Jump to content
The Official RONR Q & A Forums

Amendment or New Motion


Guest ThoughtIdSeenItAll

Recommended Posts

Guest ThoughtIdSeenItAll

I recently participated in an AGM where a motion on the approved agenda was up for voting. The motion was to add a subsection (d) to existing rule (Section 6 a,b,c). 

A motion from the floor to amend the original motion was put forward, which was to "delete the entire motion proposed for subsection "d" and 100% replace it with a new rule under (d)". This new rule was completely unrelated to the original motion for (d), however was related to the broader topic under Section 6. 

Would this second motion be considered an amendment? Or would it be considered a new motion from the floor, which would not be permitted under our Bylaws? How much can the original motion be changed before it is no longer an amendment?

I have never seen this attempted before and it feels like an attempt to defeat the original motion without a vote. In this case, the 100% amendment was allowed. Thoughts? 

Link to post
Share on other sites

We need just a bit more information. Was the original motion being voted on a proposed bylaw amendment for which previous notice had been given?

Do your bylaws require previous notice of proposed bylaw amendments?

It sounds to me like what was being proposed at the meeting was actually a substitute motion. It also sounds like it was on a completely different subject matter from the original proposal. Is that correct?

If the answer to those questions is yes, then per the rules in RONR the proposed amendment to the original proposal exceeded the scope of notice of the original proposal and was not in order. It would need to be proposed as a new bylaw amendment with previous notice being
given.  

See sections 57:10 - 57:13 of the current 12th edition of RONR r  egarding scope of notice relating to proposed bylaw amendments.

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest ThoughtIdSeenItAll

Yes, the original motion being voted on was a proposed bylaw amendment for which previous notice had been given? Yes, the Bylaws require notice. The amendment was to "delete the entirety of the ordinal" and replace with 100% new wording. Completely new topic in subsection, but broadly related to the overall main section. 

There was an objection that it was out of order as a substitute motion, but it was ruled an amendment. The objector was muted mid-objection as it was an online meeting.   

Link to post
Share on other sites

The "objection (which should actually have been stated as a point of  order) was well taken and should have been sustained by the chair, ruling the proposed floor amendment inadmissible.  As you will see if you are able to read the cited provisions in RONR, amendments which are outside the "scope of notice" of the original notice are out of order.

What was the outcome?  Was the proposed floor amendment actually adopted?

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Guest ThoughtIdSeenItAll said:

There was an objection that it was out of order as a substitute motion, but it was ruled an amendment. The objector was muted mid-objection as it was an online meeting.  

A substitute motion is a form of amendment.

It sounds like a point of order/ objection was properly raised and ruled not well taken by the chair. The proper next step would have been for two members to move and second an appeal from the decision of the chair.

As I have not seen the original language for the new proposed subsection (d), or the substitute, I will make no comment as to whether the ruling was correct or not.

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

A motion from the floor to amend the original motion was put forward, which was to "delete the entire motion proposed for subsection "d" and 100% replace it with a new rule under (d)". This new rule was completely unrelated to the original motion for (d), however was related to the broader topic under Section 6. 

Would this second motion be considered an amendment? Or would it be considered a new motion from the floor, which would not be permitted under our Bylaws? How much can the original motion be changed before it is no longer an amendment?

I have never seen this attempted before and it feels like an attempt to defeat the original motion without a vote. In this case, the 100% amendment was allowed. Thoughts? 

For future reference I would just point out that a motion to substitute, i.e. to replace a pending amendment in its entirety with a completely different wording, is a perfectly proper form of amendment (see 12:69 and 12:70) in a situation that does not involve amending the bylaws, or where previous notice of a motion is required. A motion to substitute would be in order for a motion for which previous notice was given, but not required. In that case, however, adoption of the substitution would require a 2/3 vote rather than a majority vote because it would nullify the effect of the previous notice.

Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, Bruce Lages said:

a motion to substitute, i.e. to replace a pending amendment in its entirety with a completely different wording, is a perfectly proper form of amendment (see 12:69 and 12:70) in a situation that does not involve amending the bylaws, or where previous notice of a motion is required.

Are you saying that a substitution -- as a type of amendment --could never be within the scope of notice?

It might take more imagination than I have at present, but I'm sure I could think up an example of a substitute that would be within the scope of notice of the original amendment that I would also have to conjure up.

Edited by Atul Kapur
Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe that if the amendment in the form of a "substitute motion" was clearly outside of the scope of the notice of the original proposal and was adopted,  it would be a violation of a fundamental principle of parliamentary law and would constitute a continuing breach because it violates a rule requiring notice which protects absentees.  A point of order as to such a violation may be made at any time as long as the breach continues, which, as to a bylaw amendment, would be as long as the amendment is part of the bylaws. 

However, a point of order apparently was raised, although not in precisely the proper form and was apparently not appealed.  If the point of order had not been raised at  the time, it could be made at a future meeting.  But, since it was raised at the time the amendment was proposed, and was apparently not appealed, it is my opinion that it is now too late to do anything about it other than to try to rescind the amendment or to try again to have the original proposal adopted.

I'm interested in the opinions of my colleagues as to whether this violation would  normally constitute a continuing breach and whether it is now moot because a poorly stated point of order in the form of an "objection" was raised at the time of the breach and not appealed.

See 23:5, 23:6, 25:9 and 25:10 of the 12th edition of RONR.

Link to post
Share on other sites
29 minutes ago, Richard Brown said:

I'm interested in the opinions of my colleagues as to whether this violation would  normally constitute a continuing breach and whether it is now moot because a poorly stated point of order in the form of an "objection" was raised at the time of the breach and not appealed.

I agree that the violation would constitute a continuing breech, although I think the more pertinent exception to the timeliness requirement is that it was a violation of a rule protecting absentees. 23:6(e).

I am less sure regarding whether the inartfully stated, and unappealed, point of order precludes raising a proper point of order in the future. On the one hand, RONR's statement that "a point of order can be made at any time during the continuance of the breech" doesn't say, "unless a previous point of order was raised." But on the other hand, it seems that there should be some finality to a ruling on point of order.

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Guest ThoughtIdSeenItAll said:

Would this second motion be considered an amendment?

If it was "completely unrelated to the original motion for (d)," then the amendment would not be in order on the grounds that it was not germane. Additionally, because this involves a case where previous notice is required, it would also be outside the scope of notice.

5 hours ago, Guest ThoughtIdSeenItAll said:

Or would it be considered a new motion from the floor, which would not be permitted under our Bylaws?

Yes.

5 hours ago, Guest ThoughtIdSeenItAll said:

How much can the original motion be changed before it is no longer an amendment?

In the general case, it can be changed a great deal. All that is required is that the amendment is still germane (relevant) to the original motion. Since you say it was "completely unrelated," even this low bar does not seem to be met.

In the situation where the original motion requires previous notice, there is a stricter requirement known as the "scope of notice." In this case, the amendment can propose a lesser change (but not a greater change) than what was originally proposed. Suppose, for instance, that an amendment is proposed to increase the amount of annual dues from $10 to $20. An amendment to strike $20 and insert $15 would be in order, but an amendment to strike $20 and insert $5 or $25 would not be. Of course, most cases are not this simple, but it illustrates the concept.

This principle also applies in cases where previous notice is not strictly required, but lowers the threshold for adoption. In those cases, an amendment which was outside the scope of notice would be in order, but if the amendment was adopted, the motion would then be treated as if no notice had been provided for it and require the higher threshold for adoption.

5 hours ago, Guest ThoughtIdSeenItAll said:

I have never seen this attempted before and it feels like an attempt to defeat the original motion without a vote. In this case, the 100% amendment was allowed. Thoughts? 

I'm not sure that this was as simple as an attempt "to defeat the original motion without a vote," since it seems that there was also an attempt to adopt something else in its place, but attempting to use an amendment for the sole purpose of rejecting the main motion is also out of order.

4 hours ago, Guest ThoughtIdSeenItAll said:

There was an objection that it was out of order as a substitute motion, but it was ruled an amendment. The objector was muted mid-objection as it was an online meeting.   

A substitute is a type of an amendment, so it seems to me that both the member raising the objection and the chair were a bit confused on that point. :)

The more important issue is that the motion exceeded the scope of notice.

I am also not entirely clear on why the objector was muted mid-objection. Did the member seek recognition by saying "Point of Order?" Or did he just start talking?

There is also the issue that online meetings are not permitted unless authorized by your organization's bylaws.

2 hours ago, Richard Brown said:

However, a point of order apparently was raised, although not in precisely the proper form and was apparently not appealed.  If the point of order had not been raised at  the time, it could be made at a future meeting.  But, since it was raised at the time the amendment was proposed, and was apparently not appealed, it is my opinion that it is now too late to do anything about it other than to try to rescind the amendment or to try again to have the original proposal adopted.

I'm interested in the opinions of my colleagues as to whether this violation would  normally constitute a continuing breach and whether it is now moot because a poorly stated point of order in the form of an "objection" was raised at the time of the breach and not appealed.

There certainly is no doubt that this is a continuing breach (assuming the amendment was, in fact, outside the scope of notice), since it violates the rights of absentees.

As to the issue of whether "it is now moot," I would first say I am somewhat in doubt that a Point of Order was, in fact, properly raised and ruled upon, based upon the description we have been given.

Even in the event that it was, we are told the Point of Order was that "it was a substitute." While this is a correct statement, it doesn't have anything to do with whether the motion was in order. The chair then ruled that the motion "was an amendment," which is also a correct statement, but also has nothing to do with whether the motion was in order. So I'm not sure this exchange actually decided much of anything regarding the actual issue, which is that the motion exceeded the scope of the notice.

So I am inclined to think a Point of Order may still be raised regarding this matter, in the event that the amendment was adopted and the main motion, as amended, was subsequently adopted.

Edited by Josh Martin
Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest ThoughtIdSeenItAll
5 hours ago, Richard Brown said:

The "objection (which should actually have been stated as a point of  order) was well taken and should have been sustained by the chair, ruling the proposed floor amendment inadmissible.  As you will see if you are able to read the cited provisions in RONR, amendments which are outside the "scope of notice" of the original notice are out of order.

What was the outcome?  Was the proposed floor amendment actually adopted?

The "amendment" failed, so this post is really for my personal education as I was feeling confused.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest ThoughtIdSeenItAll

Thanks everyone. I am always impressed by the extent of your knowledge. 

In this case the substitute amendment proceeded but did not pass. Nor did the original motion for that matter. And the objection/ruling could have been handled better. However, it did leave me confused and wondering what the correct interpretation and process might be. As usual, this forum went above and beyond. I will definitely be reading up on substitute motions and scope for notice in more detail. Having made it through to a vote due to a imperfect understanding is worrisome as it was a significant change on a contentious issue. Things can happen pretty fast in a meeting and it can be hard to know what is correct in the moment.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Guest ThoughtIdSeenItAll said:

I will definitely be reading up on substitute motions and scope for notice in more detail.

I urge you to also review the subject of germaneness starting on section 12:16 because an amendment may contradict the original motion, or even a primary amendment, and yet still remain within the scope of the notice.

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

I will definitely be reading up on substitute motions and scope for notice in more detail. Having made it through to a vote due to a imperfect understanding is worrisome as it was a significant change on a contentious issue. Things can happen pretty fast in a meeting and it can be hard to know what is correct in the moment.

Based on what happened and the way it happened, I would say make sure you know how to properly raise a point of order and to insist on a ruling from the chair and then how to appeal from the ruling of the chair.  

But, if you don’t know what the correct rule is, I guess it can be a bit difficult to raise what will sound like a legitimate point of order!   Don’t ever hesitate to make a parliamentary inquiry if you’re unsure of something and raise a point of order if you think something is not being done correctly. And know that you can appeal from the ruling of the chair, but you need someone to second the appeal.  Then you can make your case to the assembly.  It’s also perfectly OK to ask (Move) for a five minute recess to look up a rule in the book. 
 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Richard Brown said:

Based on what happened and the way it happened, I would say make sure you know how to properly raise a point of order and to insist on a ruling from the chair and then how to appeal from the ruling of the chair.  

"There was an objection that it was out of order as a substitute motion, but it was ruled an amendment. The objector was muted mid-objection as it was an online meeting."

Don't ya just love these online meetings.  🙂

  

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

"There was an objection that it was out of order as a substitute motion, but it was ruled an amendment. The objector was muted mid-objection as it was an online meeting."

Don't ya just love these online meetings.  🙂

  

In fairness, in some societies, the microphone can be (improperly) turned off.  In others, the member could be (improperly) be escorted from the room.  Abuses can happen in any meeting.  :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

My sense of it is that the primary amendment was an improper amendment under the rule at RONR (12th ed.) 12:22, item 3.  Had the amendment been adopted, the main motion, as amended, would not have been in order on account that the main motion would have exceeded the scope of the notice previously given, RONR (12th ed.) 35:4.

Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, Atul Kapur said:

Are you saying that a substitution -- as a type of amendment --could never be within the scope of notice?

It might take more imagination than I have at present, but I'm sure I could think up an example of a substitute that would be within the scope of notice of the original amendment that I would also have to conjure up.

Apologies for the delay in response. No, I would not want to presume such an absolute inability to satisfy scope-of-notice restrictions. But, as experienced by the original poster, it seems that amendments by substitution are probably more likely to run afoul of scope-of-notice restrictions than other, less encompassing forms of amendment. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
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.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...