Robert's Rules
on Parliamentary

According to

California State
Association of


Survival Tips on
Robert's Rules of Order

Origins of a Motion

  1. Item on the agenda:
    1. The chair introduces the item briefly
    2. A member moves a motion (seconded)
    3. Debate/Vote.

  2. Item not on the agenda (bylaws allow ‘New Business’):
    1. A member moves a motion (seconded) during ‘New Business’, or
    2. Outside of ‘New Business’, a member moves an unrelated motion (seconded) with the body’s consent.
    3. Debate/Vote.

  3. Committee is charged with returning a recommendation:
    1. Committee Chair presents a report
    2. Committee Chair states the committee’s recommendations
      [Resolutions committees are not charged with moving a motion. They are asked for a recommendation. A member must then move a motion.]
    3. Any member moves the recommendation as a motion (no second required), or
    4. Any member moves a slightly different motion (second required), or
    5. Any member moves a completely different motion (second required)
    6. Debate/Vote.

  4. Committee is charged with returning a motion (or has the power to do so):
    1. Committee Chair presents a report
    2. Committee Chair moves the committee’s motion (no second required)
      [A chair may read this expected resolution in the form of a motion. It could be handled as an assumed motion. Or, debate would follow without a second required. It is wiser to allow the committee to make its own motion.]
    3. Debate/Vote.

  5. Chair assumes a routine motion:
    1. Chair states, “If there is no objection, a motion to … will be adopted.”
    2. If there is no objection, the motion is properly adopted without a second, or debate, or voting.
    3. If there is an objection, the chair handles the motion according to Robert’s Rules’ 6 formal steps.
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