Jump to content
The Official RONR Q & A Forums

Bylaws interpretation

Recommended Posts

 How is it decided who interprets the bylaws? For instance we have an issue where someone says we can do email vote when are mail ballot bylaw only states online discussion with hard ballot vote if called by President.  

So she is interpreting that we can do email vote. Several of the rest of us are stating it doesn’t specifically state email vote and it would have to do that to be able to vote via email. 

So what happens when you have a dispute over the bylaws how do you get clarification and from whom.   

I can state the exact by law if you want to see it.

Thank you in advance

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, CB2 said:

Thank you, 


That's what I thought!

And you were right.  If the trouble persists, the procedure for interpreting bylaws typically is handled like this:

A person who believes a rule is being violated raises a Point of Order by, appropriately enough, calling out "Point of Order!", which may even interrupt someone speaking.  The chair asks the person to state the point of order (the rule infraction that they believe is occurring) and then rules that the point is or is not well taken, along with the reasons for the ruling. 

If the assembly agrees with the ruling and the reasons, that's the end of that.  If they interpret things differently they (well, a mover and a seconder) can Appeal from the Ruling of the Chair, which is a special motion to have the assembly vote on the ruling.  Special rules of debate are in effect: The chair can speak twice: Once at first, and can again speak last.  Other members may only speak once. It takes a majority No vote to not sustain the ruling.  

Like all Points of Order, the ruling, the reasons, the results of an Appeal, if any, are all recorded in the minutes, and serve as a precedent for future rulings.  

But in the cases of bylaws that are ambiguous, the best course is to amend them to remove the ambiguity.


For what it's worth (since I am not a member of your organization, and so have no vote) I agree that authorizing a vote by mail does not authorize voting by e-mail.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...