Minnesota Heartland English Springer Spaniel Club

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Constitution & Bylaws

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  Established January 1991, most recently amended 2012


  Article I - Name and Purpose

Section 1.   The name of this club shall be “The Minnesota Heartland English Springer Spaniel Club”.

Section 2. The purpose of this club shall be:  

    • a) To encourage the breeding of purebred English Springer Spaniels
    • b) To develop and bring out their natural high qualities and to do all in its power to protect and advance the interests of the breed
    • c) To hold field trials, hunting tests and related field activities under the sanction, 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 incur 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 bylaws as may be required to carry out these purposes.


  Article I - Membership   

Section 1. Membership shall be open to all persons interested in the English Springer Spaniel breed and the fundamental principles, purposes and code of ethics of the Club.  Every person applying for membership must be in good standing with the American Kennel Club.  A candidate for membership must be sponsored by two MHESSC members in good standing.  The candidate shall become a member upon approval of two thirds (2/3) affirmative vote of the members present at the next meeting.  The candidate must also pay the Membership Chairperson or Treasurer the current dues. 

Section 2.  The club shall offer individual and family memberships. Family memberships shall consist of one (1) or two (2) adults and any children under 18 years of age. A current individual membership shall have one (1) vote and a family membership shall have two (2) votes.

Section 3. Annual dues shall be payable on or before the first day of January of each year.  The annual dues shall be in the amount as determined by a majority of the club members present at a regular meeting. New members joining after the first day of September of any year shall be paid up for the following year.  No member may vote whose dues are not paid for the current year.

Section 4. Additional fees shall be assessed to club members participating in special benefits or privileges arranged by the club to offset incurred costs. 

Section 5. Notice that annual dues are payable shall be mailed or emailed during the month of November by the Secretary to current members. Members that fail to pay their dues by February 28th shall cease to be a member of the club.

Section 6. Membership in the club can be terminated by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of members present at a duly authorized meeting per Article VI, Section 4. A current member can be expelled for conduct on their part which, in the opinion of the club, endangers the welfare or character of the club.

Section 7. Any member in good standing may resign from the club upon written notice to the Secretary.

Article II - Executive Committee

Section 1. The government and management of the club shall be vested in an Executive Committee. They shall consist of the club officers and committee chairs.  Four (4) members of the Executive Committee present shall constitute a quorum.

Section 2. The Executive Committee shall, from time to time, make regulations in accordance with the power herein given or on matters not herein provided.

Section 3. The Executive Committee shall prepare annually a detailed statement of the financial condition of the club, showing its receipts and expenditures for the current year, the number of current members and other matters of interest to the club.

Section 4. Any vacancy in the Executive committee shall be filled by the Executive committee requiring a majority vote of those present at any meeting. Such appointees shall hold office until the annual meeting of the club.

Section 5. The Executive Committee shall hold meetings at the discretion of the President or at the written request of any other member of the Executive committee.

Article III - Officers and Chairpersons

Section 1. The officers of this club shall be a President, a Vice-President, a Secretary, a Treasurer and a Membership Chairman. Committee chairs for the club shall be Spring Licensed Field Trial, Fall Licensed Field Trial, Licensed Hunting Test, and Fun Trial events. The individuals shall be elected annually by a majority vote of those present at the annual meeting of the club.

Section 2. The President or their designated representative shall be the official representative of the club.

Section 3. The President, or in their absence, the Vice-President, shall preside at all meetings of the club and Executive Committee.

Section 4. The Secretary shall keep a complete record of all meetings for the Club and Executive Committee and of all matters of which a record shall be ordered by the club.  The Secretary shall provide a copy of the minutes from each meeting to the members of the Executive committee. The secretary shall have charge of the club’s correspondence and shall insure that all current members are given notice of all club meetings. The secretary shall obtain current membership lists from the Membership Chair.

Section 5. The Treasurer shall collect and receive all monies due or belonging to the club and receipt therefore.  The treasurer shall deposit same in such a bank as shall be approved by the Executive Committee in the name of the Club.  The Treasurer’s books shall at all times be open to the inspection of the Executive committee. The Treasurer shall prepare a written financial report of the annual business meeting describing the condition of the finances of the club.

Section 6. The Spring and/or Fall Licensed Field Trial or Hunting Test Chairpersons shall organize a Field Trial or Hunting Test Committee to assist with the details of a licensed field trial or hunting test. The Field Trial or Hunting Test Chairperson shall make or delegate all arrangements for such a trial or hunting test, subject to the approval of the Executive Committee.  The chairperson shall make an itemized report of receipts and disbursements for each such occasion to the Treasurer.

Section 7. The Fun Trial Chairperson shall organize a committee at each event to assist with the details.  The Fun Trial Chairperson shall make or delegate all arrangements for such events subject to the approval of the Executive Committee. The chairperson shall make an itemized report of receipts and disbursements for each such occasion to the Treasurer.

Section 8. The Membership Chair shall keep the official record of club members and their contact information.  They will work with the Treasurer to collect club dues, and will provide current membership lists to the Secretary to facilitate communication with club members.

Section 9. Officers of the Minnesota Heartland English Springer Spaniel club cannot hold an office in another club conducting English Springer Spaniel field trials in the state of Minnesota. 

(NOTE: Other clubs currently conducting ESS field trials in Minnesota include the Minnesota ESSC, the Northern Minnesota ESSC, and the St. Croix Valley Spaniel Club.)

Section 10. Any member of the Executive Committee can be removed from office for violation of duty by a two thirds (2/3) vote of members present at a duly authorized meeting. 

Section 11.  All resignations of officers or chairpersons must be in writing addressed to the Secretary.

Article IV - Club Year, Annual Meeting, Elections

Section 1. The club’s fiscal year shall begin on the 1st day of January and end on the 31st day of December. The club’s official year shall begin immediately at the conclusion of the election at the annual meeting and shall continue through the election at the next annual meeting.

Section 2. The annual meeting shall be held in the month of January or February at which Officers and committee Chairs for the ensuing year shall be elected. They shall take office immediately upon the conclusion of the election and each retiring officer shall turn over to her/his successor in office all properties and records relating to that office within 30 days after the election.

Section 3. The nominated candidate receiving the greatest number of votes for each office shall be declared elected.  

Section 4, No person may be a candidate in a club election who has not been nominated.  During the month of November, the Executive Committee shall select a Nominating Committee consisting of three members, not more than one of whom may be a member of the Executive committee.

o    a) Nominations for Officers and Chairs shall be open to all members.

o    b) The Committee shall nominate at least one candidate for each office or committee, and after securing the consent of each person so nominated, shall immediately report their nominations to the Secretary.

o    c) Additional nominations may be made at the annual meeting by any member in attendance, provided that the person so nominated does not decline when their name is proposed. 

Article V - Meetings

Section 1. All meetings of the Club and Executive Committee shall be held within the southern one third (1/3) of the state of Minnesota at such hour and place as may be designated by the Executive committee. Written notice of each such meeting shall be mailed or emailed by the Secretary at least 10 (ten) days prior to the date of the meeting. The quorum for Club meetings shall be 20% (twenty percent) of the paid memberships in good standing.

Section 2. At meetings of the club the order of business shall be as follows:  

  1. Call to order
  2. Approval of Agenda
  3. Reading of Secretary’s report and minutes
  4. Reading of Treasurer’s report
  5. Old business
  6. New business
  7. Adjournment

Section 3. All special committees shall be appointed by the presiding officer unless otherwise ordered in the motion.

Section 4. A special meeting of the club shall be called by the President upon written request of five (5) current members of the club.  The President shall select the date and time within 30 days of receipt of written notice and notify the Secretary. 

Section 5. The rules contained in the current edition of Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern all meetings of the Minnesota Heartland English Springer Spaniel Club in all cases to which they are applicable, and in which they are not inconsistent with these bylaws and any special rules of order that the MHESSC may adopt.

Article VI - Discipline

Section1. 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 charges against a member for alleged misconduct prejudicial to the best interests of the Club or the breed. Written charges with specifications must be filed in duplicate with the Secretary together with a deposit of $50 (fifty dollars) which shall be forfeited if such charges are not sustained by the Executive Committee following a hearing. The Secretary shall promptly send a copy of the charges to each member of the Executive Committee or present them at an Executive Committee meeting, and the Executive Committee 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 Executive Committee considers that the charges do not allege conduct which would be prejudicial to the best interests of the club it may refuse to entertain jurisdiction.  If the Executive committee entertains jurisdiction of the charges it shall fix a date of a hearing by the Executive Committee not less than 3 weeks or more than 6 weeks thereafter. The Secretary shall promptly send one copy of the charges to the accused member by registered mail together with a notice of the hearing and an assurance that the defendant may personally appear in his/her own defense and bring witnesses if he/she wishes.

Section 3. Executive Committee Hearing. The Executive 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 Executive committee may, by a majority vote of those present, suspend the defendant from all privileges of the Club for not more than six 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 her/his fellow-members at the ensuing Club meeting which considers the Executive committee’s recommendation.  Immediately after the Executive Committee has reached a decision, its finding shall be put in written form and filed with the Secretary. The Secretary, in turn, shall notify each of the parties of the Executive Committee’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 an Executive Committee hearing and upon the Executive Committee’s recommendation as provided in Section 3 of this Article.  Such proceeding 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 Executive Committee’s recommendation of expulsion. The defendant shall have the privilege of appearing in his/her own behalf, though no evidence shall be taken at this meeting. The President shall read the charges and the Executive Committee’s findings and recommendations, and shall invite the defendant, if present, to speak in her/his own behalf if she/he wishes.  The members shall then vote by secret written ballot on the proposed expulsion. A 2/3 (two thirds) vote of those present and voting at the meeting shall be necessary for expulsion.  If expulsion is not so voted, the Executive Committee’s suspension shall stand.


Article VII - Amendments

Section 1. Amendments to the constitution and bylaws may be proposed by the Executive Committee or by written petition addressed to the Secretary signed by twenty (20) percent of the membership in good standing.  Amendments proposed by such petition shall be promptly considered by the Executive Committee and must be submitted to the members with the recommendations of the Executive Committee 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 bylaws may be amended by a two thirds (2/3) 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 mailed or emailed to each member at least two weeks prior to the date of the meeting.

Article VIII - Dissolution

Section 1. The Club may be dissolved at any time with the written consent of not less than three fourths (3/4) of all current members, after payment of all debts and liabilities. The club’s properties and assets shall be donated as directed by the Executive Committee or as ordered in a motion.

Appendices – Policies

·        FC and AFC plaque policy

·        Bird source policy

·        Website policy

·        Others?

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