Texas Association of Judiciary Interpreters & Translators (TAJIT)
Bylaws and Mission Statement

 

Article I- Name
Article II- Goals
Article III - Membership
Article IV - Board of Directors
Article V - Committees
Article VI - Annual Meetings
Article VII - Voting and Elections
Article VIII - Chapters
Article IX - Publications and Public Statements
Article X - Amendments of By-Laws
Article XI - Use of TAJIT Logo
Article XII - Complaints and Emergencies
Article XIII - Parliamentary Authority

ARTICLE I. NAME

The name of this association, a not-for-profit membership corporation organized and existing under the laws of the State of Texas, shall be the Texas Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators, also known as TAJIT. Provision is made herein for the establishment of chapters. The official language of the association shall be English. The primary means of communication between and among the association and its membership shall be the Internet.  

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ARTICLE II. GOALS

Section A: MISSION STATEMENT

The mission of the Texas Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators (TAJIT) is to further the professional development and recognition of all judiciary interpreters and translators in Texas.

The Association's goals are:

•         To formulate, promote and advance professional and ethical standards of practice.

•         To promote and provide an opportunity for professional development.

•         To promote and provide interaction among peers as well as professional relationships and cooperation with other professional associations.

•         To further the interests of the profession.To hold periodic meetings.

•         To encourage, assist and mentor future interpreters and translators.

Section B: MEANS

TAJIT will strive to meet these goals by such means as the following:

•         By holding periodic meetings,

•         By providing workshops, courses, training sessions and/or conferences, some of which may satisfy licensing requirements;

•         By providing guidance and information to those aspiring to obtain the Texas court interpreting license or any other court interpreting and/or translation credential;

•         By publishing and distributing information and

•         By engaging in outreach activities.

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ARTICLE III. MEMBERSHIP

SECTION A: BASIC REQUIREMENTS

Written application and written commitment to abide by the Association's Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct are both required. Membership is subject to review for determination of membership category.

SECTION B: CLASSES AND QUALIFICATIONS

TAJIT shall have a minimum of three membership classes. Among them:

•         Active: Any individual who has a valid Texas license to practice court interpreting or who is credentialed by the U.S. Federal Courts, any other U.S. State Court, the National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators, the American Translators Association as well as any individual who is professionally engaged in the field of legal interpreting and/or translating.

•         Associate: Any individual, institution or entity, either public or private, with an interest in judiciary interpreting and/or translating.

•         Honorary: Any distinguished interpreter, translator or advocate of the profession whom the Board of Directors unanimously agrees should be so classified.

SECTION C: RIGHTS AND PRIVILEGES

The right to vote and hold office is exclusive to Active members. The Board of Directors will determine all other rights and privileges for all the membership classes.

SECTION D: DUES

1. The Board of Directors shall establish annual dues for all membership classes on a rolling basis. That is, anniversary date will be 12 months from the date membership dues are initially paid.

2. All membership dues are payable on their anniversary date. Membership will be considered to have lapsed if dues are not received within 30 calendar days from their anniversary date. All rights and privileges are forfeited during the lapsed period. Upon full payment of the dues owed, a lapsed membership shall be reinstated with all pertinent rights and privileges.

3. Membership will be terminated if dues are not paid at the end of 90 calendar days from their anniversary date. Once membership is terminated, a new application and commitment to abide by the Association's Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct must be filed to rejoin the Association.

SECTION E: EXPULSION

1. A member is subject to expulsion from the Association by a unanimous vote of the Board of Directors, if it is shown that a member violated the Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct.

a. Before the Board of Directors may vote to expel a member, the member shall be notified in writing of the conduct alleged against him and shall be provided the opportunity for a hearing before the Board.

b. If, after full consideration, the Board of Directors unanimously vote to expel the member, the member shall be advised of this decision in writing.

c. Once expelled, the member may appeal the Board's decision to a panel which consist of a total of five Association members in good standing , two of whom shall be appointed by the Board of Directors, two members who are selected by the expelled member and one final member selected by the other four members of the panel.

d. The expelled member may reapply for membership two calendar years after the date of expulsion.

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ARTICLE IV. BOARD OF DIRECTORS

SECTION A: NUMBER AND TERM

This Association shall be governed by a Board of Directors, which shall consist of a minimum of five and a maximum of seven directors elected from the Body, and that shall include the Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary and Treasurer. Said officers shall be elected by the Directors from their own body. The term of office for each director shall be two years each.  Those member of the Board of Directors elected during even-numbered years, shall stand for re-election in even numbered years,  Those directors elected during odd numbered years shall stand for re-election during odd numbered years.

SECTION B: ELECTION OF DIRECTORS

1. The election of directors shall be done annually, by U.S. mail or electronically, at-large for staggered two-year terms.

a. Only during the first elections held for directors of the association shall the Vice-Chair, Treasurer and one At-Large director's terms be limited to a one-year term and said one year term shall not count against their term limitation.

2. All directors are subject to term limits of three consecutive terms. A person may again run for the Board of Directors after having not been a member of said Board for two consecutive calendar years.

3. Ballots for the election of Directors, shall be sent by U.S. mail or electronically five weeks prior to the date of election, to the members last recorded address. The candidates receiving the highest number of votes shall fill the positions up for election.

SECTION C: DUTIES OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS

The Board of Directors shall manage and conduct all of the Association's business in accordance with the TAJIT Manual of Policies and Procedures.

SECTION D: MEETINGS AND QUORUM

The Board of Directors shall meet at least once per quarter and at least one of those meetings shall be a face-to-face meeting. Quorum shall be a simple majority of the Board of Directors. When consensus cannot be reached, a majority vote of the quorum shall be binding. Proxy voting is not allowed.

SECTION E: VACANCIES

If a director's position becomes vacant before the end of their term, said vacancy shall be temporarily filled by appointment of the Board and the position shall stand for election at the next regularly scheduled election for the remainder of said term or for a new term if the position is due to stand for election.

SECTION F: REMOVAL

Directors may be removed by a majority vote of the Active members of the Association in a referendum conducted by by U.S. mail or electronically. Said referendum may be initiated by a majority vote of the Board of Directors or by petition. Said petition must be signed by at least 25% of the active members.

SECTION G: COMPENSATION

No Director shall receive a salary or compensation for their official duties. Only duly and previously authorized expenses may be reimbursed.

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ARTICLE V: COMMITTEES

There shall be ad hoc committees and standing committees. The Chairs of both the ad hoc and standing committees shall be appointed by the Chair of the Board of Directors with the agreement of the majority of the other Directors. Each committee shall consist of a chair and at least other three members selected by the chair of the committee, in consultation with the Board of Directors. All committees shall originate with the Board of Directors, to which they shall report their findings and/or actions in writing and from which they shall derive their purpose and authority.

The Board of Directors shall establish and organize the following four standing committees: Membership, Education, By Laws and Nominations. The Board of Directors shall establish and organize an ad hoc Elections Committee shall be organized prior to all Association elections.

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ARTICLE VI: ANNUAL MEETINGS

The Annual Meeting, which shall be held at a time and place determined by the Board of Directors shall include the presentation of an Annual Report by the Board of Directors and the Committees. Notice of the Annual Meeting shall be sent by U.S. mail or electronically to the last recorded address of each member at least ninety days prior to the date appointed for the meeting. The quorum at membership meetings shall consist of 10 per cent of the voting members present.

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ARTICLE VII: VOTING AND ELECTIONS

All active members in good standing shall be entitled to one vote. All voting shall be by individual secret ballot by U.S. mail or electronically. Elective offices shall be filled by those candidates who receive the highest number of votes. Other matters submitted to a membership vote shall be decided by a simple majority of those voting, unless otherwise stated in the By Laws. Whenever, in the judgment of the Board of Directors, a question arises which should be put to a vote of the entire membership, the Directors may submit the question to a referendum vote by U.S. mail or electronically, unless otherwise required by these By Laws.

The results of all elections and/or votes shall be communicated to the membership promptly by U.S. mail or electronically. The successful candidates shall take office at the first Meeting of the Board of Directors held following the elections.

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ARTICLE VIII: CHAPTERS

SECTION A: ESTABLISHMENT

Regional groups may form chapters. Chapters relating to geographic areas actively represented among the members may be established by the Board of Directors, subject to the following conditions:

1. The petition for the establishment of such a Chapter must be signed by fifteen or more voting members of the Association who reside or work in the geographic area defined in the petition and who shall signify their individual intention to remain members of Association.

2. The application for establishment of a Chapter shall be submitted to the Board of Directors of the Association for approval. The minimum number listed above may be modified by a two-thirds vote of the Board of Directors.

SECTION B: MEMBERSHIP AND BY LAWS

A majority of all members of a chapter and all officers of a chapter must be members in good standing of TAJIT. An eligible member may, but need not, affiliate with a local chapter in the member's geographical area upon payment of the required assessments or additional fees. The By Laws of all chapters shall conform to those of the Association in all respects, and shall require the approval of the Board of Directors. Nothing shall prevent a chapter from establishing additional objectives provided such objectives are not contrary to the stated mission and goals of the Association.

SECTION C: RELATIONS WITH TAJIT

Each chapter shall be notified of meetings of the Board of Directors at which matters directly concerning it are on the agenda, and may be requested to make available an authorized representative to participate in the discussion thereof. Every chapter shall submit a report of its activities to the Board of Directors twice a year and a financial statement to the Treasurer of the Association annually.

SECTION D: OPERATING FUNDS

A chapter may levy dues and/or a special assessment on its members only with the approval of the Board of Directors of the Association and the assent of two-thirds of the members of such chapter.

SECTION E: DISSOLUTION

The Board of Directors may authorize the dissolution of a chapter when its usefulness has ceased. When the activities are deemed to run counter to the established policies, objectives or the good name of the Association, the Board of Directors may vote to dissolve said chapter but such dissolution shall not become effective until the vote of the Board of Directors has been approved by a majority of the active members voting in a secret referendum by U.S. mail or electronically.

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ARTICLE IX. PUBLICATIONS AND PUBLIC STATEMENTS

TAJIT bears no responsibility for any statement made in its publications or meetings, or for any statement made by any member, unless said statement was duly authorized by the Board of Directors.

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ARTICLE X. AMENDMENTS OF BY LAWS

These By Laws may be amended and/or repealed in whole or in part by a majority vote of the active Association members, provided the complete text of the proposed change is submitted to each member, in writing, not less than sixty days preceding the day of the vote. Changes may be proposed by either the Board of Directors or by petition signed by 15% the active members of the Association.

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ARTICLE XI. USE OF TAJIT LOGO

All active members of TAJIT shall be entitled to use the TAJIT logo on their business cards and stationery.

Chapters may only adapt the TAJIT logo for their region by adding initials or letters.

Unauthorized use of the TAJIT logo will be taken up by the Board of Directors and could result in suspension.

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ARTICLE XII. COMPLAINTS AND EMERGENCIES

All complaints shall be submitted in writing to the Board of Directors, which shall act accordingly forthwith. In an emergency situation which may directly affect TAJIT members, a Review Board may be created comprised of the Board of Directors and three Active members to take emergency action.

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ARTICLE XIII. PARLIAMENTARY AUTHORITY

Except as otherwise provided in the By Laws or by applicable law, all meetings of members and the Board of Directors and their committees shall be conducted in conformity with the latest edition of ROBERTS RULES OF ORDER NEWLY REVISED or such other rules as the Board and membership may adopt.

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Adopted on March 31, 2005

Revised on December 18, 2009