CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS
SAINT BERNARD CLUB OF AMERICA, INC.
(As Amended by the SBCA Membership on February 16,2010)
ARTICLE I - NAME AND OBJECTIVES
Section 1. The name of the Club shall be THE SAINT BERNARD CLUB OF AMERICA, hereinafter referred to as "the Club."
Section 2. The objectives of the Club shall be:
a. To encourage and promote the ownership, selective breeding, showing and training of purebred Saint Bernard dogs, and to do all possible to bring their natural qualities to perfection;
b. To encourage the organization of independent local Saint Bernard Specialty clubs in those localities where there are sufficient fanciers of the breed to meet the requirements of The American Kennel club and the Saint Bernard Club of America;
c. To adhere to and support the International Standard as adopted by the International Congress at Zurich, Switzerland on June 2, 1887, subsequently revised by the Saint Bernard Club of America and currently approved by the American Kennel Club, as the only standard of excellence by which the Saint Bernard shall be judged;
d. To do all things within its power to protect and advance the interests of the breed, to encourage sportsmanlike competition at dog shows, and companion events, to maintain the best of human relations with the members of this Club and to support local AKC approved St. Bernard Specialty Clubs.
e. To conduct an annual National Specialty Show, Sweepstakes and companion events under the Rules and Regulations of the American Kennel Club.
f. To encourage all members to become familiar with and support 'The Saint Bernard Club of America's Guidelines and Statement of Policy' concerning the breeding and selling of dogs, as adopted by the members of the Club.
Section 3. The Club shall not be conducted or operated for profit and no part of any profits or remainder or residue from dues or donations to the Club shall inure to the benefit of any member or individual.
Section 4. The members of the Club shall adopt and may from time to time review such Bylaws as may be required to carry out these objectives.Section 5. Construction. Feminine, masculine and neuter pronouns, the plural and the singular, shall be construed to be and shall be interchangeable in any place or places herein which the context may require such interchange.
ARTICLE I. MEMBERSHIP OR AFFLIATION
Section 1. Eligibility. Only members who are residents of the United States shall be eligible to hold office. There shall be four types of membership open to persons 18 years of age and older who are in good standing with the American Kennel Club and who subscribe to the purposes of this Club:
a. Active Membership. Enjoys all the privileges of the Club including the right to vote and hold office. Each active member will receive a copy of the official club publication and other such publications that the board of governors shall specify. Members who live in Canada are considered Active Members, but do not have the right to hold elective office. Endorsement of three active members of the SBCA is required. The Primary Sponsor (unrelated to the applicant) must have personally known the applicant for a minimum of one year. Applicant must have been a subscriber for two years. To forego the 2 year subscription, the applicant(s) must meet the qualifications listed in Article 1, Section 3a.
b. Family Membership. An active membership open to two persons residing in the same household who enjoy all the privileges of the Club but receive only one copy of the official club publication and other such club publications that the board of governors shall specify. Each adult is entitled to one vote. Endorsement of three active members of the SBCA is required. The Primary sponsor (unrelated to the applicants) must have personally known the applicants for a minimum of one year. Applicants must have been subscribers for two years. To forego the 2 year subscription, the applicant(s) must meet the qualifications listed in Article 1, Section 3a.
c. International Membership: Open to all persons who reside outside of the United States and Canada. International Members may not vote or hold office. Each International single or family membership will receive only one copy of the official club publication and other such club publications that the board of governors shall specify. The Primary Sponsor (unrelated to the applicant(s) must have personally known the applicant(s) for a minimum of one year. To forego the 2 year subscription, the applicant(s) must meet the qualifications listed in Article 1, Section 3a
d. Subscriber. Open to all persons who are interested in the Saint
Bernard. Subscribers are affiliates of the Saint Bernard Club of America and
are entitled to receive The Saint Fancier, the official club publication,
and other such publications that the board of governors shall specify, but
receive none of the privileges accorded to those who have membership status.
e. Lifetime Membership : Open only to persons who have been a member of the SBCA in good standing for at least 25 years. A Life Member will receive a copy of the official Club publication, The Saint Fancier, and other such publications that the Board of Governors shall specify. Life Members enjoy all the privileges of membership and do not pay dues but can vote and hold office
Section 2. Dues.
a. Dues shall be payable in United States funds on or before March 1 of each year. No member may vote whose dues are not paid for the current year. Dues may be adjusted from time to time by the Board of Governors by a 2/3 majority vote of the board. However, dues increases shall not exceed $5.00 per two (2) year period per active member and/or family member.
The annual base dues shall be determined by the Board of Governors up to a maximum limit of $100.00 not later than November 1. In any year when the Board has not acted to change the dues by this date, the dues for the ensuing fiscal year shall continue at the current rate. Dues are due on or before March 1.
The Treasurer with the assistance of the member records chair shall send to each member a statement of his dues for the ensuing year; such statements shall be mailed no later than sixty (60) days prior to such dues being due and payable. No member may vote whose dues are not current for the current year.
Section 3. Election to Membership
a. Each applicant shall apply to the Corresponding Secretary on a form as provided by the Board of Governors and which shall provide that the applicant agrees to abide by these Constitution and Bylaws, the Guidelines and Statement of Policy of the club and the rules of the American Kennel Club. Such application shall carry the endorsement of three members in good standing. The primary sponsor must have personally known the applicant for at least one year. The primary sponsor must file a letter with the Corresponding Secretary stating why the applicant should be granted membership in the SBCA. Dues for the current year shall be submitted with each application which shall be sent to the Corresponding Secretary.
Every applicant must have been a subscriber for two consecutive years.
An applicant can forego the two (2) year subscription process by substituting a current, active two (2) year membership
In an American Kennel Club licensed specialty or all-breed club as certified by the governing body of said club. Such applicants may apply for membership at any time.
Former members or subscribers whose past affiliation can be verified in two (2) consecutive issues of the membership directory can forego the subscription process and can apply for membership at any time.
b. Each application shall be acknowledged within ten (10) days after its receipt by the Corresponding Secretary, published in the next official club publication and submitted to the Board of Governors along with any member responses not less than thirty (30) days nor more than forty-five (45) days after its publication. If no governor states an objection to the candidate within twenty-one (21) days the applicant shall be accepted to membership. If any governor objects to an applicant, a favorable vote of 2/3 (8 of 11) of the governors shall be required to elect that applicant to membership. Said vote shall be taken by secret ballot at any meeting of the board of governors or by secret vote by mail.
c. Applications which have received an unfavorable vote by the Board of Governors may be presented by one of the applicant's endorsers at the next annual meeting of the Club and the Club may elect such applicant by a favorable vote of 75% of the members present and voting by secret ballot ; or such applicant may reapply pursuant to Section 3(a) above, twelve (12) months after the date the application was rejected. An applicant who has been rejected shall receive a full refund of his dues.
d. Upon a 2/3 vote (8 of 11) of the Board of Governors, Life Memberships may be conferred upon a person who shall have been a member in good standing for more than 25 years, and who shall have rendered extraordinary service to the Club and/or breed. Lifetime membership is not to be considered an award which is to be presented annually. It must be considered a very unique award and as such is to be awarded only occasionally.
Section 4. Termination of Membership.
Membership may be terminated by:
a. Resignation. Any member in good standing may resign from the Club upon written notice to the Recording Secretary, but no member may resign when in debt to the Club. Dues obligations are considered a debt to the Club and they become incurred on the first day of each fiscal year (March 1). Obligations other than dues are considered a debt to the club and must be paid in full prior to resignation.
b. Lapsing. A membership will be considered as lapsed and automatically terminated if such member's dues remain unpaid 60 days after the first day of the fiscal year; however, the Board of Governors may grant an additional 90 days of grace to such delinquent members in meritorious cases. In no case may a person be entitled to vote at any Club meeting or by mail on any motion or amendment whose dues are unpaid for the current year. c. Expulsion. A membership may be terminated by expulsion as provided in Article VI I of these By-Laws.
ARTICLE II. MEETINGS
Section 1. Annual Meeting.
The Annual Meeting of the Club shall be held in conjunction with the Club's specialty show, at such time and place as may be designated by the Board of Governors. Written notice of the Annual Meeting shall be mailed by the Recording Secretary to each member at least 30 days prior to the date of the meeting. The quorum for the Annual Meeting shall be 10% of the membership in good standing. Any resolution adopted at the Annual Meeting shall be subject to ratification or rejection by mail ballots to be sent by the Recording Secretary within 60 days of the Annual Meeting to all members in good standing based on a plurality vote of those voting.
Section 2. Special Club Meetings.
Special Club meetings may be called by the President or by a majority vote of the members of the Board of Governors who are present at a meeting or who vote by mail, e-mail, FAX, or telephone conference call and shall be called by the Recording Secretary upon receipt of a petition signed by 10% of the members of the Club in good standing. Written notice of such meeting, together with any ballot called for by the subject matter of the meeting, shall be mailed by the Recording Secretary to each member at least 30 days prior to the date of the meeting. The notice shall state the purpose of the meeting, and no other Club business may be transacted. Ballots must be returned within 30 days of the date of the meeting. Members must return their ballots by mail prior to the meeting. No ballots may be accepted at the meeting. All ballots shall be opened and counted at the meeting by a committee of three inspectors to be chosen by members present at the meeting. The Recording Secretary shall send a written report to the membership following such Special meeting.
Section 3. Board Meetings.
a. Annual Meeting. Regular annual meetings of the Board of Governors shall be held each year preceding the Annual Meeting of the Club, as provided in Section 1 of this Article. The time and place of such meeting shall be designated by the President, and written notice thereof shall be mailed by the Recording Secretary to each member of the Board at least 15 days prior to the date of the meeting. A quorum for such meeting shall be six (6) members of the Board voting in person, by mail, e-mail, FAX or telephone conference call.
b. Special Meetings. Special meetings of the Board of Governors may be held at such times and places as designated by a majority of the Board. Written notice of such Special Meeting shall be mailed by the Recording Secretary to each member of the Board at least fifteen (15) days prior to the date of the meeting. Such notice shall state the purpose of the meeting, and that no other Club business may be transacted at such meeting. A quorum for such meeting shall be six (6) members of the Board voting in person, by mail, e-mail, FAX or telephone conference call.
c. Board Meetings By Mail. The Board may conduct its business by mail, e-mail, FAX or telephone conference call through the Recording Secretary. Six (6) written replies from members of the Board shall constitute a quorum. Items voted upon by telephone conference call must be confirmed in writing within 7 days. (Procedure for balloting by e-mail is described in the Standing Rules which are listed on the club’s website: www.saintbernardclub.org)
ARTICLE III. OFFICERS AND GOVERNORS
Section 1. Board of Governors.
The Board shall be comprised of the President, Vice-President, Recording Secretary, Corresponding Secretary, Treasurer and six (6) Governors, all of whom shall be members in good standing and who are residents of the United States. Each of the three geographical sections of the Club shall be represented by two (2) Governors. The Officers and Governors shall be elected at the Club's annual election as provided in Article V, and shall serve two year terms, or until their successors are elected. Commencing with the elections held for the Club year beginning March 1, 1996, and continuing every even-numbered year thereafter, the President, Vice President, Recording Secretary and one (1) Governor from each of the three geographical sections shall be elected to serve two-year terms. Candidates for President must have served on a previous board. (Candidates for Governor in each section who receive the highest number of votes for the Club year 1996 shall serve two-year terms; those candidates for Governor in each section who receive the second highest number of votes in the same election shall each serve one-year terms).
For the Club year beginning on March 1, 1997, and every odd-numbered year thereafter, the Treasurer, Corresponding Secretary and one Governor from each of the three sections shall be elected to two year terms. No Officer or Governor shall serve for more than two consecutive terms or more than four consecutive years in each office or Governor's position. Officers and Governors whose term begin in any given year, as noted above, shall be elected at the Club’s annual election for that year. No Officer or Governor shall serve more than two consecutive terms or more than four consecutive years in each office or Governor’s position. No officer or governor may quit his current position mid-term to be a candidate for another position on the board. General management of the Club’s affairs shall be the responsibility of the Board of Governors. General management of the Club's affairs shall be the responsibility of the Board of Governors.
Section 2. Officers.
The Officers of this Club shall consist of the President, Vice-President, Recording Secretary, Corresponding Secretary and Treasurer. They shall serve in their respective capacities both with regard to the Club and its meetings and the Board and its meetings.
a. President. The President shall be the chief executive office of the Club and of the Board. He shall have the duties and powers normally appurtenant to the office of President in addition to those particularly specified in these By-Laws. He shall appoint and discharge all regular and special committees subject to the approval of the Board of Governors. He shall be a non-voting member of all such committees, except the Nominating Committee of which he is not a member. He shall perform such other duties as may be assigned to him from time to time by the Board of Governors.
b. Vice President. The Vice-President shall have the powers and exercise the duties of the President in the case of the President's death, absence or incapacity. He shall perform such other duties as may be assigned to him by the Board.
c. The Recording Secretary shall keep a record of all meetings of the Club and of the Board, of all votes taken, of all committee reports, and of all matters of which a record shall be ordered by the Board, and shall maintain the Standing Rules of the Board. He shall conduct in accordance with these By-Laws all balloting for the election of Officers and Governors, and all National Specialty Judges and on any motion, resolution or amendment. He shall notify members of meetings and notify Officers and Governors of their election to the Board. He shall send all notices required by these By-Laws, except as herein specifically set forth. He shall prepare a report of all important Club business for publication in each issue of the official Club publication. He shall act as Executive Secretary with regard to the Board of Governors and its business, and shall perform such other duties as are prescribed by these By-Laws or as assigned to him by the Board of Governors.
d. The Corresponding Secretary shall have charge of answering all inquiries directed to the Club and such other correspondence as may be delegated to him, and shall promptly submit to the Board all matters requiring their attention. He shall maintain a file containing all applications for membership and shall notify new members of their election to membership. He shall maintain at all times a supply of membership application forms and shall furnish these upon request. He shall furnish each applicant a copy of these Constitution and By-Laws, and each new member with a copy of the Official Breed Standard and such other Club pamphlets as designated by the Board. Within ten (10) days of acceptance of a new member, he shall forward to the Treasurer a copy of the membership application, together with the dues paid. He shall forward a copy of the membership application to the Member Records Chair and shall forward to the Recording Secretary and each Board Member a list of new members. He shall prepare a report for publication in each issue of the official Club publication. He shall obtain and distribute the necessary Club stationery to each Board member and other members concerned with Club activities. He shall maintain a supply of the pamphlets which shall be designated by the Board. He shall perform such other duties as may be assigned to him by the Board.
e. The Treasurer shall collect and receive all monies due for belonging to the Club and receipt therefore. He shall deposit the same in a bank satisfactory to the Board in the name of the Club. He shall disburse by check from the funds of the Club payment of all bills approved by the Board; checks signed by the Treasurer shall be countersigned by the President, or in his absence, by the Vice President. He shall keep a record of accounts of all receipts and disbursements, which shall be maintained in accordance with good bookkeeping practices. His books shall at all times be open to inspection by the Board and he shall render quarterly financial reports to the members of the Club and annually through the end of the Club’s fiscal year, and at such other times as designated by the Board. The Club’s annual financial statement may be presented by the Treasurer at the Annual Meeting of the Club. His books shall be audited annually, within sixty (60) days of the end of the fiscal year, by a committee of no less than 3 members or by a Public Accountant appointed by the Board. The Treasurer shall be bonded in such amounts as the Board may determine. He shall keep a roll of the members of the Club with their addresses and shall perform such other duties as may be assigned to him by the Board. At the beginning of each club year, the Treasurer in consultation with the President shall submit a proposed budget to the Board for its approval.
Section 3. Vacancies.
Any vacancy occurring on the board during the year shall be filled until the next election by a majority vote of all the then remaining members of the Board; except that a vacancy in the office of President shall be automatically filled by the Vice-President, and the resulting vacancy in the office of Vice-President shall be filled by the Board. In the case of a Governor, such vacancy shall be filled by an appointed Governor residing in the same geographical Section as the retiring Governor.
Section 4. AKC Delegate.
Within sixty (60) days after the Board has taken office, it shall appoint a Delegate to The American Kennel Club for a term of three (3) years. In subsequent years of each appointed Delegate's three-year term, the Board shall, within sixty (60) days of its taking office confirm the Delegate, provided that, in the Board's collective opinion, the Delegate has represented the Club and has discharged his or her duties in a manner acceptable to the Board. If, at any time during the three year appointment, the Board does not confirm the incumbent Delegate, a new Delegate shall be appointed for a three year term, and the same process delineated above in this Section shall apply to the new Delegate.
Among other duties, the delegate shall report to the board all actions and matters discussed at the AKC’s quarterly meetings.
ARTICLE IV. CLUB YEAR, NOMINATIONS, ELECTIONS AND VOTING
Section 1. Fiscal and Official Year.
The Club's fiscal and official year shall begin on the first day of March and shall end on the last day of February. Officers and Governors shall take office on March 1, the first day of the month following the election as provided for in this Article, and continue to serve until their successors are elected. Each retiring officer shall turn over to his successor in office all properties and records relating to that office within 30 days after the election.
Section 2. Voting.
a. No member whose dues for the current fiscal year are unpaid shall be entitled to vote in any club election. No member with any outstanding debt to the Club shall be entitled to vote in any club election.
b. At the Annual Meeting or a Special Meeting of the Club, voting shall be limited to those members in good standing who are present at the meeting or who vote by mail in accordance with the provisions of Article III above.
c. Voting by proxy shall not be permitted.
d. Election of Officers and Governors, amendments to these Constitution and Bylaws and to the Breed Standard, shall be decided by written ballots cast by mail. The Board of Governors may decide to submit other specific questions for decision of all members by written ballot cast by mail, in accordance with the procedure described in this Article.
e. Unless otherwise provided for to the contrary in these By-Laws all matters of business placed before the Board of Governors, or the membership, shall be decided by a plurality of the votes cast. The Recording Secretary shall specifically describe the manner of voting to the membership. Ballots shall be mailed to the membership by the Recording Secretary, who shall provide a self-addressed return envelope bearing the name and address of the member to whom it was sent for verification of membership. The Recording Secretary with board approval shall select an independent notary public, an independent accounting firm, or independent certified public accountant or independent parliamentarian registered with the National Association of Parliamentarians to receive all ballots. Such ballots shall be completed and returned to the Recording Secretary in care of the selected person/company at the address of the selected person/company in the self-addressed envelope, and must be returned within thirty (30) days of the date on the ballot. The opening of the ballot envelopes and tallying of the results of all such ballots shall be done not more than two (2) days after the closing of balloting and such tally shall be verified by the person/company chosen to receive the ballots.
f. Results of the voting by the membership for the election of Officers and Governors, and on any motion, resolution or amendment, shall be published in the next available issue of the official Club publication. In the case of any and all balloting for judges for the National Specialty Show, only the total number of votes received by each of the top 5 candidates shall be published.
Section 3. Nominations for Officers and Governors.
a. No person maybe candidate in a Club election who has not been nominated in accordance with these Constitution and Bylaws.
a. No person may be a candidate in a Club election whose dues are unpaid.
c. Nominating Committee.
i. A Nominating Committee shall be chosen by the Board of Governors annually within 60 days after the Board has taken office. Those selected for the Nominating Committee must be members in good standing for at least the last five consecutive calendar years.
ii. The Committee shall consist of three (3) members and three (3) alternates, all members in good standing, no more than one of whom may currently be a member of the Board of Governors. The Board of Governors shall name a chairman of the Committee. One member of the Committee shall be selected from each Section (as defined in Article V below); the alternates shall be selected in the same manner. The Nominating Committee may conduct its business by mail, FAX, e-mail, or telephone conference call.
iii The Nominating Committee shall nominate from among the members of the Club in good standing and residents of the United States, one (1) candidate for each available office and one (1) candidate from each of the three geographical sections (as defined in Article V below) for the position of Governor, in accordance with Article III, Section 1 and shall procure the written acceptance of each nominee so chosen. Members of the Nominating Committee may not nominate themselves or any members in their immediate household or family in the year in which the committee member serves on the Nominating Committee.
iv. The Committee shall then submit its slate of candidates to the Recording Secretary no later than October 15. The Recording Secretary shall mail the list of candidates, including the full name of each candidate and the State and Section in which he or she resides, to each member of the Club no later than November 1.
d. Additional Nominations
i. Additional nominations of members who meet the qualifications set forth in this Section above, may be made by written petition, signed by five (5) members in good standing, addressed to and received by the Recording Secretary on or before December 1, and accompanied by the written acceptance of each additional nominee signifying his or her willingness to be a candidate.
ii. No person shall be a candidate for more than one position, and the additional nominations which are provided for herein may be made only from among those members who have not accepted a nomination of the Nominating Committee.
Section 4. Annual Elections.
a. Nominations cannot be made at the Annual Meeting or in any manner other than as provided in this Article. If no valid additional nominations are received by the Recording Secretary in accordance with Section 3(d) above, the Nominating Committee's slate shall be declared elected by the Recording Secretary on the 15th day of February and no balloting will be required.
b. If one or more valid additional nominations are received by the Recording Secretary on or before December 1, the Recording Secretary shall prepare a ballot in the following form:
i. Each candidate for an Officer position shall be listed under the designated position in alphabetical order, including the State and Section in which he or she resides and instructions to vote for one candidate for each Officer position.
ii. All candidates for Governors' positions shall be listed under the designated Section in alphabetical order, including the State in which he or she resides and instructions to vote for one candidate from each Section.
c. The Recording Secretary shall mail the ballots on or before the 15th day of January to each member in good standing, together with a blank inner envelope, and a self-addressed return envelope to the to the person/company chosen to conduct the election marked "Ballot" and bearing the name and address of the member to whom it was sent for verification of membership.
d. So that the ballot may remain secret, each voter upon marking his or her ballot shall seal it in the blank envelope which shall in turn be placed in the "Ballot" envelope addressed and mailed to the person/company chosen to conduct the election. Ballots must be received by the selected person/company at its mailing address on or before February 15.
e. After the deadline for the return of ballots, prior to the opening of the mailing envelope and removal of the envelopes containing the ballots, the person/company designated to receive them shall verify the eligibility of the sender to vote against the membership list provided by the Recording Secretary.
The person/company designated to receive the ballots shall certify that the votes counted were from envelopes returned by the members on the list of those eligible to vote as provided by the Recording Secretary. The results of the voting will include the total number of ballots cast, the number of invalid ballots received (if any) as well as the number of votes received for each candidate.
All ballots shall remain in the custody of the person/company designated to receive them for a period of six months after which they can be destroyed by the person/company holding them.
f. The person receiving the highest number of votes for each Officer or Governor position shall be declared elected to that office. Results of the voting shall be sent to each member of the Club on or before March 1 by the Recording Secretary and published in the next available issue of the official Club publication. If a Governor elected hereunder moves from his designated Section during his term of office, he may continue as a Governor from his designated Section for the remainder of the term.
g. If any candidate at the time of voting shall be unable to serve for any reason, such candidate shall not be elected and the vacancy so created shall be filled by the newly elected Board of Governors in accordance with Article III, Section 3 above.
ARTICLE V - SECTIONS
For the purpose of securing geographical representation on the Board of Governors, and for other geographical considerations, there shall be three (3) Sections designated as the Eastern, Central and Western Sections, as follows:
a. Eastern Section. Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia.
b. Central Section. Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin.
c. Western Section. Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming.The Board shall periodically review the number of members in each section and shall make adjustments as needed to keep the number of members in each section relatively equal.
ARTICLE VI - COMMITTEES
The Board of Governors may appoint standing committees to advance the work of the Club in such matters as membership, dog shows, publications, education and other fields which may well be served by a committee. Special committees may also be established for special projects.
Any committee appointment may be terminated by a majority vote of the Board, upon written notice to the appointee; and the President, with the approval of the Board may appoint successors to those persons whose service has been terminated.
Section 1. American Kennel Club Suspension.
Any member who is suspended from the privileges of the American Kennel Club automatically shall be suspended from the privileges of this Club for a like period.
Section 2. Charges.
Any member may prefer charges against another member for alleged misconduct prejudicial to the best interests of the Club or the breed. Written charges with specifications must be filed in duplicate with the Recording Secretary, together with a deposit of $50.00, which shall be forfeited if such changes are not sustained by the Board or a Committee following a hearing. The Recording Secretary shall promptly send a copy of the charges to each member of the Board, or present them at a Board meeting, and the Board shall first consider whether the actions alleged in the charges, if proven, might constitute conduct prejudicial to the best interests of the Club or the breed. If the Board considers that the charges do not allege conduct which would be prejudicial to the best interests of the Club or of the breed, it may refuse to entertain jurisdiction. If the Board entertains jurisdiction of the charges, it shall fix a date of hearing by the Board, or by a Committee of at least three (3) Board Members and two (2) members who reside in the geographic area of the accused member. The date of hearing shall be set not less than four (4) weeks from the date the Board entertains jurisdiction, or it may be held at the next Annual Meeting of the Board. The Recording Secretary shall promptly send one copy of the charges to the accused member by Registered Mail, together with a notice of the hearing and an assurance that the accused member may personally appear in his or her defense and bring witnesses if he or she wishes.
Section 3. Hearing.
The Board or Committee shall have complete authority to decide whether counsel may attend the hearing, but both complainant and the accused member shall be treated uniformly in that regard. At the option of the accused member, a response to the charges may be made in the form of a sworn deposition by the accused member in lieu of a personal appearance at the hearing. Provided the accused has been furnished with full details as to the charges and such evidence as would be presented in support of the charges.
Section 4. Reprimand/ Suspension.
Should the charges be sustained after hearing all the evidence and testimony presented by complainant and the accused member, the Board or Committee may, by a majority vote of those present, reprimand (with no suspension of membership) or suspend the accused member from all privileges of the Club for not more than six (6) months from the date of the hearing or until the next Annual Meeting of the Club if that will occur after six months. And, if it deems that punishment insufficient, it may also recommend to the membership that the penalty be expulsion. In such case, the suspension shall not restrict the accused member's right to appear before his fellow members at the ensuing Club Annual Meeting which considers the recommendation of the Board or Committee. Immediately after the Board or Committee has reached a decision, its findings shall be put in written form and filed with the Recording Secretary. The Recording Secretary, in turn, shall notify each of the parties of the decision and penalty, if any.
Section 5. Expulsion.
Expulsion of a member from the Club may be accomplished only at the Annual Meeting of the Club following a hearing or decision and upon the recommendation of the Board or Committee as provided in Sections 3 and 4 of this Article. The accused member shall have the privilege of appearing in his own behalf, though no evidence shall be taken at this meeting. The President shall read the charges and the findings and recommendations, and shall invite the accused member, if present, to speak in his own behalf. The meeting shall then vote by secret written ballot on the proposed expulsion. A 2/3 majority vote of those present and voting at the Annual Meeting shall be necessary for expulsion. If expulsion is not so voted the suspension shall stand.
ARTICLE VIII - AMENDMENTS
Section 1. Proposed Amendments.
Amendments to these Constitution and By-Laws and to the breed standard may be proposed by the Board or by written petition, addressed to the Recording Secretary, signed by 20% of the membership in good standing. Amendments proposed by such petition shall be promptly considered by the Board and must be submitted to the members with the recommendation of the Board by the Recording Secretary for a written vote within three (3) months of the date when the petition was received by the Recording Secretary.
Section 2. Voting.
These Constitution and By-Laws and the breed standard may be amended at any time, provided a copy of the proposed amendment has been mailed by the Recording Secretary to each member in good standing, accompanied by a ballot on which a choice for or against the action to be taken shall be indicated. Dual envelope procedures described in Article IV, Section 2, shall be followed in handling such ballots to assure the secrecy of the vote. Notice with such ballot shall specify a date not less than 30 days after the date of the postmark by which date the ballots must be returned to the Recording Secretary to be counted.
Section 3. Majorities Required.
The favorable vote of 2/3 of the members in good standing who vote on the issue shall be required to effect any such amendment to these Constitution and By-Laws or to the breed standard.
Section 4. Approval by the American Kennel Club.
No amendment to these Constitution and By-Laws or to the breed standard approved by the Club shall become effective until it has been approved by the Board of Directors of the American Kennel Club.
ARTICLE IX - DISSOLUTION
Section 1. The Club may be dissolved at any time by written consent of not less than 2/3 of the members in good standing. In the event of the dissolution of the Club, other than for purposes of reorganization, whether voluntary or involuntary, or by the operation of law, none of the property of the Club, nor any proceeds thereof, nor any assets of the Club, shall be distributed to any member of the Club, but after payment of the debts of the Club, its property and assets shall be given to the American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation for research for the benefit of dogs. Should that institution not then be in existence, the assets shall be given to a similar institution selected by the Board of Governors
ARTICLE X - ORDER OF BUSINESS
Section 1. Club Meetings.
At a meeting of this Club, the order of business, so far as the character and nature of the meeting may permit, shall be as follows:
Minutes of Last Meeting
Report of Board
Report of President
Report of Recording Secretary
Report of Corresponding Secretary
Report of Treasurer
Report of Committees
Section 2. Board Meetings.
At meetings of the Board of Governors, the order of business, unless otherwise directed by a majority vote of those present, shall be as follows:
Reading of the Minutes of Last Meeting
Report of Recording Secretary
Report of Corresponding Secretary
Report of Treasurer
Report of Committees
Adoption of Standing Rules
Election of New Members
ARTICLE XI - PARLIAMENTARY AUTHORITY
Section 1. Parliamentary Authority.
The rules of parliamentary procedure comprised in the most current edition of Roberts Rules of Order, Revised, shall govern the proceedings of this Club and the Board of Governors, subject to such By-Laws as have been or may be adopted.