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Do you have to have a trial to remove a board member?

How To Run A Meeeting

If you would like to know more about how Parliamentarian Procedure from Little Ben, click here for my DVD called How To Run A Meeting.

Little Ben, a few questions for you.. our organization is falling apart over this...

Here is what our bylaws state in regards to expelling a board member, director, or general member for cause.
(The board of directors shall suspend or expel any member,officer,director, or alternate director upon evidence of material violation of the bylaws,public law,or any regulation or practice of this organization. The member, office , director, or alternate director in question shall be entitled to appear before the board of directors and state his or case ).

Here are my questions
1.So considering we do have this section in our bylaws on what to do in expelling a board member, is the only requirement of the board to do is notifying him or her by mail of the date of the trail/hearing, time, and specific charge lodged against him or her ?
2.Will this constitute a trail/hearing ?
3.Since our bylaws states in disciplinary affairs the person is brought before the board of directors, ,we can in fact hold this hearing/trail without the general membership present ?
4.After the trial/hearing has ended,can the chair (president in this case) direct that the vote will be conducted by ballot,without having to vote to have a ballot vote ? Is it his choice on how we vote ?
5.If so, the president can vote ? But not settle ties since he voted already ?
6.If the above is correct and was followed, the person on trial cannot vote, and has to leave the room for the vote ?
7.Under the above scenario, what does the vote have to be to affirm the charge, a majority or 2/3 affirmation by the board.

Thank you Little Ben, we need your help !!

Trey

Dear Trey,

My gosh. You are right! What a mess having to remove an officer. But fear not Little Ben is here. Here is something to think about. Has anyone gone to the officer and asked him to resign? Or if there is an election pending soon why not wait to just vote someone else in?

What is going to be the fall out of any action you are taking? Is the officer popular with the members? Will they want to participate?

If you are removing him from office and not from membership, too, then you will need a majority vote to remove him unless your bylaws state differently. If you are removing him from membership that will take a two thirds vote.

Answers to your questions:
#1. Yes
#2. Yes
#3. Yes
#4. Yes. Robert's says one member can demand a ballot vote.
#5. Yes he can vote if it is by ballot. He cannot break a tie vote if votes in the ballot. If it is a tie vote on a ballot vote the motion is lost. So if the motion is to remove from office and it is a tie, the motion fails and he remains in office.
#6. The person who is on trial cannot vote and must leave the room.
#7. To remove from office only a majority vote.

Again, is it worth having a trial and disrupting the organization? Take a look at other options. One is to censure the person first. Then if he is does not correct his behavior, proceed with removal. Discipline is always in executive session--that means no one but board members present. And require all board members to zip their lips afterwards. Anyone that breaks the confidentiality and blabs can also be disciplined.

Cheerio,

Little Ben


Question submitted by Trey on October 19, 2014