CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS
SOUTH CAROLINA STATE COURT REPORTERS ASSOCIATION
Approved August 20, 2004
ARTICLE I - NAME
The name of this organization shall be the South Carolina State Court Reporters Association.
ARTICLE II - PURPOSE
The purpose of this organization shall be to provide an organization of Circuit and Family Court Reporters in the State of South Carolina; to promote harmony and a spirit of mutual assistance between the profession of court reporting and the courts and members of the bar of this state; to program, foster and establish statutes and rules directly or indirectly affecting the profession as may be of help and assistance to reporters, members of the bench and bar, and as the same may promulgate efficiency and justice in all courts; to protect the public against the imposition of incompetent and unethical court reporters; to render assistance to all reporters in the perpetual improvement of their reporting skill, and to maintain a proper standard of ethics, efficiency and compensation.
ARTICLE III - OFFICERS
The officers of the Association shall be a president, a vice president, a secretary, a treasurer, and a historian. These officers shall be elected by the members at the winter meeting and shall hold office a term of two (2) years. These officers shall be considered as the executive committee. The president shall appoint a parliamentarian whose duty it shall be to make decisions on all questions of order and procedure when requested. Officers shall pass along all Association materials to successors at the end of the annual convention where the gavel is passed.
ARTICLE IV - BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The officers of the Association shall comprise the board of directors. This board shall meet at least once from the time of the annual meeting and as many other times during the year as is deemed feasible and advisable by the president or a majority of this executive board for the conducting of business.
ARTICLE V - AUTHORITY
This Association shall be governed by the provisions of the Code of Bylaws to be adopted simultaneously with this Constitution. These Bylaws, the rules of which are contained in Robert's Rules of Order, Revised, shall govern the Association in all cases in which they are applicable and which are not inconsistent with the special rules of this Association.
ARTICLE VI - AMENDMENTS
This Constitution shall become effective immediately upon its adoption and may be amended, altered or repealed at any annual or special meeting of the Association. Any amendment, however, must be proposed in writing to the secretary at least sixty (60) days before said meeting, and notice thereof must be given to the membership by the secretary at least thirty (30) days before such annual or special meeting.
ARTICLE I - MEMBERSHIP
SECTION 1. Active Membership: All persons who now are active members or may hereafter be admitted to active membership in this Association in the manner hereinafter prescribed and whose dues have been paid in full for the current fiscal year shall constitute the active membership of this Association, excepting those whose membership shall have been suspended or revoked.
SECTION 2. Qualifications for Membership: Any Circuit or Family Court Reporter shall be eligible for active membership in this Association.
SECTION 3. Charter Members: All Circuit and Family Court Reporters shall become charter members of this Association upon paying their annual dues in August of the calendar year.
SECTION 4. Retired Members: Any Circuit of Family Court Reporter retired from his or her official capacity as a Court Reporter with the Judicial Department. Any retired members in good standing may participate in discussions during business meetings; however, only active members shall be eligible to vote and only active members shall be eligible to hold an elective office.
ARTICLE II - OFFICERS
SECTION 1. Elections: All officers shall be elected every other year during the winter meeting by a majority vote of those present and entitled to vote and shall hold office for two (2) years from the date of their election, as provided in Article III of the Constitution.
SECTION 2. Vacancies: Whenever a vacancy shall occur by death, resignation or otherwise in any office of the Association, except that of president, the president shall fill such vacancy by appointment until the next meeting.
ARTICLE III - DUTIES OF OFFICERS
SECTION 1. The President: The president shall preside at all meetings of the Association and of the board of directors and shall have general supervision over the affairs of the Association, subject to the approval of the board of directors. The president shall be ex officio member of all committees.
SECTION 2. The Vice President: The vice president shall perform the duties of the president in the absence of the president and shall work with the president at all times. In case of death or resignation of the president, the vice president shall become president for the unexpired term.
SECTION 3. The Secretary: The secretary shall keep a record of the meetings of the Association and the executive board, shall keep a current list of the active members, shall conduct such correspondence of the Association as may be necessary, and shall perform such other and further duties relating to the Association as may be fixed by the executive board. A summary of motions from each meeting shall be appended to the document entitled "Summary of Past SCSCRA Motions," which shall then be passed on to the successor.
SECTION 4. The Treasurer: The treasurer shall receive the dues from the members of the Association, shall write all checks for the Association, and shall keep an account which shall at all times be open to inspection of the executive board or of the general membership. This account shall be audited by an auditing committee appointed by the president at the time of the annual meeting. At the annual meeting, the treasurer shall distribute a complete report to all members present showing the financial condition of the Association, which will then be appended to the minutes of that meeting.
SECTION 5. The Historian: The historian shall maintain an album of pictures taken at meetings and conventions, as well as articles about Association members. The album will be passed to the successor.
ARTICLE IV - DUES, FISCAL YEAR
Each active member of the Association shall pay as annual dues the sum of $25.00, which shall become due and payable to the treasurer in August of every calendar year. If dues are not paid during the annual convention in August but at the following winter meeting, the full amount of $25.00 for the entire year is still owed to the Association.
Each retired member of the Association shall pay as annual dues the sum of $15.00, which shall become due and payable to the treasurer in August of every calendar year. If dues are not paid during the annual convention in August but at the following winter meeting, the full amount of $15.00 for the entire year is still owed to the Association.
ARTICLE V - MEETINGS
SECTION 1. Meeting times: The annual and winter meetings of the Association shall be held at such time and place to be determined by the president. First notice shall be given to the general membership at least forty-five (45) days prior to such meetings with subsequent follow-up.
SECTION 2. Motions/Votes: The president shall identify anyone making a motion or a second and announce the results of any vote. If no second is made or no vote is taken, the president shall make this clear for the record as well.
SECTION 3. Minutes: The secretary shall include the following items in the official minutes of any SCSCRA meeting: Date, time, location; a list of all officers present; the number of members in attendance; a copy of the treasurer's report from the annual meeting; summary of reports; summary of all motions. Motions should include the following: Identity of the maker of each motion, the person seconding the motion, whether or not any discussion follows, and the outcome of the vote. If a motion has no second, that should be noted. If no vote is taken, that should be observed as well.
For ease and convenience, the secretary should carry a tape recorder and microphones to each meeting, as well as a copy of all previous minutes in case past issues arise that need clarification.
ARTICLE VI - COMMITTEES
The president shall appoint the following standing committees and any additional committees that shall be deemed necessary by the president or the board of directors.
SECTION 1. Legislative Committee: It shall be the duty of the legislative committee to keep the membership informed of any pending state legislation affecting the status of court reporters in South Carolina. It shall be their further duty to formulate, propose and promote any legislation which shall improve the status of court reporters in South Carolina.
SECTION 2. Convention Committee: It shall be the duty of the convention committee to make the arrangements for the next annual meeting, including accommodations, entertainment and advertising displays, notices to the membership, et cetera (SEE APPENDIX 1 FOR PLANNING GUIDE).
SECTION 3. Newsletter Committee : It shall be the duty of this committee to publish at least twice annually a newsletter for the information of the membership, setting forth therein any business that may have been brought up in the executive board or any information of interest which needs to be brought to their attention prior to the annual meeting.
SECTION 4. Nominating Committee: It shall be the duty of the secretary to present a slate of officers to the winter meeting. When the committee's report is presented, the president shall also call for nominations from the floor.
ARTICLE VII - AUTHORITY
Robert's Rules of Order, Revised shall be the governing authority for this Association's Constitution and Bylaws.
ARTICLE VIII - AMENDMENTS
This Constitution and Bylaws may not be amended except by a two-thirds vote of the membership present at the annual or called meeting. Written notice of an amendment must be submitted to the secretary in writing at least sixty (60) days before the annual meeting, and the secretary shall issue notice to the membership at least thirty (30) days before the annual meeting. The member submitting the amendment shall provide the secretary with the copies of the amendment to be forwarded to the membership.
Motions: All motions passed at meetings that do not alter the Constitution and Bylaws will be added to the "Summary of Past SCSCRA Motions."
PLANNING GUIDE: CONVENTION PREPARATION
1. MOTEL SELECTION:
a. Hotel rooms: Ask price for single or double. Ask for group rate and emphasize the State is not helping with cost of room.
b. Meeting Room: Ask if there will be a charge or no charge. Ask if hotel will furnish snacks and drinks or if Association will have to purchase that from hotel (usually it is less expensive if we can furnish all drinks except coffee for meeting room. Pepsi or Coke Company may be willing to donate soft drinks for us).
c. If motel fees are too great, consider using the courthouse or municipal courtroom to defray convention costs.
d. Restaurant/Meal selection: It may be possible to negotiate a set price for meals. If the hotel has a buffet, they might furnish coupons to members so that the Association will be charged only for coupons used.
e. Room for Hospitality Suite or Lounge on side: If there is a Hospitality Suite, Association can furnish soft and hard drinks, and snacks.
f. Brochures: Obtain brochures from the motel for all members and include with registration packet so members will have information on the motel, the location and phone number to give to family members where they can be reached.
g. Payment: Remember to ask treasurer to bring checkbook to pay for meals, speakers, meeting room, et cetera.
Must be selected at least ninety (90) days prior to convention date. Their credentials must qualify for the members to receive continuing education credit from NCRA and NVRA. A bio on each speaker must be submitted on each speaker with the application for continuing education credit to both national associations (see Continuing Education section below). Keep in mind the Chief Justice allows us three days for convention only if we have continuing education presentations.
a. Think of people you know who could serve as possible speakers. Often, friends or friends of friends will come for free.
b. Speaker must preferably be someone who does not charge to speak and who qualifies for continuing education credit. If the speaker does charge, get approval from president for the fee. If the speaker does not charge, the Association should present a gift at the end of the presentation.
c. Review past years' agendas to determine the number of speakers we need.
d. Give the bio on each speaker to the president before the convention so an introduction card can be made.
3. CONTINUING EDUCATION CREDIT:
a. Contact a member of each national association for the process of obtaining continuing education credit for NVRA (stenomask) members and NCRA (stenotype) members. This must be submitted to both associations (NVRA and NCRA) at least seventy (70) days prior to the convention or they charge a late penalty.
b. There will be a charge for C.E. Credits for both national associations. Call the treasurer and give the amount that must be paid to each national association. Ask the treasurer to send a check made payable to each association, along with the application for continuing education credits.
c. The fee to be collected from each member desiring continuing education credit shall be computed as follows: Take the amount of the application fee for the national association fee and divide by the number of members seeking continuing education credit from that national association. That amount will be due from each member seeking continuing education credit; (i.e. If the NCRA application fee is $100.00 and you have 10 members desiring continuation education credit, the fee for each NCRA member shall be $25.00.
NOTE ON THE REGISTRATION FORM THE AMOUNT TO BE INCLUDED FOR CONTINUING EDUCATION CREDIT FOR EACH NATIONAL ASSOCIATION.
4. DETERMINING COST OF REGISTRATION FEE:
a. The following items must be considered when determining the cost of registration fee:
– Snacks, soft drinks, coffee for three days
– Cost of conference room, if any
– Cost for meals, as a group
– Cost for hospitality suite if no lounge on site
– Cost for hard and soft drinks for banquet (minus contribution by Bar Association)
– Cost for speakers, if any
– Cost for auctioneer, if any
– Cost for gifts to speakers, auctioneer, if needed
– Cost for tips to motel servers at restaurant
– Cost for banquet meal/dinner theater, tips, et cetera
– Cost for banquet meal for Court Services Coordinators and for Friday's lunch, if applicable.
b. Retired Members: The Convention Committee is encouraged to assess the registration fee as low as possible without placing a cost burden on the Association.
5. LOCAL BAR ASSOCIATION:
It has been the practice of local reporters to ask for a contribution from their local Bar Association to be used for the Hospitality Suite or to be applied to the bar tab for the banquet. Ask for more than we need and hope for something slightly less than what we need. Speak with the president of the Bar Association and mention that other Bar Associations in the State have donated between $400 - $500 for past conventions. If you have multiple Bar Associations in your Circuit, all the better -- ask each one for a contribution.
6. REGISTRATION PACKET:
a. In the past, Pengad, Reporters' Paper or one of our suppliers has donated the actual registration packets. Contact them well in advance of the convention to ask if they will do this and to allow enough time to have them printed. Furnish them with the correct name of our Association and the dates of the convention for the printing. If you need help with this, let the president know.
b. Use the form attached (and revise). Take all forms to Court Administration, where Desiree will assist with copying.
Be sure to invite vendors who would like to set up a booth for demonstrations (i.e., CAT system, SpeechCAT, et cetera). If they attend the convention, they will be charged the registration fee and also the additional fee for any guest they bring who will be attending our banquet. In the past, we have asked them for a vendor fee of $250.00 and they have been willing to pay that amount.
8. DOOR PRIZES:
a. It has been the practice in the past to have the local reporters of the convention area to ask local merchants to donate door prizes. The greater number of prizes, the better, but we should have at least 20-30 door prizes.
b. After registration forms are returned and you have a list of everyone attending the convention, make an extra copy of the alphabetical list that was done for the auction items and cut into strips to go in the box for drawing for door prizes.
c. You can use a box to place the names in, or if you can get someone to donate a pretty basket to place the names in, you can use the basket for the final door prize.
a. Use the form attached (and revise) to send with the registration packets to ask for auction items.
b. Contact a professional auctioneer in your area to conduct the auction. Ask for the charge for approximately one hour of their time (contact the State Auctioneer's Association for a list of auctioneers.) Please mention if they would like to donate an hour of their time to our Association, we would be very appreciative. If they desire to be paid, ask the treasurer of the Association to bring a check for them. If they donate their time, remember that the Association must purchase a gift to give them when the auction has ended.
c. You will need two reporters to be in charge of taking in auction items as they arrive at the convention and keeping a list of who donated which items and the value of same. As you compile your list, be sure to ask for the value of the item to go on your list so you can tell the auctioneer a beginning price for the item. As soon as registration forms are returned to you, you can make an alphabetical list of everyone who is attending the convention and have that ready for listing their auction items.
d. Use forms attached for day of auction and you will need three court reporters to assist with auction: one to walk/display items during the auction; one to have items ready to present; and one to keep the ledger of the bidder and the amount bid.
e. The president has the numbered auction paddles for the members. Distribute these just before the auction begins.
f. Costs of auction goes on current year's costs. Profit for auction goes to defray the next year's cost.
10. COURT ADMINISTRATION:
The president may extend an invitation to the banquet on Thursday evening and Friday's session to Court Services Coordinators. The cost of their meals for the banquet is paid for by the Association, and if the lunch for Friday is a group meal, theirs will be paid for by the Association. If Friday's lunch is lunch-on-your-own, they will pay for their own meals. Court Services Coordinators also pay for their own motel charges, and they pay for their guests who attend the banquet and Friday's meal if applicable.
11. BOOKKEEPING FOR CONVENTION:
a. Assign one person to do bookkeeping. Secure ledger sheets, and when registration forms and checks from members are returned to you, list under the following categories the breakdown of each member's fees:
– Name of Member
– Amount Received from Member
– Registration Fee
– Fee for Spouses/Guest to attend banquet
– Continuing Education Fee (this applies only to members who are seeking continuing education credit and will be so listed on the registration form)
– Late Fee
b. At the conclusion of the convention, all moneys collected and the ledger sheets (which must coincide with the moneys collected) must be turned over to the treasurer. The ledger sheets must show a breakdown of convention fees. The sheets for the auction must show the money collected.
12. WORK SCHEDULE:
The week before the convention, Court Services Coordinators MUST be furnished with a list of reporters attending the convention so they will be able to use reporters not attending for court assignments.
13. NAME TAGS:
The president has possession of the name tags which can be reused for each meeting. At least one week before convention, send a list of all attending members so president or convention committee can prepare name tags for all attendees.
14. PROGRESS REPORTS:
Keep the president informed of your progress and of any approval you may need, as well as any situation that may arise which you feel needs attention.
15. POTENTIAL FOR PROFIT:
Remember that conventions are to pay for themselves and have often made a profit in the past.
Click HERE for a printable Constitution and Bylaws PDF