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Guest Oswalt

Point of Order

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Guest Oswalt

We have a Board of Directors that continually breaks the Rules of Order as well as the Bylaws of the HOA.  Recently, in a monthly Board of Directors Meeting where the members attend and make comments, The President did not call for the Minutes for approval, be read aloud.  Since we have had numerous errors on the approved minutes, I, as a member of the Association, called a Point Of Order asking that the minutes be read prior to a vote for approval.   He did not offer a ruling and became irritated.  He then asked if there was a motion to dispense with the reading of the minutes, which he received.  The Board voted to dispense with the reading.

I asked for a ruling as the assembly erupted asking one question after another with regard to why the Board insisted on breaking rules.  He became more aggravated stating it was a Board meeting, not a member’s meeting and we had no right to call a Point of Order and asked for a motion to adjourn the meeting which he received.   Motion carried,,, meeting adjourned and he called the Association’s lawyer for advice.  The lawyer agreed that members could not call a Point of Order in a Board Meeting.  After adjournment, he admitted he was surprised by the Point of Order and was not sure what to do.

I disagree with the lawyer and would like the opinion of others.  I think this is wrong in so many ways.

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As far as RONR is concerned only members of the body which is meeting (the Board) have any rights (RONR pp. 648-649).  So if you aren't a Board member you have no rights.  In other words, unless some superior rule (Bylaws or applicable law) says otherwise the lawyer is correct.

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Under the rules in RONR, at a meeting of the board, those who are not board members have no rights with reference to the proceedings of the board meeting and may not raise a point of order..  See RONR (11th ed.), pp. 648-649.

Edited by George Mervosh

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58 minutes ago, Guest Oswalt said:

I disagree with the lawyer and would like the opinion of others.  I think this is wrong in so many ways.

Agreeing with the previous responses, you were in essence a guest at a board meeting and had no rights. If you see something happening that you believe is incorrect and that a point of order should be raised, your only recourse is to try to get a member of the board to raise the point of order 

Edited by Richard Brown
Typographical correction

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10 hours ago, Guest Oswalt said:

The President did not call for the Minutes for approval, be read aloud.

This is not necessarily an error. The minutes do not need to be read if they have been distributed to the board members in advance, unless a board member demands that they be read.

10 hours ago, Guest Oswalt said:

He did not offer a ruling and became irritated.  He then asked if there was a motion to dispense with the reading of the minutes, which he received.  The Board voted to dispense with the reading.

The board did make some errors in terminology here. A motion to dispense with the reading of the minutes doesn’t actually do what it sounds like. What it is actually used for is to set aside the reading and approval of the minutes until a later time. It is not used to approve the minutes without reading them.

As previously noted, the minutes do not need to be read prior to approval if they have been distributed in advance (unless a member demands it). If they have not been distributed in advance, I suppose the assembly could still vote to approve them without reading them (by unanimous consent), but this seems rather foolish.

10 hours ago, Guest Oswalt said:

I asked for a ruling as the assembly erupted asking one question after another with regard to why the Board insisted on breaking rules.  He became more aggravated stating it was a Board meeting, not a member’s meeting and we had no right to call a Point of Order and asked for a motion to adjourn the meeting which he received.   Motion carried,,, meeting adjourned and he called the Association’s lawyer for advice.  The lawyer agreed that members could not call a Point of Order in a Board Meeting.  After adjournment, he admitted he was surprised by the Point of Order and was not sure what to do.

I disagree with the lawyer and would like the opinion of others.  I think this is wrong in so many ways.

The chair and the lawyer are correct. Only a board member may raise a Point of Order at a board meeting.

Edited by Josh Martin

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