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Our Bylaws state:

Member:  Defined as member in good standing.

Member in good standing shall:

(among other things) Have no active disciplinary action against him/her per the current disciplinary grievance policy.

Question Background: We have a member who was placed on suspension by the BOD for one year in November 2019. She appealed the decision and had a hearing at a general membership meeting with a quorum. The membership upheld the suspension. Policy states the membership decision is final and the case is closed; however, she continues to fight the decision and has threatened legal action. Membership renewals close January 31. We received her membership renewal application and check. She is not allowed on the property for one year, or until November 2020. 

My interpretation of our Bylaws state she cannot be a member because she has an active disciplinary action against her.

Question: Anyone see another interpretation of the Bylaws as stated? What do we do with her check? 

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4 minutes ago, J. J. said:

Unless your bylaws say otherwise, she would remain under a disciplinary action even if she paid her dues.

Do the bylaws state that a member is dropped from membership if the don't pay their dues? 

Yes. "Any membership renewal not received on or before January 31 shall result in the termination of membership-in-good-standing status and shall require a new member application to be reinstated as a member."  However, we also have a clause that states "A new membership accepted after November 1st shall have his/her dues applied to membership for the following year..."  If the check is deposited, she is paying for membership she cannot use until the date she could apply as a new member.

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1 hour ago, Gene1948 said:

Our Bylaws state:

Member:  Defined as member in good standing.

Member in good standing shall:

(among other things) Have no active disciplinary action against him/her per the current disciplinary grievance policy.

Question Background: We have a member who was placed on suspension by the BOD for one year in November 2019. She appealed the decision and had a hearing at a general membership meeting with a quorum. The membership upheld the suspension. Policy states the membership decision is final and the case is closed; however, she continues to fight the decision and has threatened legal action. Membership renewals close January 31. We received her membership renewal application and check. She is not allowed on the property for one year, or until November 2020. 

My interpretation of our Bylaws state she cannot be a member because she has an active disciplinary action against her.

Question: Anyone see another interpretation of the Bylaws as stated? What do we do with her check? 

 

45 minutes ago, Gene1948 said:

Yes. "Any membership renewal not received on or before January 31 shall result in the termination of membership-in-good-standing status and shall require a new member application to be reinstated as a member."  However, we also have a clause that states "A new membership accepted after November 1st shall have his/her dues applied to membership for the following year..."  If the check is deposited, she is paying for membership she cannot use until the date she could apply as a new member.

She can be a member, she just can’t be a member in good standing. A suspension does not remove someone from membership in the society, it just deprives them of some (or all) of the rights of membership for the duration of the suspension. So she can indeed pay her dues, and is in fact required to do so if she wishes to not have her membership terminated completely. It does seem that there is not really much benefit in doing this in the present circumstances, but it’s her money.

As to what to do with her check, cash it like any other check.

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I initially started to say that I agree with JJ and with Mr. Martin's comments. However, upon further reflection, I'm not so sure. 

You say this member was suspended for one year.  Was her membership suspended or is she just under some restrictions as to her rights as a member?  If her membership has actually been suspended... in ALL respects... then I think there is a real question as to whether she must or should be allowed to pay dues for the year of her suspension.  The question may be, "If a member's membership is suspended, is that person still a member while the membership is suspended?"   Being a member not in good standing seems to me to be different from having the membership suspended.

I see how this can be interpreted either way.  It is ultimately up to the members of this organization to interpret its bylaws.  We cannot do that for you.

 

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12 hours ago, Richard Brown said:

I initially started to say that I agree with JJ and with Mr. Martin's comments. However, upon further reflection, I'm not so sure. 

You say this member was suspended for one year.  Was her membership suspended or is she just under some restrictions as to her rights as a member?  If her membership has actually been suspended... in ALL respects... then I think there is a real question as to whether she must or should be allowed to pay dues for the year of her suspension.  The question may be, "If a member's membership is suspended, is that person still a member while the membership is suspended?"   Being a member not in good standing seems to me to be different from having the membership suspended.

I see how this can be interpreted either way.  It is ultimately up to the members of this organization to interpret its bylaws.  We cannot do that for you.

 

Her membership was suspended in all respects. My initial thought was if we allow her to pay membership dues for 2020, we would actually be going against our bylaws because it clearly states a member cannot have any active disciplinary actions against them. There is no mention of what that means for suspension. We also don't know if it could be construed that by accepting her membership dues, we are somehow affecting the validity of the suspension.

Edited by Gene1948
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9 hours ago, Richard Brown said:

I initially started to say that I agree with JJ and with Mr. Martin's comments. However, upon further reflection, I'm not so sure. 

You say this member was suspended for one year.  Was her membership suspended or is she just under some restrictions as to her rights as a member?  If her membership has actually been suspended... in ALL respects... then I think there is a real question as to whether she must or should be allowed to pay dues for the year of her suspension.  The question may be, "If a member's membership is suspended, is that person still a member while the membership is suspended?"   Being a member not in good standing seems to me to be different from having the membership suspended.

I see how this can be interpreted either way.  It is ultimately up to the members of this organization to interpret its bylaws.  We cannot do that for you.

 

I think I am on same page as Mr. Martin.

If someone has been suspended from membership, it is a suspension of all of their rights of membership, excluding disciplinary action.  I would not make the argument, for example, that the assembly could not further discipline a suspended member, and expel that member, if some new offense was discovered; the due process right of the suspended member remains even in this case.  I would further note that the some of the various rights of membership can be suspended, while others remain intact (p. 662, ll. 25-31).

A person may not, at some point in time, be a member in good standing, but still be a member.

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34 minutes ago, J. J. said:

A person may not, at some point in time, be a member in good standing, but still be a member.

You about had me persuaded until your last paragraph, quoted above. I disagree with that statement. Actually, I don’t think this statement makes sense. Does that statement say exactly what you intended to say?

For years in this forum, whenever the question of whether a member is in good standing has arisen, our response has been that it is up to the organization in question to determine what it takes for a member to be in good or bad standing. I think it is absolutely possible for a person to be a member but not be in good standing.

Edited to add: I think that for me the question here boils down to whether this person is a member not in good standing or whether she is not a member at all at this point in time if her membership has been suspended.

Edited by Richard Brown
Added last sentence to first paragraph and added last paragraph
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1 hour ago, Richard Brown said:

You about had me persuaded until your last paragraph, quoted above. I disagree with that statement. Actually, I don’t think this statement makes sense. Does that statement say exactly what you intended to say?

For years in this forum, whenever the question of whether a member is in good standing has arisen, our response has been that it is up to the organization in question to determine what it takes for a member to be in good or bad standing. I think it is absolutely possible for a person to be a member but not be in good standing.

Edited to add: I think that for me the question here boils down to whether this person is a member not in good standing or whether she is not a member at all at this point in time if her membership has been suspended.

A person may be a member, but not a member in good standing.

 

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12 hours ago, Richard Brown said:

You say this member was suspended for one year.  Was her membership suspended or is she just under some restrictions as to her rights as a member?  If her membership has actually been suspended... in ALL respects... then I think there is a real question as to whether she must or should be allowed to pay dues for the year of her suspension.  The question may be, "If a member's membership is suspended, is that person still a member while the membership is suspended?"   Being a member not in good standing seems to me to be different from having the membership suspended.

A person whose rights are under suspension is still a member. A person is only removed from membership entirely if they are expelled.

2 hours ago, Richard Brown said:

I think it is absolutely possible for a person to be a member but not be in good standing.

Yes, and that is precisely what I am saying. This person is a member, but is not in good standing.

Edited by Josh Martin
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1 hour ago, Josh Martin said:

A person whose rights are under suspension is still a member. A person is only removed from membership entirely if they are expelled.

Isn't that a legal question, or at least a matter of interpreting the organization's bylaws, rather than a parliamentary issue for which RONR provides an answer?  If RONR does say that a member whose membership has been suspended is nonetheless  still a member, I would appreciate a citation.  I cannot find any such statement.   btw, the original poster did not say the members rights are under suspension.  He said her membership has been suspended (or that the member "has been placed on suspension").

I am, however, aware of organizations which provide that if a member is suspended, he ceases being a member for the period of the suspension and must sometimes (but not always) re-apply for membership when the period of suspension is over.  Some make reinstatement of membership automatic upon  completion of the suspension and some require re-application. 

We have not seen this organization's bylaws in their entirety and don't know what they say regarding the effect of being suspended as a member.   I just don't think we have the information we need nor the right to say definitively whether this person, who has been suspended from membership, is still a member.  I believe such a determination is legal in nature and  beyond the scope of this forum, and especially based on the limited information we have.

Edited to add: in addition, we have not seen The actual motion or order suspending the member. The exact language in that order might well be determinative. If it says the member’s rights of membership are suspended, it means one thing. But if it says her membership is suspended, or she is suspended as a member, I believe that could mean something quite different End it is up to this organization itself to interpret what it means.

Edited by Richard Brown
Added last paragraph
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15 minutes ago, Richard Brown said:

Isn't that a legal question, or at least a matter of interpreting the organization's bylaws, rather than a parliamentary issue for which RONR provides an answer?  If RONR does say that a member whose membership has been suspended is nonetheless  still a member, I would appreciate a citation.  I cannot find any such statement.   btw, the original poster did not say the members rights are under suspension.  He said her membership has been suspended (or that the member "has been placed on suspension").

I am, however, aware of organizations which provide that if a member is suspended, he ceases being a member for the period of the suspension and must sometimes (but not always) re-apply for membership when the period of suspension is over.  Some make reinstatement of membership automatic upon  completion of the suspension and some require re-application. 

We have not seen this organization's bylaws in their entirety and don't know what they say regarding the effect of being suspended as a member.   I just don't think we have the information we need nor the right to say definitively whether this person, who has been suspended from membership, is still a member.  I believe such a determination is legal in nature and  beyond the scope of this forum, and especially based on the limited information we have.

My apologies. I did not see this response before I made my last comment. 

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5 minutes ago, Gene1948 said:

So if I understand everyone correctly, my statement: "Her membership was suspended in all respects," is incorrect. She can continue her membership, albeit a member not in good standing. Many thanks.

No, I don't think we can say your statement is incorrect.  You may... or may not... be correct when you say that her membership was suspended in all respects.  I think it depends on precisely what the motion or order of suspension states. If it says her rights of membership (or certain rights) are suspended, that means one thing.  But if it says "she is hereby suspended as a member of this organization", I believe that means something else entirely.  Ultimately, I believe it is a legal question, not a parliamentary one, and a question of interpreting your organization's bylaws.

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8 hours ago, Gene1948 said:

So if I understand everyone correctly, my statement: "Her membership was suspended in all respects," is incorrect. She can continue her membership, albeit a member not in good standing. Many thanks.

All of her rights of membership membership may be suspended, but a member without rights is still a member. 

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