How do you Rescind a previously adopted motion?
The incidental main motion to rescind a previously adopted motion (also known simply as rescind, repeal or annul) is the motion by which a previous action or order can be cancelled or countermanded. The effect of this motion is to strike out an entire main motion, resolution, rule, bylaw, section or paragraph that has been adopted at some previous time. Rescind is classified as a Motion that Brings a Question Again before the Assembly and is used when the time limit for using other motions has expired. Rescind is a special case of the motion to Amend Something Previously Adopted.
The motion to Rescind can be used when:
- When the vote on the main motion cannot be reached by calling up the motion to reconsider
- When action involved is still reparable (that is not impossible to undo); If part of the action has been executed, the unexecuted part of an order, however, can be rescinded
- When the case is In the nature of a contract and the other party has not been informed
- When a resignation has not been acted on; or a person has not been elected to or expelled from membership or office, unless the person was not present and has not been officially notified
The motion to rescind can be made:
- Only when no other motion is pending. Previous notice of intent to offer the motion at the next meeting can be given while another question is pending. However, it cannot interrupt a speaker.
- By any member regardless of their vote on the motion proposed to be rescinded.
- At any time after the vote is taken adopting the motion proposed to be rescinded.
Here is the procedure for Handling the Motion to Rescind:
A. When notice has been given:
Member: (After recognition) In accordance with notice given in the call of this meeting , I move to rescind the action taken in last month’s regular meeting on the motion to . . . (Second)
Chair: It is moved and seconded to rescind the action taken In last month’s regular meeting on the motion to . . . (The question of rescinding is debatable; also, at this time, the merits of the motion which this motion proposes to rescind may be debated.)
Chair: Is there any discussion? (Debate)
Chair : Is there further discussion? Since previous notice had been given, this motion requires only a majority vote. Those in favor of rescinding the action will say “Aye . ” Those opposed, will say “No.” The ayes have it, the motion to rescind Is adopted, and . . . (explaining the resulting change of previous action).
Chair: The noes have It, the motion to rescind Is lost, and . . . (explaining that the action previously taken will remain In effect as adopted previously.)
B. When notice has not been given :
Member: (After recognition) I move to rescind the action taken in last year’s annual meeting regarding . . . (Second)
Chair: It is moved and seconded to rescind the action taken in last year’s annual meeting regarding . . . (subject of resolution). The secretary will read the resolution as recorded in the minutes. (After secretary has read the resolution verbatim) The question is on rescinding (revoking) our approval of the resolution just read. Is there any debate? (Debate)
Chair : Are you ready for the question? Since no previous notice had been given, this motion will require a 2/3 vote. The question is on rescinding the action by which the resolution regarding . . . (subject) . . . had been adopted. Those in favor, will rise. Be seated. Those opposed, will rise. Be seated. There being less that 2/3 In the affirmative, the motion to rescind is lost , and the resolution will remain In effect as adopted.
When a very strong expression of disapproval of a resolution is intended, move to Rescind the resolution and expunge it from the Minutes (from the Record/Journal). Such a motion to deface the records requires a vote of the majority of the entire membership. Facts and procedure for this motion are essentially the same as for the motion to Rescind, with the following differences:
- Vote required: Affirmative vote of a majority of the entire membership. Even a unanimous vote at a meeting is Insufficient if it does not equal a majority of the entire membership.
- Procedure after adoption: Secretary, in presence of assembly draws a single line through or around words to be struck out and writes across them, “Rescinded and Ordered Expunged,” with date and secretary’s signature.
- Words must not be blotted or cut out. Otherwise, it might be impossible to determine whether more words were expunged than should have been.
- If records are published, expunged material is omitted.
- Alternative procedure: Rescind the previous action; then, if desired, adopt a resolution condemning the rescinded action
Rescind allows you great latitude to eliminate actions (or future actions) from being taken that were generated by main motions, even several years later, if necessary.
For more information see RONR11 pp. 305-310