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The organization of an unincorporated association does not depend upon compliance with any statutory provisions.  However, such organizations are subject to legislative control.  Associations include a wide variety of differing organizational structures including trusts.

The constitution and bylaws of an unincorporated association constitute a contract between the association and its members.  The relationship of a voluntary association with its members is governed by contract law.  A person who becomes a member of an association is deemed to know and have assented to its bylaws.   The member subjects himself or herself to the organization’s power to administer as well as to make rules within the scope of the organization.

The rules and bylaws of a voluntary association should not be subject to judicial interference unless their enforcement would be arbitrary, capricious or constitute an abuse of discretion.  If the rules are reasonable and consistent with public policy, there will be no judicial interference.  However, a court will prohibit a private voluntary association from enforcing a rule which is contrary to established public policy.

In the absence of a statutory provision to the contrary, questions as to the right or title to an office or position in an unincorporated private association is left to the discretion of the officers of the association.  If the laws of an association make no provision for the decision of a controversy regarding the title to an office, the claimant may have recourse to the courts in the first instance.

An association has the right to amend or repeal its constitution or bylaws and the duly amended or repealed laws of the association are binding on the members of the association.

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