Ruffians Motorcycle Club Bylaws

ARTICLE I

The organization known as the Ruffians Motorcycle Club, henceforth known as the Club or Club.

ARTICLE II

The Objective of the Club shall be as follows:

We are a group of Master Masons that ride motorcycles. Our goal is to spread the brotherly love of all Masons to wherever we ride. We also will strive to act as Masons, and treat all by the Square and Level. We will be attending charity events and by our actions spread the word of Masonry where ever we ride.

Charitable Activity

The Club shall operate as a charitable organization, providing at least 1 scholarship per year (per Charter) to an eligible youth. To be eligible, a youth must be a member of Job’s Daughters, DeMolay or Rainbow Girls in good standing. Good standing shall be verified by the leader of the applicant’s specific organization. Applicants must intend to seek education beyond high school. Applicants must be intending to attend either college or a trade school or be in their first year at college or a trade school.

Each scholarship shall be in the amount of $500. The total number of scholarships shall be determined based upon the total amount of contributions during the preceding year. At least one (1) scholarship shall be presented each fiscal year.

Applicants shall enter by submitting an essay on a topic selected by the members each year. The essay shall be approximately 1,200 words and contain appropriate footnotes and bibliography citing references. When the topic is selected and posted, a deadline shall be posted simultaneously. Entries received after the posted deadline will not be eligible for consideration.

ARTICLE III

MEMBERS

Shall be defined as Full Patched Members.

Full Patch Members

  • Shall be a Master Mason in Good Standing with his Blue Lodge.
  • Must possess a valid motorcycle operator license.
  • Must possess current motorcycle registration and insurance.
  • Own a 500cc or larger cruiser style motorcycle.
  • Passed a minimum of six months prospect period.
  • Elected to membership by a unanimous vote of the members present at meeting following the announcement that a prospect will be voted on for full membership.

Master Mason status does not automatically make a member. Final determination of membership shall be based on meeting all the Full Patch requirements.

Prospect

  • Shall be a Master Mason, Fellow Craft or Enter Apprentice in good standing with his Blue Lodge.
  • Must be sponsored by a Full Patch Member.
  • Own and ride a 500cc or larger cruiser style motorcycle that is in good working order.
  • Prospects must be voted on for this status by a unanimous vote of the members present at a meeting.
  • Complete all hang-around requirements.

Hang-arounds

  • Any male that is recommended by a Full Patch Member.
  • Shall possess a valid motorcycle operator license.
  • Shall possess current motorcycle registration and insurance
  • Should be interested in joining the Club
  • Wants to obtain more information by riding with and attending Club functions.

CODE OF CONDUCT

All members are expected to conduct themselves in a manner so as to bring honor and respect to the club at all times. Any actions, by a member, deemed detrimental to the organization, shall be cause for review under the disciplinary procedures and could result in discipline up to or including suspension or expulsion from membership.

At no time should any member be associated with 1% or “outlaw” organizations. Such association shall be deemed grounds for immediate suspension and possible revocation of membership.

Members may join or be associated with charitable Riding Clubs (ex. Patriot Guard, Bikers Against Child Abuse, etc.) with the approval of the Club’s Membership. The approval requires a unanimous vote of Full Patch Members present at the meeting the request is presented.

RESIGNATION of MEMBERSHIP

The membership of any member will terminate after the member has submitted a written request for such termination to the Executive Board of their Charter. That Board will respond in writing to this request. Refer to Article VII for the return of Club property.

DUES and FEES

Application fee for membership is $30.00. Annual dues are $50.00 for Full Members. Prospects shall pay prorated dues, prorated quarterly, of $50.00, from date of vote to prospect status. Dues are based on the fiscal year starting Sept 1 thru Aug 31.

ARTICLE IV

OFFICERS DEFINED

The Elected Officers of the Club shall be President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer. The requirement to run for an elected position shall be one year as a full patched member. The terms of office for the officers of the Club shall be until the elected official resigns their position, a valid challenge for office is made by a Patched member or a vote of no confidence is held based on gross negligence.

  • Exemption – The President can only be removed by a vote of no confidence or a resignation of his office. In either case the current Vice President will become the President.

Additional officers appointed are be Sergeant at Arms, Road Captain and Tail Gunner. These positions may be appointed only by the President.

OFFICERS’ DUTIES DEFINED

President

The executive duties of the President are as follows:

  • To preside over meetings of both the Executive Board and the Club as a whole.
  • To judge items not covered in the rules and regulations.
  • To act as the personal representative of the Club in the area of public relations, as a liaison between the MC and Grand Lodges, blue lodges, local law enforcement agencies and as a connecting link between motorcycle Clubs.
  • To represent the Club in any Club business contacts and to supervise major economic transactions unless delegated to another member for business purposes only.
  • To assist officers in the interpretation of their Club responsibilities, and to promote Club life among member in general.
  • To be a member of the Combined Executive Committee.
Vice President

The executive duties of the Vice President are:

  • to assume the responsibilities of the presidency when the President is unable to do so.
  • To oversee Prospect progress and present a report during church.
  • To be a member of the combined Executive Committee.
Secretary

The executive duties of the secretary are as follows:

  • To record and safeguard the minutes of the Club meetings.
  • To maintain the Club Bylaws, recording any additions, deletions or modifications.
  • To handle any Club correspondence.
  • To collect all money from the membership, create a receipt and pay the same to the Treasurer.
  • To Record beginning and ending balances monthly for reporting at church.
  • To act as a connecting link between motorcycle Clubs and solicitors.
Treasurer

The executive duties of the treasurer are as follows:

  • To receive all money from the Secretary and deposit upon receipt.
  • To monitor and record the Club’s income and expenditures.
  • To collect the dues and fines owing by members.
  • To Maintain full accounting details and present full reports with bank statements for audit.
Executive Committee

The elected officers shall constitute the Executive Committee along with the Sergeant at Arms. All members of the Executive Committee shall constitute a quorum present. Electronic meetings shall be authorized. The executive committee is responsible for:

  • The monitoring of conflicts within the Club.
  • The application of disciplinary procedures.
  • The evaluation of prospects and their progress.
  • Presentation of the state of the Club to all members.
  • To make minor decisions on behalf of the Club when approval from the membership is not readily available (ex. Flowers for a funeral or other function).
Sergeant at Arms

The executive duties of the Sergeant at Arms are as follows:

  • To maintain order at Club meetings in particular, and Club activities in general.
  • To ensure that members adhere to Club rulings, policies, and expected models of conduct when dealing with other members or outsiders.
  • To defend Club members and Club property from outside threats.
  • To enforce Club rules.
  • To protect and serve the President.
  • Is the only Club Member allowed to break rank while riding to protect the Club.
  • Responsible for storing and maintaining Club paraphernalia (ex, Patches).
Road Captain

The executive duties of the road captain are as follows:

  • To plan the travel routes and organize the basic itinerary of the Club prior to going on a “Run”.
  • To lead the Club in formation during a run.
  • To enforce Club rules and procedures for group riding.
  • The Road Captain is in charge while riding.
Tail Gunner
  • To follow and start the requested action from the Road Captain when safe to do so.
  • To assist in Club safety when performing road maneuvers.
REMOVAL FROM OFFICE
  • An officer not doing his job must be counseled by the president on job duties and responsibilities before any further action may be taken.
  • If the issue of job performance involves the President, a committee made up of the Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer and Sergeant at Arms of their Charter will be formed by the Vice-President to meet with the President and counsel him before any action may be taken.
  • Removal from office shall require a two-thirds vote of the members present at a meeting where a minimum of one week’s notice is provided prior to the meeting that a motion will be made for the removal of an elected officer.
  • Removal from office may be made if a “True” vote of “No Confidence” is made. Evidence must be presented to substantiate the allegation leading to the vote of no confidence.

ARTICLE V

MEETINGS and ACTIVITIES

Meetings

At a minimum, meetings shall be the first Saturday of every month. The time of the meetings shall be 0930 hours. The location of the meeting shall be determined by the Club at the end of the regularly scheduled meeting for the next month. No Club business shall be discussed on Social Media. The start time of a regular Club meeting may be adjusted by a vote of the Club no later than the prior regular meeting.

Quorum

5 members shall make a quorum, 2 of which shall be elected officers.

Attendance

Every member is required to be present (in person or virtually) for at least two (2) meetings during a “rolling” twelve-month period. This will allow members to stay informed and involved with the Club even if they are at a distance. If a member is unable to attend at least two meetings during a “rolling” twelve-month period, they will be placed on a sabbatical and will be required to return their patches to the Founding Charter via their Charter President or Sergeant at Arms until they are able to return and be active. The membership of this member’s Charter will conduct a majority vote when the member on sabbatical has requested to return. Once a majority “Yes” vote by the membership occurs the member returning from sabbatical must attend (either virtually or in person) at least 2 meetings to demonstrate their ability to maintain an active connection with the club prior to be returned to good standing with the Club.

Electronic Meetings

Electronic meetings shall be authorized by the presiding officer.

Votes

Votes shall be open voice votes. No secret ballot votes shall be taken. All members shall vote on issues presented to the Club. Proxy votes may be given to any member by a member who will be absent at a meeting. The attending member shall announce he is casting a proxy vote for the absent member and that announcement shall be recorded in the minutes.

Bills

All expenditure of funds shall be voted on by the members present at a meeting. All checks shall be counter signed.

Committees

Committees shall be appointed as needed by the President or Vice President.

ARTICLE VI

DISCIPLINE

Reporting

In the case of actions by a member that are deemed detrimental to the Club, such actions should be reported to the Executive Board along with all evidence to substantiate the allegations.

Action

In the event that a member is accused of actions detrimental to the Club, that individual may be brought up for review before the membership. This may occur at a regularly scheduled meeting, or in the case of serious misconduct, a special meeting may be called. At that time, all evidence regarding the matter shall be presented, and the individual in question will be given an opportunity to explain his actions. Following this presentation of evidence, the accused member will be asked to leave the room and a vote will be taken to decide guilt or innocence and any sanctions that should be taken. A minimum quorum must be present to initiate a suspension or revocation of membership. The member will then be called back and the Sergeant at Arms will inform the member of the verdict and any penalty imposed. In particularly egregious cases, the Executive Board may by unanimous vote invoke a suspension prior to the disciplinary hearing. The Sergeant at Arms will take the appropriate action deemed by the Executive Board.

Sanctions

Sanctions for misconduct or actions deemed detrimental to the Club will range from verbal warning or reprimand, up to or including removal of patch. Sanctions will be noted by the Secretary and filed appropriately.

ARTICLE VII

APPAREL and REGALIA

Ownership

Patches are the property of the Club and no issuance of patches to a member should be construed as anything less. All patches shall only be purchased through the Founding Ruffians Charter. Patches shall not be altered in any manner.

Surrender

A member who voluntarily or involuntarily leaves the Club must surrender his patches, and any other items that denote membership in the Club. Initiation fees/Dues do not constitute a “purchase” of colors, and at no time are refundable.

Wearing of Patches

Members shall wear their colors when participating in all club functions.

  • The approved apparel and patches for the Club shall be a black leather vest.
  • Front of the vest will have the following:
    1. Members name or nick name
    2. Officer patch if appropriate
    3. Charter patch
    4. Any other patches or pins the member chooses
      1. Except no patches, pins or any other type of identifier of other Motorcycle Clubs.
      2. All patches must be in the same colors as the Club colors. Exception made for Members grandfathered in as of June 1, 2017 who may wear patches on the front of their vest that do not follow the Club colors.
  • The back of the vest shall only have the following:
    1. Top rocker “Ruffians”
    2. The middle Club insignia
    3. To the right of the Club insignia is the side cube with the members Lodge Number.
  • No other patches, pins or regalia shall be allowed on the back of the vest.
  • All patches, issued by the Club, have a specific location on the vest. See addendum #1

The prospect patch shall be applied to the lower back section of the vest, with no other patches, pins or regalia. The front of the prospect vest shall have a black and grey (subdued) American flag patch, a Prospect and Ruffians tag. The patches will be placed as directed by addendum #1 with the Prospect tag being placed in the member’s name tag position and the Ruffians tag being placed in the Officer’s tag position.

ARTICLE VIII

PARLIAMENTARY AUTHORITY

Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern meetings where they are not in conflict with the bylaws, rules of order, or other rules of the Club.

ARTICLE IX

CHARTERS

Founding Charter

Ruffians MC located in Southern California is the founding Charter and will act as the original charter for all other Charters in the organization. This founding Charter will:

  • Post the Ruffians MC Bylaws for public viewing on the Ruffians MC website.
  • Approve and authorize the formation of new Ruffians Motorcycle Club Charter.
  • Make an announcement of a new Charter to all other Ruffians MC Charters.
  • Procure and distribute all clothing items that display the Ruffians MC patches on the back of the item when these items are fashioned in such a way as to resemble Ruffians MC members’ patches.
  • Procure and distribute Ruffians MC patches to be worn on all members’ vests.
  • Provide Certificates of Acceptance recognizing each Ruffians Motorcycle Club Charter.
  • With the approval of the Combined Executive Committee revoke or suspend any Ruffians Motorcycle Club Charter that fails to maintain the integrity of the Ruffians MC Bylaws.
  • Maintain a roster of all Charters’ Executive Boards and all Ruffians MC members.
  • Will determine the location of the mandatory Moose Run each year. The Founding Charter shall notify all Charters of the selected date and location of the Moose Run AT LEAST SIX (6) months in advance so travel arrangements can be made.
  • Maintain a Ruffians MC website and supervise other Charter websites. The website shall include:
    1. A page for each Charter with the contact information of the Charter’s Executive Committees and a link to their website.
    2. A page with links to Ruffians MC official documents and forms.
Request for new Charter

Requests to establish a new Ruffians MC Charter must be submitted in writing to the Founding Charter. The requesting President and Vice President of the proposed New Charter or their designees must visit the President and Vice President or their designees in person prior to their petition being considered. A minimum of five members is required to start a new Charter. The New Charter Application form must identify the members that will hold the positions of President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Sergeant at Arms, and Road Captain. (Sgt. at Arms and Road Captain are optional with approval from the Founding Charter’s Executive Committee) A New Charter Application form is available upon request from the Founding Charter and may be made available via request to their Secretary.

Requirements for Members of a new Charter
  • All members of the new Charter must meet the requirements of Full Patch Members, Prospects and Hang-arounds detailed in Article III.
  • All members of the new Charter, including transferring members from other Charters, shall complete a Prospective Membership Application form to be submitted to the Founding Charter.
  • Application fees are identified in the Prospective Membership Application form.
  • New prospective membership application fees will be paid to the petitioned Charter.
  • Members in good standing that are transferring from an existing charter are not required to pay the application fee.
  • A Prospective Membership Application form is available upon request from the Founding Charter and will be made available on their website.
Combined Executive Committee

The Combined Executive Committee shall be made up of the following Executives:

  • Originally by the Founding Charter’s Executive Members
  • Upon the Establishment of a second Charter, the Committee shall be made up of the President, Vice President and Secretary of each Charter.
  • Upon the Establishment of a third Charter, the Committee shall be made up of the President and Vice President of each Charter.
  • Upon the Establishment of a fourth Charter the President and Vice President from the Founding Charter and the Presidents of each Charter shall make up the Committee.
  • Growth beyond four Charters will result in each Charter’s President making up the Committee.
Charters

All Charters granted charter by the Ruffians MC will:

  • All New Charter Executive Committee shall sign a document indicating they agree to abide by and maintain the integrity of the Ruffians MC Bylaws.
  • Will be considered a Probationary Charter for the first six months of being granted their charter.
  • Will be required to participate in a least one conference call per year with the Founding Charter Executive Board.
  • Establish individual Charter operating policies. Each Ruffians Motorcycle Club Charter shall complete their version of a document known as the “Charter Operating Policy” and keep it with a copy of the Ruffians Motorcycle Club Bylaws. The Charter Operating Policy will not override or conflict with the Ruffians MC Bylaws. A copy of the Charter operating policies and any subsequent amendments will be forwarded to the Founding Charter’s Executive Committee or the Combined Executive Committee for a check of compliance with the Ruffians MC Bylaws.
  • Each Charter will be responsible for seeing that a roster of members including their contact information is provided to the Founding Charter on an annual basis. Further they will notify the Founding Charter of all new prospects/members within 30 days of their application approval to the Secretary and Treasurer of the Founding Charter within that time for recording on official membership.
  • Be responsible for the proper conduct and licensing of all fund raisers, raffles, or events that raise monies for their Charters and do so in accordance with Local, State and Federal laws.
  • Include their Charter name on all notices, flyers and calendar entries of events, fund raisers, raffles, etc… ” Require all Charter members to obey all Local, State and Federal laws.
  • Use the most current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order to settle any procedural disputes which will prevail in all cases not in conflict with the Ruffians MC Bylaws.
  • If their Ruffians Motorcycle Club Charter should disband, all assets of that Charter must be transferred evenly between all active Charters with the exception of Club paraphernalia, which is to be returned to the Founding Charter.
  • Each charter must be represented at the Moose Run. It will be the responsibility of each charter to ensure that they have at least one (1) member travel to attend that event
Expulsion of a Charter

Any member who alleges that a Charter is conducting itself in a manner that conflicts with the Ruffians Motorcycle Club Bylaws must send substantiated proof of such allegations to the Combined Executive Committee. The Combined Executive Committee will proceed with the possible expulsion as follows:

  • The Combined Executive Committee will call a meeting to discuss the allegations.
  • If the allegations cannot be substantiated a letter will be sent to the accused Charter President informing him of the allegations and that they cannot be substantiated.
  • The allegations will be provided to the accused Charter by means of a written notification by the Sergeant at Arms of the Founding Charter or if geographically too far in a certified letter with return receipt. The accused Charter will have (30) thirty days to contest the accusations.
  • If the allegations can be substantiated, a unanimous vote of the Combined Executive Committee at the inquisition meeting are required to expel a Charter.
  • If the Combined Executive Committee decides to expel a Charter, written notification by means of a certified letter with return receipt will be sent to the President of the expelled Charter indicating expulsion and the rationale thereof.

When formal expulsion from the Ruffians MC is mandated, the expelled Charter will:

  • Cease and desist from the Ruffians MC.
  • Forfeit their patches and any Ruffians MC property to the Founding Charter within (30) thirty days of expulsion notification.
  • Will have no right, title, interest or claim in any assets of the Ruffians MC.
  • Relinquish any rights to a refund of fees or contributions by the expelled Charter to the Founding Charter.
  • Turn over all monies and bank records or statements to the Founding Charter for even distribution of monies amongst the remaining Charters.
  • Turn over all Secretary Logs and/or minutes to the Founding Charter for filing.

The Combined Executive Committee will notify all Ruffians MC Charters of the expulsion. No member from the Charter facing expulsion hearings may transfer to another Charter during the time of the allegations to escape the pending decision of the Combined Executive Committee.

Dissolution of Ruffians MC in its Entirety

In the instance that the Ruffians MC is entirely disbanded, all assets remaining after the resolution of any outstanding debts or other financial obligations shall be donated to the Shriner’s Hospitals for Children.

ARTICLE X

CHARTER AUTONOMY

Objectives of Charter Autonomy
  • Each new Charter operates independently from the Founding Charter and independently from all other Charters of the Ruffians Motorcycle Club while still being bound by the Ruffians MC Bylaws.
  • Each Charter is responsible for its own actions, conduct and is liable for any and all of their performed functions.
  • Charters and or their individual members do not pay annual dues or fees to the Founding Charter. Charters must however pass on initiation fees and patch costs to the Founding Charter minus their dues for new members.
  • Individual Charters are authorized to use the Ruffians MC patches to benefit their individual Charter, not any individual member(s).

The Combined Executive Committee reserves the right to suspend or revoke the use of the patches, by any individual Charter or Charter member for violations of the Ruffians MC Bylaws, violation of Local, State, Federal laws, criminal offenses or conduct that brings discredit to the Ruffians Motorcycle Club.

ARTICLE XI

AMENDMENT OF BYLAWS

Amendment

These Bylaws may be amended by the Combined Executive Committee of the Ruffians Motorcycle Club by a majority vote of the members.

Proposed Amendment Process

Proposed amendments to the original bylaws must be suggested by Charters not individual members. Individual members with proposals for amendments to the bylaws must first propose those amendments to their Charter. Once the proposal is accepted by a majority of the voting members of the Charter, it may be presented by that Charter to the Combined Executive Committee in writing for consideration.

Consideration of Amendments

Proposals for amendment of the bylaws will be considered at a regular monthly meeting or during a special meeting of the Combined Executive Committee.

Submission Requirements

Proposals should be submitted in writing at least 30 days prior to a scheduled monthly meeting for consideration.

Bylaws Committee

Should the number of Charters grow beyond three (3), a Bylaws Committee comprised of the Combined Executive Committee will be convened and empowered to consider and vote on all proposals for amendment.

ARTICLE XII

LIABILITY

Liability

The Ruffians Motorcycle Club accepts no responsibility or liability for the actions of any of its members or the actions of any other Charter or organization.