Louisiana Private Investigators Association, Inc.
PREAMBLE TO THE CONSTITUTION AND BY LAWS
We, the members of the Louisiana Private Investigator's Association, Inc. do hereby pledge to promote and maintain the highest ethical practices in the profession of Private Investigator. To select for membership only those people whose personal and professional backgrounds and business affiliations have strictly observed the precepts of accuracy, truth and prudence. We endeavor to eliminate unreliable, irresponsible and incompetent members from our profession, to foster and perpetuate a spirit of cooperation among our God and the laws of the State of Louisiana and the United States of America.
CODE OF ETHICS
We, as Louisiana Private Investigators, our fundamental duty is to serve mankind; to safeguard lives and property; to protect the innocent again deception, the weak against oppression or intimidation, and the peaceful against violence or disorder; and to respect the Constitutional rights of all men to liberty, equality and justice.
We will keep our private lives unsullied as an example to all; maintain courageous and calm in the face of danger, scorn or ridicule; develop self-restraint; and be constantly mindful of the welfare of others. Honest in thought and deed in both our personal and official life, we will be exemplary in obeying the laws of the land and the ethics of our profession. Whatever we see or hear of a confidential nature or that is confided to us in our official capacity will be kept ever secret unless revelation is necessary in the performance of our duty.
We will never act officiously or permit personal feelings, prejudices, animosities of friendships to influence our decisions. With no compromise for crime and with relentless prosecution of criminals, we will enforce the law courteously and appropriately without fear or favor, malice or ill will, never employing unnecessary force or violence and never accepting bribes or gratuities.
We recognize the badge of our profession as a symbol of public faith and we accept it as a public trust to be held so long as we are true to the ethics of the private investigation service. We will constantly strive to achieve these objectives and ideals, dedicating ourselves before God to our chosen profession. . . . . . . . . private investigation.
Written by Leroy St. Pierre and unanimously approved by the Membership at a meeting held Sunday, May 13, 1990 at Lake Charles, Louisiana. Louisiana Private Investigators Association, Inc.
This association shall be known as the Louisiana Private Investigators Association, Inc.
This association shall be composed of professionals who share and exchange ideas and techniques for the purpose of better serving the association's clients.
Section 1. No person shall be refused membership in this association based on race, creed, color, religion or sex.
Section 2. All membership applications will be processed by the Membership Committee and approved or disapproved by same after a complete background investigation has been done. If applicant is approved by Membership Committee, application will be brought before the entire body at the next regular meeting for final approval. At this time the new member will be issued a membership card and certificate. If rejected the applicant will be refunded his/her fees, with the exception of $15.00 (fifteen dollars) for processing fees, and a letter of explanation.
Section 3. There shall be 5 (five) classes of membership in this association. They are Charter (active), Active (regular), Honorary and Sponsor.
A. Charter Member - Any private investigator who joined this association within the first ninety (90) days of the formation of the same.
B. Active Member - Any private investigator who joined the association after the first ninety (90) days of the formation of the same.
C. Honorary Member - Any person who has paid annual dues of $25.00 (twenty-five dollars) for support of the association, because of valuable contributions to the aims of the association. They shall have no voice or vote at meetings, but they may attend meetings and functions.
D. Sponsors - Any person or corporation who wishes to contribute to the efforts of the Louisiana Private Investigators' Association, Inc. by donating $100.00 (one Louisiana Private Investigators Association, Inc. hundred dollars) or more to the association for accomplishing our goals.
E. Lifetime Member - Any person who has given outstanding service to the Association, any member who is physically unable to perform full time investigative duties or undue hardships and all Past Presidents.
Section 4. The Officers of the Louisiana Private Investigators' Association may award an honorary membership for one year to any person who performs in an outstanding manner on behalf of this Association.
Section 5. To qualify for membership in this Association, you must be a private investigator, with no felony convictions, and at least eighteen (18) years of age. In the event private investigators are licensed in Louisiana, you must be licensed and your number furnished to this Association.
Section 6. Each member in good standing with this Association, shall be entitled to one vote on any motion or election coming before the membership at any meeting and must be cast in person.
Section 1. The Board of Directors of this Association shall consist of the President, Vice- President, Secretary, Treasurer, Sergeant at Arms, Editor, Historian, Chaplain, four (4) Regional Directors, and Immediate Past President.
Section 2. The Executive Board shall consist of the Board of Directors and three (3) Trustees, elected by the entire membership, from different geographical areas of the state.
Section 3. Officers shall be elected annually at the meeting referred to in Article I, Section 2 of the By Laws. If, for some reason, the election is not held at the proper time, the sitting Officers will continue in their respected positions until such time as the election can be held.
Section 4. Any Officer who misses three (3) or more consecutive meetings without a just cause shall be automatically replaced by another member in good standing, who will be selected by the Executive Committee.
Section 1. All of the powers of this association shall be vested in and exercised by the Executive Committee.
Section 2. Six members of the Executive Committee shall constitute a quorum for transaction of business. One of the six (6) must be the President, Vice-President or Sergeant at Arms.
Section 3. The President and Secretary shall be the Chairman and Secretary of the Executive Committee.
Section 4. Any vacancy occurring on the Executive Committee shall be filed by a member in good standing that the Executive Committee selects.
Section 5. The Executive Committee shall meet as often as it considers necessary.
Section 6. The Executive Committee shall meet upon the call of the President. In the event of the failure or inability of the President to call a meeting, three (3) members of the Executive Committee may call such a meeting.
Section 7. The Executive Committee may create or organize as many committees as it deems necessary to carry out the objectives of this association.
Section 1. The regular meetings of this association shall be held bi-annually. One meeting corresponding with the annual convention, usually in August or September, and the other meeting to be held six months prior to the annual convention, February or March. The time and place shall be determined by the President, or in his or her absence, the next in command. Members shall be notified by mail or telephone. The date of any meeting or conference may be changed by the President or his replacement when conditions would justify same, such as holidays, conflicts of interest, etc.
Section 2. Special meetings may be called at any time by the President or Executive Committee when conditions actually warrant.
Section 3. There must be at least ten (10) members present to make a quorum at a regular or special meeting. At least one (1) of the members must be one (1) of the top three (3) officers.
Section 4. Meetings shall be conducted in accordance with the procedures set forth in Robert's Rules of Order, revised.
Section 1. All monies received from membership and donations will be deposited into a bank to run the operations of this association for the sole interest of the members of the Louisiana Private Investigators' Association, Inc.
Section 2. All expenses for food, travel and lodging for any board member, other than regular meetings, shall be paid by this association, after proper receipts have been turned in to the treasurer. These include special meetings of the Board, legislative meetings, or any other necessary meeting in an attempt to improve our association or the members thereof.
Section 3. All monies collected by this association will be used to promote legislation on behalf of it's members, buy necessary supplies, advertise and in any other way foster the ideals and goals of this association.
Section 1. Any proposal to amend these Constitution and By Laws may be presented at any regular meeting and reread and voted on at the next regular meeting.
Section 2. It will take a two-thirds (2/3) majority of the members present at the voting meeting in order to amend.
Section 3. The voting meeting to change the Constitution and/or By Laws must be a legal meeting with a quorum and at least one (1) of the top three (3) Officers present.
Section 1. A Parliamentarian shall be appointed by the President and serve as the President's adviser and consultant on procedural matters. He shall call to the attention of the presiding officer any serious error in procedures he observes, advising chair only.
THE BY LAWS
Section 1. Any member residing in the State of Louisiana who is in good standing and has attended three (3) or more of the last six (6) meetings may hold office.
Section 2. Annual nominations and elections will be held during the regular scheduled meeting in the month of October. Since this meeting will coincide with the annual conference, the meeting date may be changed. In any case the newly elected officers will take office at the 1st (first) regular meeting after election each year.
Section 3. In the event that an election is not held at the time specified, the sitting officers will remain in their respected positions until such time as an election is held and new officers are installed.
Section 4. No voting by representation or proxy shall be allowed.
Section 5. (a) The absentee ballot will be limited to providing the opportunity of the general membership to vote for announced candidates for President, Vice President, Sergeant at Arms, Secretary, Treasurer, Editor, Historian, Chaplain, Librarian and four (4) Regional Directors.
(b) Said absentee ballots shall be mailed to the Election Committee Chairperson at least fifteen (15) days prior to the first day of the Annual Conference. Election committee shall consist of the conference committee members. The Conference chairman shall serve as Election Committee chairman. The Editor shall print the absentee ballot in the LPIA Journal/ Newsletter prior to the Annual Conference.
(c) All absentee ballots submitted thereafter shall become null and void and shall not be counted.
(d) The voting member must be in good standing and use the approved absentee ballot form of the association.
(e) All absentee ballots will be opened, verified and counted by the election committee. After the election verified, the absentee ballot will be destroyed.
(f) Each voting member shall place the provided absentee ballot in a plain sealed envelope. The sealed envelope must then be placed in another envelope with the voting members name and address on the outside and certified mailed to LPIA Election committee.
Section 6. (a) Any member desiring to become a candidate for any elected office within the Association, to wit: President, Vice President, Secretary, Sergeant at Arms, Editor, Historian, Chaplain, Librarian and four (4) Regional Directors, shall announce his or her candidacy to the President not later than July 31st.
(b) The general membership shall be informed of the intent to seek elected office by the various candidates, by items appearing in the Quarterly issue of the LPIA Journal/Newsletter preceding the Annual Conference. A vacancy created in any elected office, except where otherwise provided for in this Constitution, shall be filled for the unexpired term of office by a majority vote of the Executive Committee. The vote may be taken by a poll of the Executive Committee through correspondence by the President. Those vacancies created at a regular annual conference shall be filled by a vote of the majority of the members present.
Section 7. The LPIA Journal/Newsletter shall publish the names and brief statements, not to exceed 200 words, concerning the members announcing their candidacy for office, provided that such announcements are received by the Editor, in writing, prior to printing of the Journal preceding the Annual Conference.
Section 1. The annual conference of the Louisiana Private Investigators' Association, Inc. shall be held on the week end of the regular October meeting, if at all feasible to do so. The conference dates, as well as the meeting dates may be changed by the President or in his/her absence, the next in command, as specified in Article VI, Section I. of the Constitution of this association.
Section 2. Speakers for the conference shall be the best available for our purposes of Louisiana Private Investigators Association, Inc. promoting better techniques, ideas, safety and in general, helping the membership improve themselves.
DUTIES OF OFFICERS
Section 1. President; It shall be the duty of the President of this association to preside over all meetings, both regular and special, to ensure that the Constitution and By Laws are enforced, to appoint the chairman and majority of all committees and serve as ex-officio chairman of the board of trustees. On all motions that end in a tie he/she must cast the deciding vote. Along with the Treasurer, he/she must sign checks or vouchers for disbursement of money from this association. He/she must perform these duties and all other duties imposed upon him/her by the Constitution and By Laws.
Section 2. Vice-President; It shall be the duty of the Vice-President of this association to assist the President in the discharge of his/her duties while meetings are in session. In the absence of the President, the Vice-President will assume the duties and responsibilities of the President. He shall appoint the minority of all committees. He/she must perform these duties and all other duties imposed upon him/her by the Constitution and By Laws of this association.
Section 3. Secretary; The Secretary shall have custody of all books, records and documents of this association, He/she shall record and transcribe the minutes of all meetings, regular, special and board, and submit same to be approved at the next regular meeting. Along with the Treasurer, or along with the President, he shall sign checks and vouchers for any disbursement of money from this association and be the custodian of the Constitution and By Laws, as well as all amendments in the future. All incoming monies to the association shall be turned over to the Secretary, who shall record the same and turn it over to the Treasurer for deposit to the bank. He/she must perform these duties and whatever other duties that are imposed upon him by the Constitution and By Laws.
Section 4. Treasurer; The Treasurer shall be the custodian of the funds of this association. The Treasurer shall deposit same in a financial institution that has been approved by the Executive Committee and where possible, in an interest bearing account. Along with the President or the Secretary, he/she must sign all checks or vouchers this association dispenses. He/she must keep an up to date account of all pay outs, receipts and balances and must present a financial report at every regular meeting. He/she must perform these duties and whatever other duties that may be imposed by the Constitution and By Laws.
Section 5. Sergeant at Arms; It shall be the duty of the Sergeant at Arms to maintain order, peace and quite during every meeting of this association. In the absence of the President and the Vice-President, he shall assume the duties and responsibilities of the President. He/she shall perform these duties and whatever other duties that may be imposed by the Constitution and By Laws.
Section 6. Editor; It shall be the duty of the Editor to print and mail a quarterly newsletter. He/she may solicit help from any member at any time to help perform this duty. He/she must perform this duty and whatever other duties imposed upon him/her by the Constitution and By Laws.
Section 7. Chaplain; It shall be the duty of the Chaplain to lead the association in prayer and report on members sick or in distress. He/she must perform these duties and whatever other duties imposed on him/her by the Constitution and By Laws.
Section 8. Historian; It shall be the duty of the Historian to take pictures at special events and other functions of interest to this profession and maintain a scrapbook of the same. He/she must perform these duties and whatever other duties imposed on him/her by the Constitution and By Laws.
Section 9. Librarian: It shall be the duty of the Librarian to maintain a listing of publications of the Association, i.e. The LPIA Journal, Video Tape Library records, voice recordings used in training and any other documents presented to the Association to assist in the formal training or Continuing Education Seminars produced during the year.
Section 10. Regional Directors, Four (4): It shall be the duty of each elected Regional Director to provide assistance to the Vice-President regarding the active solicitation of membership in the Association. He/she shall hold an annual Regional Meeting/Seminar to be organized, promoted and held in each Region. He/she shall provide or submit, or appoint someone to provide or subject, a regional report to be included in the periodic LPIA Journal. He/she shall be a member of the State Legislative Action Committee, and any other area covered under Article VIII of the LPIA By laws.
Section 9. Immediate Past-President; The Immediate Past-President shall assist the President in carrying out his duties. He shall give freely of his experience as President and answer any call from the President for guidance and advice in making decisions. He will perform these duties and whatever other duties that are imposed on him/her by the Constitution and By Laws.
Section 10. Trustees; The Trustees will have the responsibility of auditing the books annually, during the Conference. They will attest to whether or not all disbursements have been properly made, after reviewing incoming revenues and costs acquired by the association. They shall perform these duties and whatever other duties that are imposed upon them by the Constitution and By Laws.
Section 1. All committees shall be appointed by the President and Vice-President.
Section 2. The President shall name the Chairman and majority of all Committees.
Section 3. The Vice-President shall name the minority of all Committees.
Section 4. No Committee shall enter into contract under the name of Louisiana Private Investigators' Association without the expressed consent of the Executive Board.
Section 5. The Executive Committee shall act as a standing Grievance Committee.
Section 6. Standing Committees that must be appointed annually;
a. Membership Committee
b. Legislative Committee
c. Constitution and By Laws Committee
d. Welfare and Sick Committee
e. Ways and Means Committee
f. Conference Committee
g. Publicity Committee
h. Internet Committee
Section 7. All Committees must perform all duties required of them by the President and/or Constitution and By Laws and shall be in effect until such time as the President and Vice-President appoints a Committee to replace the same.
Section 1. Duties of the Executive Board;
a. Meetings of the Executive Board shall be called by the President or in his/her absence by not less than three (3) other Board Members.
b. The Board shall have the authority to render all decisions concerning the welfare of this Association.
c. They shall have the authority to sanction the payment of all bills and expense accounts contracted by this Association, subject to the approval of the membership.
d. They shall have the authority to discipline any member of this Association. Any such discipline may be appealed to the general membership for final disposition.
e. They shall perform these duties and any other duties that may be imposed upon them by the Constitution and By Laws.
Section 1. Meetings shall be held in accordance with Article VI, Section 1 and 2 of the Constitution.
Section 2. Order of business shall be as follows;
a. Call to order
b. Opening Prayer
c. Pledge of Allegiance
d. Roll call of Officers
e. Installation of Officers (January meeting only)
f. Reading of minutes of last regular and or special meeting(s).
g. Membership Committee report and vote on new members.
h. Officers' reports
i. Committees' reports
j. Bills and/or communications
k. Old Business
l. New Business
m. Good of the Association
n. Election of Officers (October meeting only)
Section 1. Expulsion of Officers or Members;
a. If fifteen (15) or more members in good standing in this Association have sufficient proof on hand to show that any Officer or Member has acted dishonestly or otherwise detrimental to the best interest of the aims of this Association, they may file a petition for expulsion with the Board.
b. The Board shall send a copy of the charges to the accused and if he/she denies the charges, the Board shall set a hearing for the accused no later than immediately before the next regular meeting.
c. If the Board finds the accused guilty, as charged the membership will hear evidence and vote at the next regular meeting.
d. In no event will charges be held more than ninety (90) days before disposal.
Section 2. Removal from office:
a. If any officer misses three (3) consecutive meetings without just cause, he/she shall be removed from office.
b. In the event this happens, the Executive Board will fill the vacancy with one of the members in good standing.
Section 3. Suspension:
a. Any member who fails to pay his/her annual dues by February 1st of each year, will become in arrears of his/her dues, "ipso facto", suspending him/herself from membership in this Association.
b. Any member will be granted twenty-eight (28) days additionally, until March 1st of each year, before he/she is dropped from the rolls.
c. After March 1st of each year, said member must pay all dues owed, plus a penalty of twenty-five (25) dollars.
REGIONALIZATION OF L.P.I.A.
Section 1. That, for the purpose of organization and function, the State of Louisiana be divided into four (4) regions.
a. The four regions can be described as the Shreveport/Monroe Region, the Alexandria Region, the Lake Charles/Lafayette Region and the Baton Rouge/New Orleans Region.
Section 2. That annually the membership of each Region will elect a Director.
Section 3. That each Regional Director be a voting member of the Board of Directors.
Section 4. That such Regional Director have authority to appoint, from his/her Region, members willing to assist him/her in directing said Region. These members will be non-voting members on the Board of Directors.
Section 5. That annually a meeting/seminar be organized, promoted and held in each region. To be referred to as a Regional Meeting and/or Seminar and to consist of such content as to be acceptable to the LSPBIE as Continuing Education Credits, eight (8) hours in length.
Section 6. That the L.P.I.A. will allow a $500.00 advance to each Regional Director to cover the Regional meeting/Seminar start up cost. This is to be repaid from the revenues and an accounting to be made within 60 days from the conclusion of the Regional Meeting and/or Seminar.
Section 7. Qualifications for Regional Directors regarding experience and membership longevity.
a. The candidates for Regional Director will have at least three (3) years experience as a Licensed Investigator and will have been a member of the LPIA for a minimum of one (1) full year.
Section 8. Financial consideration regarding the Regional Meetings and/or Seminars.
a. Each Regional Meeting and/or Seminar shall be self supporting and the funds for them will be self generated.
b. An accounting of funds spent from any advance from the Treasurer will be provided in detail and in compliance with (Article VIII, Section 6) and any generated funds will be accounted for and properly disbursed.
Section 9. The Regional Director shall provide or submit, or appoint someone to provide or submit, a Regional report to be included in the periodic LPIA Journal.
a. The Regional Director, or his/her appointee, shall provide the Editor of the Journal a Regional Report for each issue.
Section 10. The election of each Regional Director will be incorporated into, and during, the Statewide election of officers and will be included in the voting at the annual convention and by way of absentee ballots.
Section 11. The Regional Director shall be a member of the Legislative Committee each year.