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HomeSinCNE Bylaws

New England Chapter Sisters in Crime


Bylaws Effective April 27, 2022


ARTICLE I.               

Name and Seal:

Section 1. The name of this organization shall be New England Chapter Sisters in Crime. Its seal shall be a design  adopted by its Executive Committee, if desired. Its principal location shall be New England.




The mission of Sisters in Crime, Inc. (SinC) and New England Chapter Sisters in Crime (SinCNE) is to promote the ongoing  advancement, recognition, and professional development of women crime writers and serve as the voice for excellence and diversity in crime writing. SinCNE is a local chapter and affiliate of SinC.



Membership is open to all persons worldwide who have a special interest in crime and mystery  writing and in furthering the purposes of SinC and SinCNE, as defined in Article II.


Section 1.  ACTIVE Membership.

An ACTIVE member is a paid-up member of both SinC and SinCNE.


Additional or amended categories of membership may be  added by a majority vote of the Executive Committee.


General Management

Section 1.

The general management, control, and direction of the affairs, funds, and property of SinCNE shall be vested in the officers, or “Executive Committee” as defined in Article V.

Section 2.

No part of the net earnings of SinCNE shall inure to the benefit of any member, director, or officer of the organization, or to any private individual, provided, however that reasonable compensation may be paid for services rendered to, or for, SinCNE (subject to the provisions of Article VI).

Section 3.

If there is a cash surplus at the end of the fiscal year, it shall be retained in the treasury of SinCNE to be used to further the purposes of the organization.

Section 4.

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


Officers (the “Executive Committee”):

Section 1.

The officers of SinCNE shall be a President, a Vice-President, a Secretary, a Treasurer, and a Membership Director. They shall be Active members of both SinC and SinCNE. These officers shall constitute the Executive Committee. The Secretary, Treasurer, and Membership Director may  be elected or, in the event no one stands for election, may be appointed as meets the need of SinCNE.

SinCNE shall limit the terms for President and Vice-President to two continuous years. However, if an electronic polling of the membership reveals no new candidates for these roles then, after the polling, SinCNE may allow a President or Vice-President to exceed the two-year rule. If the same member wishes to continue in the role of President or Vice President for more than four years, SinCNE shall seek approval of the SinC Board. In the event a decision needs to be made quickly without time to poll the general members, the Executive Committee may make that decision. Votes, which may be collected by email, shall be tabulated and recorded by the  Secretary or other designated member if an election includes the incumbent secretary.

Section 2.

The President shall preside at all membership meetings and call and preside at all meetings of the Executive Committee, or delegate a representative to do so. The President sets goals and responsibilities, serves as an ad hoc member of any standing committees, polls members on major decisions, keeps members informed, serves as group spokesperson, acts as liaison with other SinC chapters or related organizations, plans special events, and performs such other duties as the Executive Committee may, from time to time, determine.

Section 3.

The Vice-President's role is to serve as assistant to the president with the intention of running for the position of President in the next annual election. The Vice-President shall substitute for all or part of the duties stated in Section 2. above if the President is unable to fulfill their obligations or attend Executive Committee meetings, and may act as chairperson for a special event.

Section 4.

The Secretary shall take minutes at all general membership and Executive Committee meetings, handle correspondence in coordination with the President, manage the SinCNE website and its documents, manage SinCNE's Zoom account and virtual meetings, serve as Data Protection Officer for Club Express, serve as clerk and make filings with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and perform such other  duties as may be directed by the Executive Committee.

Section 5.

The Treasurer shall be responsible for all financial matters of SinCNE including the collection of dues and other income and payment of expenses, maintaining bank account(s), keeping accurate financial accounts, and preparing and submitting a financial statement whenever the Executive Committee or general membership requests it. The Treasurer, or any person or persons designated by the Executive Committee, may make disbursements from the treasury of up to $100 as needed, and up to $1,000 as authorized by a majority vote of the Executive Committee. Expenditures greater than $1,000 must be approved by a two-thirds majority vote at a board meeting at which at least three-fourths of board members are present and voting.

Section 6.

The Membership Director shall maintain a list of all members or maintain a member  management system including the payment of annual SinCNE dues with current contact information, to confirm membership in SinC, and to maintain SinCNE’s group listing on the SinC website.

Section 7.

Should there be a vacancy in the Presidency at any time, the Vice-President shall succeed to the Presidency and shall serve until the next annual election. Any other vacancy of an office shall be filled by a vote of  the Executive Committee and the successor shall hold office until the next annual election.

Section 8.

None of the officers of SinCNE, or any other members of the Executive  Committee, will receive a salary or compensation for services rendered except for reasonable reimbursement of expenses incurred with their service on behalf of the organization.


Officers can be impeached for dereliction of duty or malfeasance by a majority vote of the general membership, present or voting by proxy at a regularly or specially scheduled meeting, with at least 10 days' notice of the matter under consideration being sent to the membership. Impeachment includes (a) notifying the officer in writing of the charge(s) and by whom made, as well as filing said charge(s) with the Executive     Committee, and (b) investigating the charge by a committee of members, none of whom is a member of the Executive Committee and chaired, if possible, by a former president or other officer of SinCNE. The committee will be selected by a majority vote of the Executive Committee.

Following the investigation of the charge(s), if a majority of the investigation committee votes to proceed, the committee will hold a hearing under circumstances that will give the accused officer(s) a fair and reasonable opportunity to present a defense. If the investigating   committee recommends impeachment by a two-thirds (2/3) vote, notification of the call for impeachment will be sent to all members together with a statement summarizing the recommendations of the investigating committee. The membership will vote on impeachment of the officer(s) at the next membership meeting after a full and open  hearing of both sides. Any officer who is impeached shall immediately cease performing any and all duties on behalf of the organization.



Section 1.

Standing Committees shall be established by the Executive Committee, as needed. Chairs of the Standing   Committees shall be appointed by the Executive Committee from the membership. Chairs shall serve at the pleasure  of the Executive Committee and must be Active members of the organization. Standing committees and their chairs may include:

1) A Program Committee to work in conjunction with the President and/or Executive Committee to     plan SinCNE's monthly program meetings, workshops, and speaker or author-support at book signing events;

2) A Publicity/Media Committee to submit SinCNE news to the SinC newsletter; write a SinCNE newsletter on an ad hoc basis, if desired; contact and respond to media inquiries; keep a record of member authors’ published work; update information on the SinCNE website; maintain information on SinCNE social   media websites, assist with advertising SinCNE meetings, and maintain the SinCNE website.

3) A Nominating Committee to solicit nominations for the five Executive Committee positions (President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Membership Director); to solicit nominations for all appointed Board positions; to create a slate and/or ballot to be presented to the membership for voting, as described in Article VIII, Section 2.

Section 2. Ad Hoc Committees may be appointed by the President and/or Executive Committee, as     needed.



Section 1.

SinCNE shall meet at a designated location on a schedule as determined by  the Executive Committee. Meetings shall be conducted in accordance with the parliamentary procedure prescribed by the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order or by any other generally accepted procedure agreed upon by the Executive Committee and announced to the members.

Section 2.

Executive Committee meetings may be held when and where the Executive Committee determines, either  in person, by proxy, by conference call, or via other media access. Three-fourths (3/4) of the Committee members must be present for a quorum.


Elections and Nominations:

Section 1. ELECTIONS.

Annual officer election will take place at the regular SinCNE meeting each year. The vote may be made by secret ballot, a show of hands, or electronic voting, as determined by the Executive Committee. The votes will be tabulated by someone not running for election. An absentee ballot can be sent to members who are unable to make the meeting and wish to vote by proxy. The deadline for returning the absentee ballot is at least one week before the election. Only fully paid-up Active members may vote. In the event of a tie, a run-off election will be held. SinCNE governance will change hands within  60 days of the vote. Each elected officer will serve a term of one year. The President and Vice President may not serve more than two consecutive two-year terms except as set forth in Article V, Section 1.



Nominations may be made by general members and submitted to the Nominating Committee, which will prepare a slate of nominees for the annual election. The nominees appearing on the slate must be chosen by ballot if more than one nominee is made for any position on the Executive Committee.

The deadline for submission of the slate is one week before the  meeting of the month in which elections are held. The deadline for submission of nominees for the slate is one month before the meeting of the month in which elections are held, thus allowing for any run-off election in the event multiple nominees for an Executive Committee position are submitted.



Section 1.

Every SinCNE member shall pay dues annually. The amount of dues is determined by the Executive Committee. If a member joins in the 10th calendar month or later, dues paid will cover the following year                as well.

Section 2.

An increase in dues may be proposed by the Executive Committee and voted on by a simple majority of      the members present and voting at a regularly or specially scheduled meeting so long as at least 10 days’ notice of the increase was sent to all members.

Section 3.

Members of SinCNE are also required to be members of SinC. SinC’s organizational dues are collected separately by SinC. Collection of these dues is not the responsibility of SinCNE, but SinCNE is responsible for confirming for its own purposes that SinC dues have been paid.




Membership may be terminated if dues have not been paid by 90  days after payment is due.

Section 2. MISCONDUCT.

"Misconduct" is defined as conduct inimical or harmful to the purposes and/or good repute of SinC. The Executive Committee may suspend or expel a member for misconduct but only may do so after a full investigation has been made. The investigation shall include (a) written notification to the member of the charge and by whom made; (b) arrangement for a hearing, either before the Executive Committee or  before a committee appointed by the Executive Committee: and (c) holding the hearing, in circumstances that will give the accused member a fair and reasonable opportunity to present a defense. If the hearing is before a committee, the committee may make a recommendation but the final decision will be made by the Executive Committee. If the accused member is unavailable, refuses to participate in the hearing, or makes unreasonable demands regarding the process, the Executive Committee may proceed with the investigation and act without a hearing.


Bylaws and Amendments:

Section 1.

These bylaws shall constitute the bylaws pro tem of SinCNE upon approval    by the Executive Committee and shall continue as bylaws pro tem until amended and/or approved by a majority of the Active membership at a regular meeting or by absentee ballot. Bylaws shall be distributed to the members of SinCNE thirty (30) days prior to a SinCNE meeting, accompanied by an announcement that a vote on the bylaws will take place at that meeting. Absentee ballots may be sent to members upon request. Approval of the bylaws require an affirmative vote of a majority of the members participating in the vote.

Section 2.

Proposals to amend the bylaws must be authorized by the Executive Committee or be presented to the Secretary by petition signed by greater than 20 percent (20%) of the membership. To be effective, an amendment to the bylaws must be  distributed to all members and follow the voting approval process outlined in Section 1.



Section 1.

SinCNE will be dissolved only after such proposal has been accepted by two-thirds (2/3) of the Executive Committee and notice has been distributed to the membership and to the parent SinC organization. Voting on the proposal shall take place at a monthly meeting or at a special meeting called by the                   Executive Committee. Such voting shall be done by the members in person or by proxy. Approval to dissolve SinCNE requires a two-thirds (2/3) affirmative vote by the members who participate in the voting.

Section 2.

Upon dissolution of SinCNE, its property and assets shall be distributed as follows: (a) all liabilities and obligations of the organization shall be paid, satisfied, and discharged, or adequate provision                   made hereafter; (b) assets held by SinCNE requiring return, transfer, or conveyance, which condition occurs by reason of the dissolution, shall be returned, transferred, or conveyed in accordance with such requirements; and (c) any remaining assets shall be distributed among such tax-exempt institutions or charities whose purposes are in whole or in part compatible with those of SinC. These institutions may be proposed by the Executive  Committee but must be approved by a two-thirds (2/3) vote by those members present in person or by proxy at a special meeting held for the purpose.

Section 3.

Information about the dissolution of the SinCNE will be posted to the SinCNE website and include the  redirection of interested parties to the contact information available on the parent SinC website or to other nearby  chapters.


Rules of Procedure and Parliamentary Authority:

Section 1.

Any policies or procedures not contrary to law or to these bylaws may be approved or amended by a majority vote of the Executive Committee. A record of such policies and procedures or any applicable policies enacted from time to time by the Executive Committee will be kept by the Secretary or a designee. Notification of policy or procedural changes will be sent to members in the next regular mailing, announced at the next regular meeting, or published in the SinCNE newsletter.

Section 2.

All meetings of SinCNE and its Executive Committee will be conducted in  accordance with the parliamentary procedures described in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order, or by another generally accepted procedure agreed upon by the Executive Committee and announced to the members.