Can the Chairperson of a meeting rule a motion out of order? If so, what are the rules around this?
Section 98 of the Body Corporate and Community Management (Standard Module) Regulation 2020 “(Standard Module)” provides provision for a person chairing a meeting to rule a motion out of order if –
- The motion carried, would conflict with the act, this regulation or the by laws, or a motion already voted on at the meeting; or
- Be unlawful or unenforceable for another reason
If a motion is being ruled out of order, the person chairing the meeting must –
- Give reasons for the ruling; and
- State how the ruling may be reversed by the persons present and entitled to vote on the issue
- Record the reasons given for ruling a motion out of order in the minutes of the meeting
However, it should be noted that if a person chairing the meeting rules a motion out of order, as per above, the persons present at the meeting may reverse the ruling by passing an ordinary resolution disagreeing with the ruling.
While we do reference Section 98 of the Standard Module, the Adjudicators Order that, we reviewed this month, looks at the decision of whether the chairperson had power to rule a motion out of order at the General Meeting references the Body Corporate and Community Management (Accommodation Module) Regulation 2008.
At the AGM for the scheme referenced in the Adjudicators Order, the person chairing the meeting ruled two of the motions out of order and provided reasons around implications for the insurance for the scheme, potential financial costs to all owners & legal advice that had been received, however the persons present voted to overturn the chairpersons rulings on both motion – subsequently both motions were passed. The applicant, being the chairperson at the time of the meeting, lodged the Adjudication application seeking an order that the motions not be implemented.
After receiving submissions from other owners and reviewing all of the information around the application and the orders sought, the adjudicators found that there were insufficient reasons given by the chairperson that the resolutions passed would be unenforceable, however there was sufficient evidence that by implementing one of the motions would likely result in a contravention of the Act and possible detriment to the interest of owners.
As such, the Adjudicator ruled that Motion 18 (one of the motions carried) not be put into effect by the Body Corporate – and that the Committee must, at the next general meeting, include a motion in the same terms as Motion 18 and that an explanatory note that gives proper notice of the motion. All other outcomes sought were dismissed.
The full order can be read here.
More information on the Committee Roles can be found here.
It is important to note that the adjudicators orders that we review each month are made on a case by case basis by the commissioners office based on the applications, submissions, by laws pertaining to each of the schemes, legislation that is applicable and are not a fit all order.