BY-LAWS OF THE TEXAS ASSOCIATION OF DOMESTIC RELATIONS OFFICES
Effective Date: October 11, 2012
ARTICLE I. NAME
SECTION I. The name of this organization shall be the Texas Association of Domestic Relations Offices.
ARTICLE II. PURPOSE
SECTION I. This organization is established to:
Maintain and operate an Association for county governmental offices and their employees on matters relating to collection, recording and disbursement of child support, the enforcement or establishment of orders providing for the possession, support, or access to a child, the informational, referral, and counseling services to assist parties affected by such court orders, and to advance, promote, and encourage all efforts necessary to carry out said purposes, including but not limited to the following specific functions:
a. promote education of and information to members of the organization and to the communities we serve;
b. promote legislation in furtherance of the purposes of the organization;
c. promote alternative resources and resolution of conflicts in family litigation in non-traditional ways;
d. promote effective local response to state and federal issues.
ARTICLE III. MEMBERSHIP
SECTION I. Membership to the Association shall consist of three (3) types;
SECTION II. Charter membership shall be available to Harris County Domestic Relations Office, Tarrant County Domestic Relations Office, and Travis County Domestic Relations Office, which are the original founders of this Association.
SECTION III. Individual membership shall be available to any individual who is actively employed by a Texas County Governmental Office whose principal purpose is consistent with Article II of the By-Laws of this Association, or any other person whom the Board deems eligible by majority vote.
SECTION IV. Affiliate membership shall be available to any County office, corporation or firm whose principal business is the provision of services which support the membership offices in this Association. Affiliate membership is by Board approval only and its rights of participation are regulated by the Board of Directors. Affiliate members are non-voting members.
ARTICLE IV. DURATION OF MEMBERSHIP
SECTION I. Charter Membership is perpetual.
SECTION II. Individual and affiliate membership shall commence upon the receipt of dues by TADRO and extend to the end of the TADRO Year).
SECTION III. Membership may be revoked by the Board of Directors for ineligibility or other good cause. Reinstatement to membership after removal shall be by application only and with approval of the Board of Directors.
ARTICLE V. ANNUAL DUES
SECTION I. Annual dues shall be determined by the Board of Directors. The Board may set different dues for voting and non-voting members and for different categories of membership.
ARTICLE VI. VOTING RIGHTS
SECTION I. Voting members shall be individual members who have not been specifically defined, herein, as non-voting members.
SECTION II. All voting members are entitled to one (1) vote each at the membership meeting during the Annual Conference. Voting rights are limited to the issues presented at the membership meeting during the Annual Conference.
SECTION III. A non-voting member may not hold office or be a member of the Board of Directors.
ARTICLE VII. BOARD OF DIRECTORS
SECTION I. The Board of Directors of the Association consists of eleven (11) members designated or elected at the meeting of the membership held during the Annual Conference.
SECTION II. Board member seats are set as follows:
Seat 1 designated by Travis County (Charter)
Seat 2 designated by Harris County (Charter)
Seat 3 designated by Tarrant County (Charter)
Seat 4 designated by Dallas County
Seat 5 designated by El Paso County
Seat 6 at-large “O”
Seat 7 at-large “E”
Seat 8 at-large “O”
Seat 9 at-large “E”
Seat 10 at-large “O”
Seat 11 at-large “E”
Members of the Board of Directors sitting at the time of the adoption of this amendment to the by-laws shall continue in the capacity and for the duration of the term for which elected.
SECTION III. Board seats 1,2,3,4, and 5 serve for a period of one (1) year, beginning at the membership meeting at which designated and continuing until the membership meeting at the Annual Conference one (1) year after designation.
SECTION IV. The at-large Board Members shall serve a two (2) year term beginning at the membership meeting during the Annual Conference at which elected and continuing until the membership meeting at the Annual Conference two (2) years after election. Board Seats are elected, as follows:
a. at-large board members indicated “O” are elected in odd numbered years
b. at-large board members indicated “E” are elected in even numbered year.
SECTION V. No more than two (2) board members may be from the same county.
SECTION VI. Vacancies in a designated seat occurring during the term shall be filled by the designating office for the balance of the term. Vacancies in an at-large seat occurring during the term shall be filled by the Board of Directors until the next scheduled meeting of membership held at the Annual Conference and then by the membership for the balance of the term.
SECTION VII. Any vacancy of directors shall be filled by a majority vote of the Board of Directors.
SECTION VIII. a. Each Board Member shall be a voting member at the time elected or designated and must remain a voting member during the term. If a Board Member becomes a non-voting member during the term, the board member is automatically removed from the Board of Directors by operation of these by-laws. Each Director elected to the Board must be a member in good standing at the time of election and must remain a member in good standing. Failure to maintain these standards may result in removal from the Board of Directors by a majority vote of the Board of Directors. Members of the Board are also subject to removal for failure to maintain dues, to discharge the duties of a Board member in a conscientious manner to include but not limited to failure to attend 2 consecutive meetings of the Board or other acts contrary to the interest of the Association.
b. Charter members shall have a permanent position on the Board of Directors and that seat is to be filled through appointment by the Charter County. Any DRO with more than 20 employees which is not a Charter County will be represented by at least one seat on the board. All other members of the board are at large.
c. Charter members and any DRO with more than 20 employees which is not a Charter County shall serve a 1-year term beginning at the Annual Conference at which elected and continuing until the conference following election. There shall be 6 positions on the board for at-large members; those elected in the Annual Conference of even-numbered years and those elected at the Annual Conference in odd-numbered years. At the Annual Conference in 2002, Board Members shall be elected to terms of 2-years or 1-year. Those elected to a term of 1-year will be replaced in 2003 (odd-numbered year) by Board Members elected for a 2-year term. The members of the board adopting these by laws, as amended, shall not serve on the board after December 31, 2002, unless elected at the Annual Conference in 2002.
d. The Board of Directors shall carry out all duties named herein 5 and shall effect any and all policies, and/or procedures required by the Association Articles of Incorporation and/or By-Laws.
e. Meetings of the Board of Directors shall be held:
1. During the Annual Conference which meeting Board Members must attend in person. At the meeting, the officers of the Association shall be elected for the next TADRO Year. The board meeting at which officers are elected shall be held prior to the meeting of the membership during the Annual Conference and is the last meeting of the board during the TADRO Year.
2. Not later than 180 days or earlier than 150 days immediately following the Annual Conference each year at a time and location/teleconference set by the President and approved by the Board.
3. Additional meetings may be held upon the call of the President at a time and location set by the President, or the written petition of a majority of the members of the Board at a time and location set by the petition. At such meeting held under this subsection, Board Members may attend by teleconference.
4. Meetings other than as stated above may be held by email to consider and vote on a single issue that, in the discretion of the President, does not merit a regular or teleconference meeting. If an issue is presented or brought to the attention of the President that the President determines needs immediate action, the President shall notify the members of the Board by email and set a date certain for response. During that period, any member of the board may move adoption of a proposal or second a motion. If a proposal is moved and seconded, the President shall send the motions by email to all members of the board with a deadline for voting. All members voting by the deadline will be deemed “present” and the question resolved by simple majority of those present.
ARTICLE VIII. OFFICERS
SECTION I. The Officers of the Association shall be President, President-elect, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer.
SECTION II. All Officers shall be elected by the Board of Directors from the individual memberships at the Association’s Annual Conference. All officers shall be elected by majority vote and hold office for one (1) year commencing at the Annual Conference at which elected until the Annual Conference next following except the President elect who shall be automatically the President the following year. The vote shall be conducted in a manner approved by the Board of Directors. The President shall not serve two (2) consecutive terms.
SECTION III. The duty of the President is to call the meetings at the direction of the Board, preside at all meetings of the Association and the Board of Directors, and to perform all duties required to carry out the purposes of the Association. He/She shall be an ex-officio member of all committees. The President is responsible to the Board of Directors. The President shall serve as Chair of the Executive Committee.
SECTION IV. The Vice-President shall perform all duties of the President in the absence of the President. The Vice-President shall perform all other duties as delegated by the President or Board of Directors. In the event of the removal, resignation or other cause preventing the President from completing his/her term or performing the duties of the office, the Vice-President shall become the President for the balance of the term with all the duties and responsibilities of that office. With the consent of the Vice-President, the board may elect an Interim President to complete the term. The Vice President shall serve as Chair of the Membership Committee. SECTION V. The Secretary shall keep the minutes of all meetings of the Association and the Board of Directors. The Secretary shall record, maintain, and make available the minutes of the Annual Conference to all the Association membership within sixty (60) days following the Annual Conference and/or all other Association Board meetings.
SECTION VI. The Treasurer shall be custodian of all membership fees collected in the name of the Association and shall maintain such fees in a depository selected by the Board of Directors. The Treasurer shall mail annual dues statements to the membership and maintain an accurate audit at all times of all monies, showing from whom the monies were collected; any and all monies expended and the 7 required signatures of those designated by the Board who approved such expenditures. The Treasurer shall provide a financial report through the last day of the preceding month at any meeting of the membership, Board or Executive Committee. The Treasurer shall serve as Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee.
SECTION VII. The President-elect shall serve as Chair of the Nominating Committee.
SECTION VIII. Any vacancy of an Officer’s position shall be filled by a majority vote of the Board of Directors.
SECTION IX. Any Officer may be removed from office, and the President-elect may be barred from becoming President, by a majority vote of the Board of Directors for failure to maintain dues, failure to discharge the duties of the office in a conscientious manner including but not limited to failure to attend 2 consecutive meetings of the Board or other acts contrary to the interests of TADRO.
ARTICLE IX. HISTORIAN
SECTION I. The Historian of the Association shall consist of a TADRO voting member appointed by the President following the conclusion of the Annual Conference. This position shall commence in the 2013 TADRO year following the conclusion of the 2012 Annual Conference.
SECTION II. The Historian is a non-voting member, who shall not be entitled to vote on any matters submitted to the Board of Directors.
SECTION III. The Historian shall attend the meetings of the Association and the Board of Directors.
SECTION IV. The Historian shall be custodian of all permanent records of the Association and shall maintain an on-going historical record of the affairs of the Association, and annually shall add to the permanent records a historical resume of the affairs of the Association for that year. The Historian shall preserve the Association’s history by keeping written records regarding the activities of the association, including but not limited to photographs of events or meetings, updating and maintaining the historical resume, preserving important correspondence among the Board of Directors and/or Association membership, and updating the Association web site. The Historian shall submit the historical resume to the Board of Directors and Association membership annually at a time designated by the President. The Historian and outgoing historian shall collaborate throughout the TADRO year to further develop the historical resume. Both the Board of Directors and the Association membership are encouraged to provide information to the Historian so the resume is continuously updated.
ARTICLE X. AMENDMENTS
SECTION I. All proposals to amend the Association By-Laws must be submitted in writing or email form to the Secretary and received by the Secretary not less than thirty (30) calendar days prior to convening the Annual Conference.
SECTION II. The Secretary shall send the proposal by U.S. Postal Service or email to each voting member of the Board of Directors at least fifteen (15) calendar days prior to convening the Annual Conference for approval by the Board.
SECTION III. Proposed amendments approved by the Board of Directors shall be presented to the voting members at the membership meeting held during the Annual Conference. Each proposed amendment must receive a majority vote at said meeting.
SECTION IV. Amendments to the By-Laws shall be effective immediately upon adoption.
ARTICLE XI. ANNUAL CONFERENCE
SECTION I. The Board of Directors shall convene the members of this Association on an annual basis at a time and location established by the Board with notice sent to the members by U.S. Postal Service or email not less than 60 (sixty) calendar days prior to convening. .
SECTION II. The Board of Directors shall establish a registration fee for each Annual Conference.
SECTION III. For all purposes, the “TADRO YEAR” is defined as the period beginning with the convening of the membership meeting held during the Annual Conference until the convening of the membership meeting at the next Annual Conference.
SECTION IV. The procedure and agenda for the membership meeting at the Annual Conference shall include:
a. Report to the membership by the incoming President on the planning for the new TADRO YEAR;
b. Report of the Treasurer;
c. Designation and election of members of the Board of Directors; and,
d. Other business.
ARTICLE XII. STANDING COMMITTEE
SECTION I. The Executive Committee (Article XIII) and the Nominating Committee (Article IX) set forth herein below are standing committees. In addition, there shall be Standing Committees for:
a. Government Affairs and Contracts
d. Budget and Finance
SECTION II. All Standing Committees shall be composed of a committee chair. The duties of the committee chair is to appoint committee members with approval from the President of TADRO, preside over committee meetings, and submit a report to the President not later than fourteen (14) days prior to convening the meetings of the Board of Directors. The committee chair must email the committee appointments to the President and Secretary not later than ninety (90) days following the conclusion of the Annual Conference each year.
SECTION III. The Government Affairs and Contracts Committee shall review and recommend policies regarding contracts and other intergovernmental relations. The committee shall be composed of no less than 3 and no greater than 5 members, including the chair. The committee chair shall be appointed by the President and must be a member of the Board of Directors.
SECTION IV. The Membership Committee shall promote and develop membership in the organization, consider and advocate membership affairs and activities and be responsible to develop the benefits of membership. The committee shall be composed of no less than 3 and no greater than 5 members, including the chair. The Vice President shall chair the Membership Committee.
SECTION V. The Legislation Committee shall review proposed legislation and recommend legislation to be proposed or supported by the Association. The committee shall be composed of a Chair and other supporting members, whom must be a director of a TADRO county member or a member of the Board of Directors who is appointed by their respective director. The committee chair shall be appointed by the President.
SECTION VI. The Budget and Finance Committee shall recommend financial policies and an Annual Budget. The Annual Budget shall be presented by the committee to the Board as directed by the President at the Annual Conference upon the election of the President but in no event more than ninety (90) days following the date of the election of the Board. The Annual Budget will include the Executive Committee discretionary authority at Article XII, Section V. The committee shall be composed of no less than 3 and no greater than 5 members, including the chair. The Treasurer shall chair the Budget and Finance Committee.
SECTION VII. The Scholarship Committee shall offer financial scholarships to Counties and individuals for the Annual Conference and distributes and processes scholarship applications. The committee notifies the President of TADRO of the applications and gains approval from him/her. The committee shall be composed of no less than 3 and no greater than 5 members, including the chair. The committee chair shall be appointed by the President and must be a member of the Board of Directors.
SECTION VIII. The Conference Committee shall recommend plans for the Annual Conference, which provides training for DRO employees in the areas of visitation and child support establishment/enforcement, social studies, guardian ad litem appointments, parenting coordination, family mediation, community supervision and other areas of practice. The committee shall be composed of no less than 5 and no greater than 7 members, including the chair. The President shall chair the Conference Committee.
SECTION IX. All other committees are special committees that terminate at the annual conference next following committee appointment. The committee chair for each special committee shall be appointed by the President. Each special committee shall be composed of no less than 3 and no greater than 5 members, including the chair.
ARTICLE XIII. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
SECTION I. For purpose of expediting action, communication and response to issues, there will be an Executive Committee.
SECTION II. The Executive Committee will be composed of the President, President-elect, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Immediate Past-President. The President shall Chair the Executive Committee.
SECTION III. The Executive Committee will meet on the call of the President. Any other 3 members of the Executive Committee can call a meeting of the Executive Committee.
SECTION IV. The Executive Committee shall serve as the planning committee of the Board.
SECTION V. The Executive Committee may commit expenditures up to $250 per transaction and $1000 per year without board approval or ratification
ARTICLE XIV. NOMINATING COMMITTEE
SECTION I. The Nominating Committee shall make and report nominations to all vacancies on the Board of Directors and Officers for election at the Annual Conference. The committee shall be composed of no less than 3 and no greater than 5 members, including the chair. The President-elect shall chair the Nominating Committee.
SECTION II. There shall be no restriction to nominations from the floor other than those put forth by the Nominating Committee.
ARTICLE XV. PERMANENT ADDRESS
SECTION I. The permanent mailing address of the organization shall be in Austin, Texas at a location determined by the Board unless the Board by majority vote selects an alternate location at the Annual Conference.