Re: Bylaws, the law, and Sociocracy
From: R Philip Dowds (
Date: Mon, 10 Mar 2014 04:40:20 -0700 (PDT)
In Massachusetts, Cornerstone is recognized as a residential condominium.  
State enabling legislation requires us to elect a Managing Board, and the MB is 
broadly charged with the duty and power of decisions and actions related to 
property management and community business.  Additionally, both MB and the 
association that elects it have broad discretion in the details of how we 
choose to manage ourselves -- and how duty and power are divided among the 
association plenary, the Board, and various other sub-groups.

Net result is that there is no legal obstacle to delegation, circles, circle 
elections, aims, double links, consent, provisional decisions, evaluations, and 
other features of Sociocracy.  Except, of course, that the inalienable rights 
of property owners and mortgage lenders cannot be superseded by any sort of 
community decision process.  In practice, this has not been an issue at our 

Philip Dowds

> On Mar 9, 2014, at 11:26 AM, marcia.carlson [at] wrote:
> At Columbia Ecovillage we are in the process of transitioning to
> sociocratic governance and want all residents, whether owners or renters,
> to be able to participate as fully as possible.  We are now trying to cross
> our "t's" and dot our "i's" regarding Oregon statute law and our By-laws.
> If your community is using sociocracy or dynamic governance, we would
> appreciate hearing about any legal issues that may have come up when you
> implemented sociocracy, and how that may have affected the structure you
> chose.  For instance, was there concern about the legal status of top
> circle decisions, or were any By-laws changes needed?
> Marcia
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