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Guest Katherine

National Emergency and Robert's Rules

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Guest Katherine

Can bylaws be suspended in cases of national emergency? Did "Robert" write about national emergency situations? 

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No, you bylaws cannot be suspended as a whole, unless the bylaws or applicable statute so provide.

Rules that are in the nature of "rules of order" can be suspended within a meeting.  Note that holding meetings is not a rule in the nature of a rule of order.

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I believe this is in reference to state's announcement (public health emergency) forbidding x (in my state, no more than 10) people in a gathering or meeting.   

This would create "difficulties"to comply with our organization's bylaws regarding general membership meeting which tends to be large gathering (supposedly happening in two weeks from today)

I have percieved the authorative precedence in handling the organization(s); that law of the land [aka your state, your city, etc], then articles of incorporation, then bylaws, then standing rules, then robert rules/parlimentary rules.  Thus my interpretation; my state's edict [public health emergency's rules] takes precedence. 

My concern is how is my organization interpret this action... that is how are the board supposedly handle the general membership meeting.

I thought up an sequence  might satisfy organizational handling on the process

1) declare-send special notice [via board authorization??], acknowledging public health emergency is in an authorative act; interpreting as suspension order applied on to our bylaws. 

2) when the emergency is officially withdrawn or waived,  board shall hold an special board meeting, to do the necessary actions:

a:  establish an "special" membership meeting  without any frills (such as workshop, awards ceremonies, etc)

b: humanely  schedule this at soonest possible date and time.

c : select new venue in respect to  no frill condition and any existing contracts.

d : send-declare update notice(s) to membership of the new date/time, venue.

 

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2 hours ago, rynait said:

I have percieved the authorative precedence in handling the organization(s); that law of the land [aka your state, your city, etc], then articles of incorporation, then bylaws, then standing rules, then robert rules/parlimentary rules.  Thus my interpretation; my state's edict [public health emergency's rules] takes precedence. 

 

Well, only applicable procedural law is considered in this. But let's stretch a bit and say a law prohibiting gatherings is procedural. What does it take precedence over? I guess over a rule requiring you to meet, if there is one. But I don't see how it solves any problems related to what you needed to do at that meeting. If we don't stretch, and we acknowledge that holding a meeting is not a rule of order and the law is substantive, it seems to me we get to the same place anyway - you're not going to break the law and put lives in danger to hold a meeting. So I suggest we put aside the precedence of rules.

2 hours ago, rynait said:

My concern is how is my organization interpret this action... that is how are the board supposedly handle the general membership meeting.

 

I don't see how the emergency changes the fact that the board does not handle the membership meeting.

2 hours ago, rynait said:

1) declare-send special notice [via board authorization??], acknowledging public health emergency is in an authorative act; interpreting as suspension order applied on to our bylaws. 

 

It isn't. I think a better message is "it is illegal to be out and about, so, despite our bylaws, it is apparent that the meeting will not happen, or will not have quorum."

2 hours ago, rynait said:

2) when the emergency is officially withdrawn or waived,  board shall hold an special board meeting, to do the necessary actions:

 

Does your board have the authority to have special meetings?

2 hours ago, rynait said:

a:  establish an "special" membership meeting  without any frills (such as workshop, awards ceremonies, etc)

b: humanely  schedule this at soonest possible date and time.

c : select new venue in respect to  no frill condition and any existing contracts.

d : send-declare update notice(s) to membership of the new date/time, venue.

Does your board have any of this authority? Nothing about a state of emergency would give your board special powers after the fact.

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unfortuantely  this is um about me [officer] and rest of my organization's board um reacting [via electronic means] to the public health emergency declaration.  and the questions that you raised. I think is in the bylaws, which is something not directly discussed in forums. and I prematurely picked to type in here without reading other threads.

right now i have requested copy of the bylaws to find out whether i can use Josh's suggestion in https://robertsrules.forumflash.com/topic/35176-suspending-bylaws-on-electing-members-at-general-meeting-covid-19/

However what remains a bylaw specification on  'fifth year event' to satisfy member's expectations... I am gonna hope membership is flexible on excusing this bylaw violation. the electronic communication is hinting to postpone event next year due to 'timing condition' or just cancel;  make it a historic anomaly.  this is not 'decision' made yet because of no meeting is done yet.

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Guest Elderk

The national crisis forced us to “postpone” a time-critical special meeting, pending a new date. If we find a safe venue to hold this meeting and a quorum can be present, can we suspend the usual 14 day advance notice for a special meeting since the meeting was postponed? Bylaws are, of course, silent on this.

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3 minutes ago, Guest Elderk said:

The national crisis forced us to “postpone” a time-critical special meeting, pending a new date. If we find a safe venue to hold this meeting and a quorum can be present, can we suspend the usual 14 day advance notice for a special meeting since the meeting was postponed? Bylaws are, of course, silent on this.

It depends on the manner in which the meeting was "postponed." If the original meeting was (or will be) held, and a motion was (or will be) adopted at the meeting to schedule an adjourned meeting, then no notice of the adjourned meeting is required. Notice is often still desirable, but it could be given with less than the 14 days of required notice. This may be done even if a quorum is not present - even a single person would be sufficient.

If the meeting was "postponed" in any other manner, then the 14 days of notice required in the bylaws is required, and this requirement may not be suspended.

Edited by Josh Martin

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