Bylaws & Governance

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LOS ANGELES CHAPTER of the
CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPISTS

Article I NAME

The name of this chapter of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists shall be CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPISTS, LOS ANGELES CHAPTER, INC. (LA-CAMFT or Chapter).

 

Article II OBJECTIVES AND PURPOSES

(The Mission Statement is to be included in the Chapter Policies and Procedures.)

  • To advance marriage and family therapy as an art, a science and a mental health profession.
  • To serve and represent the common professional and business interests of marriage and family therapists.
  • To set and maintain professional standards for marriage and family therapists.
  • To work towards public and private advocacy for the profession of Marriage and Family Therapy.
  • To engage in other lawful activities as allowed by law and/or as is set forth in the Articles of Incorporation of this Association.
  • To advance therapist visibility in the community and to increase networking opportunities, by establishing community connections between LA-CAMFT members and related professional organizations, students, trainees, interns, allied professionals, and the non-therapist community at large.

The Chapter may pursue such other objectives and purposes that are in the best interests of CAMFT, its members, and the members of this chapter and that are not in conflict with CAMFT’s Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws or Ethical Standards for Marriage and Family Therapists.

Specific policies and procedures needed to carry out these By-Laws will be included in the Policies and Procedures document, to be filed with these By-Laws, but not to be considered a part of the By-Laws. Changes to the Policies and Procedures may be made with a majority vote of the LA-CAMFT Board of Directors. Changes to these By-Laws are addressed in Article XIV.

 

Article III MEMBERSHIP

(Membership dues, renewal information, benefits and constraints are detailed in the LA-CAMFT Policies and Procedures.)

A. VOTING MEMBER CATEGORIES

(Must maintain current CAMFT membership in order to retain membership in LA-CAMFT.)

1. Clinical (LMFT) Members, including those in other qualifying Clinical LMFT membership categories, as described in the Policies and Procedures document, must:

  • hold a valid California LMFT license
  • be a CAMFT member in good standing.
    (Loss of membership in CAMFT shall result in
    loss of membership in LA-CAMFT.)
  • pay chapter membership dues on time (details in Policies and Procedures)

2. Pre-licensed Members must:

  • Be actively enrolled in a program or internship leading toward clinical licensure
  • Be a CAMFT member in good standing
    (Loss of membership in CAMFT shall result in
    loss of membership in LA-CAMFT.)
  • pay chapter membership dues on time (details in Policies and Procedures)

3. Associate Members must:

  • hold a valid Clinical license in a related field of psychotherapy, as defined by CAMFT.
  • be a CAMFT member in good standing.
    (Loss of membership in CAMFT shall result in loss of membership in LA-CAMFT.)
  • pay chapter membership dues on time (details in Policies and Procedures)

B. NON-VOTING MEMBER CATEGORIES

(Membership in CAMFT is not required in these categories.)

Per the statement of Chapter Objectives and Purposes, LA-CAMFT encourages involvement by other related and interested individuals and businesses that would not otherwise qualify for any of the memberships described in Part A of this Article. To that end, the Chapter may establish additional, non-voting membership categories that allow more inclusiveness.

Those categories are to be detailed in the Policies and Procedures of the Chapter, since the intent is to develop membership categories that can be changed to meet the evolving needs of the Chapter community.

C. RIGHTS AND DUTIES OF MEMBERS

  1. MFT Clinical, Pre-Licensed, and Associate Members in good standing shall have voting rights and are eligible for membership on the Board of Directors as voting members.
  2. All members may attend and participate in all Board meetings and committees.
  3. All MFT Clinical and Pre-Licensed, and Associate Members have the duty to maintain their licensure or student or intern status as well as maintaining a current membership in CAMFT.
  4. Category B Members may serve on the Board as non-voting/participating/advisory members.
  5. All chapter members shall pay dues in accordance with the dues schedule of the chapter, as documented in the Chapter Policies and Procedures and shall abide by the bylaws of the chapter.
  6. All chapter members are eligible to pay member rates to attend all chapter events and to partake of any benefits described as Membership Advantages, such as member rates for advertising, priority for submission of newsletter articles, eligibility to attend members-only events, participation on organizing committees and with Special Interest Groups, as members or in leadership roles.
  7. Member Rights and Duties may be added in the Policies and Procedures of the Chapter, in order to provide flexibility required to meet the changing needs of Chapter members.

D. TERMINATION and REINSTATEMENT OF MEMBERSHIP

(Specific procedural guidelines may be addressed in the Chapter Policies and Procedures.)

Membership in the chapter shall terminate upon the occurrence of any of the following:

1. Resignation

A member may resign from membership at any time, by submitting in writing to the chapter a letter of resignation. The effective date of the resignation shall be when the chapter receives the letter of resignation or at such later time as is indicated in the letter. Resignation does not entitle the member to a dues refund.

2. Nonpayment of Dues

Anyone whose dues are in default to the chapter shall be dropped from membership.

3. Loss of Eligibility

Any member, regardless of category, who is no longer eligible for membership due to a loss in the qualifications entitling such person to hold such membership, shall be dropped from membership, with no requirement for LA-CAMFT to refund all or a portion of the dues already paid.

4. Reinstatement of Membership

Any member who has voluntarily resigned membership from the Chapter or has terminated membership because of non-payment of dues may be reinstated to that member’s former category of membership, provided that the applicant meets the criteria for that category of membership and has submitted a new application for membership to the chapter, accompanied by payment of appropriate dues, application or other fees.


Article IV BOARD OF DIRECTORS AND OFFICERS

A. COMPOSITION OF BOARD

The Full Board of Directors shall consist of all elected officers, including, but not limited to:

  • President,
  • Vice- President
  • Secretary,
  • Treasurer
  • Directors-at-large (three)
  • Intern Representative
  • Membership Chair
  • Program Chair
  • Events Coordination Chair

The Executive Board includes, but is not limited to these members (who are also members of the Full Board):

  • President
  • VicePresident
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • One additional member, to be appointed by the President

All elected Board members and officers shall be clinical members of LA-CAMFT, with the exception of the Intern Representative, who shall be an intern, and the Directors-at-Large, who may be licensed or pre-licensed intern members.

Any unfilled elected positions on the board may be filled through appointment by the President, with approval from a majority of the current voting board members. The President may, upon approval of the Board, appoint interns to fill any positions not filled through the election process or to replace Board members who leave before completing the term of office. This provision may override the requirement that specific positions are to be filled by licensed, clinical members only.

Additional Board positions may be added, upon a majority vote of the current Board. Board changes must be included in the Chapter Policies and Procedures.

B. POWERS and RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS (voting members)

The activities and affairs of this chapter shall be conducted under the direction of a board of directors (referring to voting members only, unless otherwise noted), all of whom shall be members of the chapter.

The board of directors has the authority and responsibility to:

  1. Select and remove all agents, employees and/or contractors of the chapter.
  2. Fix compensation and secure faithful performance of duties prescribed.
  3. Establish governance policies to set rules and guidelines (Policies and Procedures) for the management of the Chapter.
  4. Ensure that these rules and guidelines set in the Policies and Procedures must in no way violate the Articles or the Bylaws that govern the chapter and must be enacted with a majority vote of the Board.
  5. Be aware of and consent to (by vote or consensus) establishment of new committees, special interest groups, revised format for meetings and events.
  6. Exercise financial oversight regarding LA-CAMFT income and expenditures, make decisions as to how Chapter monies will be spent, in collaboration with the Chapter Treasurer.
  7. Maintain minutes that document decisions and follow-up responsibilities.
  8. Other authorities and responsibilities as detailed in the Policies and Procedures, that do not conflict with these Bylaws.

The Executive Board has the authority and responsibility to:

  1. Set the agenda for the Full Board meetings.
  2. Approve minor expenditures.
  3. Report Executive Board decisions and actions to the Full Board.
  4. Prepare recommendations on Chapter operation to present to the Full Board.
  5. Review the financial reports prior to presentation to the Full Board.
  6. Hold closed sessions when needed to address personnel or other confidential issues.
  7. Maintain minutes which are then to be distributed to the Full Board (with confidential information summarized without breaking confidentiality.

C. DUTIES OF OFFICERS

Executive Board

1. The President shall, with the consent and direction of the board:

      • Supervise, direct and participate in organizing the business of the chapter.
      • Preside over all meetings of the chapter and at all meetings of the board of directors.
      • Recommend to the board of directors for appointment, committee and special interest group chairpersons as well as board members to fill vacant board positions.
      • Be an ex-officio member of all committees, but shall have no right to vote when serving in an ex-officio capacity.
      • In collaboration with the Vice-President, ensure that Board meetings are inclusive and provide adequate time for all members who need to participate.
      • In collaboration with the Vice-President, consult with, counsel, and advisce those Board members, Committee Chairs, Special Interest Group Chairs who are unable or unwilling to carry out the responsibilities of their offices.
      • May have other duties and powers as may be prescribed by the Board or these bylaws.

2. The Vice-President shall:

  • If the President is absent or unable to serve, perform the duties of the President.
  • Be responsible for those duties detailed in the Policies and Procedures.
  • Perform those duties assigned to him/her by the Ppresident and/or the Board of Directors.
  • In collaboration with the President, ensure that Board meetings are inclusive and provide adequate time for all members who need to participate.
  • In collaboration with the President, consult with, counsel, and advise those Board members, Committee Chairs, Special Interest Group Chairs who are unable or unwilling to carry out the responsibilities of their offices.

3. The Secretary shall:

  • Keep or cause to be kept, at the office of the chapter or such other place as the board of directors may direct, a book and/or a computerized record of Full and Executive Board minutes.
  • Ensure that all minutes include the meeting time, date, and location; type of meeting; names of those present at such meetings, a record of the proceedings, including decisions made and follow- up needed.
  • Serve as a resource to Board members or other Chapter members who need information regarding decisions or discussions that took place at a Board meeting.
  • Have such other powers and perform such other duties as may be prescribed by the board of directors or the bylaws.
  • Be responsible for obtaining a substitute, in the event of the secretary’s need to be absent from a specific Board meeting.
  • Have other responsibilities as detailed in the Policies and Procedures.

4. The Treasurer shall:

  • Keep and maintain, or cause to be kept and maintained, adequate and correct books and records of accounts of the properties and business transactions of the chapter, including accounts of its assets, liabilities, receipts, disbursements, gains, losses, capital, retained earnings, and any other matters customarily included in financial statements.
  • Ensure that the books of account shall be open to inspection by any board member at all reasonable times.
  • Shall deposit, or shall cause to be deposited, all money and other valuables in the name and to the credit of the chapter with such depositories as may be designated by the board of directors.
  • Shall disburse, or cause to be disbursed, the funds of the chapter as may be ordered by the Board.
  • Provide at regular Executive and Full Board meetings, or at such other times as directed by the board, an account of financial transactions and of the financial condition of the chapter.
  • Prepare or cause to be prepared a proposed annual budget to be presented to the Board on a date to be decided by the Board.

D. ORDER OF SUCCESSION

In the absence of the President from a meeting over which he/she should preside or in the permanent absence of the President, the order of succession shall be: Vice-President, Treasurer, and Secretary.

E. REMOVAL OF OFFICERS AND BOARD MEMBERS

The Board of Directors, by a vote of a majority of its members, shall have the authority to recommend, for approval by the membership, removal from office for cause, any one of its members after having given that member an opportunity to appear before the board of directors to answer the charges.

F. MEETINGS OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS

1. Number of Meetings

The Full Board of Directors shall:

  • Meet at least eight (8) times during each fiscal year.
  • Establish and publish dates for these board meetings.
  • Hold meetings at a location within the area served by the chapter as designated by the Board.
  • Hold additional meetings as arranged by the President, with the approval of the Board.

The Executive Board shall:

  • Hold meetings prior to and in the same month as each Full Board meeting, when practical.
  • Hold additional meetings, as needed, when called by the President.

2. Notice of Meetings:

  • Meetings of the Board shall be held upon not less than ten (10) days written notice.

3. Special Meetings:

  • Special meetings of the Board of Directors shall be called by the president upon the written request of a majority vote of the Board of Directors.

G. QUORUM

  • A majority of the number of voting Board members authorized in these bylaws shall constitute a quorum of the Board for the transaction of business.
  • Every act or decision made by a majority of the voting Board members present at a meeting duly held at which a quorum is present is the act of the Board, except when a greater or lesser number is required by applicable law or by these bylaws.
  • A meeting at which a quorum is initially present may continue to transact business notwithstanding the withdrawal of Directors.

H. COMPENSATION

  • No compensation shall be paid to any member of the Board for performing the duties for which he or she was elected.
  • Nothing in this section shall prevent Board members from receiving reimbursement for expenses as may be determined by resolution of the board of directors to be just and reasonable.
  • Compensation for performing other Chapter duties not included with that Board position may be proposed by the President and requires a majority of the Board for approval. Any compensation for additional tasks and duties must be documented in the minutes and must not represent a conflict of interest or be dependent on maintaining the office to which that Director was elected.

I. ELECTIONS

  • Elections shall be held in alternating years, for the entire Board.
  • No person shall be eligible for election until he or she has been a voting member in good standing of the chapter for at least one year upon taking office.
  • Special elections may be called by the President, with the approval of the Board.
  • The Board of Directors shall appoint, upon recommendation of the President, a nominating committee, with no fewer than three clinical Chapter members, none of whom will be running for an office, to carry out the following responsibilities:
  • The Board of Directors shall appoint, upon recommendation of the President, a nominating committee, with no fewer than three clinical Chapter members, none of whom will be running for an office, to carry out the following responsibilities:
    – Develop timelines, deadlines, and processes for the upcoming elections.
    – Publicize, in collaboration with the President, the upcoming election process and timeline.
    – Nominate qualified members and certify the eligibility of the candidates for election to the Board of Directors.
    – Inform all nominees of the duties of the offices for which they have been nominated and secure their consent to serve.
    – If there are no nominations for some offices, make an effort to identify and invite potential nominees who might have an interest in running for those offices.
    – Announce in writing to voting members, names of nominees at least thirty days prior to the election.
    – Develop and carry out a process for sending out election ballots.
    – Determine and publish election results.
    – Participate, with the Board, in arranging the installation ceremony.

J. TERMS OF OFFICE

The term of office for all elected officers and board members shall be two years. There shall be no limitation on the number of terms that may be served by an elected officer.

The term of office shall run from January 1 of the first year of service, through December 31 of the second year of service.

If a Board member has been appointed to an office in the middle of a two year term, that member is expected to complete the remaining time left in that term and may run again in the next regular election.

 

Article V COMMITTEES

1. Committees are essential to the mission and function of the Chapter.

  • Committees are to be named in the Policies and Procedures and are subject to change, depending on the needs of the Chapter.

2. Committees of the Board are those formed to carry out the work of the Chapter, but are not essential to the mission and function of the Chapter.

  • Committees of the Board are to be named in the Policies and Procedures and are subject to change, depending on the needs of the Chapter.

 

Article VI SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS

Special Interest Groups (SIGs) are formed at the request of one or more Chapter members, with the approval of the Board.

Parameters and organizational details of SIGs are to be addressed in the Policies and Procedures.

Special Interest Groups may be approved when:

  • A member of the Chapter, in good standing, requests to form the group and agrees to be a Chair or Co-Chair.
  • The SIG Chair files a Proposal and Action Plan form with a Board member.
  • The Board approves the formation of the new SIG.
  • The SIG reports to and receives assistance from one Board member.
  • The Chair agrees to maintain an active SIG and to provide access to all Chapter members.

 

Article VII FINANCES

A. FISCAL YEAR

The fiscal year of the chapter shall begin January 1 of each year and end December 31 of each year.

B. DUES

The establishment of dues and the procedures for collecting dues shall be set in the Policies and Procedures.

C. BUDGET

The Chapter budget will be set in the governance policies.

 

Article VIII RECORDS AND REPORTS, INSPECTION

A. MAINTENANCE AND INSPECTION OF BYLAWS

The chapter shall keep at its selected location in California, the bylaws of the chapter as amended to date, which shall be open to inspection by the members at all reasonable times. The chapter shall provide CAMFT with a copy of the chapter bylaws and any amendment(s) thereafter made.

B. MAINTENANCE AND INSPECTION OF OTHER RECORD

  1. The accounting books, records and minutes of proceedings of the members of the board of directors and any committee(s) of the board of directors shall be maintained in the selected location for the chapter or with the treasurer and/or secretary of the chapter.
  2. The minutes and the accounting books and records shall be kept in written or typed form.
  3. The minutes, accounting books, and records shall be open to inspection on the written demand of any member, at any reasonable time, for a purpose reasonably related to the member’s interests as a member. The inspection may be made in person or by an agent or attorney and shall include the right to copy and make extracts.

C. INSPECTION BY DIRECTORS

Every director shall have the right at any reasonable time to inspect all books, records and documents of every kind and the physical properties of the chapter. This inspection by a director may be made in person or by an agent or attorney, and the right of inspection includes the right to copy and make extracts of documents.

 

Article IX LIABILITY OF MEMBERS

No member, regardless of the class or category of membership held, and whether or not a voting member, shall be personally or otherwise liable for any of the debts, liabilities and/or obligations of the chapter. Nothing in this article shall be construed to relieve any person of any liability imposed by the California Non-profit Corporation Laws.

 

Article X PROPERTY

The chapter, through its board of directors, shall hold the title to all property, funds and assets of the chapter and they shall have complete control over the acquisition, administration, and disposition of any property, funds or assets. The chapter may accept gifts, legacies, devises, donations, and/or contributions in any amount and in any form upon such terms as may be decided by the board of directors.

 

Article XI USE OF NAME

No member shall speak in the name of the chapter without authorization from the president or board of directors.

 

Article XIV AMENDMENTS TO THE BYLAWS or REWRITES OF THE ORIGINAL DOCUMENT

A. Amendments to the bylaws may be initiated by any member of the board of directors.

B. Adoption of Amendments:

  1. Proposed amendments which have received a majority vote of the board of directors present shall be recommended to the membership for ratification by ballot.
  2. A copy of the proposed amendment or amendments shall be sent to all voting members of the chapter at least three (3) weeks prior to the time of voting.
  3. There shall be specified on the ballot a deadline for return of the mailed ballot.
  4. A three-quarters (3/4) majority of ballots returned shall be required for ratification of the proposed amendment.

 

CERTIFICATION OF PRESIDENT and VICE-PRESIDENT

We, the undersigned, certify that we are presently elected to and acting in the offices named below, for the Los Angeles Chapter of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, and the above bylaws are as adopted at a meeting of the board of directors held on September 21, 2012 and by a vote of the membership, completed by October 3, 2012.