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Dennis Roberts

Question of Legality of By Law Rule

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I am wondering about whether a club ruled by a constitution and Roberts Rules of Order can legally Assess a fee for dinner meeting that a person probably would not attend anyway because they are not required.

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It was passed and adopted to the by laws. But the reason for my question is it reminds me of the Affordable Healthcare Act Mandate. I do not attend dinner meetings due to reasons such as, terrible restaurant or foo and the like. Besides they are not a required meeting. Charging for something I will not receive.

 

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Guest Zev

Whatever dues or fees are charged by the society must be explicitly provided for in the bylaws. The doubt I have is if the bylaws provided for a fee regardless of whether the member attended the dinner event or not. Charging the member if the member attends seems reasonable, but charging the fee if they do not attend seems counter-intuitive and harsh, although conceivable in some outside-the-box view of the world. Perhaps Guest Roberts can supply the relevant bylaw quotation requested by Dr. Kapur and thereby shed some additional light on this subject.

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1 hour ago, Dennis Roberts said:

It was passed and adopted to the by laws. But the reason for my question is it reminds me of the Affordable Healthcare Act Mandate. I do not attend dinner meetings due to reasons such as, terrible restaurant or foo and the like. Besides they are not a required meeting. Charging for something I will not receive.

 

So far as RONR is concerned, your bylaws are superior to everything except applicable procedural laws, your articles of incorporation (if any), and your constitution, if any. While Guest Zev's questions on the wording are well-taken, assuming it does, in fact, do what you describe, it is the rule unless one of those higher rules contradicts it - RONR has nothing to say about it, because your bylaws outrank RONR. That doesn't necessarily mean it's a good rule, but the solution to that would be to amend it out rather than any parliamentary tactic.

 

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2 hours ago, Dennis Roberts said:

It was passed and adopted to the by laws. But the reason for my question is it reminds me of the Affordable Healthcare Act Mandate. I do not attend dinner meetings due to reasons such as, terrible restaurant or foo and the like. Besides they are not a required meeting. Charging for something I will not receive.

 

Yeah, well, I don't have any children and I still pay taxes for schools.
The point is that these are the rules of the society you are a member of and -- as it sounds like the rule was properly adopted -- if you still want to be a member of the society you need to follow those rules.

You mentioned "legally" in your original post. Feel free to consult an attorney but I don't see what law has been broken. {I am Not a lawyer. This is Not legal advice}

All of this is in agreement with Mr. Katz's comments, by the way.

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14 minutes ago, Atul Kapur said:

Yeah, well, I don't have any children and I still pay taxes for schools.

There are (not that it's all that relevant) at least 2 differences between school taxes and the ACA mandate. First, the mandate is federal, while school taxes are local. Second, taxes are paid to the government under its taxing power, while the ACA mandates paying money to a private company under, well, no power in particular, except that the enforcement mechanism is (well, was) a "tax" and thus is valid under the federal taxing power, or, at least, that's what the Court said. There are problems with this - such as the fact that there currently is no "tax" and its therefore hard to see how this scheme makes sense under the taxing power, and the fact that, at least at first glance, the charge for not purchasing insurance was a direct tax other than on income and was not apportioned. But that's what the Court said, anyway.

Of course, both are, in some sense, involuntary, in a way that membership in an organization typically is not. 

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40 minutes ago, Joshua Katz said:

There are (not that it's all that relevant) at least 2 differences between school taxes and the ACA mandate.

I agree, neither of them are relevant to the point that was being made: they are the rules (or laws) of the society, whether every individual member of the society directly benefits from every use of the funds or not.

Hopefully, our agreement on that point will prevent this thread degrading into a discussion about ACA.

Edited by Atul Kapur

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