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bylaws error repeated in new proposed bylaw

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Hi - please let me know what sections of Robert's Rules of Order 11th ed. are relevant to this situation:

One of the bylaws has a scrivener's error.  The bylaws state they include Robert's Rules of Order 11th ed. Before the scrivenor's error is corrected, another bylaw

change was proposed that copied  the contents of the bylaw text containing the scrivenor's error along with the new proposed changes.

Is the scrivenor's error now legitimate  and no longer a 'scrivenor's error' ?

 

Edited by stature

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1 hour ago, stature said:

Hi - please let me know what sections of Robert's Rules of Order 11th ed. are relevant to this situation:

One of the bylaws has a scrivener's error.  The bylaws state they include Robert's Rules of Order 11th ed. Before the scrivenor's error is corrected, another bylaw

change was proposed that copied  the contents of the bylaw text containing the scrivenor's error along with the new proposed changes.

Is the scrivenor's error now legitimate  and no longer a 'scrivenor's error' ?

 

That might depend on just what the error is.  Like Mr. Huynh, I'd like to see the actual text.

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The text is 'officers are limited to two four-year terms, and after another period of four years can apply again..."

The scrivenors error is that the text that was not supposed to be included: "  (specific officer position) is limited to two four-year terms, and after another period of four years can apply again..."

The scrivenors error was never passed.  Now the error appears in a new proposed bylaw change  but the error is not identified as a change or something new to be voted on along with the highlighted changes in the bylaws up for vote.  

 

The effect is that under the scrivenors error bylaw people can rotate among different officer positions without waiting out for 4 years before they apply for a position again.  The true bylaw is that limited people to 2 terms of any officer position, once the 2 terms are up, they have to wait 4 years to apply again to be officer.  The erroneous bylaw appears in minutes as rejected.

 

So the question is whether including that erroneous bylaw  sentence in another bylaw proposal legitimized it, even though the erroneous bylaw isn't called out as a change, and was just copied along  with the other parts of a section.  The changes for the new proposal were  highlighted to be voted on, not the erroneous sentence.

Edited by stature

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I think you're going to need to raise a point of order to correct the error. If your minutes clearly indicate the proposed change that was not adopted and what was adopted, then a correction should be simple to put into effect. The fact that the error was continued in the subsequent change does not give it any validity.

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32 minutes ago, Atul Kapur said:

I think you're going to need to raise a point of order to correct the error. If your minutes clearly indicate the proposed change that was not adopted and what was adopted, then a correction should be simple to put into effect. The fact that the error was continued in the subsequent change does not give it any validity.

I agree, however, it may impact the subsequent change.

An amendment, properly formed, has to have reference to what it is changing. If that reference is incorrect, then the motion may be, strictly speaking, meaningless, or else it may have an unintended effect. The exact wording of the motion in question may matter.

For instance, if a motion is "to insert the word 'sunny' before the word 'day'", but the word "day" does not appear anywhere, this is a motion that does nothing. But if the motion is "to strike out section 7.2", and the copy of the bylaws that people were using were incorrectly numbered, then the result is that the section that was actually 7.2 is stricken and the other one remains. If the motion says to replace section 1.4 with new text that the author thought was making only a small change, but the author was wrong about what section 1.4 actually contained, it's nonetheless a motion to replace all of section 1.4. This may "bake in" the error that was made previously.

It is common these days to present amendments in the form of stricken-out and underlined text for deletions and replacements. Sometimes this doesn't provide perfect clarity as to the actual effect of the amendment, and best judgment needs to be used to understand them in situations like these.

Ideally, you will have the opportunity to let the mover of the upcoming amendment know of the error, and then they can correct the motion. If you don't have a chance to do so prior to them making the motion at the meeting, you can offer a modification (see p. 40 of RONR) or an amendment to fix it. You could also raise a point of order if the result would be a motion with no effect (such as the "sunny" example above), but if the motion would have an effect, just not the intended one, then the only recourse to prevent it from making that effect is to amend it or to defeat it. In most cases, this should not cause an issue with respect to the notice provided (since, presumably, the notice of the motion indicates the change that is intended and this is unrelated or at least a lesser change), but if you are concerned about that or receive pushback that it must be in exactly the wording for which notice was given, you may wish to read the section on scope of notice on pp. 307-308 (and elsewhere in the book, see the index).

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Thank you for your input and for the suggestions on how to fix it.  The subsequent proposal would not be impacted by going back to the bylaw sentence the way it was meant to be, and the new change can take effect if it is voted for.  The problem was just repeating the scrivenor's error bylaw and what happens when it continues to be repeated especially with respect to other proposed changes.  Fixing should be easy given the scrivenor error can be compared to the good documentation in the minutes.

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