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Nonprofit Law/membership and viewing of records


Our bylaws state for our Booster Club that membership dues are to be paid within 90 days of the due date which is the beginning of school and I don't think our Booster President paid her dues, not even to this date.  Also, we just did our elections for next year's board and the President, her spouse, and another parent that we are 100% sure they are not a paid member voted.  Not only that the President's spouse had nominated someone for next yr's President.  Now our bylaws state that if dues are not paid by the end of the 90 days then the membership is teminated.  If the Booster President didn't pay her dues in that 90 days, doesn't it mean that she is legally not the President and that she and her spouse could not vote and her spouse could not nominate anyone?  We had a tie between candidates for President and before we dicided to do a revote it was brought to the boards attention that a nonmember parent showed up and voted for a friend.  The board made the decision to do a revote at the next meeting, but the President has now stated that there will not be a revote and I believe it is because her membership status is in question.  We couldn't prove that night who was a paid member because the Treasurer didn't have the memberships with her, so we had no proof.  She was supposed to go home and check the records and let me (the secretary) know if certain people in question were members in good standings and I could never get a response from her by phone or text.  I think the president told her not to give me the info, but I have a right to see who is a paid member, correct?  I am planning to go over to the Treasurer's home tonight and ask to see the memberships before tomorrow night meeting.  She has only reported 1 deposit of membership fees which covered 8 memberships.  Our fees are the same price for married couple or single parent.  I can name 7 if not 8 memberships that I know and none of them include that parent who showed up to vote, but never came to any other meeting or anything, and doesn't include the President and spouse.  What should I do?  And if the President is not a member in good standing, what do we do about that and does it erase the candidates and voting that took place.  I do believe that she made the comment after we voted and were questioning the other parent, that she herself still hadn't paid.

I have in my profile that this free forum is only for general questions relating to IRS federal exemption issues of 501(c)(3) organizations. Your issue is controlled by state law and states may differ somewhat with how they would treat such issues. But, generally, an election is not automatically voided when there are improprieties, for example, people voting who did not have the right to vote.  If not detailed in the bylaws, then the organization itself would need to decide upon new elections, and, if that does not happen, then a member would have standing in Tennessee State court to request a judge to order a new election.

As to the Nonprofit Corporation law in Tennessee (I am assuming your group was so incorporated), see

Harvey Mechanic, Attorney at Law -

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


DO NOT GIVE ME INFORMATION THAT YOU WANT KEPT CONFIDENTIAL. 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 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 "" without the quotes and then add your search terms before hitting enter.


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.


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

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

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