Constitution and By-laws
RMFRA is an organization dedicated to improving the rat fancy through careful and responsible breeding according to
RMFRA standards, encouraging proper care and ownership, educating the public about the merits of rats as companion
animals, and sharing ideas with others in order to broaden the collective knowledge of all fanciers.
Article I The Club
Section 1. The name of the Club shall be: Rocky Mountain Fancy Rat Association, Also refereed to as RMFRA
Section 2. The objectives of RMFRA shall be:
(a). Encouraging responsible ownership and breeding
(c). Promoting the rat fancy with publicity and ethical example
Section 3. This club shall not be operated for profit. No part of any profits or residues from dues or donation to the
Club shall inure to the benefit of any one member.
Section 4. Bylaws shall be adopted and may be revised by the members as required to carry out these objectives
Article II MEMBERSHIP
Section 1. Eligibility
Membership shall be open to all persons whose applications have been approved and subscribe to the purpose of
RMFRA. There shall be two types of membership:
Any person who has reached the age of 18 shall be a regular member with full privileges from the date of
Single: Open to all persons eighteen years of age or older who hold regular voting privileges.
Household: Household membership shall be defined as two to four persons residing at the same residence. There is a maximum of two adult persons . Each
household member shall have individual voting rights.
Open to persons 0-18 years of age. Junior members cannot vote or hold office. A junior member may convert to
regular membership upon reaching his/her 18th birthday.
Section 2. Dues
Dues are payable on or before the 1st day of September each year. During the month of August, the Treasurer shall send to each member a statement of his/her dues for the ensuing year. Membership of applicants elected after July 1st shall be extended through the following year. Membership dues shall be set annually by an affirmative vote of 2/3 of the
Board. An affirmative vote of 2/3 of the board shall be required to change the dues amount. Notification of unpaid
dues as of September 1st shall be sent by the Treasurer by September 15. No member may vote whose dues are not paid for the current fiscal year.
Section 3. Application for Membership
Each applicant for membership shall apply with a form approved by the Board Of Directors and which shall provide that the applicant agrees to abide by these constitution, by laws, code of ethics and the rules of the RMFRA. The application shall state the name and address of the applicant and it shall carry the endorsement of one member in good standing with RMFRA.
Accompanying the application the prospective member shall submit dues payment for the current year. All applications
are to be filed with the Secretary and each application is to be reviewed and voted upon by secret ballot at the
first club meeting following its receipt. Approval requires affirmative votes by 3/4 of the members present. Applicants
for membership who have been rejected by RMFRA may reapply no sooner than one year after the date of denial.
Section 4. Membership Termination.
(a). By resignation. Any member in good standing may resign from RMFRA upon written notice to the Secretary; but no member may resign when in debt to RMFRA. Dues obligations are considered a debt to the Club, and they become incurred on the first day of each fiscal year, September 1.
(b). By lapsing. A membership will be considered as lapsed and automatically terminated if such members dues
remain unpaid 30 days (grace period) after the first day of the fiscal year, September 1st. For up to 90 days after the 30-day grace period, an individual can apply for reinstatement of membership status on a form approved by the Board
(c). By expulsion. A membership may be terminated by expulsion as provided in Article VI of these bylaws
Article III MEETINGS
Section 1. Club meetings
RMFRA meetings are held by-monthly (unless otherwise determined by the Board of directors or club vote). The body responsible for calling club and board meetings is the Board of Directors.
Written notice shall be E-mailed by the Secretary at least 10 days prior to the date of the meeting.
The quorum for such meetings shall be 2/3 of the current officers, board/BOD. All general members in good standing
who attend the meetings shall have voting privileges.
Section 2. Board meetings
Meetings of the BOD may be held immediately prior to the regular by-monthly meeting. Written notice of such meetings
shall be emailed by the Secretary at least 5 days prior to the date of the meeting. The quorum for
such a meeting shall be the majority of the board.
Section 3. Voting
Each member in good standing whose dues are paid for the current year shall be entitled to one vote at any RMFRA
meeting at which that member is present. Proxy voting will not be permitted at any RMFRA meeting or election.
Article IV DIRECTORS AND OFFICERS
Section 1. Board of Directors.
The Board shall be comprised of the CO-Presidents, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and three other members, all of whom shall be members in good standing with residency in the United States. The officers and directors shall be elected for a one-year term. They shall be elected to these terms as provided in Article IV and shall serve through august 31, of the year their terms expire. General management of RMFRA's affairs shall be entrusted to the Board of Directors. Any Board member may be removed from office if absent without notice for three consecutive meetings.
Section 2. Delegates. RMFRA shall have a Delegate to a larger Rat organization. Such Delegate shall be elected by
the majority vote of the Board of Directors
Section 3. Officers.
RMFRA's officers, consisting of the CO-Presidents, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer shall serve in their respective capacities both with regard to RMFRA and its meetings and the Board and its meetings.
a) one or both Presidents shall preside at all meetings of RMFRA and of the Board and shall have the duties and powers normally pertinent to the office of the President in addition to those particularly specified in these bylaws.
(b) The Vice President shall have the duties and exercise the powers of the President in case of the President's death,
absence, or incapacity.
(c) The Secretary shall notify officers and directors of their election to office and shall record and publish
minutes, keep a roll of the members of RMFRA with their addresses, track all votes taken by mail, and of all matters of
which a record shall be ordered by RMFRA, and carry out other such duties as are prescribed in these bylaws.
d) The Secretary shall also have charge of the correspondence, notify members of meetings, notify the
Board of meetings, and carry out other such duties as are prescribed in these bylaws. there may be CO-Secretatries if needed.
(e) The Treasurer shall collect and receive all monies due or belonging to RMFRA. He/she shall deposit the same in a
bank approved by the Board, in the name of RMFRA. His/her books shall at all times be open to the inspection of the
Board and he/she shall report to them at every meeting the condition of RMFRA's finances and every item of receipt or
payment not before reported.
(f) The Delegate of RMFRA shall travel to the city of a larger rat organization to attend meetings as the authorized representative of RMFRA and report to RMFRA. A Delegate need not be a member of the Board of Directors, and if he/she is not a member of the Board of Directors, he/she shall be invited to attend meetings of the Board without vote. The Delegate shall hold office for a term of one year and until his/her successor shall have been duly elected and qualified
Section 3. Vacancies.
Any vacancies occurring within the Board or among the offices during the year shall be filled until the next annual
election by a majority vote of all the current members of the Board; except that a vacancy in the office of President
shall be filled automatically by the Vice President, and the resulting vacancy in the office of Vice President shall be
filled by the Board.
Article V RMFRA YEAR, VOTING, NOMINATIONS, ELECTIONS
Section 1. Annual Election.
The election of Officers and Directors shall be conducted by secret ballot. Ballots to be valid must be received by the Secretary by June 2nd. Ballots shall be counted by three (3) inspectors of election who are members
in good standing and who are neither members of the current Board nor candidates on the ballot provided. The
person receiving the largest number of votes for each position shall be declared elected. If any nominee, at the time
the ballots are counted, is unable to serve for any reason, such nominee shall not be elected and the vacancy so
created shall be filled by the new Board of Directors.
Section 2. Nominations and Ballots.
No person may be a candidate in a RMFRA election who has not been nominated in accordance with these bylaws
(a) During the month of April, the board shall select a nominating committee.
(b) The nominating committee shall present all nominees for offices by June 1.
Article VI COMMITTEES
Section 1. The Board may each year appoint standing committees, subject to their final authorization to advance the
work of RMFRA in such matters as newsletter, shows, ribbons, informational seminars, membership, and other fields
which may well be served by committees.
Section 2. Any committee appointment may be terminated by a majority vote of the full membership of the Board upon
written notice to the appointee, and the Board may appoint successors to those persons whose service has been
Article VII SHOWS
Section 1. Guidelines
All sanctioned shows held by RMFRA will adhere to RMFRA standards and show guidelines.
Section 2. Quarantine
RMFRA follows all quarantine guidelines set forth with the addition of extending the quarantine by 7
days, raising quarantine time to 29 days. Quarantine is to be implemented prior to every RMFRA rat show,
or pet/fun matches. The practice of proper quarantine procedure is regarded as highly important
by RMFRA. There will be no tolerance for RMFRA members, or those attending RMFRA events, who do not comply with the quarantine guidelines. All efforts will be made to see that procedures are followed and carried out correctly by anyone
attending an RMFRA-sanctioned show or RMFRA fun match. Failure to practice proper quarantine procedures can result in suspension or expulsion from RMFRA or, if not a member, banishment from exhibiting at future RMFRA shows and
Article VIII DISCIPLINE
Section 1. Charges.
Any member may cite charges against a member for alleged misconduct prejudicial to the best interests of RMFRA or the
species. Written charges with specifications must be filed in duplicate with the Secretary. The Secretary shall promptly send a copy of the charges to each member of the Board or present them at a Board Meeting; and the Board shall first consider whether the actions alleged in the charges, if proven, might constitute conduct detrimental to the best interests of RMFRA or the species. If the Board considers that the charges do not allege conduct, which would be prejudicial to the best interests of RMFRA or rats, it may refuse to entertain jurisdiction. If the Board entertains jurisdiction of the charges, it shall first attempt to resolve the grievance prior to a formal hearing by appointing an arbitrator who will seek to resolve the grievance to the mutual satisfaction of the parties involved. If that fails within ten days from the date that the Board entertained jurisdiction of the charges, the Board shall fix a date of hearing by the Board or a Committee of not less than three (3) members of the Board, not less than three (3) weeks or more than six (6)) weeks after. The Secretary shall promptly send one copy of the charges to the accused member by certified mail, return receipt, together with a notice of the hearing and an assurance that the defendant may personally appear in his/her defense and bring witnesses if he/she wishes.
Section 3. Board Hearing.
Should the charges be sustained after hearing all the evidence and testimony presented by complainant and
defendant, the Board or Committee may by a majority vote of those present suspend the defendant from all privileges
of RMFRA for not more than six (6) 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 his/her fellow members at the ensuing club meeting which considers the
recommendation of the Board or Committee. Immediately after the Board or Committee has reached a decision, its
findings shall be put in written form and filed with the Secretary. The Secretary in turn shall notify each of the parties of the decision and penalty, if any.
Section 4. Expulsion of a member from RMFRA may be accomplished only at an official meeting of the entire Board
following a hearing and upon the recommendation of the Board or Committee as provided in Section 3 in this Article.
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 findings and recommendations and shall invite the defendant, if
present, to speak in his/her own behalf. The meeting shall then vote by secret ballot (written) on the proposed
expulsion. A 2/3 vote of those present and voting shall be necessary for expulsion. If expulsion is not so voted, the
suspension shall stand.
Article IX AMENDMENTS
Section 1. Amendments to the constitution and bylaws may be proposed by the Board of Directors or by written petition
addressed to the Secretary signed by 1/4 of the membership in good standing. Amendments proposed by
such petition shall be promptly considered by the Board of Directors and must be submitted to the members with
recommendations of the Board by the Secretary for a vote within three (3) months of the date that the
petition was received by the Secretary.
Section 2. The constitution and bylaws may be amended at any time provided a copy of the proposed amendment has
been mailed by the Secretary to each member accompanied by a ballot on which he/she may indicate
his/her choice for or against the action to be taken. The notice shall specify a date not less than 30 days after the date
of mailing by which date the ballots must be returned to the Secretary to be counted. The favorable vote of
2/3 of the members in good standing whose ballots are returned within the time limit shall be required to effect any
Article X DISSOLUTION
Section 1. RMFRA may be dissolved at any time by the written consent of not less than 2/3 of the members. In the event
of the dissolution of RMFRA, other than for purposes of reorganization, none of the financial assets of the club shall be
distributed to any members of RMFRA, but after payment of the debts of RMFRA its financial assets shall be given to a
charitable organization for the benefit of rats ( Or other animals) selected by the Board of Directors.