Proposed MANUAL OF PROCEDURE CHANGES FOR THE 114TH NATIONAL CONVENTION

RECOMMENDED BY THE BY-LAW STUDY GROUP (updated 5/21/13)

 

Sec. 104—Member Dues.

(See Section 104 of By-Laws)

 

National, Department and Post may establish annual dues in the manner prescribed in these By-Laws. In the event a member surrenders his membership or his membership is terminated in accordance with the National By-Laws, there shall be no refund of annual dues.

 

Sec. 109—Right of Appeal.

Any The aggrieved member, Post, District or Department of the Veterans of Foreign Wars may submit a written appeal to the next higher authority using the following chain of command:

1. Post and/or Post Commander

2. District Commander

3. Department Commander

4. Commander-in-Chief

5. National Council of Administration

 

Appeal Criteria:

A written, signed appeal shall:

1. Describe the act or decision from which the appeal is taken and the manner in which the matter at issue has been handled.

2. State all facts known to the member concerning the matter at issue.

3. Specify the provision or provisions of the Charter, By-Laws, Manual of Procedure, Ritual or the laws or usages of Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States which the act or decision violates or contradicts.

4. State the relief requested by the member.

 

Notification of Appeal: Written notification of any acts or decision by a Post, District or Department Commander from which an appeal may be taken under this section shall advise the member of his right to appeal.

 

Computation of time: With respect to appeals, within a specific number of days it shall mean calendar days. The time shall be calculated beginning with the day upon which the decision at the previous level was either hand delivered or mailed by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, to the last known address of the member. Any required action by the member must be made in writing and mailed by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, and postmarked no later than the date due. The Commander-in-Chief may, at his sole discretion, grant an extension provided the request is received prior to the expiration of the time frame originally prescribed and that the request is for good and sufficient cause.

 

Appeals to the Post: The first right of appeal shall be made to the Post.

 

Appeals to the District Commander: Appeals to the District Commander from the acts or decisions of the Post or Post Commander shall be made within thirty (30) days of the act or decision from which the appeal is taken. All appeals shall be made in writing and shall be mailed by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, to the District Commander at his address of record.

Upon receipt of a proper written appeal, the District Commander shall conduct such inquiry, request such documents and evidence as he deems appropriate, and shall send a copy of the written appeal papers to the Post or County Council (if applicable) whose act or decision is the subject of the appeal. Such Post or County Council (if applicable) may make written response within thirty (30) days. A copy of such response shall be mailed to the member taking the appeal, who shall have ten (10) days from the date of such response to make any further written submission to the District Commander.

The District Commander shall decide the appeal and shall inform the member and Post, County Council (if applicable) or respective Commander in writing that the appeal is denied, or if not denied, the relief granted the member. In the event that no written decision is rendered within thirty (30) days, the appeal shall be considered denied.

The determination of the District Commander shall have full force and effect unless and until reversed by competent authority. Any The member aggrieved by the acts or decisions of a District Commander shall have the right to appeal to the Department Commander.

 

Appeals to the Department Commander: Appeals to the Department Commander from the acts or decisions of the District Commander shall be made within thirty (30) days of the act or decision from which the appeal is taken. All appeals shall be made in writing and shall be mailed by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, to the

Department Commander at Department Headquarters.

Upon receipt of a proper written appeal, the Department Commander shall conduct such inquiry, request such documents and evidence as he deems appropriate, and shall send a copy of the written appeal papers to the Post, County Council (if applicable) or District or respective Commander whose act or decision is the subject of the appeal. Such Post, County Council (if applicable), District or respective Commander may make written response within thirty (30) days. A copy of such response shall be mailed to the member taking the appeal, who shall have ten (10) days from the date of such response to make any further written submission to the Department Commander.

The Department Commander shall decide the appeal and shall inform the member and Post, County Council (if applicable) or District or respective Commander in writing that the appeal is denied, or if not denied, the relief granted the member. In the event that no written decision is rendered within thirty (30) days, the appeal shall be considered denied.

The determination of the Department Commander shall have full force and effect unless and until reversed by competent authority. Any The member aggrieved by the acts or decisions of a Department Commander, the Department Council of Administration or the Department Convention shall have the right to appeal to the Commander-in-Chief.

 

Appeals to the Commander-in-Chief: Appeals to the Commander-in-Chief from the acts or decisions of the Department Commander (including decisions on an appeal made to the Department Commander), the Department Council of Administration or the Department Convention shall be made within thirty (30) days of the act or decision from which the appeal is taken. All appeals shall be made in writing and shall be mailed by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, to the Commander-in-Chief at Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States Headquarters.

Upon receipt of a proper written appeal, the Commander-in-Chief shall conduct such inquiry, request such documents and evidence as he deems appropriate, and shall send a copy of the written appeal papers to the Department Commander or Department Council of Administration whose act or decision is the subject of the appeal. With respect to an appeal from the Department Commander’s decision on an appeal made to him, the Department Commander shall, within fifteen (15) days, forward copies of the written appeal, any responses and his decision to the Commander-in-Chief. The Department Commander or the Department Council of Administration may make written response to the member’s appeal within thirty (30) days. A copy of such response shall be mailed to

the member taking the appeal, who shall have ten (10) days from the date of such response to make any further written submission to the Commander-in-Chief.

Thereafter, the Commander-in-Chief shall decide the appeal and shall inform the member and the Department Commander or Department Council of Administration in writing that the appeal is denied, or if not denied, the relief granted the member. In the event that no written decision is rendered within one-hundred twenty (120) days, the

appeal shall be considered denied.

The decision of the Commander-in-Chief shall have full force and effect unless and until reversed by the National Council of Administration. Any The member aggrieved by the acts or decisions of the Commander-in-Chief may make a final appeal to the National Council of Administration.

 

Appeals to the National Council of Administration: Appeals to the National Council of Administration shall be made within thirty (30) days of the acts or decisions of the Commander-in-Chief from which appeal is taken. All such appeals shall be in writing and shall be mailed by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, to the National Council of Administration at National Headquarters, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States.

Upon receipt of a proper written appeal, the National Council of Administration shall advise the member of the time and place that the matter will be considered and decided. The National Council shall determine the manner in which the matter will be considered.

The member shall have the right to appear at his own expense, personally or by counsel, at such time and place as the matter is considered. The National Council of Administration shall decide the appeal and shall inform the member in writing of its decision.

 

Sec. 211—Suspension and Revocation of Charter.

 

3. Actions by the Department Commander—Suspension.

The Department Commander may suspend a Post Charter in accordance with the procedures herein set forth.

a. The Department Commander shall issue a Special Order suspending a Post Charter and appointing trustees an administrative committee consisting of three to five members. Pursuant to a written grant of powers and limitations, such trustees committee shall carry on the business and affairs of the Post during the period of suspension. The acts and actions of the trustees committee shall be subject to the approval or disapproval of the Department Commander.

 

 

Sec. 218—Officers and Chairmen, Duties and Obligations.

 

(11 )Trustees. Trustees shall not be eligible to serve as chairman of an elected officer, Adjutant or on a committee whose books, records and accounts are audited by the Trustees. Among the duties of Post Trustees, they shall:

 

 

Sec. 411—Suspension and Revocation of Charter.

1. Actions by the Department Commander—Suspension.

The Department Commander may suspend a District Charter in accordance with the procedures herein set forth.

a.        The Department Commander shall issue a Special Order suspending a District Charter and appointing trustees an administrative committee consisting of three to five members. Pursuant to a written grant of powers and limitations, such trustees committee shall carry on the business and affairs of the District during the period of suspension. The acts and actions of the trustees committee shall be subject to the approval or disapproval of the Department Commander.

 

 

Sec. 511—Suspension and Revocation of Charter.

1. Actions by the Commander-in-Chief—Suspension.

The Commander-in-Chief may suspend a Department Charter in accordance with the procedures herein set forth.

a.        The Commander-in-Chief shall issue a Special Order suspending a Department Charter and appointing trustees an administrative committee consisting of three to five members. Pursuant to a written grant of powers and limitations, such trustees committee shall carry on the business and affairs of the Department during the period of suspension. The acts and actions of the trustees committee shall be subject to the approval or disapproval of the Commander-in-Chief.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sec. 518—Officers: Duties and Obligations.

(a) Officers.

(4) Quartermaster.

 

i. Comply with, and perform all duties required of him by the laws and usages of this organization, the Department Convention, Department By-Laws, Department Commander and Department Council of Administration, the National Convention and the National By-Laws, Manual of Procedure, Ritual and lawful orders from proper authority and perform such other duties as may be incident to the office. applicable By-Laws and order’s from lawful authority and perform such other duties as are incident to such office.

k. Budget. Prepare a tentative balanced budget for the financial operations of the ensuing year. The budget once adopted by the Department Council of Administration shall be forwarded to the Adjutant General by

August November 1.

m. Comply with and perform all other duties required of him by the laws and usages of this organization, the Department Convention, Department By-Laws, Department Commander and Department Council of Administration, the National Convention and the National By-Laws, Manual of Procedure, Ritual and lawful orders from proper authority and perform such other duties as may be incident to the office.

 

Sec. 606—National Dues.

Nine dollars and fifty cents ($9.50) of the $11.50 Nineteen dollars and fifty cents ($19.50) of the $21.50 National Dues will be distributed as set forth in Section 606 of the By-Laws. From the remaining $2.00, $1.00 will go into the Endowment Fund for Veterans Service Officer Training, and $1.00 will go into the Veterans Service Grant Fund.

 

Sec. 901—Discipline of Members.

It is the purpose of this Article to provide a procedure whereby a member may be appropriately disciplined while assuring that such member is given reasonable notice of the charges against him and afforded an opportunity to request that such charges and specifications be heard and determined at a Disciplinary Hearing. Except as otherwise specifically provided in the Congressional Charter or sections of the By-Laws and this Manual of Procedure, no member may have his membership terminated or suspended nor may any member be relieved of any office unless such discipline is imposed as provided in Article IX.

 

ARTICLE XIII—MENS AUXILIARY

 

Sec. 1301—Organization and Disbandment of Mens Auxiliaries.

 

(f) Discipline of Members. Except as otherwise provided in these By-Laws, no member shall have his membership in the Men’s Auxiliary terminated or suspended, nor may any member be relieved of office, unless such member shall have been advised in writing of the charges against him and afforded the opportunity to

request that such charges be heard and determined at a disciplinary hearing as hereinafter provided.

1. Offenses. Members who have committed offenses recognized by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States may be subject to disciplinary action and may be assessed the penalties provided in this Article. Offenses recognized by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States are:

a.        Disloyalty to the United States of America.

b.       Failure to fulfill the obligations taken at time of application and admission or the obligations taken upon installation of any office.

c.        False representation or deliberate concealment concerning eligibility to membership, office, or acquiescing in or permitting ineligible persons to become members or officers.

d.       Disobedience or disregard of the provisions of the Congressional Charter, By-Laws (at all levels), Manual of Procedure, Ritual, General Orders or any other laws and usages of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States or any order of the Commander-in-Chief.

e.        Conviction of, or entering a guilty or no contest plea to a felony, or to a misdemeanor or ordinance violation involving moral turpitude, in any court in the United States.

f.         Conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline or conduct unbecoming a member in his relations to the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States or other members.

g.       Divulging any of the private business of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States with the intent or effect of embarrassing the Veterans of Foreign Wars or members thereof.

h.       Preparing or signing any false record, return, regulation, order or other official document of or concerning the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, knowing it to be false, or making any other false official statement with the intent to deceive.

i.         Selling or otherwise disposing of money or property without proper authority or, willfully or negligently damaging, destroying or losing any such money or property belonging to the Veterans of Foreign Wars of  the United States, or any Post, County Council, District, or Department.

j.         Aiding, abetting, counseling, concealing, commanding, conspiring, soliciting, procuring or causing to be done any act which, if done, would be punishable under this Article.

k.        Knowingly making or causing to be made a false entry in or false alteration of a government record. Knowingly conveying or causing to be conveyed in any form false information concerning one’s military record.

l.         Knowingly providing false information or statements in connection with the initiation of charges against another member.

Offenses. Members who commit offenses recognized by the Veterans of Foreign Wars or Men’s Auxiliary shall be subject to disciplinary action and may be assessed the penalties provided in this Article. Offenses recognized by the Veterans of Foreign Wars or Men’s Auxiliary are:

a. Disloyalty to the United States of America.

b. Failure to fulfill the obligations taken at time of application and admission or the obligations taken upon installation of any office.

c. Knowing false representation or deliberate concealment concerning eligibility to membership or office or knowingly acquiescing in or permitting ineligible persons to become members or officers.

d. Disobedience or disregard of the provisions of the By-Laws, the Manual of Procedure, Ritual, General Orders or laws and usages of the VFW Post or Men’s Auxiliary or any order of the Department Commander.

e. Willful disobedience or disregard of any order, by-law, rule or regulation of any VFW Post or Men’s Auxiliary of which the member has or should reasonably have knowledge.

f. Conviction of, or entering a guilty or no contest plea to, a felony in any state or federal court of the United States or conviction of, or entering a guilty or no contest plea to, a misdemeanor or ordinance violation involving moral turpitude.

g. Conviction of a misdemeanor or ordinance violation, involving, affecting, damaging or taking place upon, the property of the VFW Post or Men’s Auxiliary or any activity, clubroom, holding company or unit sponsored by any

of them.

h. Conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline or conduct unbecoming a member in his relations to the VFW Post or Men’s Auxiliary or other members.

i. Divulging any of the private business of the VFW Post or Men’s Auxiliary with the intent or effect of embarrassing the VFW Post or Men’s Auxiliary or members thereof.

j. Knowingly participating in any meeting or activity which is subversive, or knowingly contributing to or permitting the use of the member’s name in connection with such meetings or activities.

k. Preparing or signing any false record, return, regulation, order or other official document of or concerning the VFW Post or Men’s Auxiliary, knowing it to be false, or making any other false official statement with the intent to deceive.

l. Selling or otherwise disposing of money or other property belonging to the VFW Post or Men’s Auxiliary without proper authority.

m. Willfully, or through neglect, damaging, destroying or losing any such money or other property described above.

n. Willfully suffering to be lost, damaged, destroyed or wrongfully used any such money or other property as described above.

o. Aiding, abetting, counseling, commanding, procuring or causing to be done any act which, if done by him, would be punishable under this Article, or, knowing of an act punishable under this Article, assisting the offender to prevent his punishment, or, conspiring with any person to perform acts punishable under this Article, or, soliciting the performance of acts punishable under this Article.

                2. Procedures for Disciplinary Actions and Appeals. The procedure for disciplinary action shall be the same as those prescribed in Article IX, Sections 903 and 904 of the By-Laws, the Manual of Procedure of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States and the Procedural Guide for Disciplinary Actions, except for interpretation, Men’s Auxiliary shall be substituted for Post, VFW Post for Department and State Commander for Commander-in-Chief. Additionally, there are no procedures for approval to the Commander-in-Chief nor the National Council of Administration; the decision by the Department Commander is final.

                                5. Penalties.  Penalties for offenses recognized by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States shall be:

a.        Termination of membership.

b.       Suspension from membership for a specified period of time.

c.        Suspension of certain rights of membership for a specified period of time.

d.       Suspension or removal from office.

e.        Reprimand.

f.         By other administrative action deemed appropriate.

 

5. Penalties. Penalties for offenses recognized by the VFW or Men’s Auxiliary shall be:

a. Termination of membership in the Men’s Auxiliary.

b. Suspension from membership for a specified period of time.

c. Suspension of certain rights and privileges of membership for a specified period of time.

d. Removal from office.

e. Reprimand.

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