ROBERTS RULES OF ORDER IN SUMMARY

Please refer to the manual for details.

Classes of Motions

The word "motion" refers to a formal proposal by a member, in a meeting, that the organization take a certain action. Several specific motions have evolved and have been classified under parlimentary law as follows: 
  (1) Main Motions  
  (2) Subsidiary Motions )
) Secondary motions
)
)
  (3) Privileged Motions
  (4) Incidental Motions
  (5) Motions that bring a question again before the meeting.
Main Motions—A main motion is one which brings business before the meeting. It is the most often used and is the device by which a matter is presented to the meeting for possible action.

Subsidiary Motions—Subsiciary motions assist the meeting in treating or disposing of a main motion. They are always applied to another motion while it is pending. The adoption of one of them does something to this other motion, that is, changes its status in some way.

Privileged Motions—Unlike subsidiary or incidental motions, privileged motions do not relate to the pending business but have to do with special, important matters which should be allowed to interrupt the consideration of anything else.

Incidental Motions—Incidental motions relate to the pending business or other business. With but few exceptions, incidental motions are related to the main question in such a way that they must be decided immediately, before business can proceed.

Motions that bring a question again before the meeting—Either by their adoption or introduction, this type of motion serves the function described by the name of the class. This class of motions allows the members, for good reason, to reopen a completed question during the same session, to take up one that has been temprarily disposed of, or to change something previously adopted.

In the following chart, the privileged, subsidiary, and main motions are listed in order of rank, the motion at the top taking precedence over all the others, and each of the remaining ones taking precedence over all those below it. A main motion is in order only when no onter motion is pending.

Chart for Determining When Each Subsidiary
or Privileged Motion is In Order

Table of Rules Relating to Motions

 
Motion Class In order when another has the floor? Must be seconded? Debatable? Amendable? Vote required for adoption Can be reconsidered
Main motion M No Yes Yes Yes Majority Yes
Adjourn P No Yes No No Majority No
Adjourn at or to a future time M No Yes Yes Yes Majority No
Adopt, accept, or agree to a report M No Yes Yes Yes Majority Yes
Adopt revised bylaws or constitution M No Yes Yes Yes As provided for in the bylaws Negative vote only
Adopt special rules of order M No Yes Yes Yes Previous notice and 2/3 or majority of the entire membership Negative vote only
Adopt ordinary standing rules M No Yes Yes Yes Majority Yes
Amend a pending motion S No Yes If motion to be amended is debatable Yes Majority Yes
Amend an amendment of a pending motion S No Yes Ditto No Majority Yes
Amend something previously adopted M No Yes Yes Yes Majority with notice, or 2/3, or majority of the entire membership Negative vote only
Appeal I Yes Yes Usually No Majority Yes
To order a vote to be taken by ballot I No Yes No Yes Majority Yes
To create a blank by striking out I No Yes No No Majority No
Proposals for filling a blank - Yes No Yes No Majority Yes
Change or depart from the agenda, immediately to take up a matter out of its proper order I No Yes No No Two thirds No
Commit, refer, or recomit a pending question S No Yes Yes Yes Majority If committee has not begun work
Refer a matter that is not pending to a committee M No Yes Yes Yes Majority If committee has not begun work
Consider informally S No Yes Yes No Majority Negative vote only
Consider by paragraph I No Yes No Yes Majority No
Limit or extend limits of debate on a pending question S No Yes No Yes Two thirds Yes
Limit or extend limits of debate for the duration of a meeting M No Yes Yes Yes Two thirds Yes
Discharge a committee - No Yes Yes Yes Majority with notice or 2/3, or majority of the entire membership Negative vote only
Division of the question I No Yes No Yes Majority Yes
Call for a separate vote on a resolution which is one of a series on different subjects in a single motion I Yes No No No Demand of a single member compels the separate vote No
Information, point of I Yes No No No not voted on No
Lay on the table S No Yes No No Majority No
To approve the minutes M No Yes Yes Yes Majority Yes
To correct the minutes before adoption S No Yes Yes Yes Majority Yes
To dispense with the reading of the minutes I No Yes No No Majority No
To make nominations - No No Yes No Majority for election Not after the electee has been notified
To close nominations I No Yes No Yes Two thirds Yes
To reopen nominations I No Yes No Yes Majority Negative vote only
Other motions relating to nominations while election is pending M No Yes No Yes Majority Yes
Other motions relating to nominations while election is not pending M No Yes Yes Yes Majority Yes
Object to consideration of a question I Yes, with limits No No No Two thirds Sustaining vote only
Call for orders of the day P Yes No No No Must be enforced upon the demand of one member unless set aside by a 2/3 vote No
Point of order I Yes No No No Is ruled on by the Chair No
Parliamentary inquiry I Yes No No No Is responded to by the Chair -
Postpone indefinately S No Yes Yes No Majority Affirmative vote only
Postpone to a certain time, applied to a pending question S No Yes Yes Yes Majority Yes
Postpone an event or action previously scheduled M No Yes Yes Yes Majority with notice or 2/3, or majority of the entire membership Negative vote only
Previous Question S No Yes No No Two thirds Usually
Ratify or Confirm M No Yes Yes Yes Majority Yes
Grant permission to read papers I Yes Yes, if made by one requesting. No, if by another No No Majority Yes
To take a recess, if moved while business in pending P No Yes No Yes Majority No
To take a recess, if moved while no question is pending M No Yes Yes Yes Majority No
Reconsider - Limits Yes Yes, if the motion to be reconsidered is debatable No Majority No
Rescind, repeal, or annul M No Yes Yes Yes Majority with notice or 2/3, or majority of the entire membership Negative vote only
Suspend the rules of order I No Yes No No Usually 2/3 No
Suspend ordinary standing rules I No Yes No No Majority No
Take from the table - No Yes No No Majority No
Motion relating to voting if made while subject is pending I No Yes No Yes Majority except 2/3 to close the polls Close polls no, reopen polls negative vote only, others yes
Motion relating to voting if made while no question is pending M No Yes Yes Yes Majority Yes
To grant permission to withdraw or modify a motion after the motion has been stated by the chair I Yes, if not by general consent Yes, if by one requesting No, if by another No No Majority Negative vote only