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Every organization has the right to protect itself from members whose behavior is unethical or reprehensible. Unless the discipline affects the accused member's public reputation or means of livelihood, the problem is more a moral than a legal question. 

Discipline can be of varying degrees, depending on the seriousness of the offense.  

1.   Denial of right to speak for a certain period of time. For minor in-fractions of the organization's roles, a member may be required to remain silent for a time.

2.   Suspension. Where the offense is more serious, discipline may take the form of denial of right to attend a certain number of meetings. Suspension should be defined and a procedure for invoking it should be described in the By-Laws.


3.   Monetary fine. Certain offenses may call for a payment of an amount of money. Both the offense and the amount of the payment must be fixed in the By-Laws. Thus unexcused absence or tardiness may result in fines assessed against a member.

4.   Expulsion. The most severe penalty is that which requires a member to leave the membership on a permanent basis. Expulsion proceedings must include the following procedural safeguards:

(a)   Notice. Te notice should be written, including a statement of the charge and the time and place of the trial proceedings be- fore all the members.

(b)  Right of accused to appear to answer charges, to offer contrary evidence, to provide witnesses on his behalf, to cross examine accusers.

(c)   Requirement of a 2/3 (two thirds) vote to expel a member; (this is based on the requirement in the U.S. Constitution that "each House may…with the concurrence of two-thirds expel a member." Art. I, Section 5, Par. 2).





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