By Laws

Florida Chapter of
Jacksonville, Florida, U.S.A.


Name and Seal:
The name of this chapter of the non-profit corporation Sisters in Crime, Inc. shall be the Florida Chapter of Sisters In Crime, Inc. Its seal shall be a design adopted by its members upon submission of an acceptable design. Meetings shall be held in Jacksonville, Florida, U. S. A.


Purpose: The chapter shall support the purpose of the non-profit corporation of Sisters in Crime, Inc. to promote the ongoing advancement, recognition, and professional development of women mystery writers. The chapter will also promote: the sharing of the love of mysteries in the chapter and with the public when deemed possible within the budget; encourage our own writers with a writers support group; facilitate a mystery book group for our mystery reading fans; and aid the growth of the mystery collection of our library when and how membership should decide it can within the budget. The chapter may also plan projects or outings for those members who chose to participate.

Meetings: Meetings of the general membership shall be the first Saturday of each month and held in the mornings. General membership meetings will not be held if a holiday falls on that weekend.


Membership: Membership is open to all persons with a love of mysteries and who wish to support Article II.

Section 1. An active member is one that has paid their National and Chapter dues.

Section 2. Members need not reside in Jacksonville, Florida to be a member and may belong to more than one chapter of the non-profit corporation of Sisters in Crime.

Section 3. Institutional Membership: An institutional member is an organization such as an educational institution, business firm, or other group that supports Article II and has also paid all its dues.

Section 4. Expansion of Membership Categories. Additional or amended categories of membership may be added by a majority affirmative vote of the active membership. All chapter member types are required to join at the National level.

Section 5. Continuation of Membership. Every member of Sisters in Crime, Inc., on the date these bylaws are adopted shall continue her or his active membership. Every member of Sisters in Crime, Inc. shall continue as a member until resignation or until subject to discipline (see Article X).


General Management:

Section 1. The general management, control, and direction of the affairs, funds, and property of the Florida Chapter of Sisters in Crime, Inc. shall be vested in its officers (chairperson with approval from officers).

Section 2. No part of the net earnings of Sisters in Crime, Inc., or any earnings from the Florida chapter shall inure to the benefit of any member, director, or officer of the organization, or to any private individual. However, reasonable reimbursement may be paid for approved services to the chapter.

Section 3. If there shall be a cash surplus at the end of the fiscal year, it shall be retained in the treasury account of the chapter except for any portion we need to donate to some worthy cause (one agreed upon by the general membership at a meeting) to keep from having to pay taxes.

Section 4. No substantial part of the activities of the chapter shall be the carrying on of propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation, and the chapter shall not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distribution of statements), any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office except as authorized under the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, as amended.


The Officers and Chairmen:

Section 1. The Officers shall serve for one (1) year and be elected yearly by the general membership. They shall commence serving their terms of office on the first calendar month of each year. Their titles shall be: President, Vice President, Secretary.

Section 2. The Webmaven or Webmaster, Newsletter Editor, and Chairpersons shall be appointed by the President or Vice President with consensus of the general membership and serve the same amount of time, one (1) year, as general membership deems it appropriate and needful.

Section 3. No member may serve as an officer or chairperson more than two consecutive years unless general membership deems it appropriate and needful.


Duties of Officers:

Section 1. The President: The President shall be elected as the first executive officer of the chapter and shall preside at all membership meetings, as well as call and preside over any necessary management meetings for conducting business for any planned functions or projects of the chapter. The President shall be elected for one (1) one-year term, and shall not run for that office or the office of Vice-President again until at least three (3) years have elapsed from the end of her/his term. The President will, however, serve on the Board in an ex officio capacity for the period of one year following her term.

The President sets goals for the chapter with the consensus of the chapter’s membership, serves as ad hoc member of committees, keeps members informed, serves as group spokesperson, and performs such other duties as the chapter may from time to time determine.

Section 2. The Vice President: The Vice President, who serves as an assistant and advisor to the President, shall be elected for a two-year term, during the second term of which, after ratification by a majority vote at the Annual Meeting, will serve as President. She/He shall not run for the office of President or Vice-President until at least three (3) years have elapsed from the end of her/his term. The Vice President shall step in to temporarily fill the role of the President in case of illness or unavoidable absence.

Section 3. The Treasurer: The Treasurer shall be appointed by members of the Board of Directors and shall serve as an ex officio member of that body and will not receive any compensation for services. A term of office shall be for one (1) year, with reappointment by the Board for successive terms. The position of Treasurer, which is appointed, will be advisory only, and the Treasurer will not be a voting member of the board. The Treasurer shall receive all monies collected by the chapter and shall deposit the same in the chapter’s bank account. The Treasurer shall make disbursements from these funds as authorized, or by consensus of the general membership for the chapter’s needs. The Treasurer shall keep accurate financial accounts, maintain a checking account, and shall prepare and submit detailed quarterly reports, as well as providing an annual report of funds at the beginning of each new year before handing over the books to the new Treasurer . The Treasurer is responsible for seeing that any tax forms are filed properly and timely each year.

Section 4. The Secretary: The Secretary shall be elected and keep the minutes; handle correspondence in coordination with the President; keep a file of any written plans for the chapter or ads or copies of the by-laws.

Section 5. Chairperson: Shall be appointed by the President for a period of one (1) year for any specific function the chapter needs a person to serve in said position and this appointment must meet with approval of the general membership.

Section 6. Should there be vacancy in the President at any time, the Vice President shall succeed to the Presidency and shall serve until the next annual election. Any other vacancy in an office shall be filled by appointment or a vote from the general membership, and the successor shall hold office until the next annual election.

Section 7. With the exception of the Web Maven position, none of the officers of the Florida Sisters in Crime or any other committee members shall receive any salary or compensation for services rendered.
Section 8. Expulsion of Officers: Officers or Chairmen can be impeached from office for dereliction of duty or malfeasance by a majority vote of the active membership.


Voting and Elections:

Section 1. Voting may be done in person (or by proxy if received by the President prior to the annual election). Nominations should take place openly at the chapter meeting in October of each year and elections held in November so the results can be posted by December and new officers will have time to make timely arrangements for the transfer of any records to them from the out-going officers after the December meeting but before the January meeting of the new year.

Section 2. An election committee will be appointed at the September meeting to handle and oversee elections as well as count ballots and notify officers and chapter’s membership of the results. Members of the chapter that are serving as officers or chairmen cannot be on the elections committee.

Section 3. Only active members of the chapter shall be eligible to vote.

Section 4. No one who is nominated must serve against their will. All nominees must notify the election committee of their willingness to be on the final ballot before the end of the October meeting at which the nominations are made.


Section 1. Any voting on any issue must carry a majority vote of those members in the general membership of the chapter that are present at a meeting.

Section 2. Any changes to these by laws may not be done without the vote of the general membership at any meeting at which the change is brought to the membership’s attention to vote on.


Dues: Each member shall pay dues, the amount of which shall be the sum of $20.00 for the current calendar year and will be due in February of each year thereafter.


Discipline: Non-payment of dues. A member may be declared not in good standing, and his or her membership may be terminated, if the member has not paid dues for the national non-profit corporation and the chapter dues.


Newsletters: Should the chapter decide to do a newsletter, be it monthly or bi-monthly or quarterly, the person appointed to do this will not print to mail or send it by e-mail before getting a copy to the President for approval in case there is something the President needs the Chairman in charge of the newsletter to include in the issue for the membership to be aware of. There will be no charge for a newsletter to the chapter’s members.


Dissolution: Dissolution of the Florida Chapter of Sisters in Crime, Inc. shall take place only after a proposal for same has been accepted by two-thirds of the general membership at an open monthly meeting (votes can be by proxy to President prior to meeting). The membership will also vote on the disbursement of any funds left in the treasury.


Rules of Procedure: Parliamentary procedure may be used, but does not have to be. Meetings may be conducted informally, but any voting on anything must be done, counted, and recorded in the minutes.


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