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Suspending Robert's Rules of Order in its entirety


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Guest Barb

Can Robert's Rules of Order be suspended in its entirety?  At a meeting of the board of trustees, a motion was made to suspend Robert's Rules of Order, which is stated in our Code of Regulations as the final authority on all matters of a parliamentary nature.  No specific reason was given for suspending the rules.  When asked about making a motion on a specific item, the response was that motions were not necessary since Robert's Rules of Order was suspended.  Is there legal precedence that would allow such suspension to take place?

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8 minutes ago, Guest Barb said:

Can Robert's Rules of Order be suspended in its entirety?  At a meeting of the board of trustees, a motion was made to suspend Robert's Rules of Order, which is stated in our Code of Regulations as the final authority on all matters of a parliamentary nature.  No specific reason was given for suspending the rules.  When asked about making a motion on a specific item, the response was that motions were not necessary since Robert's Rules of Order was suspended.  Is there legal precedence that would allow such suspension to take place?

No.  This is a violation of RONR itself, probably of your "Code of Regulations" and more.  If there is legal precedent of any kind it would probably relate to the severity of the discipline which would be justified.  That's just a guess.  We can't give actual legal advice here.  But it might require consulting an attorney.

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40 minutes ago, Guest Barb said:

Can Robert's Rules of Order be suspended in its entirety? 

I agree with Mr. Novosielski. The answer is no. This question comes up from time to time in this forum. If you do a search of the forum, you should be able to find similar threads where this issue has been discussed.

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Agreeing with the above, the point of a suspension of the rules is to do something, which is why you suspend all rules standing in the way of some thing you want to do. You don't identify the rule and suspend it, you suspend the rules for the purpose of X.

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Guest Puzzling

We all agree on that the answer is no :)

the rules for a motion for suspension of the rules say that a motion to suspend a rule does not have to state the rules but must state the goal of the suspension (will add exact text later)

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Guest Puzzling

25:4

In making the incidental motion to suspend the rules, the particular rule or rules to be suspended are not mentioned ; but the motion must state it's specific purpose and it's adoption permits nothing else to be done under the suspension.

 

Also under 25:1  it says

Provided the proposal [to suspend the rules] is not in conflict  with [...] a fundamental principle of parliamentary law

But read the whole of section 25 to learn more on the motion to suspend the rules. 

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It doesn't, Mr. Novosielski.

The fact is, though (strike three, you're out!), that a society that has adopted Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th ed.) as its parliamentary authority is bound to observe the rules contained therein.  These rules specifically provide for the manner in which certain rules can be suspended when they interfere with doing something in particular.  Thus, the form of the incidental motion to Suspend the Rules is like, "I move to suspend the rules that interfere with...".  A motion of the form, "I move to suspend the rules in the parliamentary authority" is not in order.  RONR (12th ed.) does not provide for its suspension in whole.

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10 hours ago, Rob Elsman said:

A motion of the form, "I move to suspend the rules in the parliamentary authority" is not in order.  RONR (12th ed.) does not provide for its suspension in whole.

Yes. I think I said as much back on Monday.  We therefore agree.

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11 hours ago, Rob Elsman said:

It doesn't, Mr. Novosielski.

The fact is, though (strike three, you're out!), that a society that has adopted Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th ed.) as its parliamentary authority is bound to observe the rules contained therein.  These rules specifically provide for the manner in which certain rules can be suspended when they interfere with doing something in particular.  Thus, the form of the incidental motion to Suspend the Rules is like, "I move to suspend the rules that interfere with...".  A motion of the form, "I move to suspend the rules in the parliamentary authority" is not in order.  RONR (12th ed.) does not provide for its suspension in whole.

I think a motion "To suspend the rules in RONR for the session and use Glutz Parliamentary Authority (GPA)" could be partly, for lack of a better term, in order.  If the hypothetical GPA would not deviate from RONR on what rules could be suspended, it would not suspend a rule that was otherwise not suspendable. 

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20 hours ago, Rob Elsman said:

It doesn't, Mr. Novosielski.

The fact is, though (strike three, you're out!), that a society that has adopted Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th ed.) as its parliamentary authority is bound to observe the rules contained therein.  These rules specifically provide for the manner in which certain rules can be suspended when they interfere with doing something in particular.  Thus, the form of the incidental motion to Suspend the Rules is like, "I move to suspend the rules that interfere with...".  A motion of the form, "I move to suspend the rules in the parliamentary authority" is not in order.  RONR (12th ed.) does not provide for its suspension in whole.

I believe Mr. Novosielski was questioning the post by Guest Puzzling.

On 7/20/2021 at 9:10 PM, Guest Puzzling said:

Also under 25:1  it says

Provided the proposal [to suspend the rules] is not in conflict  with [...] a fundamental principle of parliamentary law

I assume what Guest Puzzling was getting at with this is that, in addition to the fact that a motion to suspend all rules in the parliamentary authority in their entirety is not a proper form of the motion to Suspend the Rules, RONR also provides that certain rules (including several in the parliamentary authority) cannot be suspended. As a result, a motion to suspend all rules in the parliamentary authority is also out of order for that reason.

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Guest Zev

There is a possibility that the person that started this event was engaged in a simple Request For Information that did not involve the making of any other motion and not very familiar with proper parliamentary procedure mistakenly believed that a suspension of all rules was necessary in order to have an extended colloquy with the presiding officer. I cannot tell because of the lack of details. 

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Well, @J. J., let me put it like this:  For a society having as its bylaws the sample bylaws in RONR (12th ed.), it would not be in order to move to suspend the rules that interfere with adopting a different parliamentary authority for a session.  This would be an incidental main motion, and an improper one.  RONR (12th ed.) 10:26, item (1).  Note, especially, that 10:26 footnote (1) does not apply to the case, because the bylaw with which the suggested motion conflicts is not suspendable.

Edited by Rob Elsman
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5 hours ago, Josh Martin said:

I believe Mr. Novosielski was questioning the post by Guest Puzzling.

I assume what Guest Puzzling was getting at with this is that, in addition to the fact that a motion to suspend all rules in the parliamentary authority in their entirety is not a proper form of the motion to Suspend the Rules, RONR also provides that certain rules (including several in the parliamentary authority) cannot be suspended. As a result, a motion to suspend all rules in the parliamentary authority is also out of order for that reason.

You might have cleared that up.  But I'm still wondering what strikes one and two were.

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