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Difficulty 5

An organization is conducting an election where only one person was nominated, and a member moves "that the election be taken by acclamation." The Chair put the motion to elect by acclamation to a vote (which appears to be about 80% in favor) and declares the individual elected. Is that a proper use of election by "acclamation"?

No. The process in Robert's is decribed as follows: "If only one person is nominated and the bylaws do not require that a ballot vote be taken, the chair, after ensuring that, in fact, no members present wish to make further nominations, simply declares that the nominee is elected, thus effecting the election by uanimous consent or "acclamation." RONR (12th ed.) 46:40. 


A committee member arrives at a regular committee meeting (operating under Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th Edition) at which all members will be present. Before the meeting begins, the member overhears that a motion will be made to reconsider an item adopted at the previous meeting. At the previous meeting, the committee member voted for adoption of the underlying motion (and does not want to revisit the matter again). What action can the committee member take to dramatically increase the chance that the motion to Reconsider will fail?

The committee member can choose not to attend the meeting (thereby changing the vote required to pass the motion to reconsider from a majority to two-thirds). The motion to reconsider has different characteristics when made in a standing or special committee. For one, the motion to reconsider can be made and taken up regardless of the time that has elapsed since the vote was taken.  In addition, "unless all the members of the committee who voted with the prevailing side are present or have been notified that the reconsideration will be moved, it requires a two-thirds vote to adopt the motion to Reconsider." RONR (12 ed.) 37:35. (Based on "An Obscure Principle" by Jim Lochrie, Parliamentary Journal, January 1993)


Debate on a particularly controversial motion has been limited by means of the motion to limit debate to one hour.  After thirty minutes of debate, it is apparent that more information is needed before a final decision can be made.  A member attempts to Postpone the motion until the next week's meeting but is ruled out of order by the President.  Based solely on these facts (and according to Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th Edition), why?

The motion to Postpone to a Certain Time "cannot be moved after the adoption of a motion to close debate on the main question at a definite hour or of a motion to limit the total time allowed for debate; but it remains in order if only a limitation on the length of speeches is in force (see 15)." RONR (12 ed.) 14:4(2).


Two organizations (the ABC Club and the XYZ Club) have identical members, issues, and discussions. The only difference between the two organizations is their parliamentary authority--one uses the latest Robert's and one follows The Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure (4th Ed.)("Sturgis").

The following identical election took place in both meetings: 
For the office of President, Sue Smith received 50 votes, Bob Brown received 44 votes, Vicki Vail received 2 votes, and Mickey Mouse (yes, the cartoon character) received 4 votes. The ABC Club declared no one elected and had a second balloting, which Bob Brown won. The XYZ Club declared Sue Smith the new President.  

Based upon this information, which organization likely uses which major parliamentary authority and why does it make a difference?

The ABC Club uses Robert's as its parliamentary authority, in which illegal votes cast by legal voters (i.e., for Mickey Mouse) are taken into account in determining the number of votes cast for computing a majority. Under Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th Edition), Sue Smith did not receive a majority (51 votes) of the 100 ballots cast and reballoting was necessary.

The XYZ Club uses as its parliamentary authority The Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure, in which only legal votes are taken into account in determining the number of votes cast for computing a majority. Under The Standard Code, Sue Smith received a majority of the 96 legal ballots cast.


Your organization follows Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th Edition). The pending motion is a secondary amendment to strike out words from a primary amendment to strike. What will be the difference in effect depending on whether the primary amendment is a motion to strike out words or a motion to strike out a paragraph?

If the primary amendment is to strike out certain words, then words struck out of the primary amendment will remain in the resolution regardless of the final vote on the primary amendment (as explained under Strike Out Words, above). But if the primary amendment is to strike out a paragraph, then words stuck out of that paragraph in the process of secondary amendment are out of the resolution regardless of the final vote on the primary amendment. RONR (12th ed.) 12:49-12:51.


In Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th Edition), what is the name of the (rarely used) proceedings in which the full assembly gives detailed consideration to a matter under consideration, members can speak to the main question or any amendment as often as they can get the floor, the presiding officer remains in the chair, and any motion except an amendment that is adopted puts an end to the proceedings?

Quasi Committee of the Whole (Consideration as If in Committee of the Whole). RONR (12th ed.) 52:19-22.


A convention not of a permanent society has been called for the purpose of forming a state society. The chairman of the Convention Arrangements Committee has called the meeting to order and has asked for a motion to authorize the appointment of the Credentials, Rules, and Program Committees. A Point of Order is raised that no motion of any kind is in order because the Credentials Committee has not reported and no one knows who the properly appointed delegates are. Is the Point of Order well taken if the parliamentary authority is Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th Edition)?

The Point of Order is not well taken, and the motion is appropriate. "Until the report of the Credentials Committee is adopted, no business other than its adoption or the other preliminary actions described in this paragraph may be considered, except that any motion related to the consideration of such business or to the conduct of the meeting before the report is adopted, as well as those that are in order in the absence of a quorum (40:6-8), are in order." RONR (12th ed.) § 60:3.


You are at the regular monthly meeting of your civic club during New Business. A very important budget matter was tabled at the last meeting. You are presently discussing a motion on the entertainment for the annual meeting, when a member states in debate that in the event the main motion on entertainment is voted down, she will offer a different motion covering the question. The entertainment motion is put to a vote and voted down. Can you now move to Take from the Table the important matter from the previous meeting if the parliamentary authority is Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th Edition)? Why or why not?

No. "Even if no question is pending, a motion to Take from the Table cannot interrupt a series of motions connected with bringing up a single item of business, but must wait until the complete series is disposed of. For example, . . . when a main motion has just been voted down after a member stated in debate that in that event he would offer a different motion covering the case." RONR (12th ed.) 34:5.


This Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives presided over the most celebrated  and sensational of all quorum controversies. On January 29, 1890, he ruled that the presiding officer could ascertain a quorum with his eyes, and not simply rely on the ears of the Clerk in calling the roll (which resulted in some members remaining silent in their chairs and not being counted towards the quorum). When members realized they might actually be counted towards quorum, some dodged under desks, others rushed for the doors, and one member kicked open a locked door and fled. This Speaker's book, Parliamentary Rules, is still used as a parliamentary authority. Who was the Speaker and where was he from?

Thomas B. Reed from Maine. His book is often referred to as Reed's Rules.


Demeter's Manual of Parliamentary Law uses the mnemonic NO-MOM-PA to remember the fundamental subjects which make up an acceptable set of bylaws. What does each letter stand for? What additional basic bylaws articles does Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th Edition) include that are not listed in Demeter as a fundamental subject?

Name
Object
Membership
Officers
Meetings
Parliamentary authority
Amendments to bylaws
Demeter’s Manual of Parliamentary Law, p.179-180.
Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th Edition) includes "Executive Board (or Board of Directors)," and "Committees." RONR (12th ed.) 56:39.


What is the difference between "bullet voting" and "cumulative voting"?

"Bullet voting" is casting a vote for only one candidate or option when you have the option of casting several votes. (For example, four candidates are running for two open seats. You cast a vote for only one candidate, essentially "depriving" the other candidates of your additional vote.)

"Cumulative voting" permits voters to allocate votes among various candidates and is often used in the election of corporate directors. (For example, you have 100 shares of stock and are permitted to vote for two candidates.  Under cumulative voting, you might be able to cast your 200 votes for one candidate, increasing the probability that the candidate will be elected.) Cumulative voting permits a minority of shareholders to have an influence on the outcome of an election.

RONR (12th ed.) 46:43 as to cumulative voting. FYI, the phrase "bullet voting" does not appear in the body of RONR; however, it does appear three times in the Index. 


Demeter's Manual of Parliamentary Law uses mnemonics to remember the rules to certain motions. According to Demeter, the motion to Appeal From A Decision of the Chair can be applied to J,O,D. What do these letters stand for?

"One way of remembering the general rule that no appeals can be taken from the Chair's rulings which arise out of known Facts, evident Truths, established Rules or operative Laws, but can be taken only from rulings which are based on his personal Judgment, Opinion or Discretion, is by the first letters thereof: F,T,R,L and J,O,D." Demeter's Manual of Parliamentary Law, page 131." 


What is a "Texas ballot" and which parliamentary authority describes it?

"A Texas ballot is a method of plurality voting in which voters indicate the candidate that they do not wish to be elected." This method of voting is described in The Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure (4th Ed.)("Sturgis"), p. 247. 


You are attending a convention that follows Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th Edition). A resolution was introduced during the morning session to hold the annual banquet on Friday evening this year. An amendment to change the night to Saturday was adopted (and you supported the amendment). Everyone now realizes that the Saturday banquet conflicts with the largest social event of the year. The entire banquet issue needs to be revisited. How do you word your motion to bring back up for discussion and vote both the amendment and the main motion?

"I move to reconsider the votes on the resolution relating to the annual banquet and on the amendment to strike out 'Friday' and insert 'Saturday." I voted for the amendment." RONR (12th ed.) 37:36(c).


According to Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th Edition), is the motion to Fix the Time to Which to Adjourn in order if there is a meeting scheduled for later within the same session?

No. "A motion to Fix the Time to Which to Adjourn is in order only if at the time it is offered there is no meeting scheduled for later within the same session. If there is such a meeting, additional meetings within the same session may be set by a motion either to Suspend the Rules (25) or to Amend Something Previously Adopted (35), namely, the previously adopted agenda or program for the session." RONR (12th ed.) 22:2.


You are at a meeting that is considering a particularly contentious main motion. After approximately one hour of heated debate, a motion was made and adopted to limit debate to one additional hour. There are five minutes of debate remaining before the end of the one-hour limit. You wish to postpone the main motion to another time. Given the current parliamentary situation, is the motion to postpone in order?

No, but this is a highly esoteric situation. "It [the motion to Postpone To A Certain Time] cannot be moved after the adoption of a motion to close debate on the main question at a definite hour or of a motion to limit the total time allowed for debate; but it remains in order if only a limitation on the length of speeches is in order (see 15)."  RONR (12th ed.) 14:4(2).



If your parliamentary authority is Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th Edition), what must be done if the assembly is to elect a chairman pro tem to hold office beyond the current session (in the event of illness or disability of both the regular presiding officer and his alternate)?

"[N]otice must be given at the preceding meeting or in the call of the meeting that elects him. One session cannot interfere with the freedom of each new session to choose its own chairman pro tem except by an election held with previous notice (10:44-51)." RONR (12th ed.) 8:16.


Your parliamentary authority is Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th Edition)RONR states that during a vote the chair must always call for the negative vote except for two possible exceptions. What are these exceptions?

"The chair must always call for the negative vote, no matter how nearly unanimous the affirmative vote may appear, except that this rule is commonly relaxed in the case of noncontroversial motions of a complimentary or courtesy nature; but even in such a case, if any member objects, the chair must call for the negative vote. A further exception arises when the negative vote is intrinsically irrelevant, as, for example, when 'a vote of one fifth of the members present' is required (see 44:9(a))." RONR (12th ed.) 4:35.


The motion to Lay on the Table is commonly misused in organizations that follow Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th Edition). In fact, RONR goes so far as to state the following: "In ordinary assemblies, the motion to Lay on the Table is not in order if the evident intent is to ____ or _____ dealing with a measure." What words are missing?

"In ordinary assemblies, the motion to Lay on the Table is not in order if the evident intent is to kill or avoid dealing with a measure." RONR (12th ed.) 17:2.


The current "Mission Statement" of an organization is amended during a meeting using the motion to Rescind/Amend Something Previously Adopted. Later in the meeting, it is realized that a single word change would make the Statement more grammatically correct. Can the motion to Reconsider be used at the same meeting to revisit this issue, according to Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th Edition)?

No, not through the motion to Reconsider. "A negative vote on these motions [Rescind/Amend Something Previously Adopted] can be reconsidered, but not an affirmative vote." RONR (12th ed.) 35:2(8). It may be simpler to just make another motion to Rescind/Amend Something Previously Adopted as to new word change (which, without previous notice, will require a higher vote requirement) or, if the change is not controversial, to use unanimous consent.


An organization that follows Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th Edition) goes into executive session during its January meeting to consider and vote on an important motion. At the February meeting, the organization goes back into executive session solely to read and act upon the minutes of the previous meeting's executive session. How do the minutes from the short executive session at the February meeting get approved? 

"When the minutes of an executive session must be considered for approval at an executive session held solely for that purpose, the brief minutes of the latter meeting are, or are assumed to be, approved by that meeting." RONR (12th ed.) 9:27.


An organization has held a disciplinary trial pursuant to Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th Edition). One of the managers for the organization has made a motion to expel the member as a penalty. What vote is required and must the vote be taken by ballot? 

"On the demand of a single member both the question of guilt and the question of the penalty must be voted on by ballot. . . .  For expulsion, a two-thirds vote is required." RONR (12th ed.) 63:33(e).


You are attending a meeting that closely follows Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th Edition). A series of independent resolutions dealing with different subjects has been offered in one motion (and must be divided upon the demand of a single member). Instead of dividing the question, the assembly decides to consider the material seriatim (by paragraph). Later during the debate, a member moves to divide the question. Is the motion to divide the question in order? 

No. "If it has been decided to consider divisible material seriatim, even if the material was divisible on the demand of a single member, it is too late to move or demand a division of the question.'" RONR (12th ed.) 28:9.



If you are following Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th Edition), what is typically the first item of business immediately following the call to order of a mass meeting?

"A chairman and a secretary are in general the only officers required by a mass meeting. Their election takes place immediately after the meeting is called to order, a convenient method of electing them being by voice vote." RONR (12th ed.) 53:11.


In a disciplinary trial held pursuant to Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th Edition), what is the title given to the members of the society who have the task of presenting the evidence against the accused?

"Managers." RONR (12th ed.) 63:27.


You are attending a national convention that operates under The Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure (4th Edition)("Sturgis"). A Bylaws amendment which required previous notice of 60 days is under discussion. During debate, a member states that several other articles and sections need to be amended to comply with the noticed amendment under discussion. He then makes an amendment to amend these other sections. Does The Standard Code allow such amendments to other parts of the Bylaws not specified in the notice? 

"An amendment to another part of the bylaws not specified in the notice is admissible only if it is reasonably implied by the amendment as stated in the notice.  Using the same example, if the original amendment provided for the creation of an associate membership class, the necessity of fixing the dues for associate members would reasonably be implied, although the subject of dues is covered in another part of the bylaws and might have been omitted unintentionally in the proposed amendment.  An amendment providing the dues for associate members would therefore be admissible." The Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure, p. 208.


Demeter's Manual of Parliamentary Law states that the business part of the order of business can be remembered by the initial letters: R, R, R, S, U, N, G. What does each letter stand for?

Reading of the minutes of the last meeting;
Reports of (1) officers, (2) boards, and (3) standing committees;
Reports of special (temporary) committees;
Special orders (specially scheduled business);
Unfinished business;
New business;
Good of the order. Demeter's Manual of Parliamentary Law, p. 14.


A trial of a member is being handled using the disciplinary procedures outlined in Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th Edition). The accused member has notified the organization that she will appear at trial with a non-member attorney representing her. Must the organization allow the attorney to appear pursuant to RONR?

No. "Defense counsel can be attorney(s) or not, but must be member(s) of the society unless the trial body (that is, the assembly or the trial committee as the case may be) by vote agrees to permit attorney(s) who are not member(s) to act in this capacity." RONR (12th ed.) 63:30.  



In Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th Edition), does the motion Request to Be Excused from a Duty require a second?

"Does not require a second except when moved formally by the maker of the request. A motion to grant the request of another member does not require a second since the maker of the request and the maker of the motion--two members--wish the question to be considered." RONR (12th ed.) 32:2(4).  


If your parliamentary authority is Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th Edition), is it in order to move to a Division of the Question on an amendment if the amendment contains several parts, each of which is capable of standing as a complete proposition if the others are removed? Can the motion Division of a Question also be applied to a main motion while an amendment is pending?

"If applied to an amendment, it also takes precedence over that amendment; but a motion to divide the main question cannot be made while an amendment to the main question is pending." RONR (12th ed.) 27:3(1). 


You are a delegate to a convention that follows Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th Edition). Various committees for the convention have been appointed by the President (and approved by the convention) to make proposals to the assembled delegates. The Convention Committee is composed of five members, but only one is an elected delegate. When the Convention Committee presents is recommendations to the convention, is an additional second needed from the floor or does the committee report carry its own second?

Despite the fact that only one member of the committee is a delegate, the language in RONR suggests that no additional second from the floor is absolutely necessary (but may be politically wise).  

"A motion made by direction of a board or duly appointed committee of the assembly requires no second from the floor (provided the subordinate group is composed of more than one person), since the motion's introduction has been directed by a majority vote within the board or committee and is therefore desired by at least two assembly members or elected or appointed persons to whose opinion the assembly is presumed to give weight regarding the board's or committee's concerns." RONR (12th ed.) 4:11.

Looking at the example, the motion is "made by direction" of a "duly appointed committee of the assembly," "the subordinate group is composed of more than one person," and the "motion's introduction has been directed by a majority vote within the" committee, and is "therefore desired by at least . . . appointed persons to whose opinion the assembly is presumed to give weight." In further support of this argument, the authors of RONR could easily have used the phrase, "provided the subordinate group is composed of more than one MEMBER," but instead used the word "person."


Under The Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure (4th Ed.)("Sturgis"), name the five "Restorative Main Motions."

(1) Amend a previous action;
(2) Ratify;
(3) Reconsider;
(4) Rescind; and
(5) Resume Consideration.  The Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure, p. 16.


Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th Edition) is your parliamentary authority (and there are no other applicable rules). You are not in a meeting. If a member desires to give notice of a motion that requires previous notice, how does he do so?

"In such cases, the member desiring to give the notice writes to the secretary alone, requesting that the notice be sent with the call of the next meeting, and the secretary then does this at the expense of the society." RONR (12th ed.) 10:51. 


According to Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th Edition), if a motion to Reconsider is made at a time when it is not in order for it to come before the assembly for debate and vote, should the motion be seconded at that time or later (when the motion is "called up" for consideration)?

"Must be seconded at the time it is made. . . . The calling up of the motion to Reconsider does not require a second." RONR (12th ed.) 37:9(4). 


You are in a meeting that follows Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th Edition). You make a motion to reconsider an item that was discussed and adopted several meetings before the present one. The chairman notes that because no notice of the motion to reconsider was given and because of some members not being present at the meeting, a two-thirds vote will be required to adopt the motion to reconsider. What type of meeting are you attending?

A meeting of a standing or special committee. RONR (12th ed.) 37:35.


A motion is laid on the table by an organization that follows Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th Edition). Later in the same meeting, a motion to Take from the Table is made, seconded, and defeated. Another matter of business is then taken up. How long must a member wait before again moving to take from the table (or should the motion to Take from the Table be reconsidered?)?

A motion to Take from the Table cannot be reconsidered. "A motion to Take from the Table that has failed can be renewed after disposal of the business that was taken up following rejection of the motion." RONR (12th ed.) 38:7(2).


The general rules is that bylaws cannot be suspended. However, if your parliamentary authority is Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th Edition), under what two circumstances might it be possible to suspend a bylaws provision? 

When (1) the bylaws have a clause that allows a specific provision to be suspended, or (2) when the clause is in the nature of a "rule of order" that clearly deals with meeting parliamentary procedure. RONR (12th ed.) 2:8(4)(However, the confusion this can cause is a good reason not to put rules of order in the bylaws in the first place.)


When is an Appeal NOT debatable, according to Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th Edition)?

When the Appeal:

  1. relates to indecorum or a transgression of the rules of speaking:
  2. relates to the priorty of business;
  3. is made when an undebatable question is immediately pending or involved in the appeal.

RONR (12th ed.) 24:3(5).


An organization that follows Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th Edition) has both a President, President-Elect and Vice President. The President fails to make a meeting. If the bylaws are silent, which officer should preside?

Bylaws often provide that in the absence of the President, the President-Elect (if there is one) presides. "Unless such provision is made, the first vice-president would preside or complete the president's term." RONR (12th ed.) 47:22.


Under Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th Edition), which of the following are stopped by adopting the Previous Question?

  • Debate?
  • Motion to Amend?
  • Motion to Refer?
  • Motion to Recess
  • Requests for Information?
  • Motion to Suspend the Rules

Adopting the Previous Question closes debate, stops amendment of, and prevents the making of subsidiary motions except Lay on the Table. "The adoption of an order for the Previous Question does not prevent the making of privileged or incidental motions as applicable . . . . "  RONR (12th ed.) 16:2. As a result, debate, Amend, and Refer would be prevented.


Under Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th Edition), what is the quorum for a special committee that is not provided for in the bylaws?

“In all other committees and in boards, the quorum is a majority of the members of the board or committee unless a different quorum is provided for: (a) by the bylaws, in the case of a board or standing committee that the bylaws specifically establish; or (b) by a rule of the parent body or organization or by the motion establishing the particular committee, in the case of a committee that is not expressly established by the bylaws.” RONR (12th ed.) 40:5.


Which of the following is NOT considered a deliberative assembly by Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th Edition):

  • Local assembly of an organized society
  • Board
  • Committee
  • Convention
  • Legislative body
  • Mass meeting

A committee. RONR (12th ed.) 1:10-24.


According to Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th Edition), should a president of an organization be chair of or serve on a nominating committee?

"Although in organizing a new society it may be feasible for the chair to appoint the nominating committee, in an organized society the president should not appoint this committee or be a member of it--ex officio or otherwise." RONR (12th ed.) 46:10.


Using Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th Edition), can a motion be referred or postponed after debate has been limited?

Robert's provides that a motion to Refer or Postpone cannot be moved after the adoption of a motion to close debate at a specific time or to limit total debate. RONR (12th ed.) 13:7(2), 14:4(2). The premise behind this rule is that a motion to Refer or to Postpone conflicts with the order limiting debate. This esoteric rule is rarely followed.


What vote is required in Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th Edition) to adopt the motion to Discharge a Committee?

The vote is complicated. The motion to Discharge a Committee requires a (1) two-thirds vote; (2) a majority vote when prior notice of intent to make the motion has been given; or (3) a vote of a majority of the entire membership. However, only a majority vote of those present and voting is required if the committee has either failed to report within a prescribed time as instructed or teh assembly is considering any partial report of the committee. RONR (12th ed.) 36:4(7).


If your parliamentary authority is The Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure (4th Edition), what is the name of the motion to Postpone Temporarily if the Chair interprets the motion as a motion to kill the proposal without further debate?

To "Table." And while the motion to Postpone Temporarily requires only a majority vote, the motion to Table requires a two-thirds vote. (TSC, p. 68)


I am attending a meeting that uses The Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure (4th Edition)("Sturgis"). Is it permissible for me to speak to an issue and end my remarks with a motion to "close debate and vote immediately"?

While speaking and then moving to close debate is permissible in Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th Edition), The Standard Code specifically prohibits ending remarks with a mtion to close debate. (TSC, p. 66)


If at a properly called special meeting action is taken relating to business not mentioned in the call of the meeting, what must be done to make that action valid under Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th Edition)?

The action "must be ratified by the organization at a regular meeting (or at another special meeting properly called for that purpose." RONR (12th ed.) 9:15.


If you follow Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th Edition), may a meeting without quorum even be called to order?

Yes.  "If a quorum cannot be obtained, the chair calls the meeting to order, announces the absence of a quorum, and entertains a motion to adjourn or one of the other motions allowed, as described above." RONR (12th ed.) 40:11.


If your parliamentary authority is Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th Edition), under what category of business should matters that the bylaws require to be considered at a particular meeting, such as the nomination and election of officers, be considered?

Special Orders. RONR (12th ed.) 41:20.


The following are generally recognized to be types of ___________?

  1. General
  2. Limited
  3. Directed
  4. Limited Directed
  5. Quorum

Proxies. See The Complete Idiot's Guide to Parliamentary Procedure Fast-Track, p. 80.


A motion with two distinct parts that should be divisible has been discussed, amended, and debate closed through adoption of the Previous Question. Just prior to the vote, a member moves to Divide the Question. Is the motion to Divide the Question still in order?

Yes.  "[A] motion to divide can be made at any time that the main motion, an amendment which it is proposed to divide, or the motion to Postpone Indefinitely is immediately pending--even after the Previous Question has been ordered." RONR (12th ed.) 27:3(1).


Both Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th Edition) and The Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure, 4th Edition ("Sturgis") have a motion to divide a pending question.  As to the vote, what is the major difference between these two parliamentary authorities?

The motion to Divide a Question in RONR requires a majority vote, while in The Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure any question can be divided upon request by the presiding office and a majority vote is only required if "the presiding officers feels the motion is not divisible and denies the request."  TSC, p. 97.


The Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure, 4th Edition ("Sturgis") does away with Robert's use of "Call for the Orders of the Day" to require the presiding officer follow scheduled order of business. What does The Standard Code recommended using instead?

Simply requesting of the presiding officer that any scheduled matter be taken up or using Point of Order to raise the concern.  TSC, p. 232.

 


If your parliamentary authority is Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th Edition), can an election be taken by voice or unanimous consent (and no one objects) if the bylaws require a vote by ballot?

No.  "The assembly cannot make valid a viva-voce election if the bylaws require the election to be by ballot." RONR (12th ed.) 46:41.


If your parliamentary authority is Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th Edition), what motions are not prevented by the adoption of an order for the Previous Question?

The subsidiary motion to Lay on the Table, privileged, or incidental motions. RONR (12th ed.) 16:2.


In Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th Edition), what is the qualified form of the motion for the Previous Question?

A motion to close debate that is applied to include consecutively any series beginning with the immediatley pending question. While not an amendment, it is "an effect similar to amendment."  RONR (12th ed.) 16:6(6).  


At a meeting that follows Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th Edition), an amendment to a legislative agenda is proposed. A member Objects to the Consideration of the amendment. Is the Objection to Consideration in order?

No. An Objection to the Consideration of a Question can only be applied to original main motions, and not to subsidiary motions. RONR (12th ed.) 26:2(2).


When an hour is assigned to a particular subject in an agenda, does the subject become a special order or general order?

Special order. RONR (12th ed.) 41:58.


Under Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th Edition), what are the bases for temporarily replacing the chair with another presiding officer?

"If the chair fails to act in accordance with the assembly's decision on an appeal (or on a point of order submitted to a vote of the assembly) or otherwise culpably fails to perform the duties of the chair properly in a meeting . . . ." RONR (12th ed.) 62:10.


Under Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th Edition), can a motion to Limit or Extend Limits of Debate be applied to more than the immediately pending debatable motion?

Yes. The motion can be also appplied to an entire series of pending debatable motions or to any consecutive part of such a series beginning with the immediately pending question. RONR (12th ed.) 15:5(2).


Under Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th Edition), can a vote on a motion to amend the bylaws be reconsidered?

Only a failed motion. An affirmative vote on a motion to amend the bylaws cannot be reconsidered. RONR (12th ed.) 57:1(3).


Does an adopted motion for the Previous Question prevent additional Requests for Information (formerly "Points of Information")?

This is a tough one, as Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th Edition) is not entirely clear. Certainly, members who adopt a motion to close debate do not intend for discussion to continue indefinitely through questions. However, RONR § 16 provides that the "adoption of an order for the Previous Question does not prevent the making of privileged or incidental motions as applicable." Requests for Information are an incidential motion. RONR (12th ed.) 16:2.


If your parliamentary authority is Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th Edition), how is the motion to Reconsider different in standing or special committees?

The motion can be made by anyone who did not vote on the losing side--including one who did not vote at all. RONR (12th ed.) 37:35.


Using Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th Edition), when more than one person is to be elected to an office, such as to a board of directors, may a member nominate more than one person for the office or position?

If an objection is made, not until every member wishing to nominate has had an opportunity to do so. RONR (12th ed.) 46:6.


In Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th Edition), what is the difference in disciplining an officer between language in the bylaws to the effect that officers serve "for ___ years OR until their successors are elected" and language to the effect that officers serve for a fixed term such as "for two years"?

Depending on which language is in the bylaws, the officer can either be removed from office by a motion to do so or the officer can only be removed for cause following an investigation, charges, and formal trial. RONR (12th ed.) 62:16.


Under The Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure, 4th Edition ("Sturgis"), what is the type of committee that screens main motions that are to come before a convention (except for those which previously have been screened by some other committee)?

Reference (or Resolutions) Committees. TSC, p. 194


Under Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th Edition), can a meeting be called to order without a quorum present? 

Yes. However, once called to order, the chair "announces the absence of a quorum, and entertains a motion to adjourn or one of the other motions allowed, as described above." RONR (12th ed.) 40:11.


If your parliamentary authority is Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th Edition) and the organization has both a Vice President and President-Elect, who presides in the absence of the President (when there is no bylaws language that helps)?

The Vice President. RONR (12th ed.) 47:22.


If you are at a meeting and enough members leave that a quorum is no longer present, can business continue?

Not according to Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th Edition), but recognize that language in the governing documents or state law (if applicable) could provide a different result. RONR provides that a quorum is "the number of members who must be present in order that business can be validly transacted" and that as to most matters, "In the absence of a quorum, any business transacted (except for the procedural actions noted in the next paragraph) is null and void." RONR (12th ed.) 40:1, 40:6.


If your parliamentary authority is Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th Edition), if a main motion is made that violates substantive law, is the motion not in order?

No. As to law that could make a main motion out of order, RONR only notes that "to the extent that procedural rules applicable to the organization or assembly are prescribed by federal, state, or local law, no main motion is in order that conflicts with such rules." RONR (12th ed.) 10:26(1).


In Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th Edition), what are the rights and obligations of a governor of a state who is ex officio a trustee of a private academy?

"If the ex officio member is not under the authority of the society, he has all the privileges of board membership, including the right to make motions and to vote, but none of the obligations." RONR (12th ed.) 49:8.


Under Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th Edition), can a motion for the Previous Question be applied to the undebatable motion to Limit or Extend Limits of Debate?

Yes, because the motion to Limit or Extend Limits of Debate is amendable (although not debatable). An adopted motion for the Previous Question would stop further amendments. RONR (12th ed.) 16:5(2).


If your parliamentary authority is Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th Edition), what vote is required to adopt the motion to Suspend the Rules?

It varies. While the motion to Suspend the Rules typically most often requires a two-thirds vote, some rules are suspendable by a majority vote, such as an ordinary standing rule that does not relate to parliamentary procedure. RONR (12th ed.) 25:2(7), 25:7-15.


You are attending a meeting that uses The Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure ("Sturgis") as its parliamentary authority. A motion is pending that contains two or more separate parts, and a member requests that the proposal be divided into separate motions. The presiding officer also believes that the motion contains two independent propositions. What vote of the body is required under Sturgis to Divide the Question?

None. Under The Standard Code, the motion to Divide the Question "requires no vote because it is a request and is decided by teh presiding officer." A majority vote will only be required if the presiding officer feels that the motion is not divisible and denies teh request. TSC, p. 96-99.


The motion to Reconsider varies greatly between Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th Edition) and The Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure ("Sturgis"). In The Standard Code, to what type of motions may the motion to Reconsider be applied?

Only to votes on main motions taken at the same meeting or convention. TSC, p. 42.


According to Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th Edition), where should any special rules of order be placed once adopted by an organization?

"Any special rules of order shold be adopted separately from the bylaws. It is advisable thta they be preinted in the same booklet with, but under a heading separate from, the bylaws." RONR (12th ed.) 2:20.


In Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th Edition), do the rules restricting renewal of motions apply to a motion that is withdrawn?

No. "A motion that is withdrawn becomes as if it had never been made and can be renewed wherever it would be originally in order." RONR (12th ed.) 38:2.


Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th Edition) has very specific rules about amendments, including what additional amendments are permitted to a motion that has already been amended. If a motion to strike out certain words is adopted, can the same words be inserted again through amendment?

No, not unless "the place or the wording is so changed as to make a new propostion." RONR (12th ed.) 12:48.


In Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th Edition), if a motion to amend by striking out certain words is pending, what is the only type of secondary amendment that can be applied to the motion?

"The motion to amend by striking out certain words can be amended only by striking out words from the primary amendment." (Having the effect of LEAVING the words in.)." RONR (12th ed.) 12:49.


In the new Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th Edition), what motion is used to close suggestions on filling a blank?

Previous Question (previously a motion to "close suggestions" was used). RONR (12th ed.) 12:101.


If a question is laid on the table and the next regular business session will be held within a quarterly time interval, but the term of the members will expire during that time (i.e., all board members are up for election), can a new board of new members take the matter off the table? 

No. "If the term of all or a specified portion of the assemby's membership will expire before the start of the next regular session, as may happen in a board or an elected legislative assembly, the rule is the same as though more than a quarterly time interval will have elapsed--that is, a question can be taken from the table only until the end of the same session at which it was laid on the table. RONR (12th ed.) 34:3 and footnote.


The new Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th Edition) has a new citation system. How would a reference to the motion to Reconsider (section 37) be cited, if the relevant paragraph is the second paragraph on page 298?

RONR (12th ed.) 37:3. From the "CITE THIS BOOK" page immediately following the cover page.


Under Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th Edition), can anyone propose a revision of the bylaws?

No. "Consideration of a revision of the bylaws is in order only when prepared by a committee that has been properly authorized to draft it either by the membership or by an executive board that has the power to refer such matters to a committee." (see also additional footnote comments) RONR (12th ed.) 57:5. 


According to Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th Edition), can an election to office be rescinded?

No. "For the case of an election, see 62:16 regarding removal of a person from office." RONR (12th ed.) 35:6.


Using Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th Edition), when the assigned time for taking up a topic in an agenda arrives, what is done with any pending questions?

They are put to a vote without further debate, unless someone immediately makes a vote to table, postpone or refer, or a motion to extend time is adopted. RONR (12th ed.) 41:65.


Is there a parliamentary motion in Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th Edition) called a "Point of Information"?

Sort of . . . 

"Point of Information" is an alternative name for a motion that allowed a member to request "information relevant to the business at hand but not related to parliamentary proocedure. The motion was renamed in the 11th Edition "Request for Information," in an effort to avoid confusion about the purpose of the motion. However, the 12th edition notes parenthetically that "Request for Information" may also be called "Point of Information." RONR (12th ed.) 33:6.