Parkville, MD asked in Criminal Law, Public Benefits and Small Claims for Maryland

Q: Can I sue president of my organization if he goes contrary to our constitution to remove members who do not support him?

We are a membership organization of about 20 members. The president who goes contrary to our constitution removed about 9 members who oppose his leadership style. We have funds that belongs to all of us and we all need to affect the use of this fund even if we exit the organization as he wants. Our constitution does not afford him the power to remove members at will.

1 Lawyer Answer
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Rockville, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: Take the organization constitution to a lawyer to review, and evaluate your legal options, as well as actions you can take under the constitution, such as calling a special meeting, holding a new election, removal of the president, etc., whatever the provisions allow. Recourse to the courts seeking an injunction or other relief may also be a remedy, albeit a more expensive one. If there are a group among the organization willing to fight the president's actions, they can band together and each contribute to a legal fund to pay a lawyer on their behalf. You do not state, but I assume the organization has some business or entity form organized under the law of some state (Maryland?), which you have not specified, and does or does not have tax exempt status. There are state statutes that govern various types of entities and how they conduct business, and federal tax laws that affect tax exempt organizations and how they operate in order to maintain their tax exempt status. The extent to which the laws apply to your specific issue cannot be guessed without a detailed review of the facts in a private consultation.

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