Robert's Rules

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Robert's Rules for Taking a Recess

Recess usually refers only to taking a break in the middle of a meeting. Recess, like other privileged and subsidiary motions, also has a form for use as an incidental main motion and has a few different [more…]

Robert's Rules Motion to Fix the Time to Which to Adjourn

The motion to Fix the Time to Which to Adjourn is the one that can be made at just about any time, no matter what else is before your meeting.

It may become clear at some point in the meeting that you need [more…]

Robert's Rules for Incidental Motions

Robert’s Rules takes into account the need for members to make decisions — to insist on strictly following the rules, to relax the rules for a special reason, or to decide to handle something in a particular [more…]

Robert's Rules and the Motion to Suspend the Rules

The motion to Suspend the Rules is often used in conjunction with the motion to do whatever you’re trying to do that’s against your rules.

Suppose you want to have a professional parliamentarian preside [more…]

Robert's Rules and Division of the Question

You can use the incidental motion Division of the Question when a single motion is made that proposes several different actions, each of which could stand alone as a separate motion. [more…]

Robert's Rules and Your Voting Rights

As a member of an organization, you have a right to vote on motions under consideration according to Robert's Rules and basic good practice. Voting is a right that comes with some responsibilities, as [more…]

Robert's Rules for Presiding over a Debate

If you're a presiding officer, your leadership skills and knowledge of Robert's Rules are clearly on display when you're chairing a meeting during the consideration of a motion that sparks a lot of debate [more…]

Robert’s Rules for Special Meetings

Special meetings are, well, special. According to Robert’s Rules, they’re called only if 1) something important comes up that must be dealt with before the next regular meeting, or 2) some particular business [more…]

Robert’s Rules: Quorumless in an Emergency

Robert’s Rules dictate that you can’t get around the requirement that a quorum be present to take official action in the name of your group. The quorum rule holds fast even if everybody in attendance votes [more…]

Robert’s Rules for Unfinished Business and General Orders

Robert’s Rules state that you have to address motions that were before the assembly but not disposed of (for whatever reason) in earlier meetings, but that weren’t made special orders. At this point in [more…]

Robert’s Rules for Avoiding Out-of-Order Main Motions

No matter how good your idea may be, if you want to propose something that goes against the bylaws (or your charter or constitution, if you have either or both), Robert’s Rules state that your presiding [more…]

Robert’s Rules for Interrupting a Debate

Robert’s Rules allow members to interrupt a debate when necessary. Most people were taught (or, at least, were told) that it’s never polite to interrupt someone who’s speaking. That etiquette rule works [more…]

Robert’s Rules for Absentee Voting Online

When discussing Robert’s Rules and parliamentary procedure, the questions always comes up whether it’s okay to vote by email or by using a web-based service for Internet voting. The answer, as is so often [more…]

Robert’s Rules for Disposing of a Main Motion

One sure thing in the world of meetings and Robert’s Rules is that, sooner or later, all motions are disposed of. No, that doesn’t mean they’re thrown out. [more…]

Robert’s Rules for Postponing to a Certain Time (Or Definitely)

Robert’s Rules has guidelines for postponing meetings. In some ways, real life and meetings aren’t all that different. Sometimes you just need to put things off. Unfortunately, groups don’t always have [more…]

Robert’s Rules: Objection to the Consideration of a Question

According to Robert’s Rules, any original main motion that you just think is such a bad idea that it should never even be discussed is a fair target for [more…]

Robert’s Rules: Reconsider and Enter on the Minutes

Robert’s Rules has a special form of the Reconsider motion. Suppose a motion is made in a meeting in which the group in attendance isn’t at all representative of the usual attendance. Maybe you’re near [more…]

Robert’s Rules for Taking from the Table

You may already be familiar with Robert’s Rules and the motion to Lay on the Table, the highest-ranking subsidiary motion. This motion is used to temporarily set aside a pending main motion, permitting [more…]

Robert’s Rules for Nominations from the Floor

Sometimes called open nominations, this method is probably the most familiar of Robert’s Rules. It’s used in the vast majority of situations when members elect their officers at a meeting. Even if a nominating [more…]

Robert’s Rules for Contesting an Election

When it comes to determining election results using Robert’s Rules — well, you know about the hanging chads of the infamous 2000 U.S. presidential election. Rules for contesting elections are something [more…]

Robert’s Rules for Dealing with Incomplete Elections

Despite the best of plans, sometimes your group just can’t finish its order of business in a given meeting or session, even when you use Robert’s Rules. If you run out of time before you’ve elected all [more…]

Being Secretary According to Robert’s Rules

Robert’s Rules make it obvious that the secretary is one of the two officers your organization absolutely can’t do without. It needs a presiding officer and a recording clerk to conduct a meeting and have [more…]

Being Vice President According to Robert’s Rules

The one function of a vice president as provided in Robert’s Rules is to serve in the absence of the president and to automatically succeed to the office of president in case of that officer’s death or [more…]

Being Treasurer According to Robert’s Rules

Robert’s Rules outline the roles of the treasurer. You’ve got a big job on your hands if you’re the treasurer. Before you accept this position, find out exactly what it entails. Regardless of the size [more…]

Robert’s Rules for Filling Vacancies in Offices

Filling vacancies can be tricky business. Robert’s Rules details what you need to know. Don’t get too comfortable! Just when the members are doing what they’re supposed to do and everybody is getting along [more…]


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