ABTC Constitution and By-Laws
NAMES AND OBJECTS
SECTION 1. The name of the Club shall be the American Belgian Tervuren Club, Inc.
SECTION 2. The objects of the Club shall be.
- to do all possible to bring the natural qualities of the Belgian Tervuren to perfection;
- to encourage the organization of independent local Belgian Tervuren Specialty Clubs in those localities where there are sufficient fanciers of the breed to meet the requirements of the American Kennel Club;
- to urge members and breeders to accept the standard of the breeds approved by the American Kennel Club as the only standard of excellence by which Belgian Tervuren shall be judged;
- to do all in its power to protect and advance the interests of the breed and to encourage sportsmanlike competition at dog shows and obedience trials;
- to conduct sanctioned matches and specialty shows under the rules of the American Kennel Club.
SECTION 3. The Club shall not be conducted or operated for profits 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 revise such by-laws as may be required to carry out these objects.
SECTION 1. Eligibility. There shall be four classes of membership, Regular, Junior, Associate, and Honorary, open to all persons who are in good standing with the American Kennel Club, who subscribe to the purposes of the American Belgian Tervuren Club, Inc., and who meet the specific qualifications of the class of membership requested.
(a) Regular Members shall consist of persons 18 years of age and older who apply and have attained one year of membership in good standing as an Associate Member. The requirement of Associate Membership shall not apply to persons who are Regular Members as of the date these Bylaws, as amended, become effective. Regular Members shall be entitled to every privilege and to participate in all benefits of the Club. Members in good standing are defined as persons who are not under any suspension from the American Kennel Club or the American Belgian Tervuren Club, are current in their membership dues, have no outstanding debts owed to the Club, and have agreed to abide by this Club's Code of Ethics.
(b) Junior Members shall consist of persons under 18 years of age. They shall be entitled to all privileges of a Regular Member, except that they may not hold office, chair a committee, vote, nor be entitled to endorse an applicant for membership to the Club.
(c) Associate Members shall consist of any persons 18 years of age and older who apply. They shall be entitled to all privileges of a Regular Member, except that they may not hold office, chair a committee, vote, nor be entitled to endorse an applicant for membership to the Club. Upon completion of one year of membership as an Associate Member, such persons may apply for Regular Membership as prescribed in Section 3 of this Article.
(d) Any individual who has rendered meritorious service to the Club or to the Belgian Tervuren Breed may be elected as an Honorary Member by the Board of Directors, subject to the favorable vote of 2/3 of the members who respond to a mail vote or a vote at the general meeting. Honorary Members shall be exempt from all fees and shall enjoy all the privileges of Regular Members except the right to vote, chair a committee, endorse an applicant for membership to the Club, or hold office in the Club. Honorary Members may, however, choose to maintain active/voting status by the payment of dues.
SECTION 2. Dues. The Board of Directors shall determine the amounts of an initiation fee for new members and annual dues for all members, but such amounts may not exceed $25 for initiation fees, $40 for Regular Membership dues, $40 for Associate Membership dues, and $10 for Junior Membership dues. These dues amounts also may be adjusted by vote of the Board of Directors for the approximate difference in cost of mailing rates to foreign countries, first class postage, single mailings to couples, and similar circumstances. Dues are payable on or before the 1st day of July each year. No member may vote whose dues are unpaid for the current year. A penalty not to exceed $25 for payment of dues after July 30th each year may be imposed by the Board of Directors. If the amounts of dues and/or penalty have not been acted upon by the Board by May 15th each year, the then current amounts will remain unchanged for the ensuing year. The Treasurer shall send to each member a statement of their dues for the ensuing year by June 1st.
SECTION 3. Election to Membership. Each applicant for membership shall apply on a form as approved by the Board of Directors and which shall provide that the applicant agrees to abide by these constitution and by-laws, this Club's Code of Ethics, and the rules of the American Kennel Club.
a. The application shall state the name, address and occupation of the applicant. Applications for Junior, Associate and Regular Membership shall carry the endorsement of two Regular Members, not of the same household, who have been Regular Members in good standing for twelve months. Accompanying the application, the prospective member shall submit an initiation fee plus dues payment for the current year.
b. Applicants may be elected at any meeting of the Board of Directors or by written vote of the Directors by mail. Affirmative votes of 2/3 of the Directors present at a meeting or of 2/3 of the board voting by mail shall be required to elect an applicant. An applicant's joined date shall be considered the date the application received Board approval.
c.An application which has received a negative vote by the Board may be presented by one of the applicant's endorsers at the next meeting of the Club and the Club may elect such an applicant by favorable vote of 75% of the members present. Any applicant having been denied membership to the Club by either a vote of the Board of Directors or by a meeting of the general membership is prohibited from reapplying for a three year period from the notice of denial to the applicant, except that two Regular Members in good standing may, on behalf of the applicant, petition the Board of Directors in writing to grant an exception due to cause. The Board of Directors shall review the petition and may grant permission to the applicant to reapply immediately if the petition for cause receives affirmative votes of 2/3 of the Directors present at a meeting or of 2/3 of the board voting by mail. Should the petition for cause fail to receive the required affirmative votes, the three year restriction stands.
SECTION 4. Termination of Membership. Memberships may be terminated:
(a) by resignation. Any member in good standing may resign from the Club upon written notice to the Membership and Public Relations 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.
(b) by 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. In no case may a member be entitled to vote whose dues are unpaid.
(c) by expulsion. A membership may be terminated by expulsion as provided in Article VI of these by-laws.
SECTION 5. Code of Ethics. All Members must observe, as a condition of continuing Membership, the Code of Ethics hereby incorporated by reference into these Bylaws. The Code of Ethics shall be established and may be amended by the same procedures as prescribed in ARTICLE VII of these By-laws.
SECTION 1. Annual Meeting. The annual meeting of the Club shall be held in conjunction with the Club's National Specialty which must be during the months of April, May, or June each year at a place, date, and hour designated by the Board of Directors. Written notice of the annual meeting will be mailed by the Secretary to each Regular Memberat least 30 days prior to the date of the meeting. The quorum for the annual meeting shall be 10% of the Regular Members in good standing.
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 who are present at a meeting of the Board or who vote by mail, and shall be called by the Secretary upon receipt of a petition signed by 10% of the Regular Members of the Club who are in good standing. Such meeting shall be held at such place, date and hour as may be designated by the Board of Directors. Written notice of such meeting shall be mailed by the Secretary at least 14 days and not more than 30 days prior to the meeting. The notice of the meeting shall state the purpose of the meeting and no other Club business may be transacted. The quorum for such a meeting shall be 10% of the Regular Members in good standing.
SECTION 3. Board Meetings. Meetings of the Board of Directors shall be held at such times and places as are designated by a majority vote of the entire Board. Written notice of each such meeting shall be mailed by the Secretary to each member of the Board at least 14 days prior to the meeting date. The quorum for a Board Meeting shall be a majority of the Board voting in person or by mail.
SECTION 4. The Board of Directors may conduct its business by mail (including the US Postal Service, an express carrier, or electronic mail) or fax through the Secretary, or by telephone conference call. Items voted upon by telephone conference call must be confirmed in writing within seven days.
DIRECTORS, OFFICERS, AND DELEGATE
SECTION 1. Board of Directors. The Board shall be comprised of the President, Vice President, Secretary, Membership and Public Relations Secretary, Treasurer, and four other persons, all of whom shall be Regular Members in good standing and residents of the United States. The Officers shall be elected for two-year terms so that the President, Vice-President and Membership and Public Relations Secretary are elected in one year followed by the election of the Secretary and Treasurer in the year thereafter. The other four members of the Board shall be elected for two-year terms, with such terms expiring for two members each year. The outgoing President will serve for a one-year term as an advisory member, without vote, of the Board immediately following his final term as President. General management of the Club's affairs shall be entrusted to the Board of Directors.
SECTION 2. Officers. The Club's officers, consisting of the President, Vice President, Secretary, Membership and Public Relations Secretary, and Treasurer shall serve in their respective capacities both with regard to the Club and its meetings and the Board and its meetings.
(a) The President shall preside at all meetings of the Club and of the Board, and shall have the duties and powers normally appurtenant to the office of President in addition to those particularly specified in these by-laws.
(b) The Vice-President shall have the duties and exercise the powers of the President in case of the President's death, absence, or incapacity. The Vice-President shall be the liaison between the Board and the National Specialty Committees and between the Board and the Area Clubs.
(c) The Secretary shall keep a record of all meetings of the Club and of the Board and of all votes taken by mail, and of all matters of which a record shall be ordered by the Club. He shall notify members of meetings, notify Officers and Directors of their election to office, and carry out such other duties as are prescribed in these by-laws.
(d) The Membership and Public Relations Secretary shall have charge of general correspondence, notify new members of their election to membership, and keep a roll of the members of the Club with their address and carry out such other duties as are prescribed in these by-laws.
(e) The Treasurer shall collect and receive all moneys due or belonging to the Club. He shall deposit the same in a bank approved by the Board, in the name of the Club. His books shall at all times be open to inspection of the Board and he shall report to them at every meeting the condition of the Club's finances and every item of receipt or payment not before reported; and at the annual meeting he shall render an account of all moneys received and expended during the previous fiscal year.
(i) The Treasurer shall be bonded in such amount as the Board of Directors shall determine. At the expiration of the current term of the Treasurer, an independent audit will be performed, auditor to be selected by a majority vote of the Board of Directors.
(ii) The Board may direct the Treasurer to establish designated funds to accept donations, grants and appropriations for specified purposes; such as animal rescue, veterinary research, or other purposes; that shall be expended only for said purposes and shall be accounted for separate from general Club activities.
(f) Any Officer or Director who fails to participate in three (3) consecutive Board meetings or meetings by mail, or who fails to participate in any six (6) meetings or meetings by mail in any twelve (12) month period, shall automatically be removed from that office. A replacement to serve the remaining term of the removed Officer or Director shall be conducted in accordance with ARTICLE III, SECTION 4. Vacancies.
SECTION 3. Delegate. The Delegate to the American Kennel Club shall be elected for a term of four years. His duty is to represent the Club at the Quarterly Meetings of the American Kennel Club, and shall report to the Club all actions and matters discussed at the AKC’s Meetings.
SECTION 4. Vacancies. Any vacancies occurring on the Board among the offices or the Delegate during the year shall be filled for the unexpired term of office by a majority vote of all the then members of the Board, except that a vacancy in the office of President shall be filled automatically by the Vice-President, and the resulting vacancy in the office of the Vice-President shall be filled by the Board. Vacancies occurring in the position of director shall remain vacant until the next general election.
THE CLUB YEAR, VOTING, NOMINATIONS, ELECTIONS
SECTION 1. Club Year. The Club's fiscal year and term of office for elected nominees shall begin on the 1st day of July and end on the 30th day of June. Each retiring officer shall turn over to his successor all properties and records relating to that office by June 30th.
SECTION 2. Voting. At the annual meeting or at a special meeting of the Club, voting shall be limited to those Regular Members in good standing who are present at the meeting, except for the annual election to fill expiring terms of Officers, Delegate and Directors, and amendments to the constitution and by-laws and the standard for the breed, which shall be decided by written ballot cast by mail. Voting by proxy shall not be permitted. The Board of Directors may decide to submit other specific questions for the decision of the Regular Members by written ballot cast by mail.
SECTION 3. Annual Election. For the election of the Board of Directors and the Delegate to the American Kennel Club, who may but need not be a Board member, the vote shall be conducted by ballot. To be valid, ballots must be in the hands of the Secretary by March 30th. Ballots shall be certified and counted by three inspectors of election, or by such independent, professional auditors as may be engaged by the Board of Directors, prior to the annual meeting. The inspectors of election, if appointed, shall be appointed by the Board of Directors and must be Club Regular Members in good standing who are not members of the Board of Directors, nominees for election, or relatives of the nominees. Independent, professional auditors, if retained, must have no conflict of interest arising from the election. The person receiving the largest number of votes for each position shall be declared elected. If any elected nominee on June 30th is unable to serve for any reason, such nominee shall not be elected and the vacancy so created shall be filled by the new Board of Directors in the manner provided by Article III, Section 4. All of the ballots cast for the election of Officers, Directors, and Delegate shall be available during the annual meeting and will be destroyed by the Secretary 30 days thereafter.
SECTION 4. Nominations and Ballots. No person may be a candidate in a Club election who has not been nominated in accordance with these by-laws. A Nominating Committee shall be chosen by the Board of Directors before the first day of December. The Committee shall consist of three members and two alternates, all Regular Members in good standing, no more than one of whom may be a member of the current Board of Directors. The Board shall name a chairman for the Committee. The Nominating Committee may conduct its business by mail.
(a) The Nominating Committee shall nominate from among the eligible members of the Club, one candidate for each expiring office and for each other available position on the Board of Directors and a candidate for the Delegate to the American Kennel Club (when current Delegate's term is due to expire) and shall procure the acceptance of each nominee so chosen. The committee shall then submit its slate of candidates to the Secretary who shall communicate the list to each member of the Club on or before the first day of January via publication in TNT or by such other medium as the Board selects, so that additional nominations may be made by the members if they so desire.
(b) Additional nominations of eligible members may be made by written petition addressed to the Secretary and received at his regular address on or before February 15th, signed by five members and accompanied by the written acceptance of each such additional nominee signifying his willing ness to be a candidate. Except for the position of Delegate 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.
(c) If no valid additional nominations are received by the Secretary on or before February 15th, the Nominating Committee's slate shall be declared elected at the time of the annual meeting, and no balloting will be required.
(d) If one or more valid additional nominations are received by the Secretary on or before February 15th, he shall, on or before March 1, mail to each member in good standing a ballot listing all of the nominees for each position in alphabetical order, together with a blank envelope and a return envelope addressed to the Secretary marked "Ballot" and bearing the name of the member to whom it was sent. So that the ballots may remain secret each voter, after marking his ballot, shall seal it in the blank envelope which in turn shall be placed in the second envelope addressed to the Secretary. The inspectors of election shall check the returns against the list of members whose dues are paid for the current year prior to opening the outer envelopes and removing the blank envelopes, and shall certify the eligibility of the voters as well as the results of the voting which shall be announced at the annual meeting.
(e) Nominations cannot be made at the annual meeting or in any manner other than as provided above.
SECTION 1. The Board may each year appoint standing committees to advance the work of the Club in such matters as health, education, rescue, records and statistics, history, publications, annual prizes, and other fields which may well be served by committees. Special committees may also be appointed by the Board to aid it on annual specialty shows, occasional publications, and other particular projects. Such committees may be composed of all classes of member, but must be chaired by a Regular Member, and shall always be subject to the final authority of the Board.
SECTION 2. Any committee appointment may be terminated by a majority vote of the full membership of the Board upon written notice to the appointee; and the Board may appoint successors to those persons whose service has been terminated.
SECTION 1. American Kennel Club Suspension. Any member 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. Other Causes for Discipline.
(a) Any member who abandons a Tervuren dog, puppy, or litter at any dog pound or animal shelter shall be subject to lifetime expulsion from this Club.
(b) Misconduct prejudicial to the best interests of the Club or the breed shall be cause for discipline. Such misconduct shall include, but not be limited to, violations of this Club's Code of Ethics.
SECTION 3. Charges. Any member may prefer charges against a 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 Secretary together with a deposit of $10 which shall be forfeited if such charges are not sustained by the Board or a Committee following a hearing. The 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 a hearing by the Board or a Committee of not less than three members of the Board, not less than 3 weeks nor more than 6 weeks thereafter. The 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 defendant may personally appear in his own defense and bring witnesses if he wishes.
SECTION 4. Board Hearing. The Board or Committee shall have complete authority to decide whether counsel may attend the hearing, but both complainant and defendant shall be treated uniformly in that regard. The hearing may be conducted in any medium (live, conference call, etc.) permitted by the American Kennel Club in its conduct of a disciplinary hearing. Should the charges be sustained after hearing all the evidence and testimony presented by complainant and defendant, the Board or Committee may by a majority vote of those present reprimand (A written reprimand directed exclusively to the member may be somewhat detailed but an official (published) reprimand should only indicate that subsequent to a Board hearing "… member (X) was officially reprimanded as a result of charges filed by member (Y)." or suspend the defendant from all privileges of the Club for not more than six months from the date of the hearing, or until the next annual meeting 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 defendant's right to appear before his fellow-members at the ensuing Club 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 Secretary. The 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 and upon the recommendation of the Board or Committee as provided in Section 4 of this Article. The defendant 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 defendant, if present, to speak in his own behalf. The meeting shall then vote by secret written ballot on the proposed expulsion. A 2/3 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.
SECTION 1. Amendments to the constitution and by-laws, the Code of Ethics, and to the standard for the breed may be proposed by the Board of Directors or by written petition addressed to the Secretary signed by twenty percent of the Regular Membership in good standing. Amendments proposed by such petition shall be promptly considered by the Board of Directors and must be submitted to the Regular Members with recommendations of the Board by the Secretary for a vote within three months of the date when the petition was received by the Secretary.
SECTION 2. The constitution and by-laws, the Code of Ethics, and the standard for the breed may be amended at any time provided a copy of the proposed amendment has been mailed by the Secretary to each Regular Member accompanied by a ballot on which he may indicate his choice for or against the action to be taken. The notice shall specify a date not less than 30 days after the date of mailing by which date the ballots must be returned to the Secretary to be counted. The favorable vote of 2/3 of the Regular Members in good standing whose ballots are returned within the time limit shall be required to effect any such amendment.
SECTION 3. No amendment to the constitution and by-laws or to the standard for the breed that is adopted by the Club shall become effective until it has been approved by the Board of Directors of the American Kennel Club.
SECTION 1. The Club may be dissolved at any time by the written consent of not less than 2/3 of the Regular Members. In the event of the dissolution of the Club, other than for the purposes of reorganization, whether voluntary or involuntary, or by 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 members of the Club, but after payment of the debts of the Club its property and assets shall be given to a charitable organization for the benefit of dogs selected by the Board of Directors.
ORDER OF BUSINESS
SECTION 1. At meetings of the 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 President
Report of Vice-President
Report of Secretary
Report of Membership and Public Relations Secretary
Report of Treasurer
Report of Delegate
Reports of Committees
Election of Officers and Board (at annual meeting)
Election of new members
SECTION 2. At meetings of the Board, the order of business, unless otherwise directed by majority vote of those present, shall be as follows:
Reading of minutes of last meeting
Report of Vice-President
Report of Secretary
Report of Membership and Public Relations Secretary
Report of Treasurer
Report of Delegate
Reports of Committees
Election of new members
The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised, shall govern the Club in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these Bylaws and any other special rules of order the Club may adopt.
Approved by The American Kennel Club, October 15, 2001
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