Jump to content
The Official RONR Q & A Forums

Bylaws-revise or start over


Guest Gail Blakeley

Recommended Posts

Guest Gail Blakeley

Several months ago I asked this group how we could obtain copies of the bylaws for an organization we have belonged to for many of years. Thanks to your suggestions, we have now received copies. Our bylaws were written in 1994 but no one seems to know for sure who wrote them. They are 23 pages long and are written in archaic legal language. They seem totally generic in content and are concerned with punitive actions to be taken against members who fail to obey the bylaws, making sure that all members shall be natural persons of full age, and, measures to be taken if a member is declared of unsound mind by an order of the court or is convicted of felony.

MY QUESTION: Must we revise these mostly useless bylaws or can we vote to start over and write new stream-lined bylaws that pertain directly to the purpose and needs of our organization?

Gail

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Several months ago I asked this group how we could obtain copies of the bylaws for an organization we have belonged to for many of years. Thanks to your suggestions, we have now received copies. Our bylaws were written in 1994 but no one seems to know for sure who wrote them. They are 23 pages long and are written in archaic legal language. They seem totally generic in content and are concerned with punitive actions to be taken against members who fail to obey the bylaws, making sure that all members shall be natural persons of full age, and, measures to be taken if a member is declared of unsound mind by an order of the court or is convicted of felony.

MY QUESTION: Must we revise these mostly useless bylaws or can we vote to start over and write new stream-lined bylaws that pertain directly to the purpose and needs of our organization?

Gail

A revision is basically a substitution of a new set of bylaws for an old one (p. 575).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Must we revise these mostly useless bylaws or can we vote to start over and write new stream-lined bylaws that pertain directly to the purpose and needs of our organization?

You use two terms as if there were a difference.

• A "revision" is a 100% overhaul of every word in a document.

• "Starting over and writing new bylaws" is a synonym for "revision".

Yes, you may begin the amendment process.

Yes, you may change every single word in the bylaws.

But you must follow the amendment process.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Must we revise these mostly useless bylaws or can we vote to start over and write new stream-lined bylaws that pertain directly to the purpose and needs of our organization?

Well, you won't be starting over unless you intend to create a new organization. So, for example, you're likely to retain Article I which, typically, states the name of the organization. And probalby, perhaps with some modification, Article II which, typically, states the mission.

You might want to appoint a committee to come up with proposed amendments. And then be sure that notice of the proposed amendments is notice of a revision. That removes any "scope of the notice" limitations.

And consider the use of provisos so that current officeholders, or members, aren't removed the moment the bylaws are amended (unless that's what the assembly wants).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Gail Blakeley

Well, you won't be starting over unless you intend to create a new organization. So, for example, you're likely to retain Article I which, typically, states the name of the organization. And probalby, perhaps with some modification, Article II which, typically, states the mission.

You might want to appoint a committee to come up with proposed amendments. And then be sure that notice of the proposed amendments is notice of a revision. That removes any "scope of the notice" limitations.

And consider the use of provisos so that current officeholders, or members, aren't removed the moment the bylaws are amended (unless that's what the assembly wants).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Gail Blakeley

You use two terms as if there were a difference.

• A "revision" is a 100% overhaul of every word in a document.

• "Starting over and writing new bylaws" is a synonym for "revision".

Yes, you may begin the amendment process.

Yes, you may change every single word in the bylaws.

But you must follow the amendment process.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...