Ask a Law Question, Get an Answer ASAP!
Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.
May I clarify with you whether you are asking how you would deal with a member and also a non member who may hypothetically attend hired premises please or is this a case where you are not sure if the individual is a member?
How is the club constituted? e.g. does it have a formal constitution and committee or is it less formal than this?
Who hires the premises and pays for them? Is it one of the club members?
Finally how are the premiese hired - is it just a room/venue that is hired by the hour for example or are the premises leased?
No, I would like to know how to deal with say someone who is attempting to enter and is the worse for wear for drink, and also someone who is just not welcome from previous experience? In the first case they could be a member, or not. In the second they may not be a member.
It has a formal Constitution.
The Club hires the rooms from the local Church on an annual basis. we use a number of rooms on a specific day of the week, Fridays.We have sole occupancy on this day (evening say,19.00 till 23.45 hrs)
Thank you for the above. Just one final point - who is actually named on and pays for rooms on any written agreement with the church? Is it one or more of the club members names or is it the club itself that is named on the agreement with no actual persons names appearing? If you are not sure that's fine - would you know who pays - does it come from the club bank account?
It comes from the club bank account - the name on the hiring agreement is the Club
Thank you. Based on what you say the club will be constituted as trustees - whereby one or more trustees are responsible for club assets (money etc). This will either be by way of a formal trust document though in default of which (as clubs are typically constituted less than formally "by the book" it will be those person(s) who are in actual day to day control of monies - i.e. whoever has control of the club bank account by way of authorised signatory.
Those person(s) should have legal use which will either be exclusive or non exclusive for the periods of hire. As such those person(s) can control who has access to those rooms for the periods of hire (subject to any rules of the club - i.e. which will probably say or failing which will imply that any member has a right to use club facilities). As to where this leaves you:
The trustee(s) of the club as above have a right to control access to the rooms. They can delegate this power to such officers of the club they deem appropriate. If a member is causing problems, then they can be excluded subject to the rules of the club. There may be a formal constitution that deals with how a member can be expelled or restricted. If there is no such constitution then typically a meeting or agreement of the trustees of the club can resolve to expel the member or restrict his membership though without a formal constitution, any decision to expel or a restrict a members rights may result in a pro rata refund of any membership dues that member has paid. e
For a non member, the position is more straightforward still; they can be asked to leave by a club trustee or a person to whom the trustee has delegated that power. The venue is private property and is hired by the club from what you say and during the hire period entry can be restricted. If an individual refuses to leave, ultimately the police can be called. Use of force to remove an individual is to be avoided generally as apart for potentially being dangerous, it can result in claims of assault. However the police will assist though they may wish to see evidence that the club has hired the room for the period by viewing the hire agreement in the absence of a church official who can confirm the same.
As above the more potentially problematic situation would be one of a member who you wish to restrict. If this is the case or likely to be the case, it is worth drawing up some club rules if you have not already done so, that provide the minimum levels of conduct the club expects from its members and the penalties of failing to adhere to such minimum levels of conduct such as the right for the club trustees to restrict or exclude a member and the effect on membership dues and so on. It is possible to proceed as above without such formal rules in place but having some rules means there is less room for argument on the part of any aggrieved member.
Ok that sounds good. Does this involve the laws of Trespass or can we just ask the police to remove them? What happens if they keep coming back? Do we have to give a reason for refusal of admittance to the police? (non-members)
Quite so, subject as above, an unwelcome non member, or excluded member would be trespassing on private property in the circumstances you describe and the police can require them to leave in much the same way as you can require an unwelcome individual to leave your home. There is no need to give a reason for refusal of admission to a non-member or the police if the club has exclusive hire for that period.
If an individual keeps returning then they could be guilty of a variety of offences, most commonly harassment and the police do have powers to arrest and prosecute under the Protection Against Harrassment Act; it is also possible to take civil action to obtain an injunction though most people would rely on police to assist rather than taking steps through the civil courts themselves.
Have I been able to answer all your questions on the above or is there anything I can clarify for you?
That's really good and answers my (our) questions fully. We have a Committee meeting tonight and I will use your answers in this to help us deal with a situation I have described. Thank you for you help.
A pleasure. If anything comes up in committee that raises further questions, please don't hesitate to come back to me.
Thank you and goodbye.
If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to rate my service to you today. Your feedback is important to me.