For decades, if not centuries the act of serving process has remained largely unchanged.
The profession is currently at a critical crossroads, it is facing significant challenges to its image and ability to keep pace with technological advances in today’s constantly changing marketplace.
If the private process serving profession hopes to be a part of the solution to these and other problems they need to EMBRACE CHANGE rather than resist it.
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Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Do an associations Bylaws matter? Do Robert's Rules of Order matter?
I for one think they
The Bylaws are the constitution.
They represent the framework for all affairs of the organization.They help guide and govern an organization or
association.Bottom-line they are part
of the glue that holds everything together.Typically associations recognize Robert's Rules of Order to as the
parliamentary authority that set forth the rules not specifically addressed in
the Bylaws and are considered legally binding by associations that have adopted
them.NAPPS has a formal set of Bylaws
and has adopted Robert's Rules.
some reason NAPPS appears to have ignored its Bylaws and Robert's Rules when it
comes to its last annual conference.Either the folks running the association choose to violate the Bylaws or
they just don't understand them.At the
end of the day it doesn't matter if they choose to ignore them or if the leaders
are ignorant.What matters is they (the
bylaws and Robert’s Rules) MUST be complied with.
I am referring to the election of Mr. Couch to the board of Directors.There is no
dispute as to his eligibility according to the associations Bylaws.It has been acknowledged by all that have
looked into the matter that he was not eligible.I am told that the leadership or NAPPS sought
a parliamentary ruling after the breach of the Bylaws was realized.
It would appear based on the fact that Mr.
Couch is still listed as a board member that whomever advised NAPPS may have
told NAPPS that the timeliness to raise a Point of Order had passed.If that was the advice they leaders received
I submit they got bad advice.If you
refer to Roberts Rules and read the timeliness requirements for a Point of
Order it says that a Point of Order must be raised promptly at the time the
breach occurs. However this same section of Robert's goes on to list exceptions
to this requirement.The exception that
I believe applies is as follows. See Page 251 of Robert's 11th Edition:
"The only exceptions to the rule that a point of order
must be made at the time of the breach arise in connection with breaches that
are of a continuing nature, in which case a point of order can be made at any
time during the continuance of the breach. Instances of this kind occur when:
a) a main motion has been adopted that conflicts with the
bylaws (constitution) of the organization or assembly"
A beach occurred, it continues to occur and in fact the
breach conflicts with the Bylaws.
In further support of this breach needing to be addressed by
the members, I have also reviewed the section of Robert's that governs
elections; specifically the rules for contesting the announced result of an
election.They allow an election to be
contested by raising a point of order.And as stated previously that point of order must be timely except where
the breach conflicts with the Bylaws and where the breach continues.Page 444 and 445 of Robert's specifically
address when a point of order contesting an election can be raised.On page 445 is says:
"Other exceptions to the general timeliness requirement
are those that come with the five categories listed on page 251, lines 9-23, in
which cases a point of order can be made at any time during the continuance in
office of the individual declared elected.For example:
If an individual does not meet the qualifications for the
post established by the bylaw, his or her election is tantamount to the
adoption of a main motion that conflicts with the bylaws."
In order to fix this breach a member must raise a point of
order contesting the election.It is the
correct and lawful thing to do in order to address the breach of the
Bylaws.I have no axe to grind with Mr.
Couch; I have heard nothing but good things about the man. This isn't really
about him; it is about following the rules and doing the right thing.
I suspect a simple mistake was made when it was assumed by
all members present that Mr. Couch was eligible to hold office.Now is the time for a simple solution to be
This issue is ultimately about credibility.If NAPPS continues to ignore this issue it
will represent another black eye for an industry whose image in the media of
late has been less than perfect. Or NAPPS can continue to play the game like Calvin and Hobs. Seriously... you either have rules that matter or no rules at all!