Constitution & Bylaws
The DPCA - Constitution & Bylaws
Effective March 6, 2003
ARTICLE 1: Name and Objects
SECTION 1. The name of the Club shall be:
The Doberman Pinscher Club of America.
SECTION 2. The objects of the Club shall be:
1. To promote the public's knowledge and appreciation of dogs in general and Doberman Pinschers in particular;
2. To produce, publish, and distribute to the general public educational materials about the proper care, treatment, breeding, health, development and training of Doberman Pinschers;
3. To support and promote study and research on the history, character, breeding, genetics and particular health problems of the Doberman Pinscher;
4. To establish a National Data Base of resource materials about the Doberman Pinscher;
5. To further understanding of the disease, defects, injuries and other ailments that afflict dogs in general and the Doberman Pinscher in particular;
6. To acknowledge and advance the critical role of an AKC recognized parent club in providing education, health research and support of rescue and reduction of overpopulation for the benefit of the general public, purebred dogs and Doberman Pinschers in particular;
7. To conduct activities including sporting events, sanctioned matches, specialty shows, obedience and tracking trials, and other such activities and events as may be held under the rules of the American Kennel Club, in furtherance of the above purposes;
8. To otherwise preserve and protect the Doberman Pinscher and to do all things possible to bring its natural qualities to perfect;
9. To urge members and breeders to accept the standard of the breed as approved by the American Kennel Club as the only standard of excellence by which the Doberman Pinscher shall be judged
SECTION 3. The club shall not be conducted or operated for profit and no part of any profits or remainder of residue from dues or donations to the Club shall inure to the benefit of any member or of a member's household.
SECTION 4. The members of the Club shall adopt and may from time to time revise such by-laws as may be required to carry out these objects.
ARTICLE 1: Membership
SECTION 1. Eligibility. There shall be four (4) types of membership:
(a) Active Membership - Open to all persons eighteen years of age and older who are in good standing with the American Kennel Club and who subscribe to the purposes of this club. Only active members in good standing shall be allowed to vote and hold any office or board.
(b) Chapter Club - A local Doberman Pinscher Specialty Club, wishing to become a local Chapter Club must have ten (10) or more members and must have received recognition from the American Kennel Club to hold B-Sanctioned events. It shall expressly agree to incur no indebtedness on the part of the Doberman Pinscher Club of America.
(c) Junior Membership - Open to all persons not less than ten years of age nor older than eighteen years of age who otherwise meet the requirements for active membership. Junior members shall pay dues, but not vote, nor hold office.
(d) Honorary - Persons who in the opinion of the Board of Directors are worthy of recognition may be conferred the title of Honorary member. Honorary members shall not pay dues, may not vote nor hold office.
A candidate for club membership shall file its application with the Recording Secretary, together with a copy of its By-Laws, a list of its officers, directors, members and their addresses. Such application must be accompanied by one year's dues. It must be approved by a majority of the Board of Directors.
SECTION 2. Dues. Dues for active domestic membership are currently set at $25.00 per year. Dues for those active members residing outside of the United States are currently set at $35.00 in U. S. funds per year (includes $10.00 postage surcharge). Chapter Club Membership dues are currently set at $50.00 per year. Dues for junior membership shall be 50% of active membership dues. Dues may be adjusted from time to time by the Board of Directors by a 2/3-majority vote. However, dues increases shall not exceed $5.00 per year per active member and $10.00 per Chapter Club since last increased. Dues shall not exceed $50.00 per year for active members and $100.00 per year for Chapter Clubs. Increases in dues shall not occur more frequently than once in a two-year period. Dues shall be payable on or before the 1st day of January of each year. Persons having their membership approved in October, November or December are considered fully paid members for the following year. No member may vote whose dues are not paid for the current year. During the month of November, the Treasurer shall send to each member a statement of his dues for the ensuing year.
Membership effective date - Persons having their membership approved in October, November or December are considered to have an effective membership date of January 1, following. In the period between their membership approval and January 1, they may exercise all privileges of members except that of voting.
SECTION 3. Election to membership. 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, the Doberman Pinscher Club of America's Code of Ethics and the rules of the American Kennel Club. The application for Active Membership shall state the name, address and occupation of the applicant and it shall carry the endorsement of two members. Accompanying the application, the prospective member shall submit dues payment for the current year. Applications shall be submitted to the membership chairperson who shall process them in accordance with these By-Laws. Applicants may be elected at any meeting of the Board Of Directors or by written vote of the Directors by mail. Affirmative votes of 2/3 of the directors present at a meeting of the Board or 2/3 of the entire Board voting by mail shall be required to elect an applicant. An application for Active Membership which has received a negative vote by the Board may not be resubmitted to the Board prior to the next Annual Meeting. An application for Active Membership which has received a negative vote by the Board may be presented by one of the endorsers at the next meeting of the Club, and the club may elect such applicant by favorable vote of 75% of the members present.
SECTION 4. Rights and Duties of Members:
(a) Members have the right to propose and to petition the Board of Directors, Officers and Committee Chairpersons;
(b) Members may propose an action to be voted on by the Board of Directors by petition. The Petition must be submitted in the form of a motion and be signed by a minimum of five (5) percent of active members in good standing;
(c) All Officers and delegates of Chapter Clubs shall be DPCA members at the time of their election to office, but if not, they shall apply for DPCA membership within 30 days of their election.
SECTION 5. Termination of Membership. Membership may be terminated:
(a) by resignation. Any member in good standing may resign from the Club upon written notice to the Membership Secretary, but no member may resign when in debt to the Club. Dues obligations are considered a debt to the Club and they become incurred on the first day of each calendar year;
(b) by lapsing. A membership will be considered as lapsed and automatically terminated if such member's dues remain unpaid 31 days after the first day of the calendar year. In no case may a person be entitled to vote at any Club meeting or by mail whose dues are unpaid as of the date of that meeting, or mailing;
(c) by expulsion. A membership may be terminated by expulsion as provided in Article VI of these By-Laws.
ARTICLE II: Meetings
SECTION 1. Annual Meeting. The Annual Meeting of the Club shall be held on the first Monday of the National Convention of the Club held in conjunction with the Club's Specialty Show if possible, at a place, date and hour designated by the Board of Directors. Written notice of the annual meeting shall be mailed by the Recording Secretary to each member at least 30 days prior to the date of the meeting. The quorum for the annual meeting shall be 5% of the members in good standing or fifty members in good standing, whichever shall be less. If the quorum for the annual meeting is less than 10% of the active members in good standing and a motion is made at the annual meeting on which a vote is taken, the motion shall be sent to the entire active membership for a vote thereon before the action set forth in such motion shall be deemed effective.
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 at a meeting of the Board or who vote by mail, and shall be called by the Recording Secretary upon receipt of a petition signed by twenty five (25) percent of the active members of the Club who are in good standing. Such meeting shall be held at such hour and place as may be designated by the Board of Directors. Written notice of such meeting shall be mailed by the Recording Secretary at least 14 days and not more than 30 days prior to the meeting. The notice of the meeting shall state the purpose of the meeting and no other club business may be transacted. The quorum for such a meeting shall be 5% of the members in good standing or fifty members in good standing, whichever shall be less. If the quorum for the special meeting is less than 10% of the active members in good standing and a motion is made at the special meeting on which a vote is taken, the motion shall be sent to the entire active membership for a vote thereon before the action set forth in such motion shall be deemed effective.
SECTION 3. Board Meetings. The first meeting of the Board shall be held immediately following the annual meeting and election. Other meetings of the Board of Directors shall be held at such times and places as are designated by the President or by a majority vote of the entire Board. Written notice of each such meeting shall be mailed by the Recording Secretary to each member of the Board at least 14 days prior to the date of the meeting. The quorum for a Board meeting shall be a majority of the Board voting in person or by mail.
SECTION 4. The Board of Directors may conduct its business by mail, facsimile transmission, and electronic process or by telephone conference call by the President. The results of balloting by conference call shall be attested to by the Recording Secretary. In the event that the Recording Secretary is unavailable, the President shall appoint an acting secretary for the conference call.
As a condition precedent to the conduct of business through electronic process, the Board shall adopt procedures, which shall be set for in the Administrative Procedures Manual, to ensure the following with respect to the conduct of such business:
(a) That every Board member shall be enabled to participate in the electronic conduct of such business;
(b) The verification of the identity of the participants in such electronic conduct of such business to determine that the participant is a Board member eligible to participate in the electronic conduct of such business;
(c) The verification that the Board members eligible to participate in the electronic conduct of such business are receiving all data and information that is disseminated through the electronic process;
(d) That all Board members have agreed to the conduct of such business through electronic process.
ARTICLE III: Directors and Officers
SECTION 1. Board of Directors. The Board of Directors shall be comprised of the President, First Vice President, Second Vice President, Recording Secretary, Corresponding Secretary, Membership Secretary Treasurer, Delegate to AKC and six (6) other persons, all of whom shall be active members of the Doberman Pinscher Club of America in good standing for at least three (3) previous consecutive years, and U.S. residents. There shall be no limitation on the number of consecutive terms they may serve if elected by the membership. The aforementioned Officers of the Club shall be elected for two year terms at the Club's Annual Meeting as hereinafter provided in Article IV and shall serve until their successors are elected. The six (6) other Directors shall serve on a rotating class basis, three (3) Directors being elected each year for a two-year term. The general management of the Club's affairs shall be entrusted to the Board of Directors.
SECTION 2. Officers: The Club's Officers shall consist of:
B. First Vice President
C. Second Vice President
D. Recording Secretary
E. Corresponding Secretary
F. Membership Secretary
(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 these Constitution and By-Laws.
(b) The First Vice President shall have the duties and exercise the powers of the President in case of the President's death, absence, or incapacity.
(c) The Second Vice President shall be responsible for Chapter Club affairs and shall maintain a roll of the local Chapter Clubs along with their constitutions and By-Laws and membership rosters. The Second Vice President shall act as Chairman at meetings of the Chapter Club executive Committee and take minutes and maintain records of such meetings. He shall also maintain a roster of Chapter Club show dates, obedience trials and assist Chapters with show planning. Further, he shall maintain a roll of Chapter Delegates and their alternates. Such information as hereinbefore required must be supplied by the local Chapter Clubs to the Second Vice President in writing within ten days following their annual meeting and election of officers.
(d) The Recording Secretary shall make and preserve the records of all meetings of the Club and of the Board and of all votes taken by mail, phone, facsimile or electronic means, and of all matters of which a record shall be ordered by the Club. He shall record minutes of Club meetings and the annual meeting or any special meetings and shall assist in the preparation of such records as are necessary for conduct of the Club's business.
(e) The Corresponding Secretary shall have charge of the general correspondence of the Club and carry out such other duties normally ascribed to the position.
(f) The Membership Secretary shall receive applications for Active Membership and prepare a monthly list of applicants and their endorsers for action by the board. He shall notify all new Active Members of their election to active membership. He shall coordinate with the Treasurer and transmit all dues from new active members to the Treasurer promptly.
(g) The Treasurer shall collect and receive all moneys due or belonging to the Club. He shall deposit the same in a bank approved by the Board, in the name of the Club. The Treasurer's books shall at all times be open to inspection of the Board and he shall report to them at every meeting the condition of the Club's finances and every item of receipt or payment not before reported; and at the annual meeting the Treasurer shall render an account of all moneys received and expended during the previous fiscal year. The Treasurer in conjunction with the Computer Mailing List Chairman shall maintain a roll of members of the Club, along with their addresses.
(h) The AKC Delegate shall serve on the Board of Directors and have one vote thereon. The Delegate shall attend the quarterly meetings of the AKC Delegates and shall represent the Club in such votes as may come before that group. The Delegate shall hold no other position as an officer or director of the Club.
SECTION 3. One (1) or more persons may be appointed by the Board of Directors to assist the officers listed above in the performance of their duties.
SECTION 4. Vacancies. Any vacancies occurring on the Board or among the officers during the year shall be filled until the next annual election by a majority vote of all the then members of the Board, except the vacancy in the office of President shall be filled automatically by the First Vice-President, and the resulting vacancy in the office of First Vice-President, shall be filled by the Board.
SECTION 5. Exhibiting or Handling at the National Specialty. No Show Chairman shall handle dogs at any DPCA National Specialty Show
ARTICLE IV: The Club Year, Voting, Nominations, Elections
SECTION 1. Club Year. The Club's fiscal year shall begin on the 1st day of October and end on the 30th day of September. The Club's official year shall begin immediately upon the conclusion of the election at the annual meeting and shall continue through the election at the next annual meeting. The elected officers and directors shall take office immediately upon the conclusion of the election and each retiring officer shall turn over to his successor in office, all properties and records relating to that office within 30 days after the election.
SECTION 2. Voting. At the annual meeting or at a special meeting of the Club, voting shall be limited to those active members in good standing who are present at the meeting, except for election of officers, delegate and directors, and amendments to the Constitution and By-Laws, and the standard of the breed which shall be decided by secret written ballot cast by mail. Voting by proxy shall not be permitted. The Board of Directors may decide to submit other specific questions for decision of the members by written ballot cast by mail. Voting Chapter Clubs. Each Chapter Club in good standing shall be entitled to cast one vote on issues presented at annual or special meetings, or by mail. The Vote of a Chapter Club shall express the opinion of that club, certified as such by the secretary of the club who may cast the vote. In lieu of the vote being cast by its secretary, a Chapter Club may select a delegate and alternate delegate to represent the Chapter Club at meetings of the Parent Club. He may cast the vote as certified by the member club's secretary to be that club's option. He must be an active member in good standing of the DPCA and the club he represents.
SECTION 3. Annual Election. The annual election of officers, directors and delegate to the American Kennel Club shall be conducted by secret mail ballot and reported at the annual meeting. Ballots to be valid must be received by the professional service as is designated by the Board at the address given on the return envelope prior to August 18th. The person receiving the largest number of votes for each position shall be declared elected. If any nominee, at the time of the meeting, is unable to serve for any reason, such nominee shall not be elected and the vacancy so created shall be filled by the new Board of Directors in the manner provided by Article III, Section 4.
SECTION 4. Nominations and Ballots. No person may be a candidate in a club election who has not been nominated in accordance with these By-Laws.
A Nominating Committee shall be chosen by the Board of Directors before April 1st. The Committee shall consist of three (3) members and two (2) alternates, all in good standing, no more than one of whom shall be a member of the current Board of Directors. The Board shall name a chairman for the Committee. The Nominating Committee may conduct its business by mail or telephone.
(a) The Nominating Committee shall nominate from the eligible members of the Club, one candidate for each office and for each other position on the Board of Directors and a candidate for the Delegate to the American Kennel Club, and shall procure written acceptance of each nominee so chosen and biographical data of each nominee. The Nominating Committee shall consider geographical representation on the Board to the extent that it is practicable. The Committee shall on or before May 15th submit its slate of candidates to the Recording Secretary who shall mail the list to each member of the Club on or before June 1st, so that additional nominations may be made by the members if they so desire.
(b) Additional nominations of eligible members may be made by written petition addressed to the Recording Secretary and received at his regular address on or before the date July 1st, signed by ten members and accompanied by the written acceptance of each such additional nominee signifying his willingness to be a candidate. No person shall be a candidate for more than one position and the additional nominations which are provided for herein may be made only from among those members who have not accepted the nomination of the Nominating Committee.
(c) If no valid additional nominations are received by the Recording Secretary on or before July 1st, the Nominating Committee's slate shall be declared elected at the time of the Annual Meeting and no ballots shall be required.
(d) If one or more valid additional nominations are received by the Recording Secretary on or before July 1st, he shall on or before July 15th mail to each member in good standing a ballot listing all of the nominees for each position in alphabetical order, together with a blank envelope and a return envelope addressed to the designated professional service marked "Ballot" and bearing the name of the member of whom it was sent.
So that the ballots remain secret, each voter, after marking his ballot, shall seal it in the blank envelope, which in turn shall be placed in a second envelope addressed to the designated professional service. The designated professional service shall check the returns against the list of members in good standing prior to opening the outer envelopes and removing the blank envelopes, and shall certify the eligibility of the voters as well as the results of the voting which shall be announced at the annual meeting.
(e) Nominations cannot be made at the annual meeting or in any manner other than as provided above.
ARTICLE V: Committees
SECTION 1. The Board may each year appoint standing committees or persons to advance the work of the Club in such matters as dog shows, obedience trials, tracking tests, trophies, annual prizes, membership and other fields which may be well served by committees. Such committees or persons shall always be subject to the final authority of the Board. Special committees may also be appointed by the Board to aid it on particular projects.
SECTION 2. Any committee appointment may be terminated by a majority vote of the full membership of the Board upon written notice to the appointee; and the Board may appoint successors to those persons whose service has been terminated.
SECTION 3. Chapter Club Executive Committee. Each Chapter Club may select a delegate (and an alternate delegate) and the delegate when recognized by the DPCA shall become a member of the Chapter Club Executive Committee. The Chapter Club Executive Committee shall meet at regular intervals and may be called into meeting by the President or by petition of any ten members of the Chapter Club Executive Committee filed with the Second Vice President. This Committee may initiate other policy recommendations on matters governing the approval of show dates for local clubs, acceptance of new Chapter Clubs, and standards a Chapter must maintain to retain Chapter status. This Committee may initiate other policy recommendations as it may deem wise and submit such recommendations to the Board of Directors. Only Chapter Clubs shall be permitted to give DPCA awards at their Specialty Shows.
ARTICLE VI: Discipline
SECTION 1. American Kennel Club Suspension. Any member who is suspended from 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 charge against a member for alleged misconduct prejudicial to the best interest of the Club or the breed. Written charges with specifications must be filed in duplicate with the Recording Secretary together with a deposit of $500.00 which shall be forfeited in the event one or more of such charges are not sustained by the Board or Committee following a hearing. The Recording 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 interest of the Club or of the breed, 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 or a Committee of not less than three members of the Board or a committee of not less than three members appointed by the Board and consisting of at least one Board member and one member of DPCA at large, not less than 3 weeks nor more than 6 weeks thereafter. The Recording Secretary shall promptly send one copy of the charges to the accused member by certified mail, return receipt requested, or other verifiable method of delivery, together with a notice of hearing and an assurance that the defendant may personally appear in his own defense and bring witnesses if he wishes.
SECTION 3. Board Hearing. The Board or 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 be a majority vote of those present, issue written reprimands, levee fines not to exceed $1,000.00 and/or suspend the defendant from all privileges of the Club for not more than six months from the date of the hearing, or until the next annual meeting if that will occur after six 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 defendants right to appear before his fellow members at the ensuing Club meeting which considers the recommendation of the Board or Committee. Immediately after the Board or Committee has reached a decision, its findings shall be put in written form and filled with the Recording 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 the recommendation of the Board or Committee as provided in Section 3 of this Article. The Defendant shall have the privilege of appearing in his 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 own behalf. The meeting shall then vote by secret written ballot on the proposed expulsion. A 2/3 vote of those present and voting at the annual meeting shall be necessary for expulsion. If expulsion is not so voted the suspension shall stand.
ARTICLE VII: Amendments
SECTION 1. Amendments to the Constitution and By-Laws and to the Standard for the breed may be proposed by the Board of Directors or by written petition addressed to the Recording Secretary 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 Recording Secretary for a vote within three months of the date when the petition was received by the Recording Secretary.
SECTION 2. The Constitution and By-Laws and the Standard for the breed may be amended at any time provided a copy of the proposed amendment has been mailed by the Recording Secretary to each member accompanied by a ballot on which he may indicate his choice for or against the action to be taken. The notice shall specify a date not less than 30 days after the date of mailing by which date the ballots must be returned to the Recording Secretary to be counted. The favorable vote of 2/3 of the members in good standing whose ballots are returned within the time limit shall be required to affect any such amendments. The dual envelope procedures described in Article IV, Section 4d shall be followed in handling such ballots, to assure secrecy of the vote.
SECTION 3. No amendment to the Constitution and By-Laws or to the Standard for the breed that is adopted by the Club shall be effective until it has been approved by the Board of Directors of the American Kennel Club.
Notwithstanding the above, the Board of Directors shall be empowered to appoint a Coder Reviser who shall have the authority to correct any misspellings, punctuation, clerical and other grammatical errors in this Constitution and By-Laws that do not affect the substance of this Constitution and By-Laws without the necessity of submitting such corrections through the amendment process.
ARTICLE VIII: Dissolution
SECTION 1. The Club may be dissolved at any time by the written consent of not less than 2/3 of the members. In the event of the dissolution of the Club, 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 members 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.
ARTICLE IX: 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:
Minutes of the last Meeting
Report of President
Report of Secretary
Report of Treasurer
Report of Committees
Election of Officers and Board (annual meeting)
SECTION 2. At meetings of the Board, the order of business; unless otherwise directed by a majority vote of those present; shall be as follows:
Reading of Minutes of last meeting
Report of Secretary
Report of Treasurer
Report of Committees
Election of new members
SECTION 1. All meetings and parliamentary procedures shall be conducted in accordance with the latest edition of "Robert Rules of Order", unless this is in conflict with the requirements of this Constitution and By-Laws, in which case the Constitution and By-Laws shall take precedence.
SECTION 2. In the event that any performance is required by the By-Laws to occur on a weekend or legal holiday, such performance shall be deemed in compliance if it occurs on or before the next date that is not a weekend or legal holiday.