Constitution & By-Laws
Name and Objects
SECTION 1. The name of the Club shall be The Greenwich Kennel Club, Incorporated.
SECTION 2. The objects of the Club shall be:
a) to educate the public and further the advancement of pure-bred dogs, and
b) to do all in its power to protect and advance the interests of dog shows, trials, tests, matches, and to encourage sportsmanlike competition at such events; and
c) to conduct sanctioned matches, dog shows, trials, tests, and any other event for which the club is eligible under the Rules and Regulations of The American Kennel Club
SECTION 3. The Club shall not be conducted or operated for profit and no part of any profits or remainder or residue from dues or donations to the Club shall inure to the benefit of any member or individual.
SECTION 4. The members of the Club shall adopt and may from time to time revise such By-Laws as may be deemed to carry out these objectives.
SECTION 1. ELIGIBILITY. There shall be five types of membership open to all who subscribe to the purposes of the Club as set forth in the Constitution and By-Laws and who are in good standing with the American Kennel Club.
- Regular (Individual) — Enjoys all club privileges including the right to vote and hold office.
- Household — Two (2) adult members residing in the same household, each eligible to vote and hold office.
- Associate — Entitled to all club privileges except voting and office holding. (offered to individuals who live outside of the club’s area; also offered to individuals who live in the club’s area but are not active)
- Junior — Open to individuals between 9 and 17 years of age; a non-voting/non-office-holding membership that may automatically convert to regular membership at age 18.
- Honorary — Any person having rendered valuable service to the Club may be elected to Honorary membership by a vote of two-thirds of the Board of Directors. Open to individuals 18 years of age and older who pay no dues but are entitled to all Club privileges except the right to vote and hold office. An Honorary member can maintain regular membership upon payment of dues.
While membership is to be unrestricted as to residence, the Club’s primary purpose is to be representative of the breeders and exhibitors in its immediate area.
SECTION 2. DUES. Membership dues shall be determined by the Board of Directors and shall not exceed $100.00 per year. Dues are payable on or before the first day of January each year. During the month of November, the Treasurer shall send each member a statement of dues for the ensuing year. No member may vote whose dues are not paid for the current year.
SECTION 3. Election to Membership.
(a) Each applicant for membership shall apply on a form as approved by the Board of Directors and which shall provide that the applicant agrees to abide by these Constitution and By-Laws and the rules of the American Kennel Club. The application shall state the name, address and occupation of the applicant and shall carry the endorsement of two members in good standing who must have known the prospective member. Two persons from the same household may not sponsor the same applicant. Accompanying the application, the prospective member shall submit dues payment per application form.
(b) All applications shall be submitted to the Secretary. The application will be read at the first Board and General Member meetings. At the following meeting, the applicant will be considered by the Board following its receipt. If accepted, the name will be presented to the General Membership for voting to Associate Membership. Affirmative votes of 2/3 of the members present and voting by secret ballot at that meeting shall be required to elect the applicant.
(c) After one year, the application will be reviewed by the Board for their recommendation to the General Membership. If recommended, the applicant will be presented to the General Membership for voting to regular membership status based on membership types stated in Article I, SECTION 1. Affirmative votes of 2/3 of the members present and voting at that meeting shall be required to elect the applicant by secret ballot.
(d) Applicants for membership who have been rejected by the Club may not re-apply within 6 months after the rejection.
SECTION 4. Termination of Membership.
Memberships may be terminated:
(a) by resignation. Any member in good standing may resign from the Club upon written notice to the Secretary; but no member may resign when in debt to the Club. Obligations other than dues are considered a debt to the Association and must be paid in full prior to resignation.
(b) by lapsing. A membership will be considered as lapsed and automatically terminated if such member’s dues remain unpaid 60 days after the first day of the January 1st; however, the Board may grant additional days of grace to such delinquent members in meritorious cases.
(c) by expulsion. A membership may be terminated by expulsion as provide in Article VI of these Constitution and By-Laws.
Meetings and Voting
SECTION 1. Club Meetings. Meetings of the Club shall be held at least six times a year within the greater Fairfield County area at such hour and place as may be designated by the Board of Directors. Written notice shall be sent either by US Postal Service or emailed by the Secretary at least 10 days prior to the date of the meeting. The quorum for such meetings shall be 20 percent of the members in good standing.
SECTION 2. Special Club Meetings. Special Club meetings may be called by the President, or by a majority vote of the members of the Board who are present and voting at any regular or special meeting of the Board; or upon receipt by the Secretary of a petition signed by five members of the Club who are in good standing. Such special meetings shall be held within the greater Fairfield County area at such time and place as may be designated by the person or persons authorized herein to call such meetings. Written notice of such meetings shall be sent either by US Postal Service or emailed by the Secretary at least 5 days and not more than 15 days prior to the date of the meeting, and said notice shall state the purpose of the meeting, and no other Club business may be transacted thereat. The quorum for such a meeting shall be 20 percent of the members in good standing.
SECTION 3. Board Meetings. Meetings of the Board of Directors shall be held at least six times a year in the greater Fairfield County area at such hour and place as may be designated by the Board. Written notice of the meeting shall be sent either by US Postal Service or emailed by the Secretary at least 5 days prior to the date of the meeting. The quorum for such meeting shall be a majority of the Board.
SECTION 4. Special Board Meetings. Special Board meetings may be called by the President or upon receipt by Secretary of a written request signed by at least three members of the Board. Such special meetings shall be held within the greater Fairfield County area at such hour and place as may be designated by the person authorized herein to call such meetings. Written, emailed or telephone notice of such a meeting shall be made by the Secretary at least 5 days and not more than 15 days prior to the date of the meeting. Any such notice shall state the purpose of the meeting and no other business shall be transacted. A quorum for such a meeting shall be a majority of the Board.
SECTION 5. Voting. Each member in good standing whose dues are paid for the current year shall be entitled to one vote at any meeting of the Club at which the member is present except for Associate, Junior, or Honorary. Proxy voting shall not be permitted at any Club meeting or election.
Directors and Officers
SECTION 1. Board of Directors. The Board shall be comprised of the Officers, Delegate to the American Kennel Club and five other persons all of whom shall be members in good standing. The officers and five directors shall be elected for one-year terms and the Delegate shall serve a three-year term and shall be elected at the Club’s annual meeting and shall serve until their successors are elected. General management of the Club’s affairs shall be entrusted to the Board of Directors.
SECTION 2. Officers. The Club’s officers, consisting of the President, First Vice-President, Second Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer shall serve in their respective capacities both with regard to the Club and its meetings and the Board and its meetings.
(a) The President shall preside at all meetings of the Club and of the Board, and shall have the duties and powers normally appurtenant to the office of President in addition to those particularly specified in the Constitution and By-Laws. The President shall be an ex officio member of all committees.
(b) The First Vice-President shall have the powers and exercise the duties of the President in case of the President’s death, absence or incapacity.
(c) The Second Vice-President shall have the powers and exercise the duties of the President in the event of the absence or incapacity of both the President and First Vice-President.
(d) The Secretary shall keep a record of all meetings of the Club and of the Board and all matters of which a record shall be ordered by the Club. The Secretary shall have charge of the correspondence, notify members of meetings, notify new members of their election to membership, notify Officers and Directors of their election to office, keep a roll of the members of the Club with their addresses, and carry out such other duties as are prescribed in these Constitution and By-Laws.
(e) The Treasurer shall collect and receive all moneys due or belonging to the Club. Moneys shall be deposited in a bank designated by the Board, in the name of the Club. The books shall at all times be open to inspection of the Board and a report shall be given at every meeting on the condition of the Club’s finances and every item of receipt of payment not before reported, and at the annual meeting an accounting shall be rendered of all moneys received and expended during the previous year. The Treasurer shall be bonded in such amount as the board of directors shall determine.
(f) The AKC Delegate is elected for a three-year term by the membership and shall represent the Club to the American Kennel Club. The Delegate will be expected to attend the AKC annual meeting and at least 50% of all delegate meetings each year including the Annual Meeting. A written report is to be submitted to the Board prior to its next club meeting, if necessary.
SECTION 3. Vacancies. Any vacancies occurring on the Board or among the offices during the year shall be filled until the next annual election by a majority vote of the members of the Board at its first regular meeting following the creation of such vacancy, or at a Special Board Meeting called for that purpose; except that a vacancy in the office of the President shall be filled automatically by the First Vice-President and the resulting vacancy in the office of the First Vice-President shall be filled by the Board.
The Club Year, Annual Meetings, & Elections
SECTION 1. Club Year. The Club’s membership year shall begin on January 1st and end on December the 31st. The “fiscal” year shall commence on October 1st to September 30th.
(a) The membership or “Dues” year shall be the calendar year.
SECTION 2. Annual Meeting. The annual meeting shall be held in the month of October at which directors, officers and the AKC Delegate (every third year) for the ensuing year shall be elected by secret ballot from among those nominated in accordance with Section 4 of this article. If there are no additional nominations for directors, officers and AKC Delegate (every third year), the Secretary may cast one ballot for any uncontested position. The elected individuals shall take office on the 1st day of November and each retiring officer shall turn over to the successor all properties and records relating to that office by December 31st.
SECTION 3. Elections. The nominated candidate receiving the greatest number of votes for each office shall be declared elected. The five nominated candidates for other positions on the Board who receive the greatest number of votes for such positions shall be declared elected.
SECTION 4. Nominations. No person may be a candidate in a Club election who has not been nominated. During the month of July, the Board shall select a Nominating Committee consisting of three members and two alternates, not more than one of whom may be a member of the Board. The Secretary shall immediately notify the Committee members and alternates of their selection.
The Board shall name a Chairman for the Nominating Committee, and it shall be the Chairman’s duty to call a Committee meeting that shall be held on or before August 1st.
(a) The Committee shall nominate one candidate for each office, and five others for positions as a member of the Board, and every third year a candidate for the AKC delegate. After securing the consent of each person so nominated, the Chairman shall immediately advise Secretary in writing of their proposed nominees.
(b) Upon receipt of the Nominating Committee’s proposed nominees, the Secretary shall at least two weeks before the September meeting notify the voting membership in writing of the proposed nominees.
(c) If the name of any candidate is withdrawn before the Secretary notifies the membership of the proposed nominees, the Nominating Committee may nominate a new candidate. The Nominating Committee will immediately notify the Secretary in writing the name of the new candidate.
(d) Additional nominations may be made at the September meeting by any voting member in attendance provided that the person so nominated does not decline when their name is proposed, and provided further that if the proposed candidate is not in attendance at this meeting, their poser shall present to the Secretary a written statement from the proposed candidate signifying their willingness to be a candidate. No person may be a candidate for more than one elected position and the additional nominations, which are provided for herein, may be made only from among those members who have not accepted a nomination by the Nominating Committee.
(e) Nominations cannot be made at the Annual Meeting or in any other manner other than as provided in this section.
SECTION 1. The Board may each year appoint standing committees to advance the work of the Club in such matters as dog shows, obedience trials, trophies, annual prizes, membership and other fields which may be well served by committees. Such committees shall always be subject to the final authority of the Board. Special committees may also be appointed by the Board to assist in particular projects. The President shall be an ex officio member of all Committees.
SECTION 2. Any Committee appointment may be terminated by a majority vote of the full membership of the Board. The Secretary shall advise the member of the termination by a written notice. The Board may appoint a successor to those persons whose service has been terminated.
SECTION 3. At the Annual Meeting the Board of Directors shall appoint, two years in advance, a Show Chairman who shall select other members to serve on the Show Committee. The Show Chairman shall hold office until a successor is appointed. The Show Chairman shall have authority in all matters pertaining to the point show, subject to the general approval of the Board of Directors.
SECTION 1. American Kennel Club Suspension. Any member who is suspended from any of the privileges of The American Kennel Club automatically shall be suspended from the privileges of this Club for a like period.
SECTION 2. Charges. Any member may prefer charges against another member for alleged misconduct prejudicial to the best interest of the Club. Written charges with specifications must be filed in duplicate with the Secretary together with a deposit of $50 cash, which shall be forfeited if such charges are not sustained by the Board 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. If the Board considers that the charges do not allege conduct that would be prejudicial to the best interests of the Club, it may refuse to entertain jurisdiction. If the Board entertains jurisdiction of the charges, it shall fix a date of a hearing by the Board not less than 3 weeks nor more than 6 weeks thereafter. The Secretary shall promptly send one copy of the charges and the specifications to the accused member by registered mail together with a notice of the hearing and an assurance that the defendant may personally appear in their own defense and may bring witnesses.
SECTION 3. Board Hearing. The Board 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 may by a majority vote of those present reprimand or suspend the defendant from all privileges of the Club for not more than 6 months from the date of the hearing. 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 its fellow members at the ensuing Club meeting, which will consider the Board’s recommendation. Immediately after the Board has reached a decision, its findings shall be put in written form and filed with the Secretary. The Secretary shall notify each of the parties of the Board’s decision and penalty, if any.
SECTION 4. Expulsion. Expulsion of a member from the Club may be accomplished only at a meeting of the Club following a Board hearing and upon the Board’s recommendation as provided in Section 3 of this Article. Such proceedings may occur at a regular or special meeting of the Club to be held within 60 days but not earlier than 30 days after the date of the Board’s recommendations of expulsion. The defendant shall have the privilege of appearing on their own behalf, though no evidence shall be taken at this meeting. The President shall read the charges and the Boards’ findings and recommendation, and invite the defendant, if present, to speak on their own behalf, if the defendant so choses. The members shall then vote by secret ballot on the proposed expulsion. A two-thirds vote of those present and voting at the meeting shall be necessary for expulsion. If expulsion is not so voted, the Board’s suspension shall stand.
SECTION 1. Amendments to the Constitution and By-Laws may be proposed by the Board of Directors or by written petition addressed to the Secretary and signed by twenty percent of the membership in good standing. Amendments proposed by such petition shall be promptly considered by the Board of Directors and must be submitted to the members with recommendations of the Board by the Secretary for a vote within three months of the date when the petition was received by the Secretary.
SECTION 2. The Constitution and By-Laws may be amended by a two-thirds written vote of the members present and voting at any regular or special meeting called for the purpose, provided the proposed amendments have been included in the notice of the meeting and emailed to each member at least two weeks prior to the date of the meeting.
SECTION 3. No amendment to the Constitution and By-Laws that is adopted by the Club shall become effective until it has been approved by the Board of Directors of The American Kennel Club.
SECTION 1. Dissolution. The Club may be dissolved at any time by the written consent of not less than two-thirds of the voting members in good standing. In the event of the dissolution of the Club other than for the purpose of reorganization whether voluntary or involuntary or by operation of law, none of the property of the Club nor any proceeds thereof nor any assets of the Club shall be distributed to any member of the Club but after payment of the debts of the Club, its property and assets shall be given to a charitable organization for the benefit of dogs selected by the Board of Directors.
Order of Business
SECTION 1. At meetings of the Club, the order of business, so far as the character and nature of the meeting may permit, shall be as follows: (Quorum is 20% of members in good standing)
Minutes of last meeting
Report of President
Report of Secretary
Report of Treasurer
AKC Delegate’s Report (if any)
Reports of Committees
Election of officers and board (at annual meeting)
Election of new members
SECTION 2. At the meetings of the Board, the order of business, unless otherwise directed by majority vote of those present, shall be as follows: (Quorum is 6)
Minutes of last meeting
Report of Presidents
Report of Secretary
Report of Treasurer
AKC Delegate’s Report (if any)
Reports of Committee Reports
Reading of new member applications
Consideration of application to be presented to General Meeting
1-year Associate period review for approval to General Membership
SECTION 1. The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised, shall govern the Club in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these By-Laws and any other special rules of order the Club may adopt.