CONSTITUTION AND BY LAWS
CONSTITUTION of The American Racing
Pigeon Union, Inc.
Adopted January 1995, last
revised September 2017
I - OBJECT
The American Racing Pigeon Union, Inc.
(hereinafter referred to as the "Union") exists to
promote, protect, and enhance the sport of racing homing
pigeons, to cooperate with other organizations, which directly
or indirectly accomplish those goals, and to provide services
and benefits to its members.
II - EXISTENCE
The Union is a not-for-profit
corporation organized and existing under the laws of the State
of Oklahoma. The State of Incorporation of the Union may be
changed from time to time if the Board of Directors of the Union
deems it advisable to do so.
III - BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The Board of Directors of the Union
consists of all elected officers and directors, and that Board
is authorized to conduct all business of the Union, in
accordance with this Constitution and its Bylaws. No individual
director or officer is authorized to act for the Union or bind
it to legal obligations unless authorized to do so by this
Constitution, the Union Bylaws, by vote of the Board of
Directors, or in accordance with policies duly adopted by the
Board of Directors. The Board of Directors may establish such
committees or appoint such persons designated to perform certain
functions on behalf of the Union, as it deems necessary in order
to carry out the business of the Union.
IV - MEMBERSHIP
The Union shall have members in one or
more classes of membership with such rights, duties, and the
Bylaws or the Board of Directors shall determine powers as.
Members shall have the right to receive notice as may be
provided by the Union Bylaws of actions by the Board of
Directors, to receive first priority as to any services rendered
by the Union. To associate with or organize into other
organizations, including but not limited to auxiliaries, clubs,
centers, combines, concourses, and associations which may be
affiliated with the Union, and the right to recall any officer
or director in accordance with the Union Bylaws. There shall be
at least one class of general membership, the members of which
shall have the right and power to elect officers and directors.
A member may condition the right of membership in the Union upon
payment of dues. Eligibility for membership as determined by the
Union, acceptable conduct on the part of any Union member;
agreement of any member to abide by and adhere to all rules,
regulations, policies of the Union; and the agreement of any
member to be bound by any determination or ruling of the Union.
No Union affiliated organization may set or
establish conditions for membership in
that organization which are inconsistent with, or exceed, those
required for membership in the Union or which conflict with the
Bylaws of the Union.
V - RESERVATION OF POWERS
Any auxiliary, club, center, combine,
concourse, association, or other organization affiliated with
the Union (hereinafter referred to as "affiliated
organization") reserves all rights and powers to operate
and to conduct its own activities. Affiliated organizations may
adopt and enforce their own constitutions and bylaws. As a
necessary condition of securing and holding a charter from the
AU, an affiliated organization must be operated in accordance
with basic principles of democracy. Organizational documents
must provide that most votes, whether by an organization’s
board or by its membership, shall require a majority to pass. In
certain cases where it is common to have a super majority
requirement, super majority vote may be allowed, but in no case
can the super majority requirement be greater than 2/3.
Organizations that have decision making requirements in excess
of 2/3 shall be notified of their non-compliance and given up to
3 months to amend their procedures to come in compliance with
this provision. If the organization fails to dos, the AU Board
may vote to revoke the organization’s charter with the AU.
VI - ELECTION OF DIRECTORS AND OFFICERS
The members of the Union in any class
of membership entitled to vote shall, in accordance with the
Union Bylaws, elect the directors and officers of the Union. The
Union shall make reasonable efforts to assure that voting
members of the Union have reasonably proportionate
representation and gross disparities between the numbers of
persons represented by directors shall not be allowed. The
directors of the Union shall be selected within geographic
regions or areas and the Board of Directors may modify or amend
those regions or areas as needed to maintain substantially
VII - AMENDMENT OF CONSTITUTION
The members of the Union may require a
referendum vote on any proposed amendment hereto by the filing
with the Union Executive Director of a petition, stating the
proposed amendment and signed by not less than five percent
(5.0%) of the current Union members in good standing and with
Written notice to the membership of the
Union of any proposed amendment, whether initiated by the Board
of Directors or by petition of the membership; and of the
results of such election, once completed, shall be provided not
later than sixty (60) days prior to, and after, respectively,
the date of the vote on the amendment, by direct written notice
to all current members, delivered to the last known address or
by publication in the Union Publication. An election to amend
this Constitution shall result in the adoption of the proposed
amendment if not less than 2/3 of those members who cast votes
favor of the amendment. Any amendment
to this Constitution is effective on the 31st day following
either the date the Board of Directors votes to amend, if it has
such power, or the date when the Board canvasses the election
results of a membership referendum vote and accepts that
election as official.
VIII - MERGER OR DISSOLUTION
No merger of the Union with any other
organization or any dissolution of the Union shall be valid
unless a referendum vote of the members of the Union entitled to
vote thereon approves such action by a two-thirds vote with not
less than fifty percent of the current membership casting a
ballot. In the event of a proposed merger of the Union the terms
of the merger shall be set out with reasonable particularity in
the referendum ballot. In the event of dissolution of the Union
the Board of Directors shall distribute pro rata the assets of
the Union to the members of any general membership class, after
either satisfying or making arrangements to satisfy any debts or
legal obligations of the Union.
BY-LAWS of The American Racing Pigeon
1.00 - MEMBERSHIP
1.01 Membership in Classes. Each member
of the Union shall be designated as a member of one of the
classes of membership of the Union.
1.02 No Discrimination in Membership
Except for Conduct. No one shall be denied membership, the right
to hold any office or position, or any benefit otherwise
afforded to Union members on the basis of sex, race, color,
national origin, or religion.
1.03 Membership Rejection. The Union
may reject the membership application of, and refuse to accept,
any person as a member by a majority vote of the Board of
Directors of the Union. The Board of Directors may consider, as
a basis for its action, any or all of the following: a record of
criminal conviction(s) which is such that to allow membership
would tend to bring the Union into disrepute; a conviction for a
crime of moral turpitude; a pattern of conduct in the past while
previously a member of the Union by the applicant which in the
opinion of the Board caused harm to the Union, its members, or
an affiliated organization(s); the expulsion or suspension of
the applicant from membership in another organization in the
pigeon sport; or, a pattern of conduct in the past while the
applicant was a member of another membership organization which
conduct, if repeated as a member of the Union, would in
reasonable probability bring harm to the Union.
1.04 Members Bound by Union Rules. All
Union members agree to be bound to all rules, policies, or
procedures of the Union as a condition to membership, and to
abide by any decision or determination of the Union.
1.05 Termination of Membership. The
Union may terminate the membership of any member by action taken
in accordance with the Union Rules of Conduct, or for non-
payment of dues. A member whose
membership is terminated ceases to be eligible for membership in
any Union affiliated organization. (revised 7-97)
1.06 Membership of Affiliated
Organizations. Union affiliated organizations may only deny
membership to an applicant for reasons provided in the Union
Constitution, by limitations adopted in accordance with Section
V of the Union Constitution, or for conduct described in Section
1.03 of these Bylaws. No affiliated organization may terminate
the membership of a member without notice, fair hearing, and
proof of conduct, which would also constitute a basis for
termination of Union membership.
A. Member leaving club. When a member
leaves a functioning AU club, for any reason, all physical or
financial assets shall remain with the club, unless specified in
a written agreement made, dated and signed, between the member(s)
leaving and the remaining club membership. (added 11-6-06)
2.00 - CLASSES OF MEMBERSHIP
2.01 Class Members. "Class A
members" are those who belong to clubs affiliated with the
Union through a Center.
2.02 Class B Members. "Class B
members" are those who belong to a club which is not
affiliated with a Center.
2.03 Class C Members. "Class C
members" are those who have not reached their 18th birthday
by the deadline for receipt of Union dues.
2.04 Class D Members. "Class D
members" are those who are not affiliated with either a
club or center.
2.05 Class E Members. "Class E
members" are those who reside outside the North American
continent, except for Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the Caribbean.
Added July 2012
2.06 Life Memberships. The Union may
establish Life Memberships in the Union, and set conditions for
awarding of such memberships, including a one-time payment of
dues, as it deems proper. The Union shall adopt a policy
regarding refunds, if any, of dues paid by Life Members, but no
refund of any Life membership shall be made to a member who is
expelled for cause.
2.07 Honorary Memberships. The Union
may establish honorary memberships in recognition of the
services to the racing pigeon sport by deserving individuals.
(a) The Executive Director shall keep a
roster of those persons to whom such membership(s) are awarded,
and a summary of their accomplishments meriting the award, which
may be published annually in the Union Publication.
2.08 Class F memberships. "Class F
members are families, who would qualify for any of the above
classes but have more then one member of the family that is
active in the sport. The family classification is limited to
immediate family members, living in the same physical address
and includes one adult, spouse, and any number of participating
dependant children under the age of 18. Voting is limited to one
vote per membership.
2.09 Limited memberships. The Union may
establish a non-voting, non-competitive membership for
individuals that want to support the Union and its programs.
Class "S" (Sponsor)
membership may include individuals not directly associated with
the pigeon sport but have an interest in supporting the Union’s
programs. This may include families and relatives of members,
seniors, and teachers, or other members of the public at large.
Class "P" (Patron) membership
is "Limited" to include anyone that have pigeons, both
flying and non-flying breeds, or other exotic birds, but do not
compete in an AU club or for AU awards. Class P members receive
the ID card, Yearbook, subscription to the AU UPDATE newsletter
and may benefit from Union programs, including zoning
assistance. These members do not receive ballots in AU
2.10 Dues. The Union shall establish
and maintain a written dues payment policy and schedule of dues
for each class of members, and the establishment, collection and
payment of membership dues shall be governed by that policy.
(See AU210) All AU members paying full AU dues shall have full
rights and privileges including the right to vote, unless
specified as in 2.08 or 2.09. (Rev. 10-18-05)
3.00 - OFFICERS
3.01 President. The Union shall have a
President, who shall be the Chief Executive Officer of the
Union. The President shall vote on any motion before the Board
of Directors only if a tie vote requires him to do so. The
President shall be elected and take office during 1994 and at
the expiration of each term of office thereafter. The term of
office shall be as provided in these Bylaws for officers of the
3.02 Executive vice-president. The
Union shall have an Executive Vice-President, who shall carry
out those responsibilities and duties assigned by the Board of
Directors. The Executive Vice-President shall be elected and
take office during 1994 and at the expiration of each term of
office thereafter. The term of office shall be as provided in
these Bylaws for officers of the Union. The Executive Vice
President will also serve as the chairman of the Finance
Committee (Rev. 10-06)
3.03 Vice-President. The Union shall
have a Vice-President, who shall carry out those
responsibilities and duties assigned by the Board of Directors.
The Vice-President shall be elected and take office during 1994
and at the expiration of each term of office thereafter. The
term of office shall be as provided in these Bylaws for officers
of the Union.
3.04 Executive Director. The Union
shall have an Executive Director, who shall carry out those
responsibilities and duties assigned by the Board of Directors.
In addition, they shall be responsible to see that accurate and
complete minutes of all meetings of the Board of Directors is
maintained and make them available for publication in accordance
with the policies of the Union. They will be responsible to
collect and prepare a meeting agenda for each meeting of the
Board of Directors in accordance with these Bylaws, policies and
procedures of the Union; maintaining a full and accurate written
record of all the actions of the Board of Directors, and a true
and correct copy of all policies and procedures adopted by the
Board of Directors. They will record in writing any action taken
by any Union Committee which is reporting to them.
The Executive Director, shall report
the results of all elections to the Board of Directors, and
shall supervise all elections of officers by the Union.
The Executive Director shall be a hired
employee of the Union and manage the day-to-day operations of
the National office.
The Executive Director shall also be
responsible to see that all AU award recipients receive
acknowledgement in the publications, including Hall-of-Fame,
Man-of-the-Year (including previous years), Publicity awards,
Speed awards, etc., and that a record of these awards is
maintained for our archives.
The Union Executive Director shall
maintain complete and accurate financial records of the Union,
and report to the Board of Directors and the Union Membership as
to the financial affairs of the Union as provided in these
Bylaws, policies and procedures of the Union.
The Executive Director shall serve as
an ex-officio member of the Finance Committee.
The Board of Directors may appoint or
employ one or more assistants to the Executive Director if Union
business requires, but such persons shall not be members of the
3.05 Treasurer. The Union shall have a
Treasurer, who shall carry out those responsibilities and duties
assigned by the Board of Directors. He shall maintain complete
and accurate financial records of the Union, and report to the
Board of Directors and the Union Membership as to the financial
affairs of the Union as provided in these Bylaws and in the
policies and procedures of the Union.
The Treasurer shall serve as an
ex-officio member of the Finance Committee. The Treasurer shall
be elected and take office in 1996 and at the expiration of each
term of office thereafter. The term of office shall be as
provided in these Bylaws for officers of the Union.
The Board of Directors may appoint or
employ one or more assistants to the Treasurer if Union business
requires, but such persons shall not be members of the Board.
3.06 Directors. The Union shall have
seven (7) directors elected, one from each of the Union’s
eight geographic zones. * Directors shall carry out those
responsibilities and duties assigned by the Board of Directors.
The zones from which Directors are elected shall, insofar as
reasonably possible, be contiguous geographic areas and have
equal populations of Union members. The Board of Directors shall
regularly review how its geographic zones are constituted and
shall have the authority to modify boundaries to accomplish
A. Zones: (Revised 9/17)
Northwest- Alaska, Washington, Oregon,
Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, Montana, Utah and Western Provinces
(includes Alberta, British Columbia, & the Yukon Territory)
Pacific Mountain- Hawaii, California,
Nevada and Arizona
Southwest-Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas,
Oklahoma, New Mexico (Mexico & Central America)
Plains- Illinois, Iowa, Kansas,
Nebraska, Missouri, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota,
Wisconsin and provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan)
Lakes- Indiana, Indiana, Michigan,
Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia
Northeast- Connecticut, Delaware,
Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, New York, New Hampshire, New
Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and the Eastern
provinces of Quebec, Ontario, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and
Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island.
Southeast- Alabama, Florida, Georgia,
Mississippi, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina,
Virginia, Maryland, & Wash. D.C., Puerto Rico (and other
3.07 Past President. The Past President
of the Union shall serve as a member of the Board during the
term of his successor, and shall have the power to vote as a
member of the Board of Directors.
3.08 Constitution, By-Laws, and Policy
Advisor. The President shall appoint, with the advice and
consent of the Board of Directors, a Constitution, By-Laws, and
Policy Advisor, who shall serve until a successor is appointed
and assumes the position. The Board of Directors is authorized
to pay compensation to the appointee as it deems proper. The
appointee shall have demonstrated knowledge of the Constitution,
By-Laws, and Policies of the Union. The appointee shall act as
consultant and advisor to
the Board of Directors, officers, and
committee chairs, organizations affiliated with the Union, and
Union members, to provide them with interpretations of the
Constitution, By-Laws, and Policies involving any question or
matter; shall notify the President and Board of Directors, in
writing, if any action taken by the Board of Directors, any
officer, any committee chair or committee, or any organization
affiliated with the
Union violates any provision of the
Constitution or By-Laws or its Policies; shall maintain a true
and correct copy of the current Constitution, By-Laws, and
Policies for reference by any party, and approve the proofs of
and printing to be distributed to the Union membership; shall
draft, or approve for submission, any drafts of proposed
amendments to the Constitution, By-Laws, or Policies, all of
which must first be submitted to him for review before being
presented to the Board of Directors for consideration.
3.09 Legal Advisor. The Board of
Directors shall each year select an attorney to provide legal
counsel and advice to the Board of Directors. The Board of
Directors is authorized to pay compensation to the appointee as
it deems proper. In the event that a conflict of interest or
matter of personal concern to the Legal Advisor shall become an
issue, the Board of Directors may employ the services of another
3.10 Public Affairs Advisor. The
President may appoint, with the advice and consent of the Board
of Directors, a Public Affairs Advisor for the Union, to prepare
and distribute information about the Union and its activities.
The Board of Directors is authorized to pay compensation to the
appointee as it deems proper.
3.11 Authority to Act. The offices
identified in this section are ranked in descending order by
authority to act as chief executive officer and to preside over
meetings of the Board of Directors. In the event any or all
persons of a higher rank of executive authority shall be absent
or unable to act for any reason, the officer of the highest rank
who is present and able to act shall act as presiding officer of
the Union, and conduct all business necessary for Union affairs.
An officer who is presiding in the absence of one or more
officers of superior rank is not disqualified from voting
because of his temporary role.
3.12 Executive Committee. An Executive
Committee shall consist of the President, Executive Vice
President, Vice President and the Executive Director. At the
discretion of the President, the Executive Committee may be
assigned special tasks and responsibilities and may assist the
President with business decisions.
4.00 - TERMS OF OFFICE
4.01 Terms of Office for Officers. The
term of office of all Officers shall be for four (4) years or
until their successors are appointed or have been duly elected.
4.02 Terms of Office for Directors. The
term of office for Directors shall be for four (4) years or
until their successors are appointed or have been duly elected.
The terms of
office shall be staggered so that not
more than one Director from each zone shall stand for election
in any election year. Those Directors whose terms expire in 1994
under the previous Union Constitution and By-Laws shall stand
for election in 1994, and the remaining Directors shall stand
for election in 1996.
4.03 Terms of Office for Appointees.
Any person appointed to serve as a chair or member of any
standing Union committee shall serve until the end of the term
of the Union President by who appointed. Any person appointed to
serve as a chair or member on a Union committee appointed for a
specific purpose shall serve until the Board of Directors
receives and accepts the
final report of that committee. All
appointees are subject at any time to removal in accordance with
Section 7.05 of the Bylaws.
4.04 Successive Terms of Officers. No
officer shall serve in the same office for more than one
concurrent term, (4 years). The balance of an unexpired term,
which is filled by appointment, shall not be considered to be a
term of office for purposes of this section. (Revised 7-11-07)
4.05 Successive Terms of Directors. No
Director may serve as a director for more than two consecutive
terms, (8 years). The balance of an unexpired term, which is
filled by appointment, shall not be considered to be a term of
office for purposes of this section.
5.00 – ELECTIONS
This section was revised by the AU
Board of Directors by unanimous vote on 8/22/95.
The administrative changes herein are
only changes of deadline dates for actions regarding the
(election) process. Nothing regarding the election,
requirements, procedures or responsibilities for the conduct of
said elections has been changed.
5.01 Times. Elections of Union officers
and Directors whose terms are expiring shall be held not later
than September 1 of every second year, commencing in 1994. The
Executive Director shall announce solicitations for candidates
for elections in the December issue of the Union Publication and
direct any interested parties to this section of the AU
Constitution and By-Laws for guidance and requirements.
5.02 Qualification for Candidacy. Any
member who seeks an elected position must file with the
Executive Director, not later than March 1 of the election year,
a petition and a resume. The petition must be signed by the
candidate and by not fewer than fifty (50) members, and contain
the full name of the candidate, the candidate's address, club,
and Center, if any, and the office for which election is sought.
If the candidate seeks office as a
Director at least fifty (50) signatures on the petition must be
those of members who are residents of the zone which would be
The resume shall not exceed 250 words
in length and shall state the office sought, the personal
experience, training, or ability of the candidate which, in the
candidate's opinion, qualifies for that office, each club or
Union affiliated organization of which membership has been held,
any titles, offices, or positions held in the sport, and goals
for the Union if elected.
Petitions and resumes may be delivered
in any manner feasible by the deadline. If sent via the U. S.
Postal Service they shall be considered filed with the Executive
Director by delivery to the U.S. Postal Service not later than
three business days before the due date for filing, by certified
mail, return receipt requested, addressed to the proper address
of the Executive Director, with all postage required paid in
advance and the envelope or container bearing a legible postmark
affixed by the U.S. Postal service not later than the last date
5.03 Eligibility. Persons eligible for
election to any office of the Union must qualify for candidacy
and be of excellent repute and never convicted of a felony, a
member of the Union for at least two (2) years prior to the
election, members of an affiliated Class A or Class B club, and
actively participating in the pigeon racing sport. A candidate
for election as Director must, in addition, have been a resident
of the zone in which election is sought for not less than one
year prior to election and be a resident of that zone as of the
date of election.
5.04 Dual Candidacies. No candidate for
Union office shall appear on any ballot as a candidate for more
than one office.
5.05 Notice of Candidacies. The
Executive Director shall publish, or cause to be published, in
the Union Publication a list of candidates and the resume
provided by each candidate not later than thirty (30) days prior
to the election. This may be combined with the ballot, as long
as it is mailed no later than 30 days prior to the election.
5.06 Mailing or Delivery of Ballots.
The Executive Director shall supervise the preparation and
mailing of ballots to members, which shall be mailed or
otherwise delivered to each member eligible to vote not later
than June 30 of each election year. The Executive Director may
also provide to each member a return envelope, pre-addressed,
for return of the ballot to the Executive Director or his/her
5.07 Voting by Members. Every member
shall be eligible to receive a ballot to vote if he/ she was a
paid AU member of at least 30 days duration as of June 1st of
the election year. It is the member's responsibility to ensure
his current mailing address is on file. Each member shall
indicate choice(s) on any ballot provided by making a cross
('X') in the appropriate place indicated on the ballot. Ballots
are to be returned to the Executive Director at the address
indicated so as to be postmarked no later than July 15 for
proper tabulation. Ballots bearing postmarks after the July 15
cut off will not be tabulated.
5.08 Balloting for Elections. The use
of mail ballots for election of officers and directors is
permitted. The Executive Director shall supervise the
preparation of ballots to be provided members, which shall be
sent directly to the last known address of each eligible voter
via First Class mail. The deadline for the receipt of ballots
cast by members shall be prominently displayed on the member's
ballot. Any ballot not received by the Executive Director, or a
person designated for that purpose by the Executive Director,
prior to the deadline or which is otherwise invalid shall be
disregarded. All completed ballots, shall be stamped with the
date of receipt and retained by the Executive Director for not
less than thirty (90) days after the deadline for receipt of
ballots. (revised 7-97)
5.09 Notice to Candidates. Immediately
after tabulation of the election results, and prior to
certification of the election results, the Executive Director
shall notify each standing candidate for election by certified
mail, return receipt requested, of the election results.
5.10 Election contests. Any person
lodging a protest to, or contesting the results of, any election
of the Union must notify the Executive Director of the protest
or contest in writing, received by the Executive Director not
later than 5:00 o'clock p.m. CST by the fifteenth (15th) day
following the date of certification of the election results by
the auditing agency. If any person contesting an election shall
request a recount of ballots cast, the Executive Director may
condition compliance with that request by requiring the
contestant to deposit with the Union, an amount sufficient to
defray the reasonable and necessary costs of a recount. No
person shall be entitled to protest or contest the results of a
Union election unless eligible to vote in that election.
5.11 Rulings on Eligibility. If the
eligibility of any person to stand for or hold office, vote, or
protest or contest any election is raised, or the results of any
election are contested or questioned, the Union Constitution,
By-Laws, and Policy Advisor shall make a timely determination of
the issue(s) and that decision shall be final and binding on all
parties, including the Union. If the Constitution and By-Laws
Chairman is not able or willing to act, or is disqualified from
consideration of the issue because of personal involvement or
other reason, the Union Legal Advisor shall then assume that
5.12 Certification of Election. The
Executive Director shall, after the close of balloting and
tabulation of election returns from the auditing agency, after a
decision on any contests or protests, if any, has been made, and
the time for contests and protests has passed, certify to the
Board of Directors in a timely manner the results of the
5.13 Notice of Election Results. The
Board of Directors, after receipt of election results, shall
canvass the election results in a timely manner and verify that
the election was held in accordance with Union requirements and
that the voting has been properly tabulated. If the election is
declared proper the Board of Directors shall accept the results,
declare the election official, and record in its minutes the
result thereof, at which time the results of the election may be
disclosed. The Executive Director shall cause to be published in
the Union Publication the full and complete election results not
than 60 days (September Fall issue),
the full and completed election results as certified and
declared final by the Union Board of Directors.
6.00 - VACANCIES IN OFFICE
6.01 President. If the office of
President becomes vacant the Executive Vice-President shall
succeed to the position and assume all powers and duties
6.02 Executive Vice-President. If the
office of Executive Vice-President becomes vacant the
Vice-President shall succeed to the position and assume all
powers and duties thereof.
6.03 Other Officers. If the office of
Vice-President becomes vacant the President, with the advice and
consent of the Board of Directors, shall appoint an appointee,
who shall serve until a successor is elected or appointed and
6.04 Directors. If any office of
Director becomes vacant the President, with the advice and
consent of the Board of Directors, shall appoint an appointee,
who must be a resident of the same zone as the elected Director
who vacated the position and who shall serve until the next
election of officers or until a successor is elected or
appointed and takes office. Any officers or directors to be
appointed and approved must submit a petition with a minimum of
25 AU members’ signatures endorsing appointment.
6.05 Committee Chair(s) and Members. If
any Committee Chair or member's position becomes vacant the
President, with the advice and consent of the Board of
Directors, shall appoint an appointee, who shall serve until a
successor is appointed and assumes the position.
7.00 - REMOVAL FROM OFFICE
7.01 Incapacity. If an Officer or
Director shall become incapacitated or legally incompetent for
any period in excess of sixty (60) days the Board of Directors
may remove said person from office.
7.02 Cause. Any Officer or Director who
willfully or intentionally engages in action or conduct,
including but not limited to dishonest acts, interference with
or the disruption of the conducting of Union business by other
officers and directors, or if the Board concludes, after
investigation, that he or she is guilty of misfeasance,
malfeasance, or nonfeasance, or is in violation of the Union
Rules of Conduct, which act(s), in the opinion of the Board of
Directors, is detrimental or harmful to the Union or to the
sport, may be removed from office by 2/3 vote of the Board of
Directors. (Revised 10/15)
7.03 Recall. Any officer or Director
may be recalled and removed from office by action of the members
of the Union. In the event a petition requesting an election for
the purpose of recalling an officer, signed by at least fifteen
percent (15%) of Union members, or in the event a petition
requesting an election for the purpose of recalling a
Director, signed by at least fifteen
percent (15%) of the members who reside in the Director's zone,
is presented to the Executive Director, and certified to contain
the requisite number of signatures of members, the Executive
Director shall notify each member of the Board of Directors of
the necessity for conducting a recall election, and the Board of
Directors shall schedule such an election and notify the
membership of that election. The election shall be held not
later than ninety (90) days after certification of the petition,
and all provisions relating to elections shall be applicable.
The sole issue on the ballot regarding the subject of recall of
an officer or Director shall be "Whether (the identified
Officer or Director) should be removed from his office with the
American Racing Pigeon Union, Inc."
7.04 Eligibility for Re-election. Any
Officer or Director who has been removed because of incapacity
may subsequently seek reelection to office in the Union;
provided, that there shall be provided to the Executive Director
an affidavit stating that the reason(s) for that earlier
inability to act as an Officer or Director no longer exist and
the Executive Director shall determine if that candidate is
fully competent and capable of serving. An Officer or Director
who has been removed for cause by action of the Board of
Directors may be a candidate for election to a Union office only
if the petition filed, as required by Section 5.02 of these
Bylaws, contains not less than 500 signatures. An Officer or
Director removed from office as a result of a recall election of
the membership shall never again be eligible to serve in any
office or official position of the Union.
7.05 Removal of Committee Chair or
Member. The President, with the approval of the Board of
Directors, may remove any Committee Chair or member at any time.
8.00 - COMPETITION STANDARDS COMMITTEE
8.01 Selection. The Board of Directors
shall select and appoint a Chair, and four other members, of the
Competition Standards Committee. At least two members of the
Committee shall be presently serving as members of the Union
Board of Directors.
8.02 Term. The Chair and members of the
Committee shall serve until the expiration of the term of the
President in whose term they were appointed.
8.03 Duties. The Committee shall
maintain a true and correct copy of the official rules governing
any competitive race, show, or other event sponsored by the
Union or by any Union affiliated organization, and shall
recommend any modifications or amendments to those rules for
adoption by the Board of Directors. In the event of any dispute
or question about a proper interpretation of the rules of the
Union applicable to an event the interpretation of the Committee
shall be final and binding. If the Committee determines that any
affiliated organization or person has violated the rules of the
Union it may file a complaint or charge with the Infractions
Committee and request that appropriate action be taken.
9.00 - INFRACTIONS COMMITTEE
9.01 Selection. The President, with the
advice and consent of the Board of Directors, shall appoint a
chair and five other members of the Infractions Committee. The
Constitution and By-law Advisor and Legal Advisor shall serve as
ex-officio members of the Committee.
9.02 Term. Appointees shall serve a
term of four calendar years from the date of their appointment
or until their successor is appointed and assumes the position,
unless appointed to fill the unexpired term of a member whose
position is vacated prior to the end of his term in office.
9.03 Duties. The Infractions Committee
is empowered to investigate complaints and charges against Union
members and organizations affiliated with the Union; to
investigate and determine violations of Union rules, policies,
and procedures; to conduct such hearings as it deems necessary
to complete its duties; to summon Union members to appear at
hearings for the purpose of providing evidence; to employ
investigators, or to designate Union members as investigators if
deemed proper by the Committee; to render rulings and opinions
regarding complaints, disputes, or violations of Union rules,
policies, or procedures; to recommend to the Board of Directors
disciplinary action and sanctions against Union members and
organizations affiliated with the Union for any violations it
finds to have occurred; and to recommend to the Board of
Directors revisions, amendments, or additions to the
Disciplinary Rules of the Union. The Infractions Committee shall
interpret the Union Competitive Standards Rules only for
purposes of possible disciplinary action and shall seek an
opinion as to interpretation from the Competition Standards
Committee where feasible.
In the event of a complaint that those
rules have been willfully violated or ignored, or upon referral
by the Union Competition Standards
Committee of any claim of a willful
violation of those rules, the Infractions Committee may
investigate and recommend disciplinary action if appropriate.
9.04 Disciplinary Action. The
Infractions Committee shall conduct its business in accordance
with the Union Rules of Conduct and Disciplinary Rules, as may
be adopted by the Board of Directors. It is authorized to
recommend punishment or sanctions as provided in those Rules of
Conduct. Any three or more members of the Committee constitute a
quorum for the purpose of hearing any matter and rendering a
9.05 Operating Expenses. The Chair of
the Committee shall each year present to the Board of Directors
a request for funding of the operations of the Committee for the
following fiscal year, including but not limited to the costs of
travel and lodging for committee members who must travel in
connection with hearings and/or investigations; the telephone
and postage expenses of the Committee and its members; the
charges of, and expenses incurred by, investigators appointed or
employed by the Committee;
the costs of conducting hearings and
securing transcripts of those hearings; and such other expenses
as are necessary for the Committee to conduct its business.
9.06 Official Adoption of Rulings. Any
report by the Committee, including recommendations for
disciplinary action, shall be submitted in writing to the Board
of Directors and considered by the Board of Directors at its
next meeting following the receipt of the report. The Board of
Directors may refuse to follow the Committee's recommendation
only if it determines that the Committee failed to follow Union
rules or procedure, or that there is no substantial evidence to
support the Committee's report and recommendation. The Board of
Directors may, in the event it refuses to approve the
Committee's report, remand the issue to the Committee for
further hearing or review in accordance with the rules and
policies of the Union, or, in the event it finds that there is
no substantial evidence to support the Committee’s report, it
may dismiss the complaint upon which the report is based.
9.07 Publication of Committee
Decisions. The Chair of the Committee shall provide to the Union
Executive Director a written copy of any decision or ruling of
the Committee which has been approved by the Board of Directors
and become final. Rev. 11-08
10.00 - NOTICES OF MEETINGS AND
OFFICIAL UNION ACTION
10.01 Union Publication. The Union
shall regularly, and not less than three times per year,
distributes to its members a newsletter/publication that shall
be the official publication of the Union.
10.02 Notice of Meetings. There shall
be published in the Union Publication notice of any regular
meeting of the Board of Directors, and, if practicable, of any
special meeting. This notice shall state the date, time, and
place of the meeting.
10.03 Publication of Agenda for
Meetings. The Union shall print annually in the Union
Publication a standard meeting agenda by category or type of
action to be considered by the Board.
10.04 Publication of Meeting Minutes.
The Union shall print a summary of minutes of all AU Board
Meetings in the Union Publication (AU UPDATE) or on the Union
website. Summary to include all action taken, voted on or
11.00 - MEETINGS
11.01 Form of Meetings. The Board of
Directors and any Committee of the Union may meet in person, by
teleconferencing, by conference call, or by any other method
deemed proper by the Board, except as otherwise provided herein.
11.02 Annual Convention. There shall be
held a convention each year at a site or location selected by
the Union, at which members are invited to attend. The Board of
Directors may, but is not required to, conduct a business
meeting at the Convention.
11.03 Annual Meeting. There shall be
conducted each year an Annual Meeting, after notice to the
membership, at which members of the Union may attend. At such
meeting the Board of Directors shall report to the Union members
present and those members shall be allowed to ask questions
concerning the business and the status of the Union.
11.04 Mid-Year Meeting. There shall
also be conducted each year a Mid-Year Meeting, after notice to
the membership, at which time reports of all actions and
activities of the officers and Committees following the Annual
Meeting shall be made.
11.05 Special Meetings. The Board of
Directors may hold such other meetings throughout the year as it
deems necessary to conduct the business of the Union. Board
decisions involving major policy or race rule changes, personnel
issues or expenditures of $3,000. or more must be made during a
Board meeting or teleconference call. (revised 12-5-01)
11.06 Agenda. The Board of Directors
shall adopt a standard agenda for the conducting of business at
its meetings, which agenda shall itemize the types of actions or
activities it may consider by category or type, and in the order
to be considered. The Board of Directors shall follow that
agenda at all times. All meetings will begin with the recitation
of the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of
America. (revised 7-97)
11.07 Quorum. A majority of members
eligible to vote shall constitute a quorum at any meeting of the
Board of Directors or of any Union Committee, unless otherwise
provided in the Union Constitution or in these Bylaws.
11.08 Majority vote required. Unless a
super-majority is required by the Union Constitution or by any
provision of these Bylaws, a simple majority vote shall be
sufficient to pass any motion, resolution, or other action.
11.09 Public Forum Meetings. The Board
of Directors shall hold, at each Annual and Mid-Year Meeting, a
public forum at which any Union member may attend and pose
questions or inquiries to the Board of Directors concerning
Union activities or action. Any member who is unable to be
physically present at a Public Forum Meeting may send his
comment or question in writing to the Union Executive Director,
who shall during the meeting read that comment, or pose that
question, to the Board of Directors, and shall record the
response in the record of the meeting.
11.10 Board Action Requests (BAR) All
Bar’s to be voted on at any scheduled meeting of the Board of
Directors must be received in the home office at least 30 days
prior to the scheduled meeting to allow time for the Board to
review prior to the meeting. Any Bar’s received and/or brought
by hand after that date will automatically be tabled until the
next scheduled Board meeting unless a 2/3 vote of the Board to
allow it to be heard. The exception would be if it would affect
the next series of scheduled races. (added 7-11)
12.00 - AMENDMENT
12.01 Amendment by Membership. The
members of the Union may require a referendum vote on any
proposed amendment by the filing with the Union Executive
Director of a petition stating the proposed amendment and signed
by not less than five percent (5.0%) of the current Union
members in good standing and with voting rights. Any proposed
amendment must be first approved by the Constitution, Bylaws,
and Policy Advisor, who shall approve the proposed amendment for
referendum vote unless he determines that it violates the terms
of the Union Constitution or would cause conflicts between terms
and provisions to exist in the Bylaws. If a proposed amendment
is not approved it may be resubmitted after modification to cure
the objections of the Constitution, Bylaws, and Policy Advisor.
The referendum vote by the membership shall be conducted in
accordance with Bylaws provisions applicable to all elections. A
referendum vote on any amendment shall result in the adoption of
the amendment if not less than 2/3 of the members who cast votes
vote in favor of the amendment.
12.02 Amendment by Board of Directors.
These By-Laws may be amended by vote of two-thirds of the
members of the Board of Directors present and voting at any
12.03 Notice. Notice of any proposed
amendment to the By-laws shall be published in the Union
Publication at least thirty (30) days prior to the date of vote
on the amendment.
12.04 Effective Date of Amendments.
Amendments are effective upon publication of the election
results as provided by these Bylaws. No amendment shall cause
any act by a member or Union affiliated organization to be
invalid if such action was valid when committed under the
Constitution and the Bylaws in effect at the time of such
12.05 Prior By-Laws. These By-Laws
contain or reflect substantial changes or amendments to the
Union By-Laws in effect prior to 1994. If those By-laws or any
rule or policy based upon them modifies, contradicts or
conflicts with any existing rule or policy it is the later
adopted provision that shall control.
SECTION 13.00 HAS BEEN RESERVED FOR
Rules of Conduct and Disciplinary Rules
of The ARPU
The following Rules of Conduct and
Disciplinary Rules are adopted by the Union and may be revised
by the Board of Directors. The Union Infractions Committee may
make recommendations as to revisions. References to the
"Committee" refer to that
Committee. All rules must be consistent
with the provisions of the Union Constitution and By-Laws.
All members of the Union are bound by
these Rules of Conduct and Disciplinary Rules, and subject to
enforcement of them, by virtue of Article IV of the Union
14.00 - RULES OF CONDUCT
14.01 Union Related Prohibited Acts. No
member of the Union shall engage in the following acts in
connection with any business, event, or activity conducted or
sponsored by the Union, or by any organization affiliated with
01. Engages in physical violence or
intentionally cause physical harm to another.
02. Threaten physical violence or harm
03. Engage in profane or lewd
conversation of such nature that it would tend to offend a
person of usual sensibilities.
04. Refuse to comply with the
provisions of the Constitution, By-Laws, Competition Standards
or of any rule or regulation of the Union or of any organization
affiliated with the Union.
05. Refuse to comply with the
provisions of the Constitution, bylaws, rule or policy of an
affiliated organization, which is not in conflict with, or in
violation of, the Union Constitution, Bylaws, or Rules.
06. Refuse to comply with the will of
the majority as expressed by a valid vote of the eligible voters
of any organization affiliated with the Union.
07. Take possession of the funds or
assets of the Union, or of any organization affiliated with the
Union, without valid authorization by virtue of the
Constitution, Bylaws, rules, or policies of the Union or
organization, or by majority vote of the membership.
08. Refuse to return or deliver
possession of the funds or assets of the Union, or of any
organization affiliated with the Union, within a reasonable time
after receipt of any request by the chief executive officer or
Board of Directors of such organization.
09. Make false representations as to
any matter inquired about in connection with application for
membership in the Union or in any organization affiliated with
10. Violate any policy or rule of the
Union regarding the administration of any prohibited substance
to any pigeon.
11. Knowingly use any altered or
modified clock, timer, computer, printer, or other device used
in connection with the timing or scoring or any AU sanctioned
race or event
unless such alteration or modification
has been brought to the attention of the Race Secretary or other
official responsible for supervising the race or event and the
device has been certified or approved for use by such official.
12. Make or enter any information into
any score sheet, race sheet, or other record prepared and/or
maintained in connection with the timing of any AU sanctioned
race or event with knowledge that such entry or information is
false or incorrect.
13. Alter or modify any entry or other
information contained in any score sheet, race sheet, or other
record prepared and/or maintained in connection with the timing
and/scoring of any AU sanctioned race or event with knowledge
that such altered or modified entry or information is false or
14. Enter in any AU sanctioned race, a
pigeon known to be injured, ill, or suffering from a
communicable disease in an active state.
15. Knowingly disclose or breach the
confidentiality of any proceedings of the Infractions Committee,
as defined in the Union Disciplinary Rules.
16. Knowingly disclose or breach the
confidentiality of any information received while a member of
any Union body or committee under circumstances in which the
member was aware of the privileged or confidential nature of the
information when received.
17. Knowingly fail or refuse to comply
with any Union Race Rules or Competitive Standards adopted by
the Union and applicable to the race or event in question.
18. Fail to disclose to any entrant
that a race will not be conducted in accordance with AU Race
Rules or Competitive Standards, if it is not to be so conducted.
19. Knowingly submit any false or
incorrect information to any person in connection with an
application for any Union award or certification.
20. Engage in any dishonest act in
connection with any event or activity sponsored by the Union or
by any Union affiliated organization.
21. Knowingly provide false information
to the Infractions Committee in connection with its
investigation of any allegation or complaint of a violation of
the Rules of Conduct.
22. Refuse or fail to cooperate fully
with the Infractions Committee or any staff or investigator
acting for the Committee, in connection with any inquiry or
investigation unless a valid legal privilege applies to the
There will be a mandatory minimum
penalty of 3 years' probation or 1 year suspension for those who
refuse to cooperate with or give false information to the
Infractions Committee. (7/13).
23. Engage in any act, which is
detrimental or harmful to the Union, or any organization
affiliated with the Union.
24. The AU does not condone
discrimination and or unlawful harassment of any kind. Actions,
jokes, words, or comments based on an individual’s sex, race,
ethnicity, age, religion or any other legally protected
characteristic will not be tolerated.
14.02 Non-Union Related Prohibited
Acts. No member of the Union shall engage in the following acts
at any time, whether or not in connection with the business of,
or any event or activity conducted or sponsored by, the Union or
any organization affiliated with the Union:
01. Sell to another a pigeon known to
have contracted, or to have been exposed within the past thirty-
(30) days to, a communicable disease for which the pigeon has
not been vaccinated, without full disclosure to the purchaser.
02. Prepare and/or deliver to a
purchaser of a pigeon a race record known to the seller to be
false or incorrect.
03. Prepare and/or deliver to a
purchaser of a pigeon a Pedigree or record of ancestor’s known
to the seller to be false or incorrect.
04. Knowingly make, distribute, print,
publish, or communicate any false statement, which is calculated
to injure or harm another regarding any AU member who at the
time of such communication was known to be false or untrue.
05. Knowingly make, distribute, print,
publish, or communicate any false or untrue statement, which is
calculated to injure or harm regarding any AU member without
making a reasonable investigation or inquiry into the
truthfulness of the statement prior to any communication of such
06. Knowingly house or maintain any
pigeon without providing reasonably adequate shelter, food, or
water in order for it to survive without undue hardship or
07. Knowingly make a false charge or
complaint that any Union member has been or is guilty of any
violation of any Union Rule of Conduct.
08. Knowingly fail and refuse to comply
with any rules or regulations of the U.S.
Postal Service regarding shipment of
pigeons or other live birds by that service, Including, but not
limited to, use of non-approved cartons or containers for
shipping birds. Overcrowding or including liquids, medications,
drugs, or supplies not intended to be included in the box.
Violations are subject to 1-year suspension for the first
offense. A second violation is subject to permanent expulsion.
21. Engage in any act, which is
detrimental or harmful to the Union, or any Organization
affiliated with the Union.
10. Engage in any act, which tends to
bring the sport of racing pigeons into disrepute.
11. Knowingly fail to return, or in
anyway, harm or remove any leg bands or identification from any
racing pigeon that does not have rightful ownership of. The
exception would be the care and treatment of any ‘recovered’
pigeon until the owner can be notified. (Added 7-20-06)
14.03 Joint Participation. Any person,
who aids, abets, or assists another in the commission of any
prohibited act shall be considered to be jointly responsible for
the commission of such act, and subject to disciplinary action
in the same manner as the primary actor.
14.04 Defenses. Ignorance of the Union
Rules of Conduct shall not be a defense to disciplinary action
for any violation thereof. Reliance upon a written
interpretation by a Union officer, director, employee, or
committee member of a rule, policy, or procedure may be a
defense to a claim of prohibited conduct, provided that the
party against whom the allegation or charge is made bears the
burden of proof that he fully and fairly informed the Union
officer, director, employee or committee member in question of
all relevant facts prior to receipt of the interpretation and
that his reliance on that interpretation was justified under the
circumstances. A defense of self-defense shall only be
considered when it is established by the party charged with
commission of prohibited conduct that he had a genuine,
justified fear of immediate bodily harm to himself or another at
the time he acted, and did not have a reasonable opportunity to
avoid a physical confrontation.
14.05 Statutes of Limitations Except
for serious cases or extenuating circumstances as determined by
the majority of the Infractions Committee, no investigation of
any violation of any Union Rule of Conduct shall be undertaken
if the last act, omission, or event, or the last of a continuing
series of acts, omissions, or events constituting a possible
violation occurred more than two (2) years prior to the date of
receipt by the Committee of the charge or complaint. Committee
will keep post marked envelopes to confirm receipt. (Revised
15.00- INFRACTIONS COMMITTEE
15.01 Composition. The Committee shall
be composed of six persons, one of whom shall be designated as
the Chair when appointments to the Committee are made.
15.02 Term of Office. The term of
office of the members of the Committee shall be as set out in
the Bylaws of the Union.
15.03 Quorum. Three members present and
voting shall constitute a quorum for conduct of committee
15.04 Temporary Substitutes. If it
appears that one or more members of the committee will be unable
to participate in the hearing of any allegation or complaint and
that the result may be a lack of a quorum to act, the Chair may
request the President of the Union to designate one or more
members of the Union, preferably a former member of the
Committee, to join or rejoin the Committee for the purposes of
consideration and disposition of the case.
15.05 Meetings. The Committee may meet
and conduct business by any means, which are sufficient to
acquaint the members with the necessary to make a decision,
including mail balloting, telephone conference calls, or other
methods of electronic communication.
15.06 Retaliation. No member or
organization shall threaten, coerce, intimidate, discriminate,
or retaliate in any manner against any person because of the
making or filing of an allegation or charge with the Committee.
Nothing herein shall prohibit any person from alleging that the
filing of an allegation or charge, or the conduct of a member in
connection with proceedings before the Disciplinary Committee,
constitutes a violation of Rule 14.01(15), (21), or (22), or
Rule 15.02(04), (05) (Revised 7/04)
16.00 - OPERATING RULES
16.01 Confidentiality. The Committee
and its investigators, and all persons privy to its activities,
shall treat all cases before the Committee as confidential until
the same have been announced in accordance with the prescribed
procedures for publication.
16.02 Conflict of Interest. Any member
of the Committee who is directly connected with a Union
affiliated organization under investigation, or is a fellow
member with a member under investigation in any organization
affiliated with the Union, shall not take part in any
proceedings of the Committee regarding any such case before the
16.03 Disclosure of Information. No
member of the Committee shall make any investigation of any case
without authority of the Committee, and shall not solicit or
receive any information about a case pending except through
normal investigative channels. If any member of the Committee
acquires information about any case or the participants in such
a case he shall disclose that information to the entire
Committee as soon as practicable
16.04 Confidential Sources of
Information. The Committee shall not solely base any decision on
any information received from any person or party who refuses to
be identified. If information received from a confidential
source is employed in any investigation it may only be
considered if other known, reliable sources, independently
16.05 Public Announcements. The
Committee or its staff or investigators shall not confirm or
deny the existence of any allegation or complaint, or that any
investigation of any individual or organization is proceeding,
until the Committee reaches a final decision after completion of
all enforcement procedures and processes.
17.00 - SUBMISSION OF CHARGES OR
17.01 Initiation of Investigation. The
Committee is authorized to investigate all charges or complaints
of any violation of any Rule of Conduct relating to any member
or organization affiliated with the Union. The Committee may
initiate an investigation on its own, when it has reasonable
basis to believe that a member or organization is in violation,
without receipt of an allegation or complaint by any other
17.02 Filing of Inter-club Charge or
Complaint Any charge or complaint filed by a member, in good
standing, and who has been an AU member for at least 90 days
prior to the filing of the infraction, against one or more
member(s) of the same club concerning club business or affairs
shall first be filed with the club itself by delivery to the
Club President by certified mail, return receipt requested,
unless some other procedure is specified in the club
Constitution or Bylaws. The Club shall have forty-five (45) days
from receipt in which to investigate and render a ruling. If the
complainant claims a denial of a fair hearing under minimal due
process standards by the club or if the club fails to act or
mediate on the charge or complaint in a timely manner, the
charge or complaint may then be filed with the Committee as
provided in Rule 14.03. (Revised 7/04, 7/09)
17.03 Filing of Other Charge or
Complaint. All charges or complaints, except those first filed
with a club under Rule 14.02, whether concerning the Union, a
Union member, an affiliated organization, or a member of an
affiliated organization, shall be filed, along with a $50.00
non-refundable filing fee, with the Oklahoma City Office, which
will forward the complaint to the Chair of the Infractions
Committee, or such person as may be designated by the Committee
to accept such filings. The Committee may prepare, and require
use of, a form to be employed by any party desiring to make an
charge or complaint, and designate a person or address to whom
such charges or complaints are to be communicated, whether by
mail or otherwise. The Committee may, in its discretion, refuse
to accept or investigate any charge or complaint, which is
received only by oral, telephone, or e-mail communication. The
Committee is authorized to require those persons who make
charges or complaints to provide information sufficient to
identify themselves and to provide a basis for determining the
nature of the charge or complaint, the identity of the member or
organization about whom the charge or complaint is made, and
sufficient background information to enable the Committee to
determine if an investigation is warranted and whether the
charge or complaint should first be referred to a Center as
provided by Rule 19.02 The Committee or its investigators, in
their discretion may require any complainant, to execute an
affidavit setting out those facts known to the complainant.
17.04 Cooperation with Committee by
Complainants. All persons who make charges or complaints to the
Committee about misconduct of others are expected to cooperate
fully with the Committee and its investigators. Such cooperation
shall include the providing of full and complete information
when requested and the following of guidelines established by
the Committee as to times and frequency of contacts and
circumstances under which Committee members and investigators
are to be contacted. All complainants are bound by the rules of
confidentiality, which apply to the Committee and its
17.05 Dismissal of Inquiries. If the
Committee determines, based on its review of any charge or
complaint, or based on the preliminary investigation of the
Committee and/or its investigators, that such charge or
complaint does not provide a sufficient factual basis for
institution of an investigation does not allege a violation of
the Rules of Conduct of the Union, concerns a person or
organization not under the jurisdiction of the Union, or is
based upon materially false or incorrect information, the
Committee may, in its discretion, dismiss the case as an inquiry
only and not investigate it further. Those cases dismissed as
inquiries only shall not be recorded in the records of the
Committee except to reflect that the charge or complaint was
made and dismissed as an inquiry only. The Committee shall make
no announcement of action on inquiries.
17.06 Case Filing. If the Committee,
after its review, of the charge or complaint and a preliminary
investigation by the Committee and its investigators, determines
that there is sufficient basis to believe that a possible
violation of the Union Rules of Conduct has occurred, it shall
record the charge or complaint in the books and records of the
Committee, assign it a case number, and initiate an
Should the infraction committee
determine a complaint received is Commercial/personal/internet
transaction of buying, selling or bartering of racing pigeons,
equipment or supplies or the complaint is dealing with a special
(non-AU sanctioned) race or futurity or all-to-one Loft race the
committee with dismiss the complaint as these tend to be civil
or criminal in nature. Should there be a subsequent settlement
or court action, the Complainant may re-file the complaint,
attaching such action as documentation and the committee with
then be compelled to investigate the matter to conclusion.
18.00 - INVESTIGATIVE GUIDELINES
18.01 Establishment of Guidelines. The
Committee is authorized to establish guidelines for use by the
Committee and its investigators employed or appointed by the
Committee in any investigation, which it initiates.
18.02 Basic Information Gathering. The
Committee and its investigators may collect and gather
information by telephone; correspondence, personal interviews,
and by any other means which the Committee considers to be
proper and efficient.
18.03 Matters Handled by
Correspondence. Matters that clearly are isolated, simple, and
of relative insignificance may be handled promptly by the
Committee by correspondence with the parties involved.
18.04 Timely Process. The Committee
shall make reasonable efforts to process allegations or
complaints in a timely manner.
18.05 Consultation with Committee. If
questions arise during the investigative process concerning
investigative procedures by investigators or participants those
parties for direction shall consult the Chair.
18.06 Notices to Affected Party. The
Committee shall, after determining that a charge or complaint is
not to be dismissed as a preliminary inquiry only, give written
notice to any person or organization identified as a subject of
its investigation. If the Committee has employed or appointed
any investigator(s) to investigate the matter it shall identify
the investigator(s) in the notice. AU Rules of Conduct and
Disciplinary Rules are available on the AU web site. (Rev 7/04).
The member filing the complaint, as well as the individual or
organization the complaint pertains to, will be asked to respond
in writing and provide the Infraction Committee with their
explanation of events within a timely manner.
18.07 Status Notification. If any
matter has been pending before the Committee for more than six
months, at the end of that period and every six months
thereafter for so long as the matter continues to remain
pending, the Committee shall prepare and deliver to the Union
Board of Directors, the complainant, and any party the subject
of the investigation a report by the Committee of the status of
the investigation and of the expected date of hearing.
19.00 - INVESTIGATIVE PROCEDURES
19.01 Compliance with Procedures. All
persons who act for the Committee are expected to fully comply
with the rules, policies, and procedures of the Union and of the
Committee. The Committee may employ and pay compensation to
investigators, who may but do not have to be Union members, or
it may appoint investigators without compensation.
19.02 Coordination with Union Centers.
If the Committee determines that a charge or complaint concerns
alleged violations of the Rules of Conduct by a Center itself or
its officers, the Committee shall assume jurisdiction and
investigate and/or hear the charge or complaint. If a charge or
complaint concerns alleged violations of the Rules of Conduct by
a member club or individual member of a Center, the Committee
shall immediately notify the President of that Center. If the
Center has in place written procedures providing due process
rights and certifies to the Committee that it is ready, willing,
and able to act promptly in investigation of the charge or
complaint and desires to assume jurisdiction, the Committee
shall refer the case to that Center for investigation and
decision. The Committee may require the President and other
of the Center to expressly agree to be
bound by the Union's confidentiality provisions before
disclosing any information about the case. If the Center assumes
jurisdiction and fails to conclude its investigation and
disposition of the case within 180 days after receipt of the
filing, the case shall be considered to again be before the
Committee for all purposes and the Center shall lose
jurisdiction over it. In the event a charge or complaint of a
violation of the Union Rules of Conduct is investigated and
disposed of by a Center, any party dissatisfied with the
decision may appeal that ruling to the Committee within thirty
(30) days of the receipt of the decision and that appeal shall
be processed as though it were a new filing with the Committee.
19.03 Identification by Committee
Representative. In no case shall a member of the Committee or an
investigator of the Committee fail to correctly identify himself
or his authority.
19.04 Left intentionally blank, (Struck
19.05 Disclosure of Purpose of
Interview. When a member of the Committee or an investigator of
the Committee requests information from a party being
interviewed, that person shall be informed of the Rules of
Conduct which require cooperation by a Union member with the
investigation, the purpose of the investigation, the nature of
the charge or complaint which is the basis for the
investigation, and the right of the member to have counsel
present throughout the interview.
19.06 Recording of Interview. It shall
be permissible for either a member of the Committee or an
investigator of the Committee to record any interview made in
connection with an investigation, but the interviewer must make
the subject of the interview aware of the recording process
prior to commencing the interview, and the subject must give
consent to that process.
19.07 Limited Immunity. The Committee
may grant limited immunity to any member who provides
information deemed essential to the investigative process when
such member might be found guilty of a violation of the Union
Rules of Conduct based on the information he reports. No
investigator or member of the Committee has such authority in
the absence of action by the entire Committee. Such immunity
shall not apply to the individual's involvement in other
violations of the Union Rules of Conduct, unreported violations,
or future violations.
No immunity shall be granted unless the
Committee determines that the information to be provided cannot
be acquired from any other source.
19.08 Verification of and Access to
Report. Whenever possible, individuals who have provided
information or made statements to the Committee or to its
investigators should be given the opportunity to review any
reports of any interview and to make corrections or changes. No
person is authorized to receive a copy of any such report or to
disclose its contents to any person other than the Committee or
19.09 Failure to Cooperate. In the
event any member of the Union shall refuse to be interviewed or
to provide information in his possession or within his
knowledge, requested by the Committee or by its investigators,
the Committee may initiate a complaint on its own motion against
the member for a violation of the Union Rules of Conduct and
process that complaint in compliance with Union enforcement
policies. There will be a mandatory minimum penalty of 3 years'
probation or 1 year suspension for those who refuse to cooperate
with or give false information to the Infractions Committee.
20.00 - COMMITTEE HEARINGS
20.01 Notification of Hearing. Any
member whose interest may be affected by a hearing conducted by
the Committee shall receive written notice of the hearing not
later than ten (10) days prior to the date thereof. The notice
shall set out the place and time of the hearing, and state with
reasonable particularity the nature of the charge or complaint
to be heard.
20.02 Notification of Hearing
Procedures. Any member whose interest may be affected by a
hearing conducted by the Committee shall receive a copy of the
Union Rules of Conduct and Union Disciplinary Rules, if he has
not already been furnished those documents, not later than ten
(10) days prior to the date of any hearing.
20.03 Representatives of Union
Affiliated Organizations. Notice to any Union affiliated
organization shall be considered complete when delivered to the
President of that organization. If the Committee has reason to
believe that the President of that organization is not actively
engaged in carrying out his duties of office the Committee shall
notify all officers of the organization whose name and address
are on file with the Union. Nothing herein shall require the
Committee to notify each member individually of a Union
affiliated organization of any investigation or hearing, whether
or not the interest of the individual members may be affected by
20.04 Appearance before Committee. Any
member whose interest may be affected by any action of the
Committee may appear before the Committee to present evidence
and, if witnesses are called, to question and cross-examine
those witnesses. In the event a member is unable to attend on
the date and time scheduled for a hearing he shall, upon receipt
of notice of the hearing or promptly upon subsequently learning
of unavoidable conflict with the hearing, notify the Chair of
the Committee and provide sufficient specific evidence to the
Chair to support his request for rescheduling of the hearing.
The Committee may refuse to reschedule any hearing if a request
is not made in a timely manner or if the conflict is not of such
significance as to take precedence over the hearing.
20.05 Place of Hearing. The Committee
shall attempt to schedule hearings at locations, which offer the
most convenience to the members, parties, and witnesses, but has
no obligation to schedule any hearing within the boundaries of
any state, zone, or region.
21.00 - HEARING PROCEDURES
21.01 Definition of Hearing. The
Committee may elect to have a meeting in person with all parties
involved, or may elect to conduct any meeting by
teleconferencing, conference call, or other means. Nothing in
these rules shall require the Committee to hold a hearing at
which its members and parties are present at the same physical
location. If the Committee elects to conduct any hearing by
teleconferencing or other means the ability to testify or to
confront or cross-examine witnesses may be limited to testimony
or examination through teleconferencing.
21.02 Testimony of Witnesses. The
Committee may elect to call witnesses live, or may consider
affidavits or statements from witnesses if taken under
circumstances that tend to lend credibility to those documents.
A party may petition the Committee to compel a Union member to
appear in person for a hearing. The petition must state the
nature of the expected testimony of the witness, why such
testimony is essential to the presentation of the party before
the Committee, and identify the distance the witness would be
required to travel in order to attend. The Committee may, in its
discretion, order the member whose testimony is requested to
appear, but may limit or condition its requirement so that undue
hardship is not caused the witness.
21.03 Sworn Testimony. All persons
whose testimony are to be considered at any Committee hearing
shall be administered the oath or shall affirm that their
testimony is true and correct.
21.04 Exclusionary Rule. Any party to
the hearing may request that all other witnesses, other than
parties, their attorneys, or Committee members and
investigators, be excluded from the hearing room during the
testimony of other witnesses.
21.05 Transcription of Hearing. The
Committee shall secure or provide a person with the necessary
skill, training, and equipment to record, transcribe, or record
by shorthand or other method all proceedings before it at any
hearing, and shall furnish a copy to any party, at the party's
expense, of a written transcript of the hearing.
21.06 Legal Representation. Legal
counsel at any hearing before the Committee may represent each
party. Any party to any proceeding of the Committee may waive
right to counsel and such waiver shall remain effective
thereafter as to any such proceeding, or related proceeding,
until such time as the Chair of the Committee receives written
notice of revocation of that waiver. No revocation of waiver
shall invalidate any action, whether investigative or otherwise,
conducted by the Committee prior to that revocation.
21.07 Evidentiary Rulings. The
Committee shall not be bound by strict legal rules of evidence.
It may consider documents, records, or statements, which would
be, considered hearsay within the legal meaning of that term.
The members of the Committee may question witnesses.
All privileges recognized at law,
including the attorney-client privilege, will be recognized. The
standard of proof required before the Committee is the standard
of preponderance of the evidence.
21.08 Opening and Closing Statements.
Each party shall be allowed to present to the Committee, either
personally or through legal counsels, opening or closing
21.09 Investigator Reports. Any
investigator employed or appointed by the Committee may present
any report or the results of his investigation in narrative
form, without the necessity for specific questions and answers.
21.10 Confidential Information. The
Committee or any investigator of the Committee may refuse to
identify any witness who has requested that his communications
with the Committee remain confidential, but other
non-confidential evidence must corroborate any evidence by such
a witness before it can be considered by the Committee.
21.11 Submission without Hearing. The
Committee may, in its discretion, determine that a hearing in
the presence of all parties is not necessary for a determination
of a case, and in such instances may decide the case based on
written statements, depositions, affidavits, briefs or summaries
submitted by the parties, investigator's reports, and documents
and records provided the Committee. If the Committee decides to
hear the case by written submission it shall notify all parties
affected by its ruling not less than twenty (20) days prior to
the date of determination and allow all parties an adequate
opportunity to provide any additional evidence, information,
exhibits’ or argument which the parties may choose to submit
prior to a final ruling.
The parties may also choose to
voluntarily waive a hearing and agree to submit the case to the
Committee by written submission.
22.00 - RULINGS BY INFRACTIONS
22.01 Time for Ruling. The Committee
shall make reasonable efforts to process allegations or
complaints in a timely manner. (Revised 7-04)
22.02 Written Recommendations. The
Committee shall notify the AU Board of its recommendation, by a
written letter, notice, or opinion. (Revised 7-13)
22.03 Findings of Committee. The
Committee may, but is not required to, prepare written findings
of fact, which it makes in connection with its recommendation.
22.04 Motion for Rehearing. The
Committee shall not entertain any Motion for Rehearing save and
except for those, which assert factual errors in the Committee’s
decision and, if, prepared, findings of fact.
22.05 No Right to Appeal to Committee.
There is no right to appeal to the Committee any decision of the
22.06 Effect of Ruling. The
determination of the Committee shall constitute a recommended
decision to the Board of Directors of the Union.
23.00-ACTIONS ON INFRACTIONS COMMITTEE
23.01 Final Recommendation A
recommended decision by the Committee shall be filed with the
Executive Director of the Union, and copies provided to all
interested parties. A party who objects to that recommendation
shall file with the Executive Director specific written
objections to the factual or legal basis of the decision or
specific objections to the procedures followed by the Committee
within thirty (30) days of the date of the decision; otherwise
he shall have no standing to object further. (Revised 7/04)
23.02 Replies to Objection. The
Committee, or its designee, shall be allowed to present a reply
to any objections made to the Board of Directors.
23.03 Reviews by Board of Directors. At
its next regularly scheduled meeting following the decision of
the Committee the Board of Directors shall review the
recommended decision of the Committee, any notice of objection
to that decision, and within thirty (30) days thereafter take
23.04 Action by Board of Directors. The
Board of Directors shall affirm the decision of the Committee
unless it finds that substantial evidence does not exist to
support the recommended decision, it finds that the Committee
has improperly interpreted any Union Constitution or By-
Laws provision or Union Rule, or that
the Committee failed to properly follow Union procedures. The
Board of Directors shall, in the event it finds no reversible
error, notify all parties affected by the ruling that the
Committee's decision is adopted. If the Board of Directors
finds that the decision of the
Committee is substantially correct but is not proper in one or
more respects, it may adopt the Committee decision but modify it
accordingly. If the Board of Directors finds that a substantial
error of law or of procedure occurred in the hearing by the
Committee it may remand the case to the Committee for further
23.05 Final Decision by Union. All
rulings and decisions by the Board of Directors as to recommend
actions by the Committee are final, save and except for those
cases in which the case is remanded to the Committee for further
hearing. In the event of a remand those procedural rules
contained in the Union Disciplinary Rules applicable to
new charges or complaints shall apply,
unless the Board of Directors limits the action to be taken in
its order remanding the case.
24.00- DISCIPLINARY SANCTIONS OR
24.01 Probation. Is defined by the AU
as "a specified period of time a member or organization is
under watch for any further infraction or misconduct."
When a member, club or organization is
put on probation, the AU President shall appoint a chairman and
two committee members to monitor such probation. Should the
committee discover any further infraction, they will submit
discovery in writing and present to the Board at the earliest
A member on probation may attend
meetings, vote and continue as an AU member with all rights
& privileges as long as there are no further incidents or
violations of AU rules. (Rev. 07-21-06)
24.02 Suspension. Is defined by the AU
as "a specified period of time that a member(s) or
organization is "temporarily suspended’ from all club or
organization and Union activities", meaning they may not
ship in any AU or AU governed race, attend meetings or vote on
any issue until such time the suspension is lifted.
When a member(s) or organization is
suspended, the AU President shall appoint a chairman and two (2)
committee members to monitor such suspension. Should the
committee discover any further infraction or non-compliance,
they will submit discover, in writing, and present to the Board
at the earliest possible opportunity.
Unless there are extenuation
circumstances involved to dictate otherwise, as determined by
the AU Board, the entire physical loft location, (postal
address) , and birds shall be suspended.
Suspended members are prohibited from
purchasing or acquiring personal, club or stock AU bands, and no
pigeons may not be flown from the loft or physical address of a
suspended member until the suspension is lifted. (Rev. 7-21-06)
24.03 Expulsion. Is defined as
"fully expelled from the AU all affiliates and
organizations for life.
"When a member is expelled, the AU
President shall appoint a chairman and two (2) committee members
to monitor such expulsion. Should the committee discover
violation of such expulsion, they will submit discovery in
writing and present to the AU Board at the earliest possible
An expelled member MAY NOT attend any
AU club, organization or function, nor compete in any AU
sanctioned or governed race.
Unless there are extenuation
circumstances involved to dictate otherwise, as determined by
the AU Board, the entire loft location, (Postal address), and
all birds shall be expelled. (Rev. 7-21-06)
24.04 Restoration of Property. A member
who has been found guilty of a violation of the Rules of Conduct
may be ordered to restore to another property or Moines, which
he wrongfully acquired, including race winnings which he won as
a result, in whole or in part, of conduct found to constitute a
violation of any Rule of Conduct. Any order to return race
winnings shall order the funds to be paid to the organizing body
sponsoring the race or event involved.
24.05 Restitution. A member may be
ordered to pay compensation or make restitution, limited to
actual financial or economic loss or damages, to another member
who has suffered loss or damage as a result of prohibited
24.06. Private Reprimand. The Board of
Directors may issue a private reprimand to any member found to
have engaged in conduct in violation of the Rules of Conduct if
the Board determines that a private reprimand is commensurate
with the nature of the violation and is in the best interest of
the Union. Notice of a private reprimand shall not be published
in the Union Publication and the Board of Directors may delete
the name of the person reprimanded from the Minutes of the
meeting in which action is taken by the Board of Directors to
issue the reprimand.
However, the Executive Director of the
Union shall maintain the name of any person so reprimanded and a
record of the proceedings in a permanent file of the Union, and
if a subsequent violation of the Rules of Conduct is found to
have occurred the member charged shall not be eligible for
another private reprimand as disciplinary action for such later
24.07 Confidentiality of Actions. Board
decisions on infractions or otherwise legal issues are
understood to be private between the involved parties and is
released on a "need to know" basis, and not intended
for publication or public viewing. Exception, of actions that
might affect the welfare of the Sport in general may be released
at the Boards discretion. (Rewritten & Added 10-08)
24.08 Restriction on Future Activities.
The Board of Directors may choose to discipline a member by
restricting his future rights to engage in specific activities
in the sport or in connection with Union affiliated
organizations. For example, the Board of Directors may bar a
member from ever again serving as an officer, as race secretary,
as liberator, race sponsor, loft manager, or any other capacity
in connection with any organization, race, or event. Such a bar
may be for a lifetime or for a limited period of time.
24.09 Combined Disciplinary Action. A
member may be disciplined by any, or any combination, of the
modes of punishment set out in these Disciplinary Rules.
24.10 Disciplinary Action Against
Organizations. The Union may take action in any form against any
club or other Union affiliated organization which it deems
appropriate, including but not limited to expulsion, suspension,
revocation of the organization's charter, probation, or orders
compelling the organization to replace officers, modify its
Constitution, By-Laws, or policies, or make restitution to any
injured party or organization.
24.11 Reimbursement of Union Expenses.
A member or affiliated organization found guilty of a violation
of the Rules of Conduct may be ordered to reimburse the Union
for its expenses incurred in connection with the investigation
and hearing of the charge or complaint which resulted in the
finding, including but not limited to such expenses as the
travel and communications expenses of the Committee and its
investigators, costs incurred in planning and conducting a
hearing, and legal expenses.
24.12 Suspended Members Notification.
The Union shall notify affected organizations (Club, combine,
etc.) with a list of all members of that organization who have
been suspended or expelled from membership upon the Board’s
final decision, in order to advise them of the ineligibility or
limits of membership of those persons. (Rev. 10-18-06)
(Rewritten & Added 10-08)
24.13 Monitoring Disciplinary Action.
When a member(s), or AU affiliated organization is put on
probation, suspension or expelled, the AU President shall
appoint a chairman and two committee members to monitor such
probation, suspension or expulsion. Should the committee detect
further infractions, they will submit discovery in writing and
present to the AU Board at the earliest possible opportunity.
24.14 Appeal Process: There is no
appeal process for any member, club or organization put on
probation as their status is "still active and
racing." They are merely under watch for the probation
Members put on suspension or expelled
may appeal to the Chairman appointed by the President to monitor
his/her sanction providing such Chairman any new evidence or
testimony not adduced by the Infractions Committee in their
presentation to the Board of Directors. The Chairman will reject
the appeal if it is merely "rhetoric" in nature;
however, if the evidence is convincing, the Chairman will
advance the appeal to the Board for further review and final
action at the earliest opportunity, affording ‘due process’
to the defendant.
When an AU member is given the Sanction
of Suspension or Expulsion, it is the responsibility of the AU
Club or Organization to enforce such sanctions. Clubs or
Organizations that allow suspended or expelled members to attend
meetings, vote, hold office ship racing pigeons in AU sanctioned
or governed race competition, may be subject to suspension or
expulsion themselves, for allowing such infraction to occur.
If necessary, local authorities may be
enlisted to ensure compliance. (Added 11-06)