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Anne Strickert
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At a special congregation meeting, a member who is absent sent his daughter to the meeting to read his written statement. It seems like that should be out of order. Our constitution states that there can be no vote by proxy, so how could there be debate by proxy. It's used as a type of bullying. Is it out of order?

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On 9/19/2021 at 12:29 PM, Anne Strickert said:

At a special congregation meeting, a member who is absent sent his daughter to the meeting to read his written statement. It seems like that should be out of order. Our constitution states that there can be no vote by proxy, so how could there be debate by proxy. It's used as a type of bullying. Is it out of order?

It is correct that, unless the assembly's rules provide otherwise, the member cannot grant his daughter his right to speak in debate by proxy. As a result, the answer to the question of whether this is in order hinges on the membership status of the daughter.

If the daughter is a member of the congregation, then she has her own right to speak in debate. Strictly speaking, the assembly's permission is required to read a written document, but such permission is generally granted as a matter of courtesy unless the document is overly lengthy. In the unusual event there is disagreement on this matter, a majority vote is required to grant such permission.

If the daughter is not a member of the congregation, then she has no right to speak in debate. The assembly may grant this permission by suspending the rules, which requires a 2/3 vote. If no business is pending, the congregation may permit the daughter to address the assembly by majority vote. (Furthermore, if the daughter is not a member of the congregation, she has no right to even be present at the meeting, although the assembly may grant such permission by majority vote.)

I am somewhat unclear on the meaning of the statement that is is "used as a type of bullying," since the facts presented, in and of themselves, do not appear to support this statement. To the extent this statement is suggesting that the words contained within the statement are in violation of the rules of decorum, a Point of Order may be raised regarding that matter.

Edited by Josh Martin
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