DOG OBEDIENCE CLUBS OF FLORIDA BY-LAWS
The name of this Corporation is DOG OBEDIENCE CLUBS OF FLORIDA (DOCOF or the Organization), a Florida Not For Profit Corporation.
This is a non-profit Corporation, organized solely for general purposes pursuant to the Florida Corporation Not For Profit Law set forth in Section 617 of the Florida Statutes.
The specific and primary purposes for which this Organization was formed are:
(a) To promote dog obedience training throughout Florida.
(b) To promote co-operation of all member obedience organizations; and
(c) To promote and encourage sportsmanlike competition at all obedience trials and matches.
(a) Each club, organization, or individual applying for membership shall apply on a form supplied by DOCOF and submitted to the Secretary or DOCOF Membership Chairperson along with the dues for the current year. Applications submitted to the Secretary or DOCOF Membership Chairperson with dues for the current year received prior to March 1 shall be submitted to the DOCOF Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees will meet, either in person or electronically, by March 1 to review the application and shall then poll the delegates electronically to either accept or reject the applicant for membership. An affirmative vote of two thirds (2/3) of the delegates shall be required for approval of the application. The applicant shall be notified by the DOCOF Secretary within ten (10) days after the meeting as to acceptance or rejection of the application.
If the membership is accepted by March 1, the applicant shall be eligible to compete in the Labor Day Event the same year. Applications received after March 1 shall be presented for action by the membership at the regular annual meeting. An affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the DOCOF members present shall be required for approval of the application. If accepted, membership will be for the following year. The applicant shall be notified by the DOCOF Secretary within 2 weeks (14 calendar days) as to acceptance or rejection of the application.
(b) Dues are to be reviewed and approved yearly at the annual meeting.
(c) Clubs that pay dues for the following year, either before or during the Labor Day weekend, will receive a five dollar ($5.00) rebate on the amount due.
(d) Agreement/Waiver of Liability/Arbitration:
(i) All member clubs, organizations and individuals (hereafter referred to as members) agree that Dog Obedience Clubs of Florida (hereafter referred to as DOCOF) has the right to refuse entry for any event for cause which the club shall deem sufficient. In consideration of the acceptance of an entry and of the holding of the event, and of the opportunity to have the dog(s) judged and to win prizes, ribbons, or trophies, all members agree to hold DOCOF, their Officers, their members, directors, governors, agents, superintendents or event secretary and the owner and/or lessor of the premises and any provider of services that are necessary to hold this event and any employees or volunteers of the aforementioned parties, and anyone judging at this event, harmless from any claim for loss or injury which may be alleged to have been caused directly or indirectly to any person or thing by the act of any dog while in or about the event premises or grounds or near any entrance thereto. All members personally assume all responsibility and liability for any such claim; and further agree to hold the aforementioned parties harmless from any claim for loss, injury or damage.
(ii) Additionally, members hereby assume the sole responsibility for and agree to indemnify, defend and save the aforementioned parties harmless from any and all loss and expense (including legal fees) by reason of the liability imposed by law upon any of the aforementioned parties for damage because of bodily injuries, including death at any time resulting therefrom, sustained by any person or persons, including myself (ourselves), or on account of damage to property, arising out of or in consequence of my (our) participation in this event, however such, injuries, death or property damage may be caused, and whether or not the same may have been caused or may be alleged to have been caused by the negligence of the aforementioned parties or any of their employees, agents, or any other persons.
(iii) ALL MEMBER CLUBS, ORGANIZATIONS AND INDIVIDUALS AGREE THAT ANY CAUSE OF ACTION, CONTROVERSY OR CLAIM ARISING OUT OF OR RELATED TO THE ENTRY, EXHIBITION OR ATTENDANCE AT THE EVENT BETWEEN DOCOF AND MYSELF (OURSELVES) OR AS TO THE CONSTRUCTION, INTERPRETATION AND EFFECT OF THIS AGREEMENT SHALL BE SETTLED BY ARBITRATION PURSUANT TO THE APPLICABLE RULES OF THE AMERICAN ARBITRATION ASSOCIATION. HOWEVER, PRIOR TO ARBITRATION ALL APPLICABLE BYLAWS, STANDING RULES, REGULATIONS AND PROCEDURES MUST FIRST BE FOLLOWED AS SET FORTH IN THE DOCOF BY-LAWS, RULES, AND REGULATIONS, PUBLISHED POLICIES AND GUIDELINES.
Termination of Membership and Re-Instatement:
(a) Any member organization may resign from DOCOF upon written notice to the DOCOF Secretary prior to a regular meeting.
(b) A membership shall be considered lapsed if such member club’s dues remain unpaid by March 1 of each year. In no case may a member club whose dues are unpaid be entitled to vote at any DOCOF meeting. Any member club whose membership has lapsed on March 1 due to non-payment of dues will not be eligible for, or allowed to compete in the competition on Labor Day weekend of that year.
(c) A member club whose membership has lapsed for non-payment of dues may apply for reinstatement by paying its dues by the Annual meeting on Labor Day weekend, but it will not be eligible for, or allowed to compete in the Annual State Competition for that year. Any member club who does not request to be reinstated by the Annual Labor day meeting will have its membership terminated and will have to reapply for membership and be voted on as in Article II, Section I.
(d) A membership may be terminated by expulsion as provided in Article VIII.
Meetings of DOCOF shall be held at places designated by the President, and the Secretary shall notify officers and delegates of each meeting at least fifteen (15) days prior to the date of the meeting. DOCOF will have one (1) regular meeting. The Annual Meeting will be held on Labor Day Weekend and in conjunction with the Annual State Obedience Competition. Interim meetings may be held electronically with the same quorum requirement as stated in Section II.
A quorum for a regular meeting will be thirty percent (30%) of the membership in good standing of DOCOF at the time of said meeting.
All meetings shall be conducted in accordance with Robert’s Rules of Order, except where conflicting with these By-Laws.
At all meetings of DOCOF, the Order of Business shall be as follows:
1. Roll Call (may be written.)
2. Minutes of the last meeting.
3. President’s Report.
4. Secretary’s Report.
5. Treasurer’s Report.
6. Committee Reports.
7. Election of Officers.
8. Election of New Members.
9. Unfinished Business.
10. New Business.
All member organizations shall designate to the DOCOF Secretary or Membership Chairperson in writing their Delegate and Alternate for the fiscal year. If for any reason neither is able to attend, a substitution may be made by notifying the Secretary prior to the meeting.
Each member organization shall have one vote and proxy votes will not be accepted.
BOARD OF TRUSTEES AND DIRECTOR:
The powers of DOCOF shall be exercised, its properties controlled, and its affairs conducted by a Board of Trustees. This Board shall consist of the following members: President, 1st Vice President, 2nd Vice President, Secretary, & Treasurer.
DOCOF shall have one Director whose sole duty as Director shall be to act as Registered Agent with the State of Florida and be so registered on the Annual Report to the State. This Director may or may not be a member of the Board of Trustees.
Notwithstanding any other provision hereof to the contrary, any action of the Board of
Trustees, which is required or permitted to be taken, may be taken without a meeting if
written consent to the action, signed by all of the members of the Board, is filed in the Minutes of the Proceedings of the next regular meeting. A Trustee shall be deemed present if a conference telephone call or similar communications equipment is used, by means of which all persons participating can hear each other.
The DOCOF officers, consisting of the President, 1st Vice President, 2nd Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer, shall serve in their respective capacities with regard to the Organization and its meetings.
(a) The President shall preside at all meetings of the Club and shall have the duties and powers normally appurtenant to the office of President, in addition to those particularly specified in these By-Laws.
(b) The 1st Vice President shall assume the duties and exercise the powers of the President in case of the President’s death, absence, or incapacity.
(c) The 2nd Vice president shall assume the duties and exercise the powers of the President in case of the President’s and 1st Vice President’s death, absence, or incapacity.
(d) The Secretary shall keep a record of all meetings of the Organization and of all matters of which a record shall be ordered by the Organization. He/she shall be in charge of all correspondence, notify new members of their election to office, keep a roll of the members of the Organization with their addresses, and carry out such duties as are prescribed in these By-Laws.
(e) The Treasurer shall collect and receive all monies due or belonging to DOCOF. He/she shall deposit same in a bank designated by the Organization, in the name of the Organization. His/her books shall be open at all times for inspection by the Organization, and he/she shall report at every meeting on the condition of the Organization’s finances and every item of receipt or payment not before reported. At the Annual Meeting, he/she shall render an account of all monies received and expended during the previous fiscal year. The treasurer shall be bonded for a minimum of $25,000.00.
CLUB YEAR AND ELECTIONS:
The Club’s Fiscal Year shall begin on the first day of January and end December 31st. Dues are to be paid January 1st, are delinquent on February 1st, and are lapsed if not paid by March 1st.
The Annual Meeting shall be held on Labor Day Weekend prior to the Annual State Competition, at which time officers for the ensuing year shall be elected. They shall take office immediately upon the conclusion of the Annual State Obedience Competition for that year. Each retiring officer shall turn over to his/her successor all properties and records relating to that office within sixty (60) days after the election.
No person may be a candidate in an election who has not been nominated. Nominations shall be made at the Annual Meeting and the voting will be held immediately. There shall not be a Nominating Committee. All nominations shall be from the floor. The candidate receiving the majority of votes for each office shall be declared elected.
In the event of a resignation or removal of an officer, an interim officer may be elected. The candidate for the interim position will be nominated by the Board of Directors after meeting either in person or electronically. The nomination will be posted electronically to the delegates for their approval. Those voting must at least constitute a number equal to a quorum as defined for the annual meeting. Election will be based upon a simple majority of those voting. The interim officer will serve until the next regular meeting at which time the normal election procedure will used to fill the position.
The Organization or its President may appoint standing committees each year to advance the work of DOCOF in such matters as Trials and Matches, Membership, and other fields which may be well served by these committees. Such committees shall always be subject to the final authority of the Organization. Special committees may also be appointed to aid the Organization on any particular project.
Any committee appointment may be terminated by a majority vote of the membership of the Organization with written notice to the appointee; and the Organization may appoint successors to those persons whose services have been terminated. The President may terminate any Committee.
AMERICAN KENNEL CLUB SUSPENSION: Any member club who is suspended from the privileges of the American Kennel Club automatically shall be suspended from the privileges of DOCOF for a like period. Any individual suspended by the American Kennel Club may not participate in any activities of this Organization during the period of his/her suspension.
CHARGES: Any member club may prefer charges against another member club for alleged misconduct prejudicial to the best interests of the Organization. Written charges with specifications must be filed in duplicate with the DOCOF Secretary, together with a deposit of ten dollars ($10.00), which shall be forfeited if such charges are not sustained by the Organization following a hearing. The Secretary shall promptly send a copy of the charges to each member organization or present them at a DOCOF meeting, and the Organization shall first consider whether the action alleged in the charges, if proven, might constitute conduct prejudicial to the best interests of DOCOF. If the Organization considers that the charges do not allege conduct which would be prejudicial to DOCOF, it may refuse to entertain jurisdiction. If DOCOF entertains jurisdiction of the charges, it shall fix a date of hearing by the Organization, not less than three weeks nor more than six weeks thereafter. The Secretary shall promptly send one copy of the charges by Certified Mail to the accused member club together with a notice of the hearing and an assurance that delegates or representatives of the defendant Club may personally appear in their own defense and may bring witnesses if they wish.
CLUB HEARING: DOCOF shall have complete authority to decide whether counsel may attend the hearing, but both the complainant and the defendant shall be treated uniformly in that regard. Should the charges be sustained, after hearing all the evidence and testimony presented by the complainant and defendant, the Organization may, by majority vote of those present, suspend the defendant club from all privileges of the Organization for not more than six months from the date of the hearing. And, if it deems that the punishment is insufficient, it may also recommend that the penalty be expulsion from the Organization. In such case, the suspension shall not restrict the defendant club’s right to appear before its fellow members at the ensuing Organization meeting. Immediately after DOCOF has reached a decision, its finding shall be put in written form and filed with the Secretary. The Secretary, in turn, shall notify each of the parties of the Organization’s decision and penalty, if any.
EXPULSION: Expulsion of a member Club from the Organization may be accomplished only at a DOCOF meeting. Such proceedings may occur at a regular or special meeting of the Organization to be held within sixty (60) days, but not earlier than thirty (30) days after the date of the Organization’s recommendation of expulsion. The defendant Club shall have the privilege of appearing on its own behalf. The DOCOF President shall read the charges and the Organization’s findings and recommendations and invite the defendant Club, if present, to speak on its own behalf if its members wish. The DOCOF members in attendance shall then vote by secret ballot on the proposed expulsion. A two-third (2/3) majority vote of those present and voting at the meeting shall be necessary for expulsion. If expulsion is not voted, the member Club’s suspension shall stand.
CHARGES ASSOCIATED WITH THE ANNUAL EVENT: In the event of a witnessed case of misbehavior by a competing dog or Misconduct of an exhibitor, delegate, or club officer the DOCOF Board will follow its Standard Operating Procedure #17001 in the investigation, hearing and taking action to correct or discipline the accused party.
Amendments to the By-Laws may be proposed by the Organization or by written petition addressed to the Secretary and signed by twenty percent (20%) of the membership in good standing. Amendments proposed by such petition shall be promptly considered by DOCOF and must be submitted to the members by the Secretary with recommendations of the Organization for a vote at the next regularly scheduled meeting.
The By-Laws may be amended by a two-third (2/3) majority vote of the Organization’s members present and voting at any regular or special meeting called for that purpose, provided the proposed amendments have been included in the notice of the meeting and mailed to each member Club at least fifteen (15) days prior to the date of the meeting.
The Organization may be dissolved at any time by the written consent of not less than two-thirds (2/3) of the member Clubs. In the event of the dissolution of the Organization, whether voluntary or involuntary or by operation of law, none of the property of the Organization nor any of the proceeds thereof, nor any assets of the Organization shall be distributed to any members of the Organization, but after payment of the debts of the Organization, its property and assets shall be given to a charitable organization for the benefit of dogs, this organization to be selected by DOCOF.
THIS ISSUE OF THE BY-LAWS WAS PREPARED SEPTEMBER 3, 2017, INCORPORATING AMENDMENTS
VOTED UPON BY THE MEMBERSHIP AT THE 2017 ANNUAL MEETING.