Belegarth by-laws

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Current Version Effective October 23rd 2018

Contents

Mission Statement

It is the mission of BMCS to create a safe, fun, inclusive, and friendly environment in which participants may engage in medieval-fantasy activities, especially simulated combat with sports equipment and the pursuit, study, and appreciation of related arts and sciences. BMCS shall promote artistry, study, and appreciation in pre-1600’s cultures as well as in the medieval fantasy genres.

Article 1: Name

The name of this organization shall be Belegarth Medieval Combat Society. It will be henceforth referred to as BMCS. The purpose of BMCS shall be to educate members about the medieval arts and sciences, fantasy lore, and the safe practice of simulated medieval martial arts, and for any other related exempt purpose the organization later decides to engage in. BMCS shall only conduct activities that fulfill an exempt purpose as defined by Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, as may be amended from time to time. No part of the net earnings shall inure to the benefit of or be distributable to any director, officer, member or other private person, except that the BMCS shall be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered and to make payments and distributions in furtherance of the exempt purposes as set forth in the Articles of Incorporation of the Organization, its Conflict of Interest Policy, and these Bylaws.

Article 2: Objectives

  • 2.1 BMCS as an organization shall strive for the following:
    • 2.1.1 To promote greater interest and understanding of BMCS and its mission statement to the public
    • 2.1.2 To educate members about the medieval arts and sciences, fantasy lore, and the safe practice of simulated medieval martial arts.
    • 2.1.3 To enable realms and individual members to further the BMCS mission statement and promote the organization as a whole by identifying and promoting best practices so that members can better engage with the public and build cohesion within the community.

Article 3: Recognition

  • 3.1. BMCS shall adhere to all state, local and federal regulations to which it is subject to, including those applicable to tax exempt organizations.

Article 4: Membership

  • 4.1 Member Rights and Responsibilities
    • 4.1.1 Membership in BMCS shall be reserved for individuals and institutions that support the mission and objectives of BMCS, and agree to adhere to and uphold the BMCS Code of Ethical Guidelines and Policy of Non-discrimination. BMCS shall keep and maintain an official member roster showing all active members entitled to speak and or vote, which shall at least include the members’ full names and mailing addresses. Members are responsible for providing their information and any change of mailing address.
    • 4.1.2 Participation in BMCS activities at any level is reserved for members and non-members approved by the member hosting the activities.
  • 4.2 Non-Members
    • 4.2.1 Only a Member in good standing shall have the privilege of voting, holding office, of nominating and electing the Officers of the organization, and of being a representative at War Council, henceforth referred to as “WC”.
    • 4.2.2 Non-members are those persons who have not agreed to uphold the responsibilities of membership, or for whom membership has been revoked or denied.
    • 4.2.3 Non-members may only participate in activities in which the hosting member has granted explicit permission. This includes but is not limited to events and practices.
    • 4.2.4 Non-members are explicitly barred from attending and participating in BMCS funded events.
  • 4.3 Non-Member Participation
    • 4.3.1 Members that choose to allow non-members to participate in their hosted activities assume full liability for said persons.
    • 4.3.2 Hosting members must clearly advertise ahead of time when an activity will allow non-members, and must specifically name the admittance of persons for which membership has been revoked or denied by BMCS.
  • 4.4 Automatic Denial of Membership
    • 4.4.1 In accordance with the mission of BMCS and in an attempt to provide a safe environment for its Members, individuals with the following legal status or history will be automatically denied membership in BMCS:
      • 4.4.1.1 Persons who have ever been convicted of or pleaded nolo contendere to sexual offences against a minor, or related actions thereof. This includes but is not limited to solicitation of a minor for sexual acts, grooming behaviors or predation, possession, distribution, solicitation for, or creation of child pornography, or sexual exploitation of a minor.
      • 4.4.1.2 Persons who have ever been convicted of or pleaded nolo contendere to rape or sexual assault.
      • 4.4.1.3 Persons who have ever been convicted of or pleaded nolo contendere to severe violent offences such as murder, attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, aggravated assault, or violence against a child.
  • 4.5 Procedural Denial or Revocation of Membership
    • 4.5.1 An individual may be pre-emptively denied membership, or have their membership revoked, via the following criteria and procedures.
    • 4.5.2 Criteria
      • 4.5.2.1 A person may be denied or lose membership for the following non-exclusive criteria, and non-listed criteria determined to be in keeping with the spirit of this list by the BMCS War Council:
        • 4.5.2.1.1 Sexual offences for which the person may or may not have received a conviction, including sexual harassment, assault, rape, and sexual offences involving a minor.
        • 4.5.2.1.2 Repetitive or severe violent offences for which the person may or may not have received a conviction, including but not limited to domestic violence, murder, attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, physical assault, or credible threats pertaining to the above.
        • 4.5.2.1.3 Known association with or dissemination of extremist views that dehumanize and/or promote violence against any person or group, or are otherwise not in keeping with the BMCS mission statement, objectives, code of ethical guidelines, or policy of non-discrimination.
        • 4.5.2.1.4 A person may not be denied or have membership revoked for their political, religious, or social ideology, where those ideologies do not advocate for the dehumanization of or violence against any persons, classes, races, etc., and do not violate Article 2 or Article 13 of these Bylaws.
          • 4.5.2.1.4.1 Persons using such beliefs to actively create unwelcoming environment to other participants, through word or deed, are in violation of section 13.2.6, and should be reprimanded via the guidelines in section 13.3.
    • 4.5.3 Procedures
      • 4.5.3.1 The revocation, expulsion, suspension or pre-emptive denial of membership shall adhere to the following guidelines:
        • 4.5.3.1.1 A motion for denial or revocation of membership must include statements supporting the criteria for which the denial or revocation is levied. This may include witness statements.
          • 4.5.3.1.1.1 Witnesses may choose to remain anonymous, but their identity must be disclosed to a member of the BMCS Officers of the accuser’s choosing.
        • 4.5.3.1.2 Once seconded, the person for which the denial or revocation is intended must be given at least fifteen (15) days’ prior written notice of the pending action against them before a vote may begin. This notice may be part of the twenty-one (21) day voting period and such notice shall contain, in reasonable detail, the reasons for the proposed revocation, expulsion, suspension or preemptive denial of membership. Any written notice given by mail must be given by first class or certified mail sent to the last address of the member shown on the corporation’s records or, in the alternative, if a mailing address is not available, then notice shall be provided via email.
          • 4.5.3.1.2.1 An opportunity for the member to be heard, orally or in writing, not less than five (5) days before the effective date of the expulsion, suspension or termination by a person or persons authorized to decide that the proposed expulsion, termination or suspension not take place. During this time, the person must be granted access to the discussion thread for that motion, either directly or by a BMCS Officer proxy, so that they may present their defense, and answer questions.
          • 4.5.3.1.2.2 A person knowingly refusing to acknowledge a notice of pending action will be considered to have declined to speak.
          • 4.5.3.1.3 A 3/4 vote in favor of the action, with a 2/3 quorum, is necessary for such a vote to pass.

Article 5: Dues

  • 5.1. The BMCS will not charge any dues to any member. That recourse is left to the separate realms in the BMCS to determine if they so choose.
  • 5.2. The BMCS may charge a fee for any national event in order to establish a fund to run said event or said event the following year.

Article 6: Officers and Their Duties

  • 6.1. The Officers of the BMCS shall be:
    • 6.1.1. President
      • 6.1.1.1. The President will work with the WC to ensure that all BMCS rules are observed at all BMCS sponsored and funded events.
      • 6.1.1.2. The President will select Marshals for BMCS sponsored/funded events if the hosting group has not already done so or in case of problems.
        • 6.1.1.2.1 The President has the right to veto Marshals at BMCS sponsored and funded events.
      • 6.1.1.3. The President shall oversee the progress of all Officers and Directors
      • 6.1.1.4. The President shall issue any web site changes to the Webmaster should any need to be made.
      • 6.1.1.5. The President will ensure that Belegarth’s nonprofit corporation status is maintained and shall cause the Treasurer to file all tax returns and reports required to maintain BMCS’s tax exempt status (for example Form 990 tax returns and annual reports with the Secretary of State).
      • 6.1.1.6. The President will perform all other duties usually associated with this office.
      • 6.1.1.7 The President may designate awardees for the Presidential Orders of Recognition
      • 6.1.1.8 As with all other Officers, the President is a point of contact to report issues of a delicate nature which requiring reporting via Article 13 of the Belegarth Bylaws
    • 6.1.2. Vice President
      • 6.1.2.1. The Vice President will fulfill any obligation that the President is unable to accomplish or any task that the President delegates.
      • 6.1.2.2. The Vice President will assume control of all Presidential powers & responsibilities at a BMCS funded/sponsored events should the President not be able to attend.
      • 6.1.2.3. The Vice President will work with BMCS Realms and BMCS Events concerning BMCS Rules.
      • 6.1.2.4 The Vice President will “Chair” and oversee the running and rulings of the War Council in accordance with Roberts Rules of Order.
        • 6.1.2.4.1 They will be responsible for calling a vote once the War Council’s discussion is complete and tallying the votes.
      • 6.1.2.5 The Vice President may call for a speaking limit on the representatives of the War Council in accordance with Roberts Rules of Order.
      • 6.1.2.6 The Vice President may designate awardees for the Presidential Orders of Recognition
      • 6.1.2.7 As with all other Officers, the Vice President can be contacted to report issues of a delicate nature which requiring reporting via Article 13 of the BMCS By-Laws
    • 6.1.3. Treasurer
      • 6.1.3.1. The Treasurer will accurately record all financial records for the BMCS.
      • 6.1.3.2. The Treasurer will collect all receipts from BMCS .
      • 6.1.3.3. The Treasurer will file any appropriate tax information as needed.
      • 6.1.3.4. The Treasurer will prepare a quarterly Belegarth financial report for public release.
      • 6.1.3.5. The Treasurer will prepare and publish an annual financial report for the public release.
      • 6.1.3.6. The Treasurer will establish and maintain a corporate checking account.
      • 6.1.3.7. The Treasurer will review and remit payment for debts incurred by the BMCS
      • 6.1.3.8 The Treasurer may designate awardees for the Presidential Orders of Recognition
      • 6.1.3.9 As with all other Officers, the Treasurer can be contacted to report issues of a delicate nature which requiring reporting via Article 13 of the Belegarth Bylaws
    • 6.1.4. Secretary
      • 6.1.4.1. The Secretary will be responsible for keeping the official minutes of the Officer meetings (If not in attendance, the remaining Officers may elect another Officer to fulfill this obligation for the meeting).
        • 6.1.4.1.1 The Secretary will be responsible for posting any Officer Meeting Minutes to the Belegarth Forum
        • 6.1.4.1.2 As all War Council Meetings take place on the BMCS Forums, the Forum Daily Backup will provide the record of any and all War Council Meetings/Discussion
      • 6.1.4.2. The Secretary will be responsible for filing all necessary paperwork on behalf of the Officers and Belegarth Medieval Society INC including but not limited to Incorporation/Business Entity Fillings in the State of Idaho, Register Agent Fillings, and Change of Officers Paperwork.
        • 6.1.4.2.1 The secretary may delegate this task as needed.
      • 6.1.4.3 The Secretary will be responsible to create and maintain an updated list of contact information of the War Council Representatives of all Voting and Speaking Realms.
      • 6.1.4.4 The Secretary will step in to help with War Council Voting Periods when required.
      • 6.1.4.5. The Secretary will be required to schedule and announce all Officers Public Meetings
        • 6.1.4.5.1 There shall be at least 1 Public Officers Meeting per calendar year.
        • 6.1.4.5.2 The Public Officers Meeting shall take place prior to the December Voting Period.
      • 6.1.4.6 The Secretary will be responsible for handling all nominations for the Presidential International Orders of Recognition
      • 6.1.4.7 The Secretary may designate awardees for the Presidential Orders of Recognition
      • 6.1.4.8 As with all other Officers Positions, the Secretary can be contacted to report issues of a delicate nature which requiring reporting via Article 13 of the Belegarth Bylaws
    • 6.1.5. Webmaster
      • 6.1.5.1. The Webmaster will be in charge of the national web page, making any and all changes to the page that the President has mandated.
      • 6.1.5.2. The Webmaster will be in charge of the national online web board; moderating and making any and all changes and updating the online web board as necessary.
      • 6.1.5.3. The Webmaster will report to the President so that the President may report to the WC any and all issues dealing with the page in question.
      • 6.1.5.4. The Webmaster will, in conjunction with the Public Relations Coordinator, promote the ease of access to BMCS on both the website and social media channels.
      • 6.1.5.5. The Webmaster will, in conjunction with the Public Relations Coordinator, ensure BMCS follows website, social media and search engine optimization best practices.
      • 6.1.5.6. The Webmaster will, in conjunction with the Public Relations Coordinator, be responsible for compilation and analysis of web traffic analytics.
      • 6.1.5.7 The Webmaster may designate awardees for the Presidential Orders of Recognition
      • 6.1.5.8 As with all other Officers, the Webmaster is a point of contact to report issues of a delicate nature which requiring reporting via Article 13 of the Belegarth Bylaws
    • 6.1.6. Public Relations Coordinator
      • 6.1.6.1. The Public Relations Coordinator will be the main point of contact for all organization-level media coverage and manage all social media channels officially associated with Belegarth Medieval Combat Society, http://www.belegarth.com and http://www.geddon.org
      • 6.1.6.2. The Public Relations Coordinator will compile analytic data associated with these social media channels.
      • 6.1.6.3. The Public Relations Coordinator will oversee propagation of official Belegarth-related content, including, but not limited to: blogs, instructional videos, press releases, images, promotional materials, documentaries, and newspaper/magazine articles, to be posted on the website and across all social media channels.
      • 6.1.6.4. The Public Relations Coordinator will be the primary point of contact for new realms.
      • 6.1.6.5. The Public Relations Coordinator will, in conjunction with the Webmaster, promote the ease of access to BMCS on both the website and social media channels.
      • 6.1.6.6. The Public Relations Coordinator will, in conjunction with the Webmaster, ensure BMCS follows website, social media and search engine optimization best practices.
      • 6.1.6.7. The Public Relations Coordinator will, in conjunction with the Webmaster, be responsible for compilation and analysis of web traffic analytics.
      • 6.1.6.8 The Public Relations Coordinator will maintain a group of Regional Public Relations Liaisons of their choosing to help facilitate a cohesive Public Relations Front across the community
      • 6.1.6.9 The Public Relations Coordinator may designate awardees for the Presidential Orders of Recognition
      • 6.1.6.10 As with all other Officers, the Public Relations Coordinator is a point of contact to report issues of a delicate nature which requiring reporting via Article 13 of the Belegarth Bylaws
  • 6.2. War Council Representatives
    • 6.2.1. Each Realm shall determine their own WC Representatives.
    • 6.2.2. The WC shall consist of two delegates from each Realm, either one may place their realm’s one vote.
    • 6.2.3. Realm WC representatives must have the means to access the internet at least one per week.
    • 6.2.4. The WC shall determine the rules and safety procedures that BMCS requires.
    • 6.2.5. The WC shall elect the Officers.
    • 6.2.6. The WC shall determine the BMCS Bylaws.
    • 6.2.7. If the Secretary is not present, WC will elect someone to take accurate notes from the WC Meeting.
    • 6.2.8. The WC will do its best to support the National Officers as well as general members of BMCS.
    • 6.2.9. National Officers may not serve as War Council Realm Voting Representatives during their tenure.

Article 7: Installation and Removal of an individual from a National Office

  • 7.1. A person may hold a national-level position of the BMCS only as long as the individual is able to properly perform the duties required for the fulfillment of said position.
  • 7.2. Installation of New Officers
    • 7.2.1. A person may be nominated for Office with a nomination and second from any two Voting Realms. Nominations for new officers may be made in either the September voting session or in the event of either a successful vote of no-confidence or the resignation of a current National Officer.
    • 7.2.2. In the event that only one individual is successfully nominated, the motion shall adhere to the standard 7-day discussion period to allow for other nominations. If no other nominations or objections are raised during that time, the motion is considered passed with no vote necessary.
    • 7.2.3. In the event that more than one individual is nominated for a National Office, all seconded candidates shall be considered during the same vote.
      • 7.2.3.1. A simple majority of half of the responding realms shall be considered a successful election.
      • 7.2.3.2. If a nominee withdraws his or her candidacy, votes cast in said candidates favor are considered as abstentions until those realms change their vote.
    • 7.2.4. In the event that a plurality of candidates causes no single candidate to receive half of the responding realms’ votes by the end of the voting period, a secondary election shall be called in the manner of an emergency vote. Only the two candidates from the original election with the greatest number of votes shall be considered in this secondary election.
      • 7.2.5. Officers’ terms will be a minimum of one year. After one year has passed, the position will be opened for a vote at the next voting period. If an officer's term expires during a voting period, the vote will take place at the beginning of that voting period.
  • 7.3. Removal of Officers
    • 7.3.1. If the WC feels that an Officer is not doing the job according to the criteria set by the WC, said Officer may be removed from office via a Vote of No Confidence, which must be motioned and seconded by members of the WC.
    • 7.3.2. The vote will carry by a simple majority of the WC quorum voting yes to the removal of the Officer.

Article 8: Meetings

  • 8.1. The WC shall hold a Meeting no less than once a year.
  • 8.2 Emergency and/or online meetings may be held as needed.
  • 8.3. Robert's Rules of Order (revised) shall govern the proceedings of meetings of the WC insofar as such rules are not inconsistent or in conflict with the Bylaws, with the Articles of Incorporation, or with provisions of the law.
  • 8.4. Any meeting provided for hereunder may be conducted by means of a conference telephone, video conference, online forum portal discussion, or similar communications equipment. Participation by such means shall constitute presence in person at a meeting provided that all persons participating in the meeting can hear each other at the same time, or can access the forum such that each person entitled to participate in the meeting can reasonably participate in all matters discussed at such meeting, including, without limitation, the ability to propose, object to, and vote upon a specific action to be taken.

Article 9: Referendum or Vote

  • 9.1. Referendum vote may be held through the Belegarth Forums at any time upon the initiation of the WC or President. A Referendum petition must request and receive permission from said WC.

Article 10: Online Voting Rules

  • 10.1. The following rules are ONLY to be used for online meetings of WC. These guidelines do not apply anywhere other than online in the WC forums.
    • 10.1.1 Voting shall take place during the months of March, June, September and December. These shall be known as the voting periods.
  • 10.2 All voting must take place in the WC forum; no votes by phone or word-of-mouth will be allowed.
  • 10.3. Only voting realms may put forward or second a motion.
  • 10.4. Once a motion is made, it must be seconded within 7 days. If a motion is not seconded within 7 days, a new motion will need to be made.
  • 10.5. After a vote is seconded, a discussion thread is created in the private WC forum and a vote date set for 7 days after the motion was seconded.
    • 10.5.1 The Secretary must notify the WC Representative of every voting realm via their preferred method of contact that the voting period has started and again halfway through the voting period as a reminder.
    • 10.5.2 The original proposer of the motion may withdraw their motion at any time prior to the vote.
  • 10.6. So long as by-law 10.5.1 is adhered to, it is assumed that all realms are in attendance during any online WC business. If by-law 10.5 is for any reason not adhered to, a quorum of 2/3 of all Voting Realms must respond during the voting period in order for the motion to pass.
    • 10.6.1. Non-responding realms will be considered as abstaining.
  • 10.7. Voting Period: After a vote begins, the vote will remain open for 21 days, unless extended.
    • 10.7.1. A realm may change its vote at any time during this period.
    • 10.7.2. Votes or changes on the 22nd day or afterwards are discarded.
  • 10.8. A voting realm that participates must vote Yes, No, or Abstain. An abstention will not count as a vote in support (for) or refusal (against) the motion in question.
  • 10.9. A realm that does not respond at all within the voting period is still considered to be in attendance so long as by-law 10.5.1 has been adhered to. Their vote shall be counted as an abstention.
  • 10.10. At the end of the designated voting period, the President (or another Corporate Officer if the President has delegated this duty) will count the vote tally and declare the outcome.
  • 10.11. Any voting realm may request an extension on a vote on or before the 21st day of voting. They must provide a viable reason for this request.
    • 10.11.1. It must be seconded on or before the 21st day of voting to take effect.
    • 10.11.2. If the motion is made and seconded, voting will continue for 7 days past the end of the original voting period, making the voting period a total of 28 days.
    • 10.11.3. A vote may only be extended once.
  • 10.12. Emergency Votes: If a vote has been called on a motion and a quorum has not been reached by the close of voting, an emergency vote may be called at the President's discretion (or Vice President's if and only if the issue is a Vote of No Confidence on the President) within 7 days, so long as it meets the requisite criteria. The President may only call emergency votes for the following reasons:
    • 10.12.1. Election of Corporate officers
    • 10.12.2. Votes of No Confidence on Corporate Officers.
    • 10.12.3. Votes required due to pending litigation
    • 10.12.4 Changes required to resolve a persistent deadlock situation which has lasted over at least 6 months and 3 votes where no quorum has been reached on any vote, other than previously called emergency votes. This may include votes for the addition of new voting realms or temporary removal of negligent realms from the WC, but under no circumstances may an emergency vote be called for dissolution of the WC.
    • 10.12.5 The emergency voting period will last for exactly 28 days.
  • 10.13. In the event an emergency vote has been called, all realms will be contacted by the Secretary at the beginning of the voting period and approximately 2 weeks into the voting period if they have not yet responded.
    • 10.13.1. If necessary, alternate methods of contact such as telephone calls will be used.
    • 10.13.2. So long as these procedures have been followed, all realms will be considered in attendance for the Emergency Vote.
  • 10.14. Proxy votes will not be allowed. WC votes must be submitted by the designated realm representatives.

Article 11: Finances

  • 11.1. Each Realm is responsible for its own finances and must adhere to the appropriate federal, state and local laws.
  • 11.2. In case of dissolution of the corporation, the assets will pay off all indebtedness and all creditors. Upon the dissolution of any Realm, any funds remaining after paying or making provision for the payment of all liabilities of the realm shall be distributed to BMCS, or to one or more regularly organized and qualified nonprofit organizations with similar exempt purposes as the Organization that shall at that time qualify as an exempt organization(s) under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, as amended from time to time, in such manner as the Board of Directors shall determine. Any such assets not so disposed of shall be disposed of by a Court of Competent Jurisdiction of the county in which the principal office of the realm is then located, exclusively for such purposes or to such organization or organizations, as said Court shall determine, which are organized and operated exclusively for such purposes.
  • 11.3. The properties and assets of BMCS are irrevocably dedicated to charitable purposes. No part of the net earnings, properties, or assets of this corporation, on dissolution or otherwise, shall inure to the benefit of any private person or individual, or any member, Director or officer of the BMCS.
    • 11.3.1. Whenever a member, director or officer has a financial or personal interest in any matter coming before such member, director or officer, must comply with the BMCS Conflict of Interest Policy, which is hereby incorporated in full by reference.
  • 11.4. Unless otherwise specifically determined by the Officers of BMCS or otherwise required by law, formal contracts and other corporate instruments and documents shall be executed, signed or endorsed by the President, Vice-President, and by the Treasurer.
    • 11.4.1. All checks and drafts drawn on banks or other depositories of funds to the credit of the corporation, or on special accounts of BMCS, shall be signed by such person or persons as the Board shall authorize to do so.
  • 11.5. The Officers may accept on behalf of BMCS any contribution, gift, bequest, or devise for the general purposes of or for any special purpose of BMCS not inconsistent with the charitable limitations permitted by applicable law. Upon receipt, the officer will immediately issue a receipt to the donor and submit copies for Officers and War Council records. A report of contributions received must be disclosed quarterly to War Council.
    • 11.5.1. The Officers may distribute, to an authorized person, any portion of a contribution, gift, bequest, or devise for the general purposes of or for any special purpose of BMCS not inconsistent with these Bylaws or as permitted by applicable law. Officers may require authorized persons to sign a notarized statement of conduct indicating that they understand contributions are distributed for local nonprofit activities only, and that they cannot be used for personal gain. BMCS Officers may also require all receipts from local activities supported by the distributed contributions as proof that activities are in accordance with our mission and the BMCS Articles of Incorporation. A report of contributions distributed to authorized persons, the receipts from those activities, and notarized statements of conduct must be disclosed quarterly to War Council.
    • 11.5.2. If a contribution, gift, bequest, or device is donated to BMCS and earmarked by the donator for a specific permitted purpose of BMCS, then Officers of BMCS may choose whether to accept the earmarked donation. If the donation cannot be used as earmarked by the donator, it should be refused. Earmarked contributions that are accepted by the Officers of BMCS are supplemental to the annual budget and may be immediately used for a specific purpose of BMCS not inconsistent with its exempt purposes. The Officers of BMCS have the ability to accept and use earmarked funds without necessitating a WC vote to change the annual budget. Accepted donations that are distributed to authorized persons must follow the rules set forth in 11.5.2. BMCS Officers may refuse donations for any reason. Any accepted or refused donation must be included in a quarterly report to War Council. Any donation that is earmarked for purposes inconsistent with BMCS’s exempt purposes must be refused.
  • 11.6. To the fullest extent permitted by law, the BMCS may indemnify its Directors, officers, employees, agents, volunteers and other persons described in the Idaho Nonprofit Corporation Act, Idaho Code § 30-30-626, including persons formerly occupying any such positions (each an “Indemnified Party”), against all damages, expenses, judgments, fines, settlements, and other amounts actually and reasonably incurred by them in connection with any proceeding, and including an action by or in the right of BMCS.
    • 11.6.1. To the fullest extent permitted by law and except as otherwise determined by the Board in a specific instance, expenses incurred by an Indemnified Party in defending any “proceeding” may be advanced by BMCS before final disposition of the proceeding upon receipt by BMCS of a contract from the Indemnified Party to repay such amount unless it is ultimately determined that the Indemnified Party is entitled to be indemnified by the BMCS for those expenses.
    • 11.6.2. BMCS shall have power to purchase and maintain insurance to the full extent permitted by law on behalf of the Indemnified Parties, against any liability asserted against or incurred by such persons in such capacity or arising out of the person’s status as such.
  • 11.7. BMCS shall keep correct and complete books of account and records and shall also keep Minutes of the proceedings of the meetings of its Officers and Directors. The books of account may be inspected by any member or member’s agent, for any reasonable purpose at any reasonable time.
  • 11.8. The Fiscal Year of the corporation shall begin on the first day of January and end on the last day of December in each year.
  • 11.9. Newly elected BMCS Officers shall propose an annual budget draft that covers BMCS operating expenses from July 1st after their election to June 30th the following fiscal year. Officers must present the budget to War Council 30 days before the first voting period after officer elections. This annual budget will include a proposal for maintaining an online presence and executing BMCS official events.
    • 11.9.1. A voting Realm may motion to make an addition to the annual budget draft by proposing funding for an additional project or projects that are in accordance with our mission statement and Articles of Incorporation during the first voting period. Once a motion is seconded, BMCS Officers must make a statement of the proposals’ feasibility within 48 hours. If the motion is passed by a 2/3 majority vote as defined in Article 10, then the additional project is to be included in the annual budget draft.
    • 11.9.2. After the first voting period, Officers of BMCS will finalize the annual budget draft, ensure that it is fiscally feasible, and examine that its implementation is in accordance with the BMCS mission statement and Articles of Incorporation. The BMCS Officers will present a completed annual budget to War Council one week before the first day of the second voting session (June 1st) along with a statement from the Treasurer endorsing the fiscal feasibility of the budget and a statement of endorsement from the President indicating how its implementation is in accordance with the BMCS nonprofit mission. As an exception to Article 10, a motion for voting on the annual budget may be accepted before June 1st to facilitate early voting. A voting Realm must motion to vote on the annual budget. A separate voting Realm must second that motion.
    • 11.9.3. The Annual budget must be passed by a 2/3 majority vote as defined in Article 10. Once the budget has been passed, it is implemented by BMCS Officers starting July 1st.
    • 11.9.4. If the annual budget is not passed by WC or if an emergency arises that requires expenditures outside of the annual budget, the President has the ability to call an emergency vote to pass a new budget. In the absence of a passed annual budget, Officers of BMCS may continue financial operations and implement items from the previous passed annual budget. Officers of BMCS may expend funds in an emergency as long as an emergency vote has been called. Any expenditures during an emergency vote must be recorded and presented to the WC after the closing of the emergency vote.

Article 12: Amendments

  • 12.1. Any issue relevant to these by-laws may be reported by any member to the War Council through a War Council representative.
  • 12.2 The addition of new speaking realms need only a simple majority vote.
  • 12.3. Any amendment to these Bylaws, the Articles of Incorporation, or the Rule Set (“Book of War”)of BMCS shall require a 2/3 majority vote of the War Council.
  • 12.4. Adding or removing voting realms from the WC requires a ⅔ majority vote of the War Council.
  • 12.5. The election of corporate officers and votes of No-Confidence for corporate officers are outlined in Article 7 above.

Article 13: Code Of Ethical Guidelines

  • 13.1 Members of BMCS shall adhere to the following guidelines. Those members failing to do so may be subject to action, as outlined below and in Article 4: Membership.
  • 13.2 Members of BMCS shall:
    • 13.2.1 Promote BMCS in a manner consistent with its mission statement and objectives.
    • 13.2.2 Encourage careful compliance with all applicable laws in regards to the promotion and execution of BMCS activities.
      • 13.2.2.1 This includes ensuring appropriate and respectful use of lands and facilities utilized for any BMCS activity
    • 13.2.3 Encourage other members in upholding these guidelines, the BMCS mission statement and objectives, and the requirements of membership.
    • 13.2.4 Encourage and support prospective and new members of BMCS as they enjoy and become productive and valuable members of BMCS.
    • 13.2.5 Uphold the standards outlined in this document and act within the best interests of the organization and its members to provide a safe and welcoming environment.
    • 13.2.6 Create an environment that is welcoming and inclusive of all persons regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, age, lifestyle, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, mental or physical ability, or socioeconomic status.
  • 13.3 Members of BMCS shall not:
    • 13.3.1 Advocate destruction of any site or cause damage to any property being utilized for BMCS activities.
    • 13.3.2 Allow their name to be used in support of illegal or unethical activity at any BMCS activity, including practices and events.
    • 13.3.3 Knowingly misrepresent oneself as qualified in matters which could result in harm to the well being or reputation of the organization or its members, such as weapons checker, marshal, medical personnel, or any other position or office at the realm or national level.
    • 13.3.4 Violate any applicable laws while at a BMCS event, including laws of local municipalities, states, provinces, territories, or federal governments.
  • 13.4 Violations
    • 13.4.1 If a member has been found to be in violation of Article 13:
      • 13.4.1.1 In the case that the violation occurs at any inter-realm or intra-realm activity, at the their sole discretion, the host(s) of that activity may take any action they deem appropriate and/or necessary including, but not limited to
        • 13.4.1.1.1 Removal from the field of play
        • 13.4.1.1.2 Ejection from the activity, including events
        • 13.4.1.1.3 A semi- or permanent ban from the host’s future activities
      • 13.4.1.2 In the case that the violation occurs at an activity funded and sponsored by BMCS, the event coordinator may take any action deemed appropriate and /or necessary, as above, including ejection from the event and banishment from attending the event the following year.
      • 13.4.1.3 For any situation resulting in a ban of any sort, occurring at any level within the community including but not limited inter-realm, intra-realm, and online activities, the host issuing such punishment must submit to the BMCS Officers, within 90 days, a description of the events and outcomes, the names of the persons involved, as well as the actions taken by the host.
        • 13.4.1.3.1 After receiving this report, the BMCS Officers will review the situation and report its findings to the WC.
          • 13.4.1.3.1.1 The BMCS Officers can, at their discretion, omit the name of victims from the report to the WC.
        • 13.4.1.3.2 WC can review and discuss this report. If necessary, the party applying the punishment should be ready to provide clarification or further evidence at the WC’s request. Based on this discussion, the WC may, by a ¾ vote, issue warnings and/or semi- or permanent bans from future activities sponsored and funded by BMCS.
          • 13.4.1.3.2.1 Alternative to the issuance of a semi- or permanent ban, WC may also elect to vote on revoking membership as outlined in Article 4 herein. WC may decide to make a motion to recommend that a member be banned from future activities hosted by BMCS realms or other hosts for a set time; those groups that allow the member to attend despite the recommendation assume all risks for that member’s participation during the ban period.
        • 13.4.1.3.3 The full discussion and conclusion shall be made publically available for all realms to review and, at their discretion, impose their own restrictions.

Article 14: Policy of Non-Discrimination

  • 14.1. Belegarth shall be nonprofit and non-sectarian. There shall be no discrimination in membership, employment or services due to race, color, sex, gender identity, age, lifestyle, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, mental disability, or physical disability.
  • 14.2 BMCS retains the right to refuse participation in simulated combat to members with medical conditions that would pose a safety risk to themselves or other members. The risk is to be determined by the head marshal of the event. This ruling shall apply only to simulated combat and will not bar any person from any other aspect of participation

Article 15: Realms

  • 15.1. A Realm is a community or territory that has an active status in the BMCS.
  • 15.2. An active Realm in BMCS:
    • 15.2.1. Must have and maintain at least ten (10) active members.
      • 15.2.1.1. An active member is defined as a person who has signed a waiver and either attends practice once a month during the practice season and/or attends three inter-realm events in a calendar year.
      • 15.2.1.2. Minimum active membership shall not include members of another realm.
    • 15.2.2. Must register with the BMCS by contacting an Officer of BMCS.
    • 15.2.3. Must use the rules for combat based on those contained within the Book of War of the BMCS for any inter-realm event they run.
      • 15.2.3.1. Realms may have their own set of rules specific to their location.
      • 15.2.3.2. These rules may be used in place of the national BMCS rules at inter-realm events only if differences are posted for other attending realms to see at least one month prior to the event.
      • 15.2.3.3. Any event sponsored and funded by BMCS as a national event shall use the full national BMCS rules, without modification.
    • 15.2.4. Must not be within 20 miles of another BMCS realm. Alternatively, if the realm in question is within 20 miles of another BMCS realm, it must have at least ten (10) active members separate from the other realm.
    • 15.2.5. Must have a regularly scheduled practice at least once per month as space and weather permits.
    • 15.2.6. Must have a written constitution and/or bylaws, which shall not be inconsistent or conflict with these Bylaws. Each Realm’s bylaws or constitution will be submitted to the WC for review prior to being granted speaking or voting status.
  • 15.3. Becoming a Speaking Realm.
    • 15.3.1. Meet all the criteria from section 15.2 with the following exceptions or additions:
      • 15.3.1.1. Must submit their bylaws to the WC at the time of being nominated for speaking rights. Failure to do so invalidates their nomination.
      • 15.3.1.2. Must have been an active realm for a period of one calendar year before being nominated for speaking rights.
      • 15.3.1.3. An Officer of BMCS, and/or voting member of the WC must sponsor a new realm before they are granted a seat on the WC.
    • 15.3.2. Speaking realms are allowed two (2) representatives to the private WC Forum. They may voice their realm's opinions, but may not make motions, or vote, on any business.
  • 15.4. Becoming a Voting Realm.
    • 15.4.1. Meet all the criteria from section 15.2 and 15.3 with the following exceptions or additions:
      • 15.4.1.1. The realm in question is sponsored by a currently voting realm.
      • 15.4.1.2. The realm in question has maintained speaking rights in good standing for one calendar year before being brought up for voting rights
      • 15.4.1.3. A WC vote of 2/3rds majority is needed to move a realm from speaking status to voting status.
  • 15.5. Duties and responsibilities of a sponsor realm:
    • 15.5.1. Designate points of contacts for both the sponsor and sponsored realms.
    • 15.5.2. Exchange contact information including names, addresses, phone numbers, and email.
    • 15.5.3. Make an attempt to visit the sponsored realm’s practice or event at least once every six months.
    • 15.5.4. Once this is done, the sponsorship needs to be addressed by the WC and a vote taken.
    • 15.5.5. A simple majority vote by WC is needed to give a realm speaking rights.
    • 15.5.6. Any voting realm may nominate any speaking realm for voting status as long as the requirements of 15.5 are met.
  • 15.6 Duties of a Voting Realm
    • 15.6.1 Each Realm is only allowed one vote.
    • 15.6.2 Each Realm is allowed two (2) representatives to the private WC Forums.
    • 15.6.3 A voting realm is considered in attendance at all online votes so long as By-law 10.5.1 has been followed.
    • 15.6.4 Realms must always strive to be respondent.
      • 15.6.4.1 If a realm plans to abstain, they should respond as such.
    • 15.6.5 WC Representatives must contact the Vice President or Secretary as immediately with changes to their representation
  • 15.7. Removal of a Realm:
    • 15.7.1. All votes to remove voting rights for any reason require a 2/3rds majority vote by the WC.
      • 15.7.1.1. If for some reason a realm does not fulfill the requirements of section 15.2, 15.3, 15.5, or 15.6 the WC may remove the voting status of the realm in question.
      • 15.7.1.2. If a Realm knowingly violates local or federal law, the realm may lose voting rights by order of the WC.
      • 15.7.1.3. Voting rights may be removed if WC determines that a realm does not represent BMCS in a positive manner.
    • 15.7.2. If a realm is dissolved or states its wish to no longer be associated with the BMCS in writing, the realm will forfeit its voting and speaking rights.
    • 15.7.3. A realm may voluntarily choose to reduce its status from voting to speaking rights. To regain its voting rights, it must follow the procedures in sections 15.2, 15.3 and 15.5 of this article.

Article 16: Directors

  • 16.1. General Powers and Standard of Care. All organizational powers, and the business and affairs of BMCS shall be exercised by or under authority of the Board of Directors, except as may be otherwise provided herein. Any Director may also be, but need not be, an officer of BMCS.
    • 16.1.1. A Director shall perform such Director’s duties as a Director would ordinarily perform, including such Director’s duties as a member of any committee upon which such Director may serve, and shall perform all such duties in good faith, in a manner such Director reasonably believes to be in the best interests of BMCS, and with such care as an ordinarily prudent person in a like position would use under similar circumstances. In performing such Director’s duties, a Director shall be entitled to rely on information, opinions, reports or statements, including financial statements and other financial data, in each case prepared or presented by: (a) One (1) or more officers or employees of the BMCS whom the Director reasonably believes to be reliable and competent in the matters presented; (b) legal counsel, public accountants or other persons as to matters that the Director reasonably believes to be within such person’s professional or expert competence; and (c) a committee of the Board upon which such Director does not serve, duly designated in accordance with a provision of these Bylaws, as to matters within its designated authority, which committee the Director reasonably believes to merit confidence. A person who performs such duties shall have no liability by reason of being or having been a Director of BMCS.
  • 16.2. Number, Appointment and Qualifications of Directors. The Board of Directors of BMCS shall be not less than three (3) persons and not more than ten (10) persons, each of whom shall serve for a term of one (1) to three (3) years. Said Director shall hold office for the term for which such Director is elected and until such Director’s successor shall have been elected and qualified, and each Director may serve as many successive terms as such Director is elected to serve on the Board. Directors may be, but need not be, residents of the State of Idaho. The Directors may, in their sole discretion, elect or appoint more directors after the adoption of these Bylaws.
  • 16.3. Removal of Directors. Any director may be removed from office by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the total directors then serving on the Board.
  • 16.4. Vacancies. Any vacancy occurring in the Board of Directors may be filled by the affirmative vote of a majority of the remaining Directors though less than a quorum of the Board of Directors. A Director elected to fill a vacancy shall be elected for the unexpired term of such Director’s predecessor in office. Any directorship to be filled by reason of an increase in the number of Directors may be filled by the Board of Directors.
  • 16.5. Directors and Committee Meetings. Meetings of the Board of Directors, regular or special, or meetings of any committee designated thereby, may be held either within or outside the State of Idaho. Unless otherwise specified in this Section or in the notice for such meeting, all meetings shall be hosted from the principal office of the BMCS. Except as otherwise provided, regular or special meetings of the Board of Directors or any committee designated thereby may be called by or at the request of the President, any Director or chairman of a committee, as applicable, upon written or verbal notice thereof given to each Director and other committee members, if applicable, at least three (3) days before such meeting is set to occur. The Board of Directors may provide, by resolution, the time and place for the holding of regular meetings without other notice. The Board of Directors, or any committee designated thereby, may participate in a meeting of the Board or such committee by telephone conference, or similar electronic communications equipment by means of which all persons participating in the meeting can hear each other at the same time, and the participation by such means shall constitute presence the same as being present in person at the meeting and shall not affect the validity of actions taken at said meeting.
    • 16.5.1. The attendance at or participation of a Director or committee member in any meeting shall constitute a waiver of notice of such meeting, except where a Director attends or participates for the express purpose of objecting to the transaction of any business because the meeting is not properly or lawfully called or convened. Neither the business to be transacted at, nor the purpose of, any regular or special meeting of the Board of Directors, or any committee designated thereby, need be specified in the notice of waiver of notice of such meeting. Any Board action to remove a director or to approve a matter that would require approval by the members shall not be valid unless each director is given at least seven (7) days’ written notice that the matter will be voted upon at a directors’ meeting, or unless notice is waived.
  • 16.6. Informal Action. Any action required to be taken at a meeting of the Board of Directors may be taken without a meeting if a consent in writing sets forth the action taken, which shall be signed by at least a majority of the Directors.
  • 16.7. Quorum and Voting Requirements. One-third (1/3) of the Directors, or a minimum of three (3) of the Board members represented in person or by proxy, shall constitute a quorum at a Board meeting. If a quorum is present, the affirmative vote of the majority of the board members represented at the meeting and entitled to vote on the subject matter shall be the act of the Board, unless the vote of a greater number required for a specific action is required by these Bylaws.
  • 16.8. Proxies. A Board member may vote either in person or by proxy executed in writing by the Board member. No proxy shall be valid after thirty (30) days from the date of its execution. Every proxy shall be revocable at the pleasure of the Director who executed said proxy.
  • 16.9. Compensation. The Directors shall determine whether elected members may be reasonably compensated and to what fair and reasonable extent. To be fair and reasonable, the Board must consider compensation structures for other persons in similarly situated nonprofit organizations with similar titles, responsibilities and expertise as each individual Director in the geographical region BMCS operates in, and of other organizations of similar size and means. All decisions regarding compensation for Directors of BMCS must be fair to the organization, and shall be made in accordance with BMCS’s Conflicts of Interest Policy. However, reasonable expenses incurred may be reimbursed when expended for and in the interest of BMCS and its exempt purpose(s), and approved by the Board of Directors in advance. All Directors are responsible for reading and complying with the Conflict of Interest Policy adopted BMCS.
  • 16.10. Loans to Directors. The Organization shall not lend money to or use its credit to assist its Directors or officers, unless approved by all Directors in accordance with BMCS’s Conflicts of Interest Policy.
  • 16.11. Liability of Directors for Wrongful Distribution of Assets. A Director shall not be liable under this Section 16 if, in the exercise of ordinary care, such Director relied and acted in good faith upon written financial statements of BMCS represented to such Director to be correct by the President or by any officer of BMCS having charge of its books of account, or certified by an independent licensed or certified public accountant or firm of such accountants fairly to reflect the financial condition of BMCS, nor shall such Director be so liable if, in the exercise of ordinary care and good faith, in determining the amount available for such distribution, such Director considered the assets to be of their book value. A Director against whom a claim shall be asserted under this section and who shall be held liable thereon shall be entitled to contribution from persons who accepted or received such distribution knowing such distribution to have been made in violation of this section in proportion to the amounts received by them respectively.

Votes History:

27 Realms / 25 Responding / 21 Aye / 1 Nay / 3 Abstain

Voting ended on 10/02/15


21 Realms / 14 Responding / 14 Aye / 0 Nay / 0 Abstain

Voting ended on 4/10/06


36 Realms / 28 Responding / 23 Aye / 3 Nay/ 2 Abstain Voting Ended 05/04/2019

Acheron - No
Andor - Yes
Andúril - Yes
Arnor - Yes
Avalon - Yes
Babylon - Yes
Beornve - Yes
Dunharrow - No
Dur-Demarion - Yes
Ebonhold -
Ered Duath -
Frozen North - Yes
Grond - Abstain
Hellholt - Yes
Highlands of Chaos - Yes
Khador -
Khaza-Dum- Yes
Korriban - Yes
Minas Ithil - Yes
Morva -
Nan Belegorn - Yes
Numenor - No
Pyke -
Rath - Yes
Rhun - Yes
[[Sand Plains] - Yes
Saracor- Yes
Shannara - Yes
Stygia - Yes
Sunspear - Yes
Sword Coast -
Tir Asleen - Yes
Thunder Guard - Yes
Uberwald -
Valley of Ashes -
Wolfpack of the High Plains - Abstain

See Also

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