Membership Review Policies
1. A Membership Review is a public review at a house meeting of a member's actions or behavior. A Membership Review can result in a vote to evict a member from the house.
2. Any three members of the house [See Note 1] may call a Membership Review of any member. A Membership Review is called by writing it on the meeting agenda and publicly posting the reasons for the review 7 days in advance of the meeting (See House Rules 4.7.1). The Meeting Chair will ensure that the meeting discussion adheres to the publicly posted reasons for the review. The Steward will ensure that house policies regarding eviction meetings are followed (See Section 4.7 of House Rules) and will inform the membership and the member being reviewed of all relevant policies (See Steward labor description).
3. The member being reviewed has a right to address fully all of the reasons for the review (See House Rules 4.7.3).
4. After discussing all of the reasons for the review, the Chair will ask the member in question to leave the room while the meeting discusses whether to call for a vote to remove them from the house [See Note 2]. While the member is out of the room, no new issues will be brought up. If any new issues are brought up, then the member will be called back into the room and given the chance to address those issues. A single member may call for a vote to remove the member in question from the house. The vote will take place while the member is out of the room. The member being reviewed can vote before leaving the room.
5. The vote will be a secret, written vote, tallied by the Meeting Chair and the Steward. [See Note 2.] The vote can be taken on paper ballots, prepared by the Meeting Chair.
6. The member being reviewed does not have to be in attendance at the meeting to be evicted from the house or to have their membership revoked [See Note 3]. The member being reviewed may write a response, which will be presented at the meeting, if they are unable/unwilling to attend the meeting.
7. A simple majority vote is required to evict someone from the house (See House Rules 4.7.5). If the meeting votes to remove the member from the house, then the member's membership will be revoked and eviction proceedings will begin.
 3 members are required to call for a Membership Review at ICC (Austin's Inter-Cooperative Council student co-ops). This ensures that Membership Reviews are not frivolous.
 This allows members to vote freely without fear of retribution. This is especially important if the member is being reviewed for violent or abusive behavior.
 If a member had to be in attendance at the Membership Review to be evicted, they could just keep skipping the meeting so they would never be evicted.
(The above Membership Review policies were approved by the House, 2-20-11.)
- When necessary, deliver the Elliot Blanton Memorial Eviction notice.
- Carry out evictions on behalf of the house membership and/or CHEA Board of Directors (Section 4.3 of the House Rules).
- Oversee Membership Reviews. Ensure that house policies regarding eviction meetings are followed (Section 4.7 of House Rules). Inform the membership and the member being reviewed of all relevant policies.
4.1. Eviction: eviction shall be considered the formal removal of a person who is occupying a space, either legally or illegally, in the house.
4.2. Liability: A member who has been evicted remains fully liable for all contractual obligations until they have found a suitable replacement consistent with all rules of CHEA or of the house. The replacement must fill the same room that the person was evicted from. All remaining debt will immediately become due as stated in the contract.
4.3. Enforcement of contract: Persons have the responsibility to report violations of CHEA or house policies to the Steward, who has the responsibility for the implementation of policy in the house. It is the Steward's responsibility to report the complaint\violation to whomever is in violation of the policy and under ultimate threat of eviction. If the violation is not corrected within a reasonable time, or the complaint is of such seriousness that immediate action is required, then the Steward will take necessary actions but will clear these actions with the house ASAP.
4.3.1. The CHEA Board will act as the final authority in contract violation issues.
4.4. Grounds for eviction: Specific grounds for eviction shall be:
4.4.1. Non-payment of rent
4.4.2. Debt owed on a previous contract
4.4.3. Failure to pay CHEA for damages, repairs, and service cost
4.4.4. Member or member's guest violating contract or membership agreement
4.4.5. Violation of any CHEA or house rules or policies
4.4.6. Violation of federal, state, or local laws
4.4.7. Abandonment of premises
4.4.8. Non-performance of house labor
4.4.9. Consistent failure to attend house meetings
4.4.10. Vandalism or damage to house property
4.4.11. Violence to other members, guests, or any other person on the house property
4.4.12. Violation of eligibility requirements that may be set up by the house or CHEA
4.4.13. Providing false information on a membership application
4.4.14. Possession of a firearm or other lethal weapon in the house.
4.5. Eviction Procedures for non-payment of rent: A person is liable for eviction for non-payment of rent if their debt to CHEA exceeds $100 after the 10th day past when rent has come due.
4.5.1. Notification: the Steward will initiate the eviction with a formal notification. This notice will be on the CHEA eviction form, and will be delivered to the person by the Steward or a designated deputy in accordance with the procedures outlined in the membership contract.
4.5.2. No Response: If Payment has not been received, or an agreement between the Treasurer and the respondent has not been made within one week, then the eviction will be taken to court.
4.5.3. Court Action: A court representative will visit the respondent with notice to vacate the premises within 7 days of the presentation.
4.5.4. Appeal: Within that 7 days, the respondent may appeal to the House or a relevant public court.
4.5.5. Removal: If a satisfactory solution has not been agreed to in the 7 days, then CHEA may request the court to force removal of the person from the property.
4.5.6. Respondent Actions: a person receiving an eviction notice may negate the eviction:
22.214.171.124. By paying the debt to within limits for a member in good standing prior to the date on the eviction notice. (No checks or debit cards will be accepted)
126.96.36.199. By appealing to the Treasurer for relief from the full payment at that time. Quorum shall be required for hearing of appeals of various kinds. (passed by house vote 2-8-2015)
188.8.131.52. By paying the amount owed at any time during the eviction process
4.5.7. Court Costs: All court costs are added to the person's debt.
4.6. Criteria for eviction due to non-performance of labor:
4.6.1. 6 no-shows (labor or otherwise) in any 60 day period require that during the next house meeting a date must be set for a Membership Review for inquiry (described below in 4.7.3.). (passed 6/8/14) (updated 5/7/17)
4.6.2. If labor is assigned to a member as punishment for a previous no-show, and that labor is not completed before the next infraction, that member will be liable for eviction.
4.7. Procedures for other types of eviction: Normally, all other types of eviction will be initiated by the house. Since most members are not experts in eviction procedures, it is recommended that the house consult with the board, and possibly outside counsel, for assistance. However, no decision to evict shall be voided or set aside merely because a technicality was omitted, unless it can be proven that substantial justice has been thwarted by the omission. Documentation for eviction must be in house minutes from legally held meetings and such documentation must be in detail sufficient to withstand legal scrutiny. Hearings shall be considered fair and sufficient if:
4.7.1. Notice: 7 days written notice of the time and place of the meeting and the alleged grounds for the action to said member is given to the person and also placed in a generally accepted area where notices are expected to be in the house.
4.7.2. Open Meetings for inquiry and adjudication. Membership review meetings of both types are open to all house members and meet the criteria set by the house for a meeting. (passed by house vote 7/27/2014)
4.7.3. Membership review for inquiry. It is preferable that an initial meeting for inquiry be facilitated more like a mediation than as an adjudication, in that those who have grievances are invited to speak, and the member being reviewed responds—all with the intention to understand the situation from the points of view of all concerned, rather than to render a judgment, per se. In so doing, relevant behaviors of all members involved are open to question, not just the member being reviewed. (passed by house vote 7/27/2014)
4.7.4. Membership review for adjudication. If a meeting such as described in 4.7.3 does not resolve the issues to the satisfaction of all concerned; and/or at least three members call for a member-review-to-evict, adjudicative style meeting facilitation should take place in which witnesses may be called to testify and the person being reviewed has to opportunity to speak in their own defense and call persons to defend their side of the case. (passed by house vote 7/27/2014)
4.7.5. Decision: The membership in attendance will vote for a decision. An abstention is considered a non-vote and will not be included in the total vote. A simple majority vote is required.
4.7.6. Appeal: A person who is evicted through the house process has the right to appeal to the CHEA Board. The Decision of the CHEA Board is final.
4.7.7. Administration: The CHEA Board and Sasona Steward will process any paperwork necessary to enforce the decision.
4.8. Returning to CHEA: persons evicted, or otherwise not selected to remain members for reasons other than non-payment of rent, are considered banned from CHEA property and are not welcome.
4.9. Uncooperative behavior: The following principles are laid out to clarify the boundaries of appropriate conduct within the house. These principles reflect rather than define a belief fundamental to the cooperative... that individuals can live together with mutual respect and tolerance and that those individuals will benefit from sharing their life experiences, both their burdens and their joys.
4.9.1. General: CHEA understands will differ in expectations and values. Working these issues out, or accepting them, is vital to the success of the house as a social unit. However, if the situation cannot be resolved, and the disagreement reaches a point at which the action or inaction of an individual threatens the house, then the house should consider any and all possible solutions, including eviction, to remedy the problem. This section is intended to lay down guidelines for what behaviour is considered uncooperative, although the following list should not be considered exhaustive.
4.9.2. Examples of uncooperative behaviour: This list is neither complete nor absolute; it would be impossible to set down a definitive list of all the problematic behaviour that a member could engage in, but this list should help establish a tone for what the house expects from it's members and their guests.
184.108.40.206. Failure to do work: A: Sign up for and complete required work B: Attend house meetings C: Don't behave in a way that creates work for others D: Work to the best of your ability E: Work properly and in concert with others
220.127.116.11. Abusive or destructive behavior: A: Exhibition of cruel or destructive behavior towards others, whether physical, mental, sexual, or other. Any forms of behavior found to be abusive will not be tolerated. This includes “ad hominem” name calling that attacks the traits of another (e.g., you are a “bully;” you are a “racist”). Instead, try to state a specific behavior of another that needs attention and/or change, and why.) B: Intentionally or accidentally destroying property and not owning up to the house and paying for damages. C: Do not abuse community property. Return tools, dishes and other items to their place when you have finished with them.
18.104.22.168. Privacy: A: Do not enter a member's room without permission B: Don't use a members possessions w/o permission C: Don't touch or invade the body space of a member
22.214.171.124. General Behavior: A: Behavior that denigrates on the basis of race, sex, political belief, sexual orientation, national origin, handicap, religion, age, or other personal traits is not acceptable. B: Personal actions that disrupt the right of quiet enjoyment of the house by fellow members is not acceptable. Quiet enjoyment is a legal term which means that a person has the right not to be disturbed or have to put up with unacceptable behavior where they live. C: Behavior that instills fear in people is not acceptable.
126.96.36.199. Members are responsible for the actions of their guests
4.9.3 Refusal of a request for mediation may be brought to the attention of the house mediators, who will as a group gather sufficient information to judge whether the refusal was reasonable and acceptable behavior, with some other form of conflict management to be followed; or unacceptably uncooperative behavior and adequate grounds for membership review.
4.9.4 Escape from behavior that is unwanted: Any member who needs to escape from the behavior of others should be able to do so without recourse from others. If necessary, the “T for time out” sign with two hands should be used to communicate the desire to leave off with no further communication. Failure to respect the “T” sign by another is considered abusive behavior.
4.10. Grievance procedures.
4.10.1. Mediation-oriented grievance procedures (see Mediation FAQ section for more detail): Members should bring their concerns first to the individual(s) involved, then to the Steward or a mediator. Normally, grievances should be settled via mediation; and if that fails, by house review of the situation (e.g., in a membership review).
4.10.2. General grievance procedures: A member may come before the House to request a decision on concern. This could be an accusation of harassment, an eviction for labor, or any act of uncooperative behavior.
4.10.3. The House will hear and deliberate over the complaint.
4.10.4. If a committee is formed to investigate the concern, it should meet at the earliest possible date. This date should be days, not weeks, from when the complaint is brought up by the member.
188.8.131.52. Meetings: The meetings should be held at a neutral location. There may be as many meetings as the committee feel are necessary.
184.108.40.206. Privacy: The meeting should take place in private, but minutes will be kept.
220.127.116.11. Witnesses: All sides involved in the complaint will be able to call witnesses.
4.10.5. Decision: The committee will write the decision and present it to the member. If that is not possible, then the Steward will be given the decision for presentation. The minutes and decision should be given presented to a house meeting for approval and filed with the minutes. The House decision is final.
4.10.6. Appeal: An appeal to the CHEA Board can only be made if it is alleged that the House failed to follow its own procedures in good faith. There is no right of appeal to a decision by the CHEA Board.
The following is quoted from TheContract.
2. TERM. [...] It is understood by all parties that neither CHEA nor the Resident has any obligation to renew this contract for future terms.
CHEA may terminate the Resident’s right of occupancy for any reason for any of the following:
4. Resident or Resident’s guest violating lease, contract, membership agreement, and CHEA or house rules or policies or federal/state/local laws.
6. Non-performance of house labor or failure to attend house meetings
7. Vandalism/damages to CHEA property
8. Violence to other residents, guests or any other persons on CHEA property