NEAFS Bylaws

Article I, Organization:

The organization shall be known as "Northeastern Association of Forensic Scientists Inc." and shall be incorporated in the state of Connecticut, and shall be referred to as the "Corporation" hereinafter.

Article II, Purposes:

Section 1. To exchange ideas and information within the field of forensic science, and to foster friendship and cooperation among the various laboratory personnel.

Section 2. To encourage a high level of competency among professionals in the field of forensic science.

Section 3. To promote recognition of forensic science as an important component of the criminal justice system.

Section 4. To stimulate increased implementation of existing techniques, along with research and development of new techniques within the field, and to encourage financial support for these efforts.

Article III, Areas of Activity:

Section 1. Establish and enforce a code of ethics.

Section 2. Establish a board for review, when requested, of each instance involving differences of professional opinion.

Section 3. Lend assistance, whenever possible, in the formulation of college curricula and law enforcement training programs.

Section 4. Review and act upon pending legislation which appears to be related to the field when and where possible and so requested by competent authority.

Section 5. Organize and/or sanction meetings, symposia and discussions to further the exchange of information.

Article IV, Definition of Forensic Science:

The field of forensic science is defined as the application of the natural sciences to matters of the law.

Article V, Geographical Area:

The geographical area of the Corporation is to include the States of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont.

Article VI, Membership:

Section 1. General qualifications: Applicants for membership shall be expected to have previously demonstrated moral and ethical conduct befitting the profession. Any application may be rejected by the Membership Committee with the approval of the Board of Directors for the same reasons as termination of membership. (Article VI, Section 9)

Section 2. Regular Members (also referred to as Members): A Regular member of the Corporation (NEAFS) is one who has met the minimum established standards, has been approved by the Membership Committee, and is elected by a vote of 3/4 of the membership at the Annual Business meeting. A member shall be entitled to receive all publications, to a vote at business meetings, and to hold office.

  1. Qualifications for Regular Membership Shall Be:
    1. Hold a Doctorate, or Master’s Degree, and have completed a minimum of two (2) years of experience or
    2. Hold a Baccalaureate degree and have completed a minimum of three (3) years of experience
    3. Have completed a minimum of ten (10) years of experience and be active in the field or
    4. Have, in the opinion of the Membership Committee, made such significant contributions to the field and or the Corporation to warrant Regular Membership.
    5. Experience, for purposes of Article VI, Section 2.a., is considered only in the field of forensic science:
      1. Working a minimum of fifteen (15) hours per week doing examinations and interpretation of physical evidence or,
      2. Working a minimum of fifteen (15) hours per week having done examinations and interpretation of physical evidence or,
      3. Working as a full-time professor in forensic science or criminalistics in an undergraduate or graduate program at an accredited college or university.

Section 3. Associate Members:

  1. Any person who does not meet the requirement for regular membership, may apply as an Associate Member. Such member shall be entitled to all rights and privileges of members except that they shall be ineligible to vote or hold office.

Section 4. Life Members:

  1. Life members shall retain all rights and privileges of members, but shall be excused from all dues and assessments.. Life membership shall be conferred by recommendation from the Board of Directors, with the approval of 3/4 of the voting membership at the annual business meeting.

Section 5. Emeritus Members

  1. Any member meeting the following requirements may be proposed for Emeritus status by the Membership Committee. The member must:
    1. be at least fifty five (55) years of age
    2. be retired from full-time forensic work
    3. have been a full dues paying member of the Association for a minimum of ten (10) years
    4. Members holding Emeritus status shall retain all rights and privileges of members, but shall be excused from all dues and assessments.
    5. A member may apply for Emeritus status at any time during the year by submitting a request to the Membership Chair. Those applying for Emeritus status shall be provisionally excused from all dues and assessments beginning at the time their request isIf the Emeritus status of a member is not approved, the member shall be responsible for the current years’ dues.
    6. Emeritus status shall be conferred by recommendation from the Membership Committee with the approval of 3/4 of the voting membership at the annual business meeting.
    7. Once Emeritus status is conferred, the member shall be eligible to continue their emeritus status and receive publications free of charge on an annual basis as long as they continue to meet the Emeritus requirements.

Section 6. Student Affiliate (Student Non-Members):

  1. Students shall be permitted to attend the Annual Meeting of the Corporation (NEAFS) for a discounted fee to be determined by the Board of Directors. The students must:
    1. Not be a NEAFS member or active applicant
    2. Not be employed in a forensic science laboratory
    3. Be enrolled full time at an accredited college or university in a forensic science or related program
    4. Provide proof of enrollment
    5. It is understood that, in connection with the implementation of this policy:
      1. That the walk-in fee does not entitle students, taking advantage of it, to any meals for which others have paid.
      2. That this policy is in no way intended to discourage students from becoming members, nor should it be so construed by students or by faculty, chairpersons or program directors within academia.

Section 7. Any member may apply to the Membership Committee for a change in his/her membership status. Membership shall not be transferable or assignable.

Section 8. Fees and Dues:

  1. Annual dues for Associate and Regular Members; Application fees for membership; and Registration fees for Members, Associate Members, Active Applicants, Student Affiliates and Non-Members to attend the Annual Meeting, shall be set by the Membership of the Corporation (NEAFS).
    1. An Active Applicant is an Applicant whose completed application has been received by the Membership Committee Chairperson for consideration by the deadline set forth by the Membership Chairperson.
    2. The Board of Directors considering reports of the Treasurer; the Membership Committee Chairperson; the Site Chairperson; or any Member, may recommend changes in the fees and dues schedule to the Membership.
    3. Any recommended change(s) will be presented to the Membership for a vote at the Annual Business meeting. Changes will be effected by approval of a majority of Members present and voting at the Annual Business meeting.
    4. There will be no charge to attend the Annual Business Meeting.

Section 9. Termination of Membership.

  1. Any member may resign his/her membership in the Corporation by written request directed to the Membership Committee Chairperson. The Board of Directors will inform the membership at the next Annual Meeting. A member who has resigned in this manner shall be entitled to reapply to the Membership Committee for reinstatement without penalty. Such reinstatement shall be contingent upon re-election by a 3/4 vote of the membership at the Annual Business Meeting.
  2. Membership will be terminated at the discretion of the Board of Directors upon information supplied by the Membership Committee Chairperson that the member has failed to pay prescribed dues or assessments by the Annual Business Meeting. . A member who has been terminated for failure to pay prescribed dues or assessments shall be entitled to reapply to the Membership Committee for reinstatement. Such reinstatement shall be contingent upon re-election by a 3/4 vote of the membership at the Annual Business Meeting and payment of a penalty equal to one year of dues.
  3. A member may be suspended or expelled from the Corporation for any violation of the NEAFS Code of Ethics , or conduct detrimental to the profession and/or the Corporation. Any person may initiate proceedings concerning unethical behavior by filing charges with the Ethics Committee in writing. Any person with membership in the Corporation may institute proceedings concerning conduct detrimental to the Corporation by filing written charges with the Ethics Committee. Any member so charged shall be notified as soon as possible, and shall be allowed to be present during the hearing on the charges against him/her.
  4. A member will be expelled from the corporation following his/her conviction of a criminal offense.
  5. A member may be expelled from the Corporation upon recommendation of the Ethics Committee or the Board of Directors, and a 3/4 vote of the membership at the Annual Business Meeting.

Article VII, Officers, Board of Directors and Executive Staff Members:

Section 1.  The Officers and Board of Directors of this Corporation shall be the President, President-Elect, Secretary, Treasurer, and three (3) Directors.

Section 2.
  Officers: Description, Duties and Terms of Office

  1. President: Chairperson of the Board of Directors. Chief representative of the Corporation. Shall preside over business meetings. Appoints committees, and shall execute with the Secretary all official organizational business. Empowered to sign checks. Term: One Year
  2. President -Elect: Shall act in place of the President in the case of temporary absence or disability of the President. Shall be program Chairman for the annual meeting. Empowered to sign checks. Elected by the membership. Term: One Year, after which, succeeds to the Presidency.
  3. Secretary: Keeps and publishes minutes of all Board of Directors and membership meetings. Empowered to sign checks. Elected by the membership. Term: Two Years.
  4. Treasurer: Receives all monies due the Corporation, and keeps accurate records of all transactions. Presents a statement twice yearly to the Board of Directors. Prepares the annual budget for presentation at the annual meeting, and reports the previous year's financial transactions at the annual meeting. All monies shall be deposited in a bank authorized by the Board of Directors as soon as possible and reasonable. Files the Corporation’s annual taxes. Empowered to sign checks. Elected by the membership. Term: Two Years.
  5. Directors: Help maintain information exchange within the Corporation. Elected by the membership.
    Term: One Year.

Section 3. Executive Staff Members: Description, Duties, Terms of Office and Method of Selection.

  1. Awards Committee Chairperson: Elected by the Board of Directors with the President having two (2) votes. Term: One year.
  2. Certification Chairperson: Liaison between the Board of Directors and the American Board of Criminalistics and/or other certifying organizations. Elected by the Board of Directors with the President having two (2) votes. Term: Three years.
  3. Corporate Liaison: Serves as the liaison between the corporate sponsors and the Corporation. Provides reports to the Board of Directors and Treasurer as needed. Term: Three Years
  4. Education Committee Chairperson: Elected by the Board of Directors with the President having two (2) votes. Term: One year.
  5. Ethics Committee Chairperson: The most senior Past President currently serving on the committee. Term: One year.
  6. Executive Secretary: Maintains membership files, committee reports and Corporation (NEAFS) business. Files copies of incoming and outgoing correspondence. Serves as Chairperson of the Election Committee. Receives and tabulates all ballots regarding elections and other Corporation (NEAFS) votes. Elected by the Board of Directors with the President having two (2) votes. Term: One Year.
  7. Membership Committee Chairperson: Acts as Chairperson of the Membership Committee and presents recommendations to the Board of Directors and to the membership. Notifies the membership, in advance, of the names and affiliations of applicants and membership re-instatements to be voted on for membership at the Annual Meeting. Notifies the membership, in advance, of the names of members to be terminated for unpaid dues/assessments. Elected by the Board of Directors with the President having two (2) votes. Term: One Year.
  8. Merchandise Chairperson: Has the responsibility of overseeing the sales and distribution of NEAFS merchandise. Provides reports on the merchandise sales to the Board of Directors and Treasurer as needed. Term: One Year
  9. Past President: To be filled by the immediate past President if he/she is willing and able to serve: otherwise, to be filled by another past President elected by the Board of Directors. Serves as a member of the Ethics Committee. Duties to be assigned by the Board of Directors. Term: One Year.
  10. Publication Chairperson: Has the responsibility of communicating to the members those matters prescribed in the by-laws and as directed by the Board of Directors. The manner of this communication with the members to be determined by the Board of Directors. Notifies the membership of meetings. Elected by the Board of Directors with the President having two (2) votes. Term: One Year.
  11. Registration Chairperson: Has the responsibility of overseeing registration for the annual meeting and any other events when necessary. Provides reports to the Board of Directors as needed. Term: Three Years
  12. Site Chairperson: Investigates potential sites for annual meetings and presents recommendations to the Board of Directors. Negotiates and signs contracts with selected hotels for the Corporation as directed by the Board. Serves as a liaison between the hotel and the Corporation during the annual meeting and coordinates and monitors all contracted hotel services. Elected by the Board of Directors with the President having two (2) votes. Term: Three Years.

Section 4. Board of Directors

  1. The Board of Directors shall be composed of the officers specified in Section 1 of Article VII, and shall have the power to assign functions to each officer for the advancement of the Corporation within the purview of their duties, and that such assignments shall be reviewed by the membership at the next annual meeting, where appropriate.
  2. Shall meet at least twice each year, once being at the annual membership meeting.
  3. Shall act as a Resolutions committee for the annual meeting, setting guidelines for the presentation of resolutions.
  4. Shall be responsible for audit of financial records, either personally, or by an outside concern, and shall present said audit to the membership for ratification.
  5. Shall present a budget to the membership for ratification by a 2/3 vote of the membership.
  6. Shall recommend changes in these by-laws.
  7. Vacancies on the Board of Directors to be filled by election by the remaining Board members for the remainder of the term of the vacated Board member; except that, in a presidential vacancy, the President-Elect shall accede to the Presidency; in addition, in a Presidential-Elect vacancy, the member filling the vacancy shall not accede to the Presidency, but a special election shall be held for President at the expiration of the interim President-Elect's term.
  8. Other meetings of the Board of Directors will be held at the request of the President, or any three other Board members.
  9. A majority of the officers shall constitute a quorum and shall be entitled to conduct business at Board of Directors meetings.

Section 5. 

The Board of Directors shall have full power and authority to borrow money on behalf of the Corporation, including the power and authority to borrow money from any of the members or officers of the Corporation, and otherwise to incur indebtedness on behalf of the Corporation and to authorize the execution of promissory notes, or other evidences of indebtedness of the Corporation, and to agree to pay interest thereon, to sell, convey, alienate, assign, exchange, lease and otherwise dispose of, mortgage, pledge, hypothecate, and otherwise encumber the property, real and personal, and the franchises of the Corporation; to purchase, lease and otherwise acquire property, real and personal, on behalf of the Corporation; and generally, to do and perform every act which the Corporation may lawfully do and perform, provided that said total indebtedness of the Corporation shall not exceed the following year's anticipated income.

Section 6. 

The Board of Directors and executive staff members of this Corporation shall serve without compensation, except their actual expenses, unless additional compensation has been budgeted and approved by the membership. The Board of Directors may authorize the Treasurer, by a 2/3 vote, to pay up to a $250 non-budgeted expense if it can be considered a regular expense of doing business. The Treasurer shall make such payments thus authorized by the Board of Directors, and those payments approved by the membership within the budget, or by a special vote of 2/3 of the membership. Payment by check shall be over the signatures of two officers of the Corporation, effective January 1, 1977. The Board of Directors shall provide a suitable seal for the Corporation. The fiscal year for the Corporation shall be January 1 through December 31.

Section 7.

The Board of Directors may, by vote, remove from office, for any cause, any Director who has failed to perform, in a reasonable manner, the duties of his/her office as outlined in the by-laws, or as reasonably directed by the Board. Removal is effected by a 3/4 vote of the directors not charged, present and voting. A minimum of four votes in favor of removal must be cast. A removal proceeding, may be initiated by any regular member of the Corporation with proper notice and an opportunity to speak and/or be represented being given to the Director so charged. Charges must be filed in writing with the President and with the Executive Secretary.


Article VIII, Standing Committees:

Section 1. Awards Committee: To be composed of a chairperson appointed by the Board of Directors. The chairperson shall appoint committee members as he/she sees fit.

Section 2. Certification Committee: To be composed of a chairperson appointed by the Board of Directors. The chairperson shall appoint committee members as he/she sees fit.

Section 3. Education Committee: To be composed of a chairperson appointed by the Board of Directors. The chairperson shall appoint committee members as he/she sees fit.

Section 4. Elections Committee: Elections to be chaired by the Executive Secretary, and two others appointed by the Board of Directors.

Section 5. Ethics Committee: To be composed of three most recent Past-Presidents, appointed to three-year terms, the terms to be staggered.

Section 6. Membership Committee: To be composed of a chairperson appointed by the Board of Directors. The chairperson shall appoint committee members as he/she sees fit.

Section 7. Nominations Committee: To consist of the President (the Committee Chair), the President-Elect, and three other persons not on the Board of Directors, but appointed by the Board of Directors.

Section 8. Publications Committee: To be composed of a chairperson appointed by the Board of Directors. The chairperson shall appoint committee members as he/she sees fit.

Section 9. Resolution Committee: To consist of the Board of Directors.

Article IX, Special Committees:
Special Committees may be established by the Board of Directors, their duties and power to be described.

Article X, Trustees:
The Board of Directors, with the approval of 3/4 of the membership, may confer Honorary Membership and Trusteeship on celebrated individuals, who have shown themselves to be interested in the advancement of the Corporation and of forensic science, and who have endeavored to assist the Corporation in achieving its goals.

Article XI, Governance of Meetings:
Meetings of the Board of Directors and of the Corporation, shall be governed by Robert's Rules of Order, Revised, unless otherwise stated in these by-laws.

Article XII, Meetings:
The general membership meeting will be held annually in the Fall of each year in a location to be determined by the Board of Directors. Five percent (5%) of the voting membership shall constitute a quorum.

Article XIII, Voting:
Voting will be carried out either by mail or in person, and all majorities herein referred to shall mean a majority of votes cast, with five percent (5%) of the voting membership, by mail, being a quorum.

Article XIV, Elections:

Section 1. Nominations:

  1. The Nominating Committee will propose a slate of officers to the Board of Directors at the Board Meeting at the annual meeting.
  2. The slate will be announced to the Membership at the Annual Business Meeting.
  3. Additional nominations can be proposed from the membership by a petition of 20 members, or 10% of the voting membership, whichever is
  4. Nominations must be presented to the Chair of the Nominating Committee within 30 days of the Annual Business Meeting.

Section 2. Elections:

  1. If additional nominations are received by the Nominating Committee, an Election will be held by mail.
  2. Election will be by a plurality of the votes cast.
  3. If no additional nominations are received, the slate proposed by the Nominating Committee will become effective January 1.
  4. The new officers will be announced in the first newsletter after January 1.
  5. Terms of office are January 1 through December 31.

Article XV, Order of Business at the Annual Meeting:
Section 1. The Order of Business at the Annual Meeting shall be as follows:

  1. Opening
  2. Roll call of officers and staff
  3. Review of the Minutes of the previous meeting
  4. Reports of Standing Committees
    1. Membership Committee and voting on new members
    2. Nominations Committee
    3. Ethics Committee
    4. Elections Committee
    5. Publications Committee
    6. Resolutions Committee
    7. Reports of other Committees
    8. Report of the Treasurer on previous year's expenditures
    9. Ratification of the audit
    10. Presentation and ratification of the budget
    11. Old/Unfinished business
    12. New Business
    13. Report of the President
    14. Adjournment

Article XVI, Education Fund:

Section 1. The Treasurer is directed to explore investment vehicles for the Education Fund which offer the advantages of safety, liquidity and high rates of return; and that the Treasurer invest the Education Fund in an appropriate manner, consistent with the above criteria, after having received authority from the full Board to do so.


Section 2. Funds from the investment of the Education Fund may be utilized to provide a scholarship for deserving full-time or part-time students enrolled in a forensic science or a related science program at an accredited institution of higher education located within the region served by the Corporation in accordance with the following rules and guidelines:

  1. That the scholarship may be given as frequently as once per year, but need only be given at the discretion of the Board.
  2. That the scholarship be available to full-time undergraduate students who are in their Junior or Senior year at the time of the application; and/or to graduate students who are enrolled in a part-time or full-time program at the time of the application.
  3. That the Scholarship Nominations will be solicited through the NEAFS Newsletter and/or by informational mailings to Colleges and Universities within the region served by the Corporation. The solicitation period and application deadline date for this award will be determined by the Awards Committee (Artical VIII, Section 1) with the approval of the Board of Directors.
  4. That the Awards Committee develops specific criteria for the scholarship and publishes them along with the solicitation for nominations. The Awards Committee will rely on, but not be limited to, the applicant’s academic course record, letter(s) of recommendation from an instructor or a professor familiar with the applicant’s academic/research work, and a letter from the applicant describing their personal goals, achievements, and reasons for award consideration.
  5. That the scholarship award program be implemented in calendar year 1984.

Article XVII, Bonds:
The Treasurer shall be bonded by a recognized agent for a sum to be determined by the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors may also require bonding of other officers or members, the cost of such bonding to be paid by the Corporation.

Article XVIII, Amendments to the By-Laws:
Amendments to these by-laws must be proposed in writing to the Resolution Committee at least three months prior to the annual meeting. The Resolution Committee shall publish the resolution(s) before the meeting, and then report at the meeting that the resolution(s) has been approved, disapproved committed, or that no action has been taken. A 3/4 vote of the membership at the meeting may over-rule the Resolutions Committee and cause a different action to be taken. The Board of Directors may also propose changes in the by-laws by mail (or email), and such changes may be effected by a 3/4 vote of the membership by mail (or email).

Article XIX, Dissolution of the Organization:

"In the event of and upon the dissolution of the Corporation, the Board of Directors shall, after paying or making provision for the payments of all the liabilities of the Corporation, dispose of all of the assets of the Corporation exclusively for the purposes of the Corporation in the following manner: by equal awards to each and every accredited University and/or College in the geographical area of this Corporation which offers a degree program in forensic science. However, if it should be impossible to so dispose of these funds as stated, then the assets shall be donated to an organization whose charitable, educational or scientific purposes shall at that time qualify as an exempt organization or organizations under Section 501 (3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 as the Board of Directors shall determine."

Copyright © 2014 NEAFS All Rights Reserved