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The NJ Court has ruled for USA Equestrian

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  • #61
    I understand that Mrs. Matz wrote a "personal letter" to the USOC.

    But has she made any statements since then regarding this? Regardless of how, when, why this started and by whom, has anyone with "clout" stepped up to the plate and told the children to that their behavior has been less than exemplary?


    • #62
      Actually, DD Matz wrote a big article for the Chronicle a couple years back saying USET did NOT want to be the NGB! It is on the AHSA website somewhere, because I saw it there when I was reading all the background.


      But it also says there somewhere that Matz and Jane Clark had started the whole thing before that, originally by writing letters to the USOC. Wonder where they are, and why they wouldn't let anyone see them?

      Sounds very strange to me. Why would the previous president of the AHSA start this right after she went out of office, and the new USET president, DD Matz, came in? It will be interesting if the AHSA finds out where all the money is coming from and going to.


      • #63
        I understand the USET has set its (third) annual meeting for September 12th.

        Since proxy notices haven't gone out yet -- or at least, haven't been received yet, and would have to be returned by a certain date prior to the meeting, it seems the USET management people aren't very interested in giving the formerly disenfranchised membership a real chance of reading and returning those proxy statements with each member's designated proxy holder. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif[/img]
        "I don't want to sound like a broken record here, but why is it that a woman will forgive homicidal behavior in a horse, yet be highly critical of a man for leaving the toilet seat up?" Dave Barry


        • #64
          Gee Portia it would seem to me the should be very prudent in the timing of the mailing and required return date prior to the meeting date. Given the fact that the NJ Court gave them a real hard knock it would beyond stupid of them to create a situation where members did not have reasonable time to return the proxies - wouldn't you agree?


          • #65
            However, I don't know what kind of notice New Jersey law requires be given to shareholders/members before an annual meeting and how long they have to be allowed to return their proxies. If New Jersey requires 30 days' notice or so, then the notice would not be sufficient. If New Jersey only requires something like 10 days' notice or less, then I guess it would be within the letter of the law.

            Do you have any idea what the notice requirements are?

            I know that according to the USET's by-laws, they only need to have 100 members present or present by proxy to have a quorum to hold the annual meeting. So, as long as they have X number of people at the meeting and recieve whatever number of proxies back in time and it adds up to at least 100, they will have a quorum and can act.

            I'm very sure they don't want to give the members or any of the trustees they kicked off the board at the last 2 null and void annual meetings -- David O'Connor, Jim Wofford, and the rest -- any chance to mount a proxy fight that might challenge the status quo of the current management.
            "I don't want to sound like a broken record here, but why is it that a woman will forgive homicidal behavior in a horse, yet be highly critical of a man for leaving the toilet seat up?" Dave Barry


            • #66
              That the USET has not learned it's lesson yet from the New Jersey courts. Only 14 days from the meeting to decide when to call a new meeting with the mails what they are is certainly not a logical time frame if they really meant to have an honest hearing as instructed by the New Jersey Courts.

              I know it has taken as much as 10 days for my check to be delivered to a utility company by snail mail. The return response then has to allow at least another 10 days. The presumption would be that the proxy was signed immediately upon receipt and I would think that logic would require at least a 25 day notice and reply period unless it is all done by overnight special deliveries.

              I am sure that their effort is as you say to minimize the opportunity of the disenfranchised to participate at this late date. That is exactly the intention which the New Jersey Court said was inappropriate.

              I can appreciate that time is of the essence for the USET with the hearing scheduled for September 26. However, I think it is not possible to have a properly noticed meeting at which they will have to redo all their modifications to attempt to comply as NGB. Reasonable gentlemen with good intentions would not attempt another move in violation of the premise for every non-profit corporation.

              I think their effort simply confirms their lack of responsibility to proper management
              in and following rules. That, if I were sitting on the USOC Council would certainly affect my vote.

              It is afterall they who made the challenge claiming that USA Equestrian was incompetent, and therefore it is they who must prove they are better qualified. I see this as convincing evidence to the contrary.
              http://www.usAHSA.org and http://www.noreinstatement.org


              • #67
                If only to check the requirements of Title 15A, Corporations, Nonprofit.

                10 days is the legal minimum noted in the statutes if first class postage is used.

                Plenty of other interesting stuff though, if browsing through state statutes is your bag... [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

                15A:1-9. Notices; computation of time; effect of postage class used

                a. In computing the period of time for the giving of any notice required or permitted by this act, or by a certificate of incorporation or bylaws or any resolution of trustees or members, the day on which the notice is given shall be excluded, and the day on which the matter noticed is to occur shall be included.

                b. If notice is given by mail, the notice shall be deemed to be given when deposited in the mail addressed to the person to whom it is directed at the last address of the person as it appears on the records of the corporation, with first class postage prepaid thereon, or 10 days thereafter if the notice is mailed by any postage class other than first class.

                L.1983, c. 127, s. 15A:1-9, eff. Oct. 1, 1983.

                15A:5-4. Notice of members' meetings

                a. Except as otherwise provided in this act, written notice of the time, place and purposes of every meeting of members shall be given not less than 10 nor more than 60 days before the date of the meeting, either personally or by mail, to each member of record entitled to vote at the meeting.

                b. When a meeting is adjourned to another time or place, it shall not be necessary, unless the bylaws otherwise provide, to give notice of the adjourned meeting if the time and place to which the meeting is adjourned are announced at the meeting at which the adjournment is taken and at the adjourned meeting only business shall be transacted as might have been transacted at the original meeting. If after the adjournment, the board fixes a new record date for the adjourned meeting, a notice of the adjourned meeting shall be given to each member of record on the new record date entitled to notice under subsection a. of this section.

                L.1983, c. 127, s. 15A:5-4, eff. Oct. 1, 1983.

                Interesting stuff...

                15A:5-8. Voting list

                a. The officer or agent having charge of the membership record books for a corporation shall make and certify a complete list of the members entitled to vote at a members' meeting or any adjournment thereof. A list required by this subsection may consist of cards arranged alphabetically. The list shall:
                (1) Be arranged alphabetically within each class, series, or group of members maintained by the corporation for convenience of reference, with the address of each member;
                (2) Be produced at the time and place of the meeting;
                (3) Be subject to the inspection of any members during the whole time of the meeting; and
                (4) Be prima facie evidence as to who are the members entitled to examine the list or to vote at any meeting.

                b. If the requirements of this section have not been complied with, the meeting shall, on the demand of any member in person or by proxy, be adjourned until the requirements are complied with. Failure to comply with the requirements of this section shall not affect the validity of any action taken at the meeting prior to the making of any such demand.

                L.1983, c. 127, s. 15A:5-8, eff. Oct. 1, 1983.

                sounds to me like the $100 requirement could be reinstated if approved as a change in the bylaws?

                15A:5-10. Voting by members

                The right of the members or any class or classes of members to vote may be limited, enlarged or denied to the extent specified in the certificate of incorporation or bylaws. Unless so limited, enlarged or denied, each member, regardless of class, shall be entitled to one vote on each matter submitted to a vote of members.

                L.1983, c. 127, s. 15A:5-10, eff. Oct. 1, 1983.
                Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.


                • #68
                  Damn, DMK, you beat me to it! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

                  I searched and found the New Jersey statutes on line (again, having neglected to bookmark them last time), and did the same research! You've been dealing with the regs too long -- you've become as warped as any lawyer. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

                  On the $100 minimum voting membership, as I understand it, the change to the $100 minimum was done by a vote of the trustess -- or maybe even just the Executive Committee -- about five years ago and was never properly made to the bylaws or to the Certificate of Incorporation. I know they have to amend the bylaws to have that limitation, and they may have to amend the Certificate of Incorporation, depending on what it says. I've never seen a copy of the USET Certificate of Incorporation that I can recall.
                  "I don't want to sound like a broken record here, but why is it that a woman will forgive homicidal behavior in a horse, yet be highly critical of a man for leaving the toilet seat up?" Dave Barry


                  • #69

                    A very useful bookmark for those of us forced to trudge through a myriad of state laws for a variety of reasons that wouldn't really matter in a "normal world" [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]

                    Yes, I was wondering if the USET would use an annual meeting to approve a modification of the bylaws/COI. My thought is they probably would, if for no other reason than it is cumbersome to allow 100% of all donators to vote.
                    Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.


                    • #70
                      Maybe I'm just paranoid but.... If the USET is really having the money problems it says in Standish's fundraising letter that it is having -- I hope that endowment fund money is safely locked away! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif[/img]

                      Given the USET's current management's proven propensity for disregarding those nasty little rules of law that they find inconvenient, can we be sure they won't try to find a way to raid the endowment too? I donated money to that fund because it was supposed to be money expressly set aside in a trust to fund athlete programs -- not to fund the daily doings of the USET and definately not to fund the NGB challenge or related expenses!

                      Thank goodness the court has told the USET that its books have to be open to all of its trustees. I hope more of the trustees other than Mr. Balch take advantage of their right to examine the books in detail, and that they don't allow the org to do something else very stupid and very illegal.

                      I hope I am just being paranoid. Then again, if they hadn't played fast and loose with the Corporation laws, I wouldn't have these suspicions. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif[/img]
                      "I don't want to sound like a broken record here, but why is it that a woman will forgive homicidal behavior in a horse, yet be highly critical of a man for leaving the toilet seat up?" Dave Barry


                      • #71
                        Didn't the judge rule that the law required the bylaws to track the articles of incorporation? So, if the articles do not differentiate between various types or classes of members, I don't think the bylaws can, no matter what.

                        It may be cumbersome to give every donor a vote, but I think that's what the law requires, UNLESS the certificate of incorporation is changed to specify otherwise.

                        If that is so, why doesn't the USET just change the certificate? There must be something required to do that which takes more time, or more steps, or more scrutiny, or more votes, or more SOMETHING.

                        All in all, it just doesn't look to me like the USET knows what to do or how to do it, and definitely did not plan its strategy in this whole mess very well. Not a good reflection on the people and lawyers making all the decisons there. No matter how much money they are spending.


                        • Original Poster

                          Speaking of endowments ... anyone remember the recent health care fiasco here in Philly? Loverly Corp comes in, buys several hospitals, medical schools, etc, pays EXHORBITANT salaries to execs, essentially ruins some doctors, whole house of cards collapses, and at the end, the accountants for bankruptcy court find that they have raided millions of dollars from restricted endowments ......
                          Don't think it can't or won't happen again.
                          Mal:This is the Captain. We have a little problem with our entry sequence, so we may experience some slight turbulence and then .... explode


                          • #73
                            You've just sited a half dozen ideas I wouldn't have even considered. Robbing the endowment to pay the lawyers unfortunately sounds too plausible.

                            And, these folks want to be in charge of our sport. No thanks! we've got enough troubles now. I wish there was a way we could tell the USOC what they might not know.
                            http://www.usAHSA.org and http://www.noreinstatement.org


                            • #74
                              We have not contributed in our family to the USET endowment, although we have been yearly contributors. So I guess we get to vote, unless we didn't contribute this year. We'll see.

                              However, those who have given to the ENDOWMENT of the USET need to think about writing to the USET, and see what kind of response they get back to the question of whether there is any consideration of using Endowment for operations. It may all be rumors. Get the USET on the record. Send the letter by certified mail or Fed Ex. Demand a response. Then you will know for sure.

                              Looking at the hospital story tells all of us that AFTER the fact is too late. Then it would be gone forever, and even legal action at that point probably doesn't get it back.


                              • #75
                                Just to clarify, Portia was only wondering IF the USET was or was planning to use the endowment funds. No one is saying that they have actually done so.

                                Careful, this is how rumors get started. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]


                                • #76

                                  in the case you cited - were there criminals charges stemming from that?
                                  Nothing says "I love you" like a tractor. (Clydejumper)

                                  The reports states, “Elizabeth reported that she accidently put down this pony, ........, at the show.”


                                  • #77
                                    It would seem to me that anyone who contributes to these endowments and anyone who is a member of the USET should be able to request an accounting of any expenditures made from these restricted endowments. They DO carry a legal restriction and IN FACT - under fund accounting principles which non-profits follow - the money in restricted endowments MUST ALWAYS BE PHYSICALLY available. i.e. what this means is that a non-profit CANNOT spend CASH from the balance in a restricted endowment for other expenses when they have a cash shortfall in their general unrestricted operating accounts. Many, many non-profits have failed to abide by this requirements and gotten themselves into financial trouble. They rationalize that the cash will be replenished in the future but that doesn't matter. Restricted accounts are just that RESTRICTED to the use stipulated. I certainly hope the accounting firm overseeing the USET and their endowments have made this requirement clear and that the guidelines have been followed to the letter.

                                    Portia - you might want to request an accounting of any expenditures as you have contributed. BTW - the Board CANNOT change the restrictions of the endowment for monies already received. The specific restrictions of the endowment applied at the time people made contributions and those cannot be changed for those sums. Different guidelines can be set up for other endowments but on the books additional "fund" accounts must be maintained separately. They do not have to be in separate bank accounts but must have individual account details and the cash balance that has not been expended must be immediately available if "the whistle blows and everything stops".


                                    • #78
                                      <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Snowbird:
                                      I wish there was a way we could tell the USOC what they might not know.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

                                      The USOC is not interested in learning what they might not know, but they are interested in seeing that its Equestrian NGB better serve its members.

                                      Send a letter - today!

                                      Ms. Sandra Baldwin
                                      United States Olympic Committee
                                      Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center
                                      National Headquarters
                                      One Olympic Plaza
                                      Colorado Springs, CO 80909
                                      Tel: 719-632-5551


                                      • #79
                                        Illona, thanks for the accounting insight. It is much appreciated.

                                        Yes, like Erin says, I don't want to start rumours and I hope I didn't by posting my question. It was just a thought that occured to me as a worst case "what if," following my overly-suspicious way of thinking. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

                                        The USET may never have had the thought of ever touching the endowment funds at all, regardless of how bad their current financial situation may be, and I do very much hope that's the case.
                                        "I don't want to sound like a broken record here, but why is it that a woman will forgive homicidal behavior in a horse, yet be highly critical of a man for leaving the toilet seat up?" Dave Barry


                                        • #80
                                          Certainly, we are all aware of non-profits that get into financial difficulty and if several million dollars short would raid the endowment.

                                          Look at Washington, just a few months ago we had this fabulous surplus where the sky was blue and we were in the green, and then suddenly here we are with huge deficits and a threat to raid SS. I am certain the truth is somewhere between.

                                          When an association is not forthcoming and open but they keep wanting and needing more money, then there is assumption they would get it from somewhere.

                                          We can all speculate on varied possibilities of how that money might get into their checkbook. WHY? because we are not given the courtesy of the truth. Certainly, since they sent out their budget requests for only one million dollars it would appear that the membership has not responded to their requests.

                                          I wonder on the deadlines to be legal of 10 days, how one would go about preparing such a huge mailing by September 2 this being Labor Day weekend September 2 is a Sunday and the post office is closed on Monday, that is already September 3 and too late. The mail couldn't be posted before September 4.

                                          I would suppose that the entire mailing has to be in the post by tomorrow in order to be legal. Would the courts go by a post mark? If so can the USET use a postal meter which would say Septemer 2?
                                          http://www.usAHSA.org and http://www.noreinstatement.org