Jump to content
The Official RONR Q & A Forums

Conduct


Guest Rob

Recommended Posts

If a member commits an act that is found to violate an ethics clause in the By-Laws

can the Board of Directors suspend that person from being able to hold office?

Are you asking:

(a.) does YOUR board have such authority?

(b.) can the organization suspend such a person?

#a = Boards have no power.

Exceptions are to be found in your bylaws or other customized document of the organization.

Thus, it might be the case that YOUR board can achieve such an end, due to your own unique rules.

#b = Two answers.

With proper process, "yes."

Without a proper process (i.e., a trial), "no."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If a member commits an act that is found to violate an ethics clause in the By-Laws can the Board of Directors suspend that person from being able to hold office? Or are they entitled to run for the Board of Directors

There is no rule in RONR to prevent someone from running for the board because of ethics questions. It is presumed that the voters will take that into account when voting.

If the offense is serious enough to expel the person from membership, then the society can expel him, by following your own rules of discipline, or those in Chapter XX. of RONR. Suspending only the right to run for office would be a very unusual penalty not covered in RONR.

And there is something unseemly about the board of directors seeking the power to determine who may or may not run for the board of directors. Y'know?

If you can find it in your bylaws, then they are unusual bylaws.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Suspending only the right to run for office would be a very unusual penalty not covered in RONR.

There's nothing wrong with suspending only some of the rights of membership. Whether this particular penalty would be in order depends on whether the ability to hold office is, in fact, a right of membership. Nothing in RONR prevents a non-member from holding office. As noted, disciplinary authority rests with the general membership unless the Bylaws state otherwise.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And there is something unseemly about the board of directors seeking the power to determine who may or may not run for the board of directors. Y'know?

If you can find it in your bylaws, then they are unusual bylaws.

I am not clear on what you mean here. If someone violates an organzations ethics clause and gets disciplined why would you want them to be able to run for the board of directors? Wouldn't there be issues with allowing someone with ethical issues and under sanction to serve?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am not clear on what you mean here. If someone violates an organzations ethics clause and gets disciplined why would you want them to be able to run for the board of directors? Wouldn't there be issues with allowing someone with ethical issues and under sanction to serve?

Well, maybe because I'm not on the board of directors.

Besides, it's not what I want that matters. I'm not a member anyway, so it makes no difference what I want. I'm telling you what's in RONR. There is no rule in RONR that would prohibit him from running. There may be rules in your bylaws.

If there are eligibility requirements for any office in your organization, then those requirements must be contained in your bylaws.

If he meets those requirements, or if there are no requirements, then he can run and be elected. The board cannot suspend those bylaws requirements, unless they provide for their own suspension, and even then, it is likely that only the membership, and not the board, could suspend them. It depends what the language says.

The board is generally powerless to do anything that the membership does not authorize it to do in the bylaws. So you'll have to look in there for exactly what the board's powers are.

One problem you might run into is that even if this guy was removed from office by the board (presuming they had that power) he could turn right around and run for the spot he was removed from, as long as he meets the eligibility requirements.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To make sure I understand as long as the Board is given the right to discipline or sanction a member by it's by-laws it can but it cannot state as part of said discipine that the offending party cannot run for office?

It depends on whether running for office is a right of membership. Do your Bylaws require that someone must be a member to hold office?

If someone violates an organzations ethics clause and gets disciplined why would you want them to be able to run for the board of directors?

It is ultimately up to the general membership to decide who to elect. What I want is irrelevant.

Wouldn't there be issues with allowing someone with ethical issues and under sanction to serve?

Probably. But nothing in RONR would prevent it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, maybe because I'm not on the board of directors.

Besides, it's not what I want that matters. I'm not a member anyway, so it makes no difference what I want. I'm telling you what's in RONR. There is no rule in RONR that would prohibit him from running. There may be rules in your bylaws.

If there are eligibility requirements for any office in your organization, then those requirements must be contained in your bylaws.

If he meets those requirements, or if there are no requirements, then can run and be elected. The board cannot suspend those bylaws requirements, unless they provide for their own suspension, and even then, it is likely that only the membership, and not the board, could suspend them. It depends what the language says.

The board is generally powerless to do anything that the membership does not authorize it to do in the bylaws. So you'll have to look in there for exactly what the board's powers are.

One problem you might run into is that even if this guy was removed from office by the board (presuming they had that power) he could turn right around and run for the spot he was removed from, as long as he meets the eligibility requirements.

Not sure why you have to answer with sarcasm and in a condesending tone please do not answer any more questions from me. You know full well when I said "you" in my post I was not referring to you as an individual.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not sure why you have to answer with sarcasm and in a condesending tone please do not answer any more questions from me. You know full well when I said "you" in my post I was not referring to you as an individual.

With all due respect, I don't believe anything in Mr. Novosielski's post was intended to be condescending or sarcastic, and I've been around here long enough to see a number of condescending and sarcastic posts on this forum (and its predecessor). Additionally, it is not that uncommon for posters to request a personal opinion or explanation from the members of this forum, for reasons I do not entirely understand. It was not entirely clear to me either whether you were requesting a personal opinion or were using the general "you," and I apologize for any affront this misunderstanding may have caused. Unfortunately, the lack of nonverbal cues makes communication over a forum difficult.

Putting that aside, it will help us get a definitive answer for your question if you would reply to my question. Do your Bylaws require that an individual must be a member to hold office?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not sure why you have to answer with sarcasm and in a condesending [sic] tone please do not answer any more questions from me. You know full well when I said "you" in my post I was not referring to you as an individual.

I presume when you say "you" you mean "you".

Thank you for your valuable opinion on how the forum should be run.

It's always so nice to be ordered around by guests. Especially those as polite as you are.

And when I say "you", I mean "you".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

With all due respect, I don't believe anything in Mr. Novosielski's post was intended to be condescending or sarcastic, and I've been around here long enough to see a number of condescending and sarcastic posts on this forum (and its predecessor). Additionally, it is not that uncommon for posters to request a personal opinion or explanation from the members of this forum, for reasons I do not entirely understand. It was not entirely clear to me either whether you were requesting a personal opinion or were using the general "you," and I apologize for any affront this misunderstanding may have caused. Unfortunately, the lack of nonverbal cues makes communication over a forum difficult.

Putting that aside, it will help us get a definitive answer for your question if you would reply to my question. Do your Bylaws require that an individual must be a member to hold office?

No they do not require you to be a member

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I presume when you say "you" you mean "you".

Thank you for your valuable opinion on how the forum should be run.

It's always so nice to be ordered around by guests. Especially those as polite as you are.

And when I say "you", I mean "you".

Either way the intial part of your answer was uncalled for. I did not render and opinion on howbbthe forum should be run. I just asked you not to respond to me as you seem to enthralled with yourself and your pompus remarks to provide any useful information.

If you allow guests and treat them like second class citizens you should expect some feedback

And when I say "you" in this manner I mean "you"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No they do not require you to be a member

Then a motion to suspend someone from eligibility for office is not in order. If you feel that a particular individual is a poor candidate for the position your only recourse is to vote for someone else and persuade your fellow members to do the same.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you allow guests and treat them like second class citizens you should expect some feedback

Well, aside from the fact that you didn't get the answer you were clearly hoping for, you seem relatively unharmed--thank goodness.

The parallel with boards and members is inescapable. Many board members who pass through here are shocked to learn that boards really are second-class entities, as far as RONR is concerned, "deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed" as whatsisname, that other parliamentary manual writer put it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am not clear on what you mean here. If someone violates an organzations ethics clause and gets disciplined why would you want them to be able to run for the board of directors? Wouldn't there be issues with allowing someone with ethical issues and under sanction to serve?

Because if he's still a member, he should have a member's rights. If you think his behavior makes him a poor choice, don't vote him in.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If a member commits an act that is found to violate an ethics clause in the By-Laws,

can the Board of Directors

suspend that person from being able to hold office?

Or are they entitled to run for the Board of Directors?

When and if you hold a proper disciplinary process in full, with the necessary committee, the necessary hearings, and the necessary trial,

THEN

as one of the penalties you can impose, "yes", a penalty of barring the targeted person from holding office is one penalty you can impose.

Now, as the question of whether YOUR BOARD can do such a thing, there remains a question:

• Under Robert's Rules of Order, no board can do such a thing.

• Under your own bylaws, it might be the case the board is the only proper body to accomplish this end.

*****

Have you held a full, proper trial?

No?

Then you cannot prevent the targeted person from doing anything.

He can run for office. He can be elected. He can serve.

You cannot prevent from from doing any of this, short of a full disciplinary process. -- Which you haven't even started yet.

*****

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When and if you hold a proper disciplinary process in full, with the necessary committee, the necessary hearings, and the necessary trial,

THEN

as one of the penalties you can impose, "yes", a penalty of barring the targeted person from holding office is one penalty you can impose.

But in this society, the bylaws have no membership requirement for holding office, and therefore holding office is not a right of membership. Discipline can remove any or all membership rights, up to and including expulsion. But I don't see how discipline can remove rights that don't exist in the first place.

I think the only relevant question here is whether the person meets the eligibility requirements in the bylaws. Discipline procedures can't suspend the bylaws, and add or remove eligibility requirements. They can only modify the membership status of the member. But no membership status including non-membership is a requirement for election.

Even if a person is removed from office, what would prevent him from running again and being elected?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Discipline can remove any or all membership rights, up to and including expulsion.

But I don't see how discipline can remove rights that don't exist in the first place.

Ah! Then you think that no privileges can be suspended or taken away?

Only rights can be taken away?

E.g., a right granted to guests, if exercised by a member, cannot be taken away via the penalty phase of a trial?

Q. A member retains the rights of all guests?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Because if he's still a member, he should have a member's rights.

It has already been clarified, however, that no rule in the Bylaws requires that officers must be members. The member in question could run for an officer position even if he was expelled from the organization. Therefore, it is really not an issue of the member's right to hold office, but of the rights of the other members to vote for any eligible candidate.

Ah! Then you think that no privileges can be suspended or taken away?

Only rights can be taken away?

E.g., a right granted to guests, if exercised by a member, cannot be taken away via the penalty phase of a trial?

Q. A member retains the rights of all guests?

No penalty greater than expulsion may be imposed on a member. Since even a non-member may hold office under RONR, I would consider a penalty barring someone from office to violate that principle. If the Bylaws have no requirements for office, the members are free to vote for anyone.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The member in question could run for an officer position if he was expelled from the organization.

I have to say I was taken aback by Mr. Novosielski's position that there is no way, through disciplinary procedures, to prevent a non-member from being elected to an office for which membership is not a requirement.

It seems to me that an organization should be able to tell the miscreant that, because of his egregious behavior, he is expelled from the organization and forbidden to ever serve as an officer. It's hard to imagine that, after being shown the door, he can walk back in as a non-member candidate (though I understand his chances of being elected might be slim).

The solution, of course, is to make membership a requirement for holding office which I suspect is the case in almost all organizations.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It seems to me that an organization should be able to tell the miscreant that, because of his egregious behavior, he is expelled from the organization and forbidden to ever serve as an officer. It's hard to imagine that, after being shown the door, he can walk back in as a non-member candidate (though I understand his chances of being elected might be slim).

Well, he can't "walk back in" on his own. He'd need at least one friend in the organization to nominate him. The fact that he has no right to even attend the meeting, let alone speak, will make it difficult to make his case for why he should be elected.

The solution, of course, is to make membership a requirement for holding office which I suspect is the case in almost all organizations.

Agreed. If the organization wishes to have control over eligibility for office, the solution is to put eligibility requirements in the Bylaws. The simplest requirement is that membership is a prerequisite for office.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ah! Then you think that no privileges can be suspended or taken away?

Only rights can be taken away?

E.g., a right granted to guests, if exercised by a member, cannot be taken away via the penalty phase of a trial?

Q. A member retains the rights of all guests?

Guests have no rights to take away. Discipline, as such, cannot be imposed on guests. Specific rules on attendance during a trial override the general, but the rights being protected during a trial are those of the accused, and those of the Membership, not those of guests.

Similarly, the rights protected with respect to an election usually offer little or no protection to candidates, but are intended to preserve the ability of voters to exercise that basic right of membership.

Even if all his rights of membership were taken away, the accused would still have the--lets's call it the "opportunity"--to run for election, or more properly, members would retain the right to vote for him, because nothing in either RONR or their own bylaws prohibits it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guests have no rights to take away. Discipline, as such, cannot be imposed on guests. Specific rules on attendance during a trial override the general, but the rights being protected during a trial are those of the accused, and those of the Membership, not those of guests.

Similarly, the rights protected with respect to an election usually offer little or no protection to candidates, but are intended to preserve the ability of voters to exercise that basic right of membership.

Even if all his rights of membership were taken away, the accused would still have the--lets's call it the "opportunity"--to run for election, or more properly, members would retain the right to vote for him, because nothing in either RONR or their own bylaws prohibits it.

He could try to run for office, as a former member, as an expelled member, as a suspended member, etc.

But the organization, in the penalty phase of a trial, can impose a banishment from the premises, and can impose a rule that Person X never hold office.

If an organization can ban a guest/visitor, then certainly the organization can ban a member who has undergone a trial, and who had such a penalty imposed on him.

Yes, a punishment "that Person X never hold office" does create an imposition on the voters voting for anyone as freely as RONR describes.

Indeed, the voters still can vote for him. -- He just cannot serve, if "elected" (i.e., he cannot be elected).

So, the voters only lose out on having him serve.

Thus, the penalty is burden on the penalized person.

The organization is free to lift this restriction at any time.

That is, the voters who wish to vote for Mr. X, and who see Mr. X serve in office, control this aspect, too.

Test it out:

Q. Which penalty is more "severe" according to RONR?

(a.) the penalty of expulsion.

(b.) the penalty of never being able to hold office (but not expulsion).

You already cited the book. -- #a is greater than #b.

So, since lesser penalties can be imposed, #b can be imposed.

(RONR says that fines cannot be imposed, unless the bylaws allow for fines. So fines must be a greater penalty than expulsion, since you need bylaws permission for fines, but you don't need bylaws permission for expulsion.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

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

×
×
  • Create New...