Dear Dinosaur Advice Column

Got questions about Robert's Rules of Order? Ann Macfarlane is a dinosaur who knows her stuff. She explains the complexity of Robert's Rules so it makes sense. She loves hearing from readers with their questions about Robert's Rules of Order.

After rescinding the motion, what next?

Dear Dinosaur:  In your September newsletter, you said that anybody could move to rescind a motion, regardless of how they voted originally. After a motion is rescinded, can a new motion pertaining to the same topic replace it?

Answer: The motion to rescind cancels out the original motion and leaves the field open for a new motion.

If the original motion was rescinded, a new motion pertaining to the same topic may be made during the same meeting, provided that it is not identical to the motion that was rescinded. At a future meeting, a new motion may be made, even the same motion that was rescinded. Robert’s Rule of Order places restrictions on revisiting decisions once made during a meeting, but gives wide latitude to future deliberations.

If action was taken on the basis of the original motion, then the motion to rescind cannot be made. Instead, the body should prepare a new motion, for example:

The policy adopted on June 9 prohibiting employees from wearing masks is hereby canceled, and employees will now be required to wear masks as a condition of employment.

See our articles:

Reconsider, Rescind, or Amend previous decision

Renewing a defeated motion at a future meeting

Dear Dinosaur provides simple, practical answers to questions about Robert’s Rules and parliamentary procedure. Send your questions to Dear Dinosaur here. Our answers are based on Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised, 12th edition. As always, nothing in this post constitutes legal or business advice. For specific issues, seek a qualified authority.

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Ann Macfarlane

Ann G. Macfarlane is a Professional Registered Parliamentarian. She offers an interactive and user-friendly way to master the key points for effective, efficient and fair meetings. Her background as a diplomat and Russian translator enables her to connect with elected officials and nonprofit board directors and give them the tools they need for success. She is the author of Mastering Council Meetings: A guidebook for elected officials and local governments.