Adams Stirling PLC


QUESTION: Our chairperson stated that the only time a homeowner can call a "point of order" is at the annual meeting. My understanding is that an owner can raise a point of order at board meetings if they know the board is not following parliamentary rules.

ANSWER: I agree with your chair. You can't interrupt the board's meeting to raise a point of order.

Point of Order. For the uninitiated, a "point of order" is a parliamentary issue. It can be raised whenever a member notices procedural rules aren't being followed correctly. For example,

…point of order, the speaker’s time has expired.
…point of order, the speaker's language is offensive.
…point of order, the motion conflicts with our bylaws.

The issue must be raised immediately by interrupting the chair, otherwise the right is waived.

Standing. The key is the definition of "member." For board meetings, only directors are members of the board. Accordingly, only board members have standing to raise points of order in their meetings. A homeowner has no standing just as a citizen has no right to interrupt House proceedings in Congress with a point of order. They will be promptly escorted from the chamber if they do.

Membership Meetings. Homeowners can, however, participate in membership meetings and raise points of order. With the advent of secret balloting, that right is largely moot. Except to count ballots and announce the results, almost no business is conducted anymore at membership meetings.

ASSISTANCE: Associations needing legal assistance can contact us. To stay current with issues affecting community associations, subscribe to the Davis-Stirling Newsletter.

Adams Stirling PLC