Though an organization never wants to have a disciplinary case, bad behavior can happen during a meeting or outside of a meeting if a member does something that is injurious to the society.
The 11th edition Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised (RONR) outlines the process for doing discipline right, protecting the rights of members as well as protecting the society and its reputation. If you are facing the possibility of needing to take disciplinary action for any reason, consult Chapter XX “Disciplinary Procedures” and follow procedures rigorously.
The addition of the detailed Chapter XX is a major change made in the 11th edition so that the process is done correctly. Some organizations have their own disciplinary processes that will be used; if not, and RONR is the organization’s parliamentary authority, following Chapter XX is very useful.
A common reason for disciplinary processes being started are for failure of officers to perform their duties. Here’s where bylaw language can be important. If the wording in the bylaws is that officers shall serve “for __years or until their successors are elected” officers can be removed from office by adoption of a motion. If the wording is that officers shall serve “for__years and until their successors are elected” officers can only be removed by disciplinary processes.
An organization has the right to enforce its own rules; whenever possible, try to avoid taking the disciplinary route that should be “the road less traveled.”
Louise Saks Parliamentary Unit member Gina LaCroix led the group through a concise and complete description of procedures in Chapter XX, recommending that all processes should be done with dignity and fairness to all persons involved.