Section 1. American Kennel Club Suspension. Any member who is suspended from all or any of the privileges of The American Kennel Club automatically shall be suspended from the privileges of this club for a like period and imposed like penalties.
Section 2. Charges.
(a) 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 $100.00, 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 the breed, it may refuse to entertain jurisdiction. If the Board entertains jurisdiction of the charges, it shall fix a date for a hearing by the Board or a committee of not less than three members of the Board, not less than three (3) weeks nor more than six (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/her own defense and bring witnesses if he/she wishes.
(b) No ex-member of the ABC who resigned from membership while charges were either in the process of being filed, or having been filed alleging misconduct and/or violations of our bylaws, or having been found guilty of a charge made against him/her and then having his/her membership lapsed at the end of the first year or having resigned before the end of the fiscal year during which charges were entertained may reapply for membership for a minimum period of three (3) years following the resignation or lapsing.
Section 3. Board Hearing. The Board or board 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. Should the charges be sustained after hearing all the evidence and testimony presented by complainant and defendant, the Board or board committee may by a majority vote of those present either reprimand, reprimand and fine, fine, fine and suspend or suspend the defendant from all privileges of the Club for not more than six (6) months from the date of the hearing, or until the next annual meeting if that will occur after six (6) 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/her fellow members at the ensuing club meeting, which considers the recommendation of the Board or board committee. If any member involved in the charges is either an elected Board member or chairperson of a standing committee, that person may not participate in nor vote upon any action involving that charge. If such charges are brought and upheld against a Board member, such Board member shall immediately be removed from office and the vacant position shall be filled as provided for in Article III, Section 5.
Immediately after the Board or board 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 4. Expulsion. Expulsion of a member from the Club may be accomplished only at the annual meeting of the Club following a hearing and upon recommendation of the Board or board committee as provided in Section 3 of this Article. The defendant shall have the privilege of appearing in his/her 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/her own behalf if he/she so wishes. The members shall then vote by secret ballot on the proposed expulsion. A 2/3 vote of those present and voting at the meeting shall be necessary for expulsion. If expulsion is not so voted, the suspension shall stand.
Section 5. Discipline of Officers. Any Officer whose conduct, action or inaction in office is deemed injurious to the best interests of the Club may, by a vote of a 2/3 majority of the Board, be suspended from the rights and privileges of that office, at a Board meeting held for that purpose. At the time suspension is sought, the entire membership must be informed by the Secretary, or by some other officer if the action is against the Secretary, of the action being taken and the charges on which it is based. No Officer may be suspended unless the charges preferred against him/her have been sent to him/her by mail at least ten (10) days prior to the meeting where the charges are to be heard and he/she is given an opportunity to appear in his/her own defense and bring witnesses, if he/she deems it necessary. Failure to appear to answer charges, except for good cause as determined by the Board, shall constitute an automatic removal from office, and all records pertinent to the office must be returned to the Secretary, or to the President if the Secretary is involved, within ten (10) days. Such suspension or removal by the Board may be over turned by the general membership if ten (10) percent of the voting members in good standing request a mail vote. A simple majority of the members in good standing voting to overturn the Board suspension or removal will re-instate the Officer. Any officer who is expelled will automatically cease to be a Director and will not be privy to any further Board activity.
AKC APPROVED: 03/17/2009