Hello my name is Alex and I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return You do not need to wait here as you will get an email when I reply.
Is there a constitution? What does that say if anything, about who can control of the books etc?
On what basis have they refused to hand the documents back please?
Yes I can send you a copy of the constitution. The chairman has telephoned them when he found out and asked them to return the books immediately. There is a code of conduct which makes it clear that any request from an officer of the committee should be adhered to. Do you agree that they should be suspended? Is it law ?
Yes please or you can attach it here if it as a PDF document?
I have it now.
What I can say is that you can call a meeting. There is NOTHING to say that they can keep these documents.
My view upon reading the documents is that you can call a meeting and either propose that they are handed back or propose a resolution that they are removed as committee or members.
If voted for then this is binding and they would have to return or be removed as committee members.
If they refuse to abide by the decision then you can seek a Court Order which means they have to 'deliver up' the articles that belong to the Association.
For this you would need to complete form N208 https://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n208-eng.pdf
The Court can list the matter and decide whether the committee members should hand back the documents.
If there is a resolution and they have refused to accept it the Court can make the order.
If they refuse then they can be in contempt of Court and a Judge can warn them, fine them or send them to prison.
So the steps are:
1) Call a meeting
2) Propose a resolution that they hand back or are removed
3) If refuse to hand back and resolution passed, go to Court.
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?