hours ago, J. J. said:

I am in agreement with Mr. Brown, Mr. Katz, and Dr. Kapur.

It is in order to adopt a special rule that would prohibit* R/ASAP, or any other motion.  It might not be advisable to do so, but it is possible.  The rule is a rule of order and may be suspended.  It would be possible to adopt a special rule prohibiting R/ASPA and later suspend the rules to permit this special rule to be rescinded.

*If the bylaws contain a provision for their own amendment, a special rule could not prevent amendments to the bylaws. 

But JJ, can a subordinate board adopt such a rule?

17 hours ago, .oOllXllOo. said:

I’d like to be able to argue (when the time comes) that bringing up a prior decision for reconsideration is as strong of a right as making a  motion. Do you think it is?

Yes, I think so.

 

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2 hours ago, Josh Martin said:

But JJ, can a subordinate board adopt such a rule?

 

Yes, a subordinate board could, for its own meetings (p. 486, ll. 17-19).  Granted, the assembly could rescind that rule.

The assembly could also adopt a rule of order prohibiting the board from creating a special rule of order relating to R/ASPA in specific or prohibiting the board from adopting a special rule of order, in general. 

Edited by J. J.
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23 minutes ago, J. J. said:

Yes, a subordinate board could, for its own meetings (p. 486, ll. 17-19).  Granted, the assembly could rescind that rule.

The assembly could also adopt a rule of order prohibiting the board from creating a special rule of order relating to R/ASPA in specific or prohibiting the board from adopting a special rule of order, in general. 

“The executive board of an organized society operates under the society's bylaws, the society's parliamentary authority, and any special rules of order or standing rules of the society which may be applicable to it. Such a board may adopt its own special rules of order or standing rules only to the extent that such rules do not conflict with any of the rules of the society listed above.” (RONR, 11th ed., pg. 486)

It would seem to me that the rule in question would conflict with RONR.

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33 minutes ago, Josh Martin said:

“The executive board of an organized society operates under the society's bylaws, the society's parliamentary authority, and any special rules of order or standing rules of the society which may be applicable to it. Such a board may adopt its own special rules of order or standing rules only to the extent that such rules do not conflict with any of the rules of the society listed above.” (RONR, 11th ed., pg. 486)

It would seem to me that the rule in question would conflict with RONR.

However, RONR permits its rules to be superseded by a special rule of order in most cases (p. 16, ll. 1-2).

RONR says two things.  The board cannot establish a special rule that runs counter a rule in RONR; most rules in RONR can be superseded by a special rule.  If you assume the former, then the latter cannot be true. 

Edited by J. J.
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28 minutes ago, J. J. said:

RONR says two things.  The board cannot establish a special rule that runs counter a rule in RONR; it also says that RONR can be superseded by a special rule.  If you assume the former, then the latter cannot be true. 

It appears that it could be true if we understand that the board cannot perform this act on its own initiative but would be required to request permission to do so from the assembly, which in turn could create the special rule of order on behalf of the board. However, if the board is the highest authority in the society then it could do as it pleased, within the limits of the bylaws of course.

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56 minutes ago, Joshua Katz said:

How, when RONR says that special rules of order supersede it? Where is the contradiction when the conflict is already provided for?

 

50 minutes ago, J. J. said:

However, RONR permits its rules to be superseded by a special rule of order in most cases (p. 16, ll. 1-2).

RONR says two things.  The board cannot establish a special rule that runs counter a rule in RONR; most rules in RONR can be superseded by a special rule.  If you assume the former, then the latter cannot be true. 

My interpretation of the rule in question has been that it places additional limitations upon the rules a subordinate board may adopt - that is, that such a board may only adopt special rules of order which, for instance, address a subject not covered in RONR, or which involve a rule which specifically mentions the possibility of a special rule of order (such as the rule concerning the number and length of speeches in debate).

If this is not correct, and a subordinate board is indeed free to adopt any special rules of order for its own use that it wishes (except to the extent that such rules conflict with other rules of the society or with rules in RONR which may only be superseded by a rule in the bylaws), then I agree that the board could adopt such a rule for its own meetings.

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1 minute ago, Guest Zev said:

It appears that it could be true if we understand that the board cannot perform this act on its own initiative but would be required to request permission to do so from the assembly, which in turn could create the special rule of order on behalf of the board. However, if the board is the highest authority in the society then it could do as it pleased, within the limits of the bylaws of course.

The converse would be true.  The assembly can establish a special rule prohibiting the board from making any special rules.   I cannot think of anything where the assembly would have to pre-authorize some action of the board, at least regarding some procedural.

The assembly could establish a rule of order that require the board meetings to always be held in executive session or prohibit executive session.   Without a rule either way the board is free to determine when it would go into executive session.  Could the adopt a rule that says, "executive sessions shall not be permitted?"  Certainly the could suspend the rules and prohibit motions to go into executive session, for the session.  I really cannot see a reason why not.

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1 hour ago, Josh Martin said:

 

My interpretation of the rule in question has been that it places additional limitations upon the rules a subordinate board may adopt - that is, that such a board may only adopt special rules of order which, for instance, address a subject not covered in RONR, or which involve a rule which specifically mentions the possibility of a special rule of order (such as the rule concerning the number and length of speeches in debate).

If this is not correct, and a subordinate board is indeed free to adopt any special rules of order for its own use that it wishes (except to the extent that such rules conflict with other rules of the society or with rules in RONR which may only be superseded by a rule in the bylaws), then I agree that the board could adopt such a rule for its own meetings.

The assembly can, however, permit the board to adopt rules of order.   They could do that, technically, but instructing the board, by majority vote.  They would not need to establish a special rule to do it. I don't see anything that would indicate that they would need a special rule.

Here is an example.   If the assembly should adopt a motion "that the board be never go into executive session," there is nothing in the book that would suggest that a greater than majority vote is needed.  Certainly, if this was a rule adopted by the assembly to apply to the assembly, it would be a special rule of order, as it deals with the orderly transaction of business if adopted by the board itself.  I'm having trouble saying, yes this is a rule of order and no it isn't. 

I am wondering if the p. 486, ll. 13-19 refers to this situation:

The board adopts this motion:  "All meetings of the assembly shall be held in open session."  In other words, the board cannot adopt rules for the assembly which conflict with the parliamentary authority.

Edited by J. J.
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I think we have most likely strayed away from the original problem. Here is what Newbie now says:

21 hours ago, .oOllXllOo. said:

In essence, this agreement says we will not disagree with any prior action of the board unless we keep it a secret by bringing it up only in executive session ...but due to the restrictions on executive session, that means that a huge number of topics can never lawfully be brought up at all for reconsideration.

If I now understand this correctly then it appears as though some board members are attempting to implement a so-called agreement between themselves that says that all previously-adopted motions must be examined in executive session while at the same time the statute prohibits certain subjects from being examined in executive session. Did I get it right this time?

 

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This question was asked by the OP:

"Can a board make a special rule of order or implement a rule on an  agreement of some kind that says that a member can never bring up a past decision for reconsideration?"

12 hours ago, Josh Martin said:

In my opinion, only a stand-alone board could adopt such a rule. Boards which are part of a larger society could not adopt such a rule (assuming RONR is the parliamentary authority), as such boards may not adopt rules conflicting with any rule of the society (including the parliamentary authority), and such a rule certainly conflicts with RONR. The society could adopt such a rule.

Some subsequent responses seem to question the correctness of this response by Mr. Martin, but they shouldn't have. 

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 Let me try to simplify this a bit.

Is the right of a board member to resend or amend something previously adopted as strong or significant a right as making a main motion?

 If the answer is yes, could a special rule of order be made that states that a board member cannot make motions?

Outside of the detail of executive session and what can and can’t be done there, what is the answer to the above question?

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