"LAWSUITS...They Do Occur"

"Stay Out of Court"

Its important that a local sports officials association address the following in their bylaws.
   1. Conflict of Interest Policy
   2. Arbitration/Mediation Policy
   3. Assignment Policy, detailing procedures for high school game assignments.
   4. Association and Independent Officials Agreement
   5. Open Meetings Policy (Georgia Law)
   6. Open Records Policy (Georgia Law)
   5. Whistle Blower (Officials Protection) Policy
   6. Removal of board member or members in bylaws.
   7. Sound bookkeeping and accounting practices

Required IRS language
The following required IRS language should be included in your organization's articles of incorporation. If your organization is not incorporated, this language should be included in your organization's Constitution and/or Bylaws.

The corporation is organized and will be operated exclusively for charitable and educational purposes within the meaning of 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. (All references to sections in these Articles refer to the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 as amended or to comparable sections of subsequent internal revenue laws.) Specifically, the corporation is organized to [ INSERT YOUR ORGANIZATION MISSION STATEMENT. ] In pursuance of these purposes the Corporation shall do all things necessary, proper and consistent with maintaining tax exempt status under section 501(c)(3).

The internal affairs of the corporation shall be regulated by its Board of Directors as described in the Bylaws. Upon dissolution of the corporation, its assets shall be disposed of exclusively for the purposes of the corporation or distributed to such organizations organized and operated exclusively for charitable purposes which shall, at the time, qualify as exempt organizations under section 501(c)(3), or shall be distributed to the federal government, or to a state or local government, for a public purpose. Any such assets not disposed of shall be disposed of by the appropriate court the county in which the principal office of the organization is then located, exclusively for such purposes or to such organization or organizations, as said Court shall determine, which are organized and operated exclusively for such purposes.

No part of the net earnings of the corporation shall inure to the benefit of or be distributed to any director, employee or other individual, partnership, estate, trust or corporation having a personal or private interest in the corporation. Compensation for services actually rendered and reimbursement for expenses actually incurred in attending to the affairs of this corporation shall be limited to reasonable amounts. No substantial amount of the activities of the corporation shall be the carrying on of propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation and this corporation shall not intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements) any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office. Notwithstanding any other provision of these Articles or of any Bylaws adopted there under, this corporation shall not take any action not permitted by the laws which then apply to this corporation.

The above can help keep the association out of court.

Found one case where in California, a transferred official, 12 years of officiating, sued the association he joined because he did not receive any varsity assignments. The judge ruled in his favor, the association had to pay that official for 20 games.

One case, worth mentioning, happened in Tennessee in 2009. Parents of a school baseball player that was struck by a ball while outside the dugout sued the umpire. The judge ruled in December, 2009, for the defendant.

Two Florida umpires filed lawsuit against their association for being suspended for the remainder of the year. Judge upheld the suspension. I think those two officials will not re-join that association. I could be wrong! I DID!! Because they kept their State registration active.

Florida Officiating Group Sues Leaders of New Group
(56-page complaint filed in Florida Circuit Court)

September 11, 2011, Louisiana High School Athletic Association (LHSAA) Challenges IRS $180,000 Assessment, plus interest and penalties.

Page Last Reviewed or Updated:  25 November 2011