How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Ash Your Own Question
Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
75100385
Type Your Law Question Here...
Ash is online now

I am Hon Sec of an unincorporated association called Friends

Customer Question

I am Hon Sec of an unincorporated association called Friends of Devonport Park. There are over 100 members and 11 on the committee. There is a chairman and treasurer as well as myself who are officers of the Friends committee.
The treasurer was asked to show the current years books to 4 of the committee. The committee had not authorised the meeting but it took place and the treasurer was then asked to hand over the books to the 4. The treasurer was unwilling but did so and reported back to the chairman who told the 4 that they should return the books and cheque books to the treasurer immediately. They refused and at present the treasurer has lost control of the books although no one else can draw cheques on the bank account.
There is clear code of conduct which has been broken and I wish to have the members suspended and have the books returned to the treasurer. At present the chairman and treasurer have resigned until an EGM is called. If the remaining 7 committee members vote that the 4 should be suspended is it legal and should the books be returned by law? Could Remus please answer as I have dealt with her before.
Fairfax
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.

Alex Watts :

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.

Alex Watts :

Is there a constitution? What does that say if anything, about who can control of the books etc?

Alex Watts :

On what basis have they refused to hand the documents back please?

JACUSTOMER-ta8wqcr7- :

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 ?

Alex Watts :

Yes please or you can attach it here if it as a PDF document?

Alex Watts :

I have it now.

Alex Watts :

What I can say is that you can call a meeting. There is NOTHING to say that they can keep these documents.

Alex Watts :

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.

Alex Watts :

If voted for then this is binding and they would have to return or be removed as committee members.

Alex Watts :

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.

Alex Watts :

For this you would need to complete form N208 https://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n208-eng.pdf

Alex Watts :

The Court can list the matter and decide whether the committee members should hand back the documents.

Alex Watts :

If there is a resolution and they have refused to accept it the Court can make the order.

Alex Watts :

If they refuse then they can be in contempt of Court and a Judge can warn them, fine them or send them to prison.

Alex Watts :

So the steps are:

Alex Watts :

1) Call a meeting

Alex Watts :

2) Propose a resolution that they hand back or are removed

Alex Watts :

3) If refuse to hand back and resolution passed, go to Court.

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?