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Breach of Order by Member in Meeting

David A Foulkes

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In almost every instance, it is sufficient for the chairman to correct the fault by way of an admonition or warning. Any other penalty should be assessed only rarely, and only after warnings have proved fruitless. The penalties listed in RONR should prove sufficient for every case. Don't worry about inventing others.

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Page 627, line 34ff - RONR offers a list of five possible penalties. Are these the only options available to an assembly in such a case, or is this list meant to be only suggestive of the range?

Fines are only an option if provided for in the Bylaws. (RONR, 10th ed., pg. 624) I'm not clear on what other options you had in mind.

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I'm not clear on what other options you had in mind.

(See bottom p. 627 to top of p. 628.)

... the chair can first ask, "What penalty shall be imposed on the member?"

A motion offered in a case of this kind can propose

(1.) that the offender be required to make an apology,

(2.) that he be censured,

(3.) that he be required to leave the hall during the remainder of the meeting or until he is prepared to apologize,

(4.) that his rights of membership be suspended for a time, or

(5.) that he be expelled from the organization.

(6.) Fines, as already mentioned are not an option, unless one's bylaws provide otherwise.

I am at a loss to imagine what other punishment is possible.

Hard labor?

39 lashes?

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So clearly, David, that list of five is not exhaustive, since there is also, at least, fining, if the bylaws allow it. So if you always make sure Mr Elsman presides over every meeting you ever attend or hear of, taking comfort from his occasional confident tapping of his rider's crop against the side of his thigh-high black leather boots and the reassuring way he courteously adjusts his monocle when looking at each new speaker, you can then with relief accept his advice to ignore your question.

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