Re: Bylaws, the law, and Sociocracy
From: Fred-List manager (
Date: Sat, 19 Apr 2014 04:32:30 -0700 (PDT)
Sharon Villines <sharon [at]>
is the author of the message below.  It was posted by
Fred, the Cohousing-L list manager <fholson [at]>
The attachment is saved at:
--------------------  FORWARDED MESSAGE FOLLOWS --------------------

On Mar 9, 2014, at 11:26 AM, marcia.carlson [at] wrote:

> 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?

Your state statutes will probably require that the board be
responsible for certain responsibilities and that majority vote be
used to make decisions. BUT consent is just a higher majority vote
threshold. Our lawyer said the Board can delegate decisions to other
groups, to circles, but it is still legally responsible to all the
owners to ensure that those decisions get made and implemented within
the policies of the condominium, and that the owners' investments in
the property are protected.

Just using the word "Board" instead of Top Circle will probably make
everyone happier every day. Whenever I call about information related
to our facilities, the person asks if I am on the Board because in
their experience only Board members are in charge of approving
expenditures. Explaining Top Circles can get tiresome when you are
just trying to get someone to give you a bid for cork floors.

I attached the bylaws for a non-profit organization to see some
language that might be useful to you. (The crossed out words are
amendments. I don't seem to have a clean copy of the original.

Sharon Villines
Elegance in Organization

Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.