SISTERS IN CRIME, LOW COUNTRY CHAPTER
The name of this chapter of Sisters in Crime, Inc. shall be Low Country Chapter, Sisters in Crime (hereinafter referred to as "the Chapter").
The mission of Sisters in Crime Inc. is to promote the ongoing advancement, recognition, and professional development of women crime writers.
Our chapter’s purpose in carrying out this mission is to focus on professional support for the mystery writing community and to encourage crime fiction and nonfiction writers to elevate their craft.
Membership: Membership is open to all persons worldwide who have a special interest in crime and mystery writing and in furthering the purposes of Sisters in Crime, Inc., as defined in Article II.
Section 1. PROFESSIONAL Membership. A PROFESSIONAL member is a paid-up member of both Sisters in Crimes, Inc., and Sisters in Crime, Inc. Low Country Chapter who is one of the following: an author pursuing a career in crime and mystery writing, a bookseller, a publisher, a librarian, an editor or one who has a business interest in promoting the purposes of Sisters in Crime, Inc., as defined in Article II.
Section 2. ACTIVE Membership. An ACTIVE member is a paid-up member of both Sisters in Crime, Inc., and Sisters in Crime, Inc. Low Country Chapter who does not have a business interest in promoting the purposes of Sisters in Crime, Inc. This includes, but is not limited to, fans and readers.
Section 3. HONORARY Membership. An honorary member is a person who is elected as such by a 2/3rds majority vote of the chapter membership. No dues either at the parent SinC level or chapter level are required.
Section 4. INSTITUTIONAL Membership. An institutional member is an organization such as an educational institution, business firm, or other group.
Section 5: Continuation of membership. Every member of the Chapter on the date these bylaws are adopted may continue active membership as long as her dues are current and she is a member in good standing.
Section 1: The general management, control, direction of affairs, funds and property of the Chapter shall be vested in the officers of the Chapter.
Section 2: No part of the net earnings of the Chapter shall inure to the benefit of any member, director or officer of the organization or to any private individual. However, compensation may be paid for services rendered to, or for, the Chapter (subject to the provisions of Article V).
Section 3: If there shall be a cash surplus at the end of the calendar year, it shall be retained in the treasury of the Chapter to be used to further the purposes of the organization.
Section 4: No substantial part of the activities of the organization shall be the carrying on of propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation. The Chapter shall not participate in or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements) any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office except as authorized by the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, as amended.
Section 5: The membership list shall be private and not available to the general members. It shall be used only for chapter correspondence.
Section 1: (a) The officers of the Chapter shall consist of President, First Vice-President, Second Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer. They shall be active members of Sisters in Crime and the Chapter. (b) All terms of office shall be approximately one year, provided however, that if the first election is not held in January, the initial terms of office shall be extended to include the remainder of the first year plus the following year. (c) Officers may be re-elected to consecutive terms, to continue in office for no more than five consecutive years. Officers may run for other offices at the expiration of their terms of office. Members may run again for their former elected offices after a period of one year. (d) The office of President shall be filled by whomever served the previous one-year term as First Vice-President.
Section 2: The President shall be the first executive officer of the Chapter and shall preside at all membership meetings. The President shall set goals and responsibilities, serve as an ad hoc member of committees, confer with other officers concerning major decisions, keep members informed, serve as Chapter spokesperson, and perform such other duties as may be deemed necessary.
Section 3: The First and Second Vice-Presidents shall assist the President in her duties and may serve as substitute to preside over meetings and committees as directed by the President. The First Vice-President shall be considered the Rising President as specific in Article V: Section 1.
Additional duties are as follows: (a) one vice-president shall be Vice-President of Membership (whose duties include keeping a computerized spreadsheet or list of all members and their current contact and member information, including the payment of annual chapter dues. (b) one vice-president shall be Vice-President of Program (whose duties include working in conjunction with the President to plan the chapter’s monthly program meetings, workshops, speakers, or author support at book signing events)
Section 4: The Secretary shall keep minutes, handle correspondence in coordination with the President, and perform such other duties as may be directed by the officers.
Section 5: The Treasurer shall receive all monies of the Chapter and hold or deposit the same as directed by the officers. The Treasurer shall make disbursement from these funds as authorized by the officers, and shall keep accurate financial records. The Treasurer shall submit financial statements on an annual basis, or more frequently as requested by the officers.
Section 6: Should there be a vacancy in the Presidency, the First Vice-President shall succeed to the Presidency and shall serve until the next annual election. Any other vacancy of an office shall be filled by Presidential appointment, and the appointee shall hold office until the next annua1 election.
Section 7: None of the officers of the Chapter shall receive any salary or compensation for services rendered as such officers.
Section 8: Expulsion of Officers and Members. Officers may be impeached for dereliction of duty or malfeasance and any active member may be expelled from the Chapter for misconduct. An investigation of the charges shall be conducted as determined by the officers, and the person charged of such breach shall be fully informed of the charges made, including the source of such information. The person charged shall have a full and fair hearing to respond to the charges, and if the officers determine through a simple majority vote to proceed with the impeachment or expulsion, the matter shall be placed before the general Chapter membership. After both sides have presented their case to the membership, a simple majority vote will be taken and the results of the vote immediately instituted.
Section 9: Officer meetings shall be held at a minimum twice a year, in person or electronically, and the approved minutes of these meetings shall be made available to the general membership by the next general meeting. A quorum of at least 75% of the officers must be present.
NOMINATION AND ELECTION PROCEDURES:
Section 1: Elections will normally be held in January of each year. A nominating committee as specific in Article VI: Section 3 will present a slate of candidates for the yearly election. Prior to the January meeting, each candidate will be given the opportunity to present her qualifications to the general membership. If there is more than one nominee for an office, a written or electronic ballot will be used. If there is only one candidate for each office, balloting may be by a show of hands. The officers will assume their duties at the close of the January meeting. Election will be by an affirmative vote of a simple majority of all active members who participate in voting including votes represented and authorized by electronic or written proxy.
Section 2: The President shall determine and establish any methods necessary to effect a timely and effective election process including electronic voting or authorized by proxy.
Section 3: The nominating committee will be chaired by the outgoing President, who will select two members for the nominating committee.
Section 1: Each member shall pay dues as established by the officers of the Chapter. If a member joins any time during the first quarter of the year, she will pay the full annual chapter dues. Members who join after that date will pay chapter dues on a prorated basis: April-May, ¾ annual dues; June-August-1/2 annual dues; September-December, ¼ annual dues.
Section 2: Any proposed increase in the Chapter dues shall be proposed by the officers and voted upon through a show of hands or by authorized proxy at a regular membership meeting.
Section 3: Sisters in Crime Inc. will determine national dues requirements and payment schedules. Members of Low Country Sisters in Crime are also required to be members of Sisters in Crime Inc. The parent SinC’s organizational dues are collected separately by the parent organization. Collection of these dues is not the responsibility of the Chapter.
Section 1: Non-payment of dues. A member will be declared not in good standing and her membership terminated if the member's dues remain outstanding and unpaid for three months.
Section 2: Misconduct. "Misconduct" is herein defined as conduct adverse or harmful to the purpose and/or repute of either the national organization or the Chapter. A member may be expelled for such conduct as described in Article V. Section 8.
BYLAWS AND AMENDMENTS:
Section 1. These bylaws shall constitute the bylaws pro tem of Sisters in Crime, Inc. Low Country Chapter upon approval by the Officers and shall continue as bylaws pro tem until amended and/or approved by a majority of the active membership at a regular meeting or by absentee ballot or votes represented by proxy. Bylaws shall be distributed to the members of Sisters in Crime, Inc. Low Country Chapter one month (thirty days) prior to a chapter meeting, accompanied by an announcement that a vote on the bylaws will take place at that meeting. Absentee ballots may be sent to members upon request. Approval of the bylaws require an affirmative vote of a majority of the members participating in the vote.
Section 2. Proposals to amend the bylaws must be authorized by the Officers or be presented to the Secretary over the signature of 20% of the membership. To be effective, an amendment to the bylaws must be distributed to all members and follow the voting approval process outlined in Section 1 above.
Section 1: To the extent permitted by law, the Chapter offices may indemnify and advance expenses (including court costs and attorneys' fees) to any present or former Chapter officer, agent or employee who was, is, or is threatened to be named defendant or respondent in an action or proceeding because such person was or is acting within the scope of her duties as a Chapter officer, agent or employee.
Section 2: The Chapter officers may purchase and maintain insurance on behalf of any such person, whether or not the officers would have the power to indemnify such person against such liability.
Section 1: Dissolution of the Chapter shall be effected by a two-thirds affirmative vote of the active members who participate in the vote; provided all members have received advance notification of the vote.
Section 2: Upon dissolution of the Chapter, its property and assets shall be distributed (within six months) as follows:
(a) All liabilities and obligations of the Chapter shall be paid, satisfied and discharged or adequate provision made f or the satisfaction of all debts of the Chapter.
(b) Assets held by the Chapter requiring return, transfer or conveyance, which condition occurs by reason of the dissolution, shall be returned, transferred or conveyed.
(c) Any remaining assets shall be distributed among such charities and/or tax-exempt institutions whose purposes are, in whole or in part, compatible with those of the Chapter as determined by a simple majority vote of the Chapter officers.
RULES OF PROCEDURE:
Section 1: Any policies or procedures not contrary to law or these bylaws may be approved or amended by a simple majority vote of the Chapter officers. Written notification of policy or procedures changes will be provided to members at the next Chapter meeting after such changes have been approved.
Section 2: Any meeting of the Chapter and/or its officers shall be conducted in accordance with any generally accepted procedure agreed upon by the Chapter officers and announced to the members, except that the President shall in all events be a full voting member of the Chapter.