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Article I - Title

The name of this organization shall be the Protection and Advocacy for Individuals Labeled as Mentally III Advisory Council (PAIMI Advisory Council).

Article II - Purpose

The PAIMI Advisory Council shall advise the designated protection and advocacy agency, Ohio Disability Rights Law and Policy Center, Inc. (d.b.a. Disability Rights Ohio), on policies and priorities to be carried out in protecting and advocating for the rights of individuals labeled as mentally ill, provide independent advice and recommendations to Disability Rights Ohio, work jointly with Disability Rights Ohio’s board of directors in the development of annual priorities, and submit a section of the Disability Rights Ohio federal annual report.

Article III - Membership

In order to meet the requirements of the PAIMI Act, at least sixty percent (60%) of the members appointed to the Advisory Council shall be PAIMI eligible individuals, former PAIMI-eligible individuals, or family members. The majority of the 60% shall be primary PAIMI-eligible individuals. However, in no case shall the Advisory Council consist of more than 20 people. Continuing efforts shall be made to include members of racial, ethnic, and other minorities, all geographic areas, as well as other diversities to assure that the Advisory Council is a true representation of Ohio's population.

In order to be eligible for membership on the Advisory Council an individual must reside in the State of Ohio, cannot be a relative or significant other of a current Advisory Council member, and cannot be an employee of Disability Rights Ohio. Each member shall annually be provided a complete list of the members of the Advisory Council.

Subject to these limitations, the Advisory Council shall consist of the following:

  • an attorney
  • a mental health professional
  • an individual from the public who is knowledgeable about people who are labeled as mentally ill, advocates for the needs of persons with mental illness, and has demonstrated a substantial commitment to improving mental health services
  • a provider of mental health services
  • individuals who have received or are receiving mental health services
  • individuals who are family members of individuals who have received or are receiving mental health services

At least one family member shall be a primary caregiver for an individual who is currently a minor child or youth (under age 18) who is receiving or has received mental health services.

Article IV - Ex-Officio Members

The Advisory Council may establish ex-officio organizational memberships. Ex-officio members are non-voting members. The organization will designate an individual to attend Advisory Council meetings. The Advisory Council may periodically request that the organization designate a new representative.

Article V - Member Responsibilities and Duties

In accordance with the responsibilities set forth in the PAIMI Act, each member of the
Advisory Council must have a commitment to promoting the legal and civil rights of persons with mental illness and advocating for their personal choices. Each member is expected to attend and participate actively in the Advisory Council meetings and any sub-committees or standing committees to which the member is appointed or for which the member volunteers.

Advisory Council members shall conduct themselves in an orderly manner during council and committee meetings.

Advisory Council members shall abide by the current edition of the Roberts Rules of Order and the rulings of the Chair during council meetings.

Advisory Council members shall not present or represent themselves verbally or in writing as an employee or agent of Disability Rights Ohio.

Advisory Council members shall not presume to speak for the entire council on matters of council business unless authorized to do so by the full council.

Advisory Council members shall reside in the state of Ohio.

Advisory Council members shall attend four (4) meetings per year, unless in the case of an emergency or extenuating circumstances.

Article VI - Operating Procedures

A. Terms

Advisory Council members shall be appointed for a three (3) year term by the Executive Director of Disability Rights Ohio, based upon the recommendations of the Nominating Committee, and shall be reappointed to a subsequent term except for cause. The terms of council shall be staggered and for no more than a total of two consecutive 3-year terms. A member who has served for a total of six consecutive years may not be reappointed to the council for a period of one year following the close of their second three-year term, except that ex-officio members may be reappointed without a one-year period between terms.

Each person shall be appointed within the membership categories set forth in Article III. Based upon the membership categories checked on the member's membership application, Disability Rights Ohio may change the category in which the member was appointed to bring the Advisory Council into compliance with federal requirements or the requirements of these bylaws. A member appointed to complete the term of a member whose membership is terminated or who resigns will be appointed only to complete the former member's current three-year term.

B. Officers

Election of a Chair, Vice-Chair, and Secretary shall be held at least every three (3) years. After receiving the Nominating Committee's recommendations for these officers, the Advisory Council shall elect the Officers. The Chair shall be a PAIMI-eligible individual, former PAIMI-eligible individual, or family member. In the event that an Officer’s second three-year term on the Advisory Council ends during the Officer’s term as an Officer, the Officer’s term on the Advisory Council will automatically be extended to coincide with their term as an Officer. If an Officer resigns from the Advisory Council in between meetings, an election shall be held at the next scheduled meeting.

The Chair shall preside at meetings, and appoint members to all committees. The Vice Chair shall aid the Chair in the performance of his/her duties, shall perform all duties of the Chair in the Chair's absence, and shall take attendance and give an attendance report at each regular council meeting. The Chair and Vice Chair shall each serve a term of three (3) years in that office, and may be elected to serve an additional term. The Chair may speak to any issue before the Advisory Council, but shall vote only to break a tie.

The Secretary is to ensure the timely preparation and distribution of all materials for Council meetings, consistent with bylaws and procedures. The Secretary shall also keep all official records of Council activities (minutes, resolutions, etc.), including those of Council committees. In addition, the Secretary shall manage the correspondence between the Council and other parties including internal coordination with Disability Rights Ohio staff.

Pursuant to statute and subject to the bylaws of the board of directors, the Advisory Council Chair shall be a voting member of the Disability Rights Ohio board of directors.

C. Meetings

The Advisory Council shall meet at least quarterly (four times a year). The scheduling of the meetings shall be done in a manner, which enhances the attendance of PAIMI-eligible individuals, former PAIMI-eligible individuals and family members.

If a member is unable to attend a meeting, the member shall notify Disability Rights Ohio, which shall notify the Chair. The Chair will determine whether the absence is excused or unexcused, and the absence shall be noted as such in the minutes. If a member provides information to excuse an absence after the absence has been recorded in the minutes as unexcused, the minutes of the next meeting will record the change in the absence from unexcused to excused.

Advisory Council members may attend meetings by telephone or videoconference if such tele-attendance options can be accommodated and the Chair decides that there is good cause for the member’s in-person attendance to be excused. Good cause includes, but is not limited to, reasonably accommodating a member’s disability.

D. Quorum

A quorum shall exist when a majority of members are in attendance, whether in person or through tele-attendance. A majority of the voting members present must support a motion in order for it to carry.

E. Committees

The Council shall develop the following committees that will each select a Chair and report out during quarterly meetings. The Advisory Council Chair shall serve as an ex-officio member of each committee.

1. Ad Hoc Committees

The Advisory Council may establish ad hoc committees as necessary from time to time to assist in conducting Advisory Council business.

2. Nominating Committee
  1. The Advisory Council shall maintain a standing committee on Nomination procedures. The Nominating Committee shall consist of a majority of PAIMI eligible individuals, former PAIMI eligible individuals, or family members. Members of the Nominating Committee shall serve for one (1) year, subject to reappointment.
  2. The Nominating Committee shall affirmatively seek members who are members of racial or ethnic minorities and other diversities, and shall report on these efforts to the Council.
  3. The Nominating Committee shall recommend to the Executive Director of Disability Rights Ohio nominations to fill any vacancy on the Council. Recommendations by the Nominating Committee to the Executive Director of Disability Rights Ohio shall be consistent with the membership process.
  4. The Nominating Committee may invite applicants to an interview and/or to attend a council meeting.
  5. The Nominating Committee shall hear all requested appeals of proposed membership terminations and shall make recommendations to the Executive Director of Disability Rights Ohio. The decision of the Executive Director with regard to such proposed terminations shall be final.
  6. The Nominating Committee shall annually recommend to the full Advisory Council recommendations for Chair, Vice Chair, and Secretary.
       3. Executive Committee
  1. The Executive Committee shall conduct Council business as necessary between full Council meetings and shall report on any actions taken at the next full council meeting.
  2. The Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary and Nominating Committee Chair shall constitute the Executive Committee.
  3. The Executive Committee shall approve Council member(s) for attendance at conferences, seminars; workshops etc. and provide a written recommendation to the Executive Director.
  4. The Executive Committee shall also periodically review and suggest changes to the bylaws of the PAIMI Council.
       4. Policy Leadership Committee

The Advisory Council shall maintain a standing Policy/Leadership Committee to provide leadership and recommendations to the Chair and the Council on policy, legislative matters, and other issues that may require Council attention, testimony or action.

F.  Conflict Resolution

When two (2) or more members have a conflict to such a degree that the Advisory Council’s proceedings are disrupted, the Chair will attempt to resolve the conflict between the parties. If the conflict continues, a mediation process will be implemented. The need to initiate the mediation process will be determined by a majority vote of the Advisory Council. The Chair of the Advisory Council will follow up with the mediation process along with a representative of Disability Rights Ohio.

Parties outside of the Advisory Council will be sought as mediators to resolve the conflict. If the member (or members) refuse(s) to participate in the mediation process and the conflict continues to disrupt the proceedings of the Advisory Council, the Chair will request the refusing party (or parties) to exclude themselves from the Advisory Council until they can return as a productive, non-disruptive member. If the party (or parties) continues to refuse these requests, his/her membership may be terminated by a majority vote of the entire Advisory Council. The vote shall be taken at a regular meeting or by electronic (e-mail), and otherwise subject to the by-laws and procedures of the Council.

G. Resignation and Removal from Council

  1. A council member may resign at any time by giving a written or verbal notice to the council. Unless otherwise specified in the notice, the resignation shall take effect upon receipt of the notice and acceptance of the resignation shall not be necessary to make it effective.
  2. An Advisory Council member who fails to attend two (2) meetings shall be notified by the Vice-Chair in writing that failure to attend the next meeting shall result in a recommendation of termination of the membership. If a member fails to attend three (3) meetings, excused or otherwise, the Advisory Council shall recommend upon notice to the member termination of the membership.

    If an ex-officio member fails to attend two (2) meetings, the member’s organization shall be notified of the failure to attend. If the ex-officio member fails to attend three (3) meetings, then the Nominating Committee may request that the organization designate a new representative or recommend that the Executive Director terminate the ex-officio member upon notice to the member and the member’s organization.

    If the member (or organization, in the case of an ex-officio member) so notified wishes to remain on council, the member shall notify Disability Rights Ohio and request a meeting with the Nominating Committee to appeal the termination recommendation. The absences considered will be within a twelve (12) month period, beginning with the first missed meeting.
  3. An Advisory Council member may be involuntarily removed for cause. For the purpose of these Bylaws, "cause" shall mean a violation of the duties of a member defined in Article V. The member in violation shall be given a verbal or written notice of violation by the Chair. A verbal notice shall be confirmed in writing. 
  4. If a member is given a second notice it must be in writing. The notice shall provide information to the member of the member's rights under this Section and shall specify which duty was violated. If a member is given two notices in a twelve-month time frame, the violations shall be referred to the Advisory Council. If the council recommends termination for cause, the member may appeal to the Nominating Committee to contest the recommendation and may provide verbal or written information to the committee. The Nominating Committee shall review the information and make a recommendation to the Executive Director of Disability Rights Ohio whether cause exists to terminate the member. The member shall be given written notice of the recommendation. A written notice of the Executive Director's decision shall be provided to the member and the Chair. The determination of the Executive Director on all matters concerning membership on the council shall be final.

Article VII - Payment/Reimbursement

  1. No Advisory Council member shall receive compensation (wages) for Advisory Council attendance and/or activities. Nothing in these bylaws shall prohibit an Advisory Council member from contracting with Disability Rights Ohio to participate in activities on behalf of Disability Rights Ohio, including the payment of a stipend for those activities.
  2. Disability Rights Ohio shall pay all necessary costs to enable the fullest possible participation of Council members in all Council's activities and projects, consistent with P&A policies, and comply with the policies of Disability Rights Ohio and federal circulars.
  3. Reimbursement of mileage, hotel and qualified meals must be submitted on expense form to the Disability Rights Ohio financial department for payment.

If a Council member's travel time occurs before breakfast (7:00 a.m.) and/or after dinner (7:00 p.m.), the cost of meals incurred during travel shall be reimbursed by Disability Rights Ohio.

Article VIII - Conferences, workshops, and seminars

  1. PAIMI Council members wishing to attend conferences, workshops, seminars and other similar activities related to their service on the PAIMI Council, and to have those expenses reimbursed by Disability Rights Ohio, shall make a written request to the Executive Committee.
  2. All such requests require the approval of the Executive Committee, and a written recommendation shall be sent to the Executive Director for the purpose of choosing the member(s) to attend the stated event.
  3. The Executive Director shall send the name(s) of those selected to attend to the Executive Committee, and the Executive Committee Chair shall notify the member(s) of the Executive Director's final decision.
  4. The selection criteria for how members are to be chosen for attending conferences, workshops, seminars and other similar activities will be developed jointly by Executive Committee, Nominating Committee, and the Executive Director.

Article IX - Parliamentary Authority

The current edition of the Roberts Rules of Order shall govern the conduct of all Advisory Council meetings and its committees, and will serve as a resource regarding all aspects of Advisory Council procedures not specified in these Bylaws.

Article X - Amendments

The Bylaws may be amended by a 2/3 majority of all members, provided the text of the amendments to the Bylaws has been sent to all members at least 30 days prior to the meeting at which the amendments will be voted on. Only voting members present at the meeting shall vote on the proposed amendments.


Revised: September 23, 1989

Revised: October 19, 1991

Revised: Approved by PAIMI Council June 1, 1998

Revised: Approved by PAIMI Council April 16, 2005

Revised: Approved by PAIMI Council March 9, 2013

Revised: Approved by PAIMI Council December 13, 2014

Revised: Approved by PAIMI Council December 9, 2017

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