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Changing a noticed motion


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If a member gives notice of a motion at the previous meeting and then wishes to substitute different wording at the meeting where it is to be considered, can they do that before the motion is seconded and stated by the chair and without the permission of the assembly?  The different wording is desired to provide clearer meaning to the motion, and is within the scope of the original noticed motion.   Or ... does the original wording need to be seconded and stated then the maker can amend by substitution?

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14 hours ago, Lori Lukinuk said:

If a member gives notice of a motion at the previous meeting and then wishes to substitute different wording at the meeting where it is to be considered, can they do that before the motion is seconded and stated by the chair and without the permission of the assembly?  The different wording is desired to provide clearer meaning to the motion, and is within the scope of the original noticed motion.   Or ... does the original wording need to be seconded and stated then the maker can amend by substitution?

Giving previous notice does not constitute the making of a motion.

If, as you say, the different wording is within the scope of the originally noticed motion, the member who gave the notice may simply make his motion in its revised form.

Edited by Daniel H. Honemann
Modest change made in the first sentence.
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Perhaps it would be well to point out that, even if the wording of a motion that is made to amend something previously adopted proposes a change in whatever it proposes to amend which goes beyond the change for which previous notice has been given, the motion will not be out of order unless previous notice is required for its validity (as may be the case for a bylaw amendment, for example, or for the amendment of a special rule of order). Absent such a requirement of previous notice, the motion will be in order but the vote required for its adoption will be the vote required for its adoption when previous notice has not been given.

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  • 2 months later...

Also, if the required notice includes the requirement that it be in writing, such as a bylaws amendment, then the motion should be moved, seconded, stated by the chair, and then amended by substitution. The substitute would have to fall within the proposed change(s) noticed.

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If I may be permitted a variation -- how about changing a motion "distributed" in advance to wording where notice is a requirement?  Probably explained best with an example.

Association prepares the call to meeting and mails it to all members fifteen days before.  The agenda [distributed with the call to meeting] includes a proposed motion to waive monthly dues for members who become unemployed due to layoff.  At the meeting, an opponent of the motion raises a point of order -- the dues are set forth in the Bylaws.  Bylaw amendments require fifteen days written notice.  Since the call was sent out fifteen days prior, a substitute motion is made to amend the bylaws to grant waivers for up to six months.  

If the bylaws required that written notice of a bylaw amendment include the exact wording of the proposed amendment, this might not be kosher.  If the bylaws required only that the notice must provide the "substance" of the proposed amendment, this might be OK.  But what if the bylaws are not so specific and simply require "prior notice of the amendment"?  Is there any consensus whether the default mode for prior notice is  "substantive" or "exact."  And, if substantive  -- what is the affect, if any, of the motion distributed in advance omitting any reference to the bylaws? 

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8 hours ago, smb said:

If I may be permitted a variation -- how about changing a motion "distributed" in advance to wording where notice is a requirement?  Probably explained best with an example.

Association prepares the call to meeting and mails it to all members fifteen days before.  The agenda [distributed with the call to meeting] includes a proposed motion to waive monthly dues for members who become unemployed due to layoff.  At the meeting, an opponent of the motion raises a point of order -- the dues are set forth in the Bylaws.  Bylaw amendments require fifteen days written notice.  Since the call was sent out fifteen days prior, a substitute motion is made to amend the bylaws to grant waivers for up to six months.  

If the bylaws required that written notice of a bylaw amendment include the exact wording of the proposed amendment, this might not be kosher.  If the bylaws required only that the notice must provide the "substance" of the proposed amendment, this might be OK.  But what if the bylaws are not so specific and simply require "prior notice of the amendment"?  Is there any consensus whether the default mode for prior notice is  "substantive" or "exact."  And, if substantive  -- what is the affect, if any, of the motion distributed in advance omitting any reference to the bylaws? 

Whether substantive or exact, Scott, if the distributed motion does not indicate that it is a proposed amendment to the bylaws, I'm not inclined to think it can be validly adopted as one, but I may be a lone wolf on this.  Most members have no clue what their bylaws say so not indicating it's a proposed amendment, to me, defeats the purpose providing notice of their amendment.

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13 hours ago, smb said:

If the bylaws required that written notice of a bylaw amendment include the exact wording of the proposed amendment, this might not be kosher.  If the bylaws required only that the notice must provide the "substance" of the proposed amendment, this might be OK.  But what if the bylaws are not so specific and simply require "prior notice of the amendment"?  Is there any consensus whether the default mode for prior notice is  "substantive" or "exact."  And, if substantive  -- what is the affect, if any, of the motion distributed in advance omitting any reference to the bylaws?

 

4 hours ago, George Mervosh said:

Whether substantive or exact, Scott, if the distributed motion does not indicate that it is a proposed amendment to the bylaws, I'm not inclined to think it can be validly adopted as one, but I may be a lone wolf on this.  Most members have no clue what their bylaws say so not indicating it's a proposed amendment, to me, defeats the purpose providing notice of their amendment.

I'm inclined to agree with Mr. Mervosh as to whether the proposed motion must be listed in the notice as a proposed bylaw amendment.  I think it would have to be.

As to whether the full text of the proposed amendment must be provided if the bylaws require "prior notice of the amendment", I'm inclined to think that giving notice of the amendment, unless qualified, means quoting the text of entire proposed amendment verbatim. 

Edited by Richard Brown
Bolded the portion of smb's question that I am referring to
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6 hours ago, George Mervosh said:

Whether substantive or exact, Scott, if the distributed motion does not indicate that it is a proposed amendment to the bylaws, I'm not inclined to think it can be validly adopted as one, but I may be a lone wolf on this.  Most members have no clue what their bylaws say so not indicating it's a proposed amendment, to me, defeats the purpose providing notice of their amendment.

I am general agreement, though there could be some circumstances where the proposal would be clearly an amendment to the bylaws.  A proposal to permit proxy voting could only be an amendment to the bylaws, for example. 

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2 hours ago, Richard Brown said:

As to whether the full text of the proposed amendment must be provided if the bylaws require "prior notice of the amendment", I'm inclined to think that giving notice of the amendment, unless qualified, means quoting the text of entire proposed amendment verbatim. 

Why do you think that way? I would think that unless there is an explicit requirement to quote the amendment, that giving the substance is adequate. Why treat bylaws differently than other motions requiring notice?

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10 minutes ago, J. J. said:

I am general agreement, though there could be some circumstances where the proposal would be clearly an amendment to the bylaws.  A proposal to permit proxy voting could only be an amendment to the bylaws, for example. 

That, fact, in and of itself does not change the requirement that previous notice of a motion to amend the bylaws must be properly given.

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Just now, George Mervosh said:

That, fact, in and of itself does not change the requirement that previous notice of a motion to amend the bylaws must be properly given.

I agree, but notice such a proposed amendment would not have to specifically state that it was an amendment to the bylaws. 

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I'm going to agree with J.J. on this one.  I think if the matter to be considered--in this case whether to change, or waive, the dues for certain members--is clearly described in the notice, then the purpose of the notice has been satisfied, and members can properly decide whether this issue is one that would prompt them to attend.  The exact type of motion needed does not strike me as essential information that would affect that decision.  People might well care about the issue of waiving dues, but about the parliamentary method by which this might be accomplished--not so much.

Whether the motion is ultimately adopted as a standing rule, special rule of order, bylaws amendment, or an ordinary main motion, should not be a factor in judging the validity of the notice, so long as the correct motion is used, and vote thresholds, scope, and other applicable rules are satisfied.

As always, local bylaws might change the answer.

Edited by Gary Novosielski
patch not-hole
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On 12/10/2019 at 2:22 PM, George Mervosh said:

i'm not a fan of the subsection "Giving Notice of Amendments " (p. 596) being treated as simply helpful advice.

I think notice has to fairly warn the members and adding a section may not require a location.  However, there is a difference between what is required and what is preferable.

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I detect nothing useful in omitting the actual vehicle used to adopt a motion that requires notice. A notice to the effect that "...a bylaws amendment to..." or "...a special rule of order to..." or perhaps "...a standing rule for the purpose of..." is not much of an additional burden and is fully informational and not misleading in any way. As a presiding officer I would be deeply disappointed to hear from a member after adjournment that "...all my friends stayed home because the notice did not indicate specifically that this would be a bylaws amendment." 

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On 12/12/2019 at 5:27 AM, Guest Zev said:

I detect nothing useful in omitting the actual vehicle used to adopt a motion that requires notice. A notice to the effect that "...a bylaws amendment to..." or "...a special rule of order to..." or perhaps "...a standing rule for the purpose of..." is not much of an additional burden and is fully informational and not misleading in any way. As a presiding officer I would be deeply disappointed to hear from a member after adjournment that "...all my friends stayed home because the notice did not indicate specifically that this would be a bylaws amendment." 

I'm not sure which side of the issue that puts you on.  The last sentence seems to suggest that the precise method to be used is an unimportant  consideration.

It's certainly true that listing the method, if known, can be useful.  But the question that arose was: what if, at the meeting it is determined that the desired action must use a different type of motion than was originally thought proper.  Can the switch be made on the fly, given that the notice properly described the question to be considered.

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19 hours ago, Gary Novosielski said:

I'm not sure which side of the issue that puts you on.

Let me clarify if I may. I am on the side of caution, if nothing else.

19 hours ago, Gary Novosielski said:

Can the switch be made on the fly,...

My answer is "no," because it was not noticed that way. Had the notice indicated a possible bylaw amendment and during the meeting they decided to implement it via a standing rule, then perhaps I could let it slide. But not the other way around. Besides, if the notifying authority is in doubt they could notice by saying something like "...to implement the following motion either by a bylaw amendment to section whatever, or by way of a standing rule:..." The only problem I have is not indicating the vehicle and many in the membership imagining it could be a standing rule and discovering the next day that a bylaw amendment had been passed in their absence.

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