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Resignation or Withdrawal from Membership

Generally, membership in an association is voluntary.  An individual is free to join or resign from an association.  Membership in an association can be terminated by resignation or withdrawal by the member.  However, an individual’s resignation from an association is subject to financial obligations due to the association.  The bylaws and constitution of an association constitute a contract between organization and its members.  A bylaw restricting voluntary admission and resignation is invalid.  A withdrawal subject to approval of an organization is also invalid.  Moreover, unreasonable and arbitrary limitations on membership and withdrawal are considered invalid.  A member of a corporation may resign by simple announcement of his intention to do so and no acceptance of the resignation is required to give it effect.[i]

A member of an association can withdraw his/her membership on the ground of breach of contract by that association. However, a member must comply with all the provisions relating to resignation within the bylaws.  Such a resignation relieves a member from payment of dues.[ii]

Resignations not delivered to a specified officer and not submitted on time are not effective.[iii] A member of a professional society need not resign at the time when he/she is facing charges of impropriety from the society.  A society has the power to pass a bylaw  to the effect that no person should be permitted to resign while facing such charges.[iv]

[i] Boothsville Volunteer Fire Dep’t v. Marion County Fire Bd., Inc., 182 W. Va. 406, 408 (W. Va. 1989)

[ii] Colonial Country Club v. Richmond, 19 La. App. 272 (La.App. 1932)

[iii] Anderson v. Amidon, 114 Minn. 202 (Minn. 1911)

[iv] New York New Jersey Producer Dealers Cooperative, Inc. v. Mocker, 59 A.D.2d 970 (N.Y. App. Div. 3d Dep’t 1977)

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