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Nonprofit Law/Wrongfully Expelled as Members

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QUESTION: This past spring it had come to my attention that our local youth baseball league (in CA) was operating without a valid nonprofit tax id number. That, as well as other occurrences within the league’s operations made me suspicious so I made numerous requests for information including: a valid tax ID number, copies of their Form 990s taxes and raffle permits. Up until very recently the league had not filed taxes or Form 990s for several years. Since March 2013, I had been requesting copies of the taxes for the last three years. After much aggravation and objection from the league’s board members, I received them on July 30th. It turned out they were scrambling to file them since I asked in March.  I had to resort to contacting a detective at our local PD as well as sending an email that included other league members before receiving any response from the board. Upon receiving the tax copies I received an updated, unsigned certified letter saying we were expelled from the league!  They’re reason was that I violated the Code of Conduct by sending an email to other parent members expressing my concern. I was very careful to stick to facts and not accuse them of anything that wasn’t proven true. Per the league’s By Laws and California Corporations Code Section 5341, any termination must be done in good faith and in a fair manner, including the opportunity for the member to be heard. As members, you aren’t even allowed to attend Board Members with this particular league. As a parent I am are shocked at the act of retaliation and I am at a loss as to who can make them enforce their own By Laws, Policies and Procedures, and Code of Conduct.

Thank you in advance for your advice.

ANSWER: You can write them a letter explaining why their action is not in accordance with their own bylaws and the California code and request reinstatement and inform them that if you are not reinstated, you will seek a court order in superior court.

Harvey Mechanic, Attorney at Law -
Harvey108@hotmail.com

P.S. This response is intended to be a general statement of law, should not be relied upon as legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship.    



---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you. I have written them informing them of their violations but it was met with an email from the compliance officer stating "I have followed up on the issue and this will be the final communication from <City's name> Pony Youth Baseball regarding your expulsion.  We will not meet with you or discuss this any further, you are no longer members of the league". I don't have the funds to hire a private attorney. Are there any other options to proceed with the court order?

Thank you again for your time.

Answer
You are not required to have an attorney represent you in court.

Harvey Mechanic, Attorney at Law -
Harvey108@hotmail.com

P.S. This response is intended to be a general statement of law, should not be relied upon as legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship.  

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Harvey Mechanic

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I am an attorney and I volunteer time to answer general questions about U.S. Federal income tax issues of nonprofit 501(c)(3) public charities only. Those questions could be about establishing and maintaining legal requirements for such non-profit organizations in the United States, including Internal Revenue service filings and requirements. I will not be working on this free forum to answer questions about Nonprofit's possible unrelated or for-profit businesses or how to fill out forms. This forum is only for general questions about federal tax law, not as the law applies to your specific situation. If you do not make your question public then I will not be spending much of my donated time on answers that would not benefit the public. If you have other questions, please contact me at Harvey108@hotmail.com I will reply from my email. In any case, do not reveal confidential information to me until after I have contracted with you to provide personal legal services. My responses on this forum are intended to be general statements of law, should not be relied upon as legal advice, and do not create an attorney/client relationship. For me to consider your individual situation and how the law applies, I would need to gather extensive information about the situation. To search my previous answers you can do a Google search by "site:allexperts.com/q/nonprofit" without the quotes and then add your search terms before hitting enter.

Experience

I have been practicing law and especially the law of nonprofit organizations since 1990 when I was admitted to the New York Bar and I have maintained my status with the Bar since that time.

Education/Credentials

B.S. Columbia University in New York City, 1970

J.D. (Law Degree) Brooklyn Law School, 1990 -- Cum Laude.


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