The purpose of these Bylaws of the Cuyamaca Association of Paralegal Students (CAPS) is to provide structures and procedures to implement the CAPS.’ Constitution.



The name of this association shall be Cuyamaca Association of Paralegal Students “hereinafter referred to as “CAPS,” as set forth in the Article I of the Constitution. This association shall be affiliated with the National Association of Legal Assistants, Inc.




Section 1. Purposes


The purpose of CAPS. is to improve the quality of networking for the organization, keep up to date on the Paralegal Profession and Education, contribute to job placement and advancement, and to help students get the most of their education.


The mission of CAPS. is to establish a sense of pride of career choice, build professional relationships, disseminate information, provide continuing education, and provide support for students and graduates.


Section 2. Objects

Section 2.1

To establish good fellowship among association members, the National Association of Legal Assistants, Inc., and of the legal community.

Section 2.2

To encourage a high order of ethical and professional attainment.

Section 2.3

To further education among members of the profession.

Section 2.4

To cooperate with bar associations.

Section 2.5

To support and carry out the programs, purposes, aims and goals of the National Association of Legal Assistants, Inc.


All CAPS. activities shall be nonpartisan and nonsectarian and shall not (1) discriminate against any person or persons by reason of race, color, sex, and creed, or (2) National origin, or sexual orientation, or Persons with Disabilities.


This association shall be nonsectarian, nonpartisan, nonprofit, and nonunion. No actions or programs may be initiated or undertaken (now or in the future) in conflict with the bylaws of the National Association of Legal Assistants, Inc., or of the policies of that Association.


CAPS shall not take part, officially or unofficially, in lending its influence in the election of any candidate for political office. CAPS may present information to its members on national and local elections so long as this information is presented impartially with respect to all candidates and issues.


Section 1 Membership

Membership in this organization shall be open to all paralegals or legal assistants, students enrolled in paralegal or legal assistant programs, attorneys, working paralegals or legal assistants, and to the public at-large. CAPS membership will consist of voting and non-voting membership.


Section 1.1 Voting Membership

Voting Membership will comprise that group of registered students of Cuyamaca College who have declared themselves to be Paralegal Studies majors, who are ongoing in their accomplishment of Major or General Education requirements as prescribed by the program. Active members hold voting rights and may stand as an Officer(s) in the Executive Board.


Section 1.2 Non-voting Membership

Non-voting membership shall consist of all members that are not enrolled in the Paralegal Studies Program of Cuyamaca.


Section 2 Eligibility for membership in the Board of Officer

To stand for election to the Board of Officers, the candidate will have to be enrolled or completed the introductory course for Paralegals Studies at Cuyamaca College, be declared in the Paralegal Studies Program of Cuyamaca College, and will be enrolled with at least three (3) units at Cuyamaca College. These requirements may be waived at the discretion of the incumbent Executive Board with a 2/3 majority vote or by the discretion of the Advisory Council.



Application for membership shall be submitted to the Executive Board on forms approved by CAPS. The forms should clearly state that the association is an affiliated association of the National Association of Legal Assistants and that all members are bound by the NALA Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility in addition to any code adopted by the association.


Section 1. Meetings

CAPS. shall meet regularly once a month. Meetings may include attendance at a CAPS’ meeting, sponsored seminar, or event. If the date of the meeting shall fall upon a recognized holiday, the President may designate an alternate meeting date by announcement at the preceding meeting.


The Executive Board shall meet monthly. The President may call special meetings of the Executive Board with the approval of three (3) other Officers. A quorum for the Executive Board shall consist of majority of a 2/3 vote by the Officers whom are present.


An Annual meeting of the membership of CAPS shall be held for the purposes of electing Officers of the Executive Board (except the President and the Parliamentarian), hearing the reports of Officers, and approving the Annual Budget for the fiscal year. The Annual meeting shall be held in the month of October. Notice of the Annual meeting shall be in writing (may be electronically) to all members of record, at least thirty (30) days prior to the meeting.


It is required that this association hold a minimum of four educational events or a total of 10 hours of education during each fiscal year in order to maintain affiliation with the National Association of Legal Assistants, Inc. These programs may be held in connection with a regular meeting of the membership.


All meetings shall be governed by the Robert’s Rules of Order.

Special committee meetings shall be called by the chairperson of said committee. Procedures at such meetings are left to the discretion of the chairperson. Report of each meeting shall be given to the members of the Executive Board for review or advisory only prior to the next chapter meeting.


In the event of a dissolution of this organization, a quorum shall consist of two-thirds (2/3) of the voting members of CAPS. Special meetings shall be called by the President or by the request by five members upon fifteen (15) days written notice to all members of record.


Section 2. Voting

Unless voting is specifically limited to the Executive Board members regarding items of business before the Executive Board, all voting members, as herein and in the Bylaws, are eligible to vote on any issues pending before the Executive Board. Voting may be done by electronic means via a CAPS. website poll or though an email by the President.


A quorum shall consist of five (5) or more voting members, or five (5) Executive Board members if an issues for the Executive Board vote only.


The Academic Advisor is required to be present at any meeting in which business is conducted Should the Academic Advisor not be able to be present at a business meeting, then the Academic Advisor must approve any actions taken in the advisor’s absence before that action may become official.



The dues of CAPS shall be appropriated by the Executive Board at the beginning of the fiscal year and be based on CAPS’ finances. Dues shall be collected at the first general meeting of the fiscal year. The CAPS’ treasurer must receive Payment of dues before members can be initiated. The Treasurer will retain receipts.


Funds of CAPS shall be deposited in the CAPS.’ Trust Fund account within one week of receipt. A general audit of the Treasurer’s books shall be conducted annually by an Audit Committee appointed by the President.


Finances for CAPS will be raised by projects approved by the Executive Board.

The Executive Board is authorized to approve Contributions up to $1000.00. No member will obligate the CAPS to any debt. The Executive Board will approve expenditures.


ARTICLE VIII. Officers, Executive committee and chairmen
Section 1. Appointed Officers

The President shall be appointed by the Executive Board, and the Academic Advisor. The Parliamentarian shall be appointed by the President, and two (2) Officers of the Executive Board.


Section 2. Elected Officers

The elected officers shall be the Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, NALA Liaison, Director of Media Relations, Director of Grants & Sponsors.


Section 3. Rules Governing Officers

All Officers must be members in good standing in the membership of CAPS They will serve a term of one year and will be eligible for reelection to that Office or will be eligible for election in any other Office.


If a vacancy should occur in any office, the Executive Board shall provide for the replacement of the Officers or the assumption of the office until the next regular election.


An officer or member may be reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenses in connection with CAPS related activities, provided the expenses have been authorized expenditures, and the officer or member must provide original receipts.



In September of each year, nominations for Officers of the Executive Board shall be accomplished by a Nominating Committee appointed by the President or may be made from the floor, provided the nominee is qualified, is present, or has given consent to serve if elected. The Nominating Committee shall present a minimum slate to fill the eligible seats. Additional nominations from the floor shall be accepted.


The elections of officers shall be held in the first meeting following semester unless otherwise directed by the Advisory Council or President. Elections shall be by ballot, except where there is one nominee for an office, at which time the vote for that office may be by voice. In the event of a ballot vote, the ballots will be collected, and give to the academic advisor who will tally the votes. The candidate receiving the highest number of votes shall be elected.


The Executive Board shall consist of not more than ten (10) members elected by the Active membership, as set forth in Article VIII Section 2, and appointed members by means set forth in Article VIII Section 1.


The President of CAPS is chosen by the Executive Board with the advice and consent of the Advisory Advisor, if there is no Executive Board the President may be appointed by the Advisory Advisor. Selection is confirmed by a two-thirds (2/3) majority written ballot of incumbent Executive Board members. The incumbent President will vote only to break ties or when a super majority is necessary.

Only voting members may hold office.


The term for all Offices of the Executive Board shall be one year. Officers of the Executive Board may be re-elected to succeeding terms by the CAPS Membership.


Names of newly elected or appointed officers shall be submitted to NALA headquarters and the Affiliated Associations Director at least thirty (30) days after election and/or appointment.


Upon the loss of an Officer of the Executive Board, the President shall appoint a replacement to complete the unexpired portion of the term. If there is a loss of the President then the First Vice-President will take over the duties of the Presidency.


In order to remain on the Executive Board, an Officer must have no more than three (3) unexcused absences from either the Executive Board or CAPS’ meetings during the term year in order to remain an Officer in good standing. An unexcused absence shall be defined as one where an Officer fails to contact the Executive Board prior to the meeting. Emergencies may constitute an excused absence, but shall be subject to approval by the Executive Board.


Article X. Standing and Special Committee Chairmen

The President may appoint, when it is seen fit, the following standing committee chairs:

  • Education Programs
  • Membership
  • Finance
  • Public & Media Relations
  • Nominations & Elections
  • Audit Committee

Special committee chair(s) may be appointed by the President, as needed, with the approval of the Executive Board or membership.


Section 1. President

The President shall have general supervisory power over the activities of CAPS and shall preside at meetings of CAPS and meetings of the Board of Officers. The President shall direct the Board of Officers and Members in tasks to accomplish the Priorities set by CAPS.


The President may create Committees and assign duties as necessary, including, but not limited to, Audit, Budget, Nominating and a Bylaws Revision Committees. The President shall be the official spokesperson for CAPS, but may delegate this authority. The President may designate the Vice President to act in the President’s absence.


Section 2. First Vice-President, Membership

The First Vice-President will develop and carry out a program to increase residential and business memberships, maintain and develop effective methods for communication to Members, including but not limited to a Phone Coordinator who will arrange monthly contact with Members based on the Membership list and a Welcome Coordinator who will maintain an Association showcase and member sign-in sheets at programs and events, and will chair the membership committee. The First Vice-President will perform all duties of the President in the event of the President’s absence.


Section 3. Second Vice President, Educational Programs & Outreach

The Second Vice President will arrange for appropriate programs at monthly Membership meetings designed to increase Members’ knowledge of the community infrastructure, and will arrange for appropriate programs at monthly Membership meetings, and assist with preparation and/ or staffing of table at all CAPS day functions.


Section 4. Secretary

The Secretary shall take roll call at the meetings, read and record the minutes of all meetings of the Board of Officers and of the Membership, maintain the attendance record, and present minutes at the subsequent meetings for approval. The Secretary will maintain a file of CAPS’ correspondences, report recommendations and actions of the Executive committee to members, keep copies of current Bylaws of CAPS, and keep records of suggested revisions to the CAPS.’ Bylaws in order to submit to the Bylaws review committee upon their convening. This officer shall assist the president in any way including, but not limited to giving notice of meetings. The Secretary shall call roll or maintain an CAPS showcase and member sign-in sheet, and may work with a Welcome Coordinator at all CAPS meetings, programs, and events. Association minutes of any meeting shall be available to the NALA President upon request.


Section 5. Treasurer

The Treasurer shall receive and deposit in the CAPS’ bank account(s) all dues and other funds of CAPS, collect dues an issue receipts, keep the official Membership roll, pay all CAPS’ bills approved by the Executive Board, and keep a proper accounting of all financial transactions, and will chair the finance committee. The Treasurer must keep a set of books for CAPS which may be used to verify correct posting of district records. This officer shall make a report on the finances of the CAPS for each meeting of the Executive Board and Membership meetings. This officer shall act as a liaison between the district accounting departments, Student Activity Coordinator, and any other financial department of the Grossmont/ Cuyamaca College District that is deemed appropriate. The Treasurer (or other affiliate officer) is also responsible for keeping a current roster of membership and reporting the membership annually to NALA with the renewal fee for continued affiliation with NALA.


Checks drawn on the CAPS account shall be signed by an Academic Advisor and/or the President.


Section 6. NALA Liaison

This officer shall be a NALA active member, shall be familiar with the NALA Bylaws, shall receive minutes of all NALA meetings, and shall represent the association at the NALA annual meeting of affiliated associations. This officer shall report quarterly on association activities to the NALA affiliated associations director on forms provided by NALA headquarters, and shall report all officers’ names to NALA headquarters and the NALA affiliated associations director.


This officer may submit items the association wishes discussed to the NALA affiliated associations director and shall participate in discussion sessions at NALA annual meetings. A report to association members on the NALA annual meeting will be required.


This officer shall, within sixty days of passage, notify the NALA Affiliated Associations Director of any changes in the association’s bylaws. This officer shall be the main contact between NALA and the association. This officer shall be a member of the governing body of this association.


Section 7. Director of Media Relations

The Director of Media Relations will (1) coordinate the publication, or may designate a Communications Chair to publish, a quarterly newsletter and press releases to local news organizations about CAPS events, (2) plan activities, or designate an Activity Chair to plan, which give presence and reputation to CAPS. in the Cuyamaca College and the community, (3) coordinate with ASCC for use of Cuyamaca bulletin boards or other media, (4) place publicity in glass case if available, (5) maintain CAPS’ website, and (6) will chair the public relations committee.


Section 8. Director of Grants & Sponsors

The Director of Grants and Sponsorship will (1) coordinate with Partner Representatives to contact various agencies and organizations which may wish to support or donate to CAPS, (2) will fill out and send any grant application, to the appropriate address, that will help the financial funding of CAPS, and (3) report back with monthly updates to disseminate.


Section 9 . Parliamentarian

The Parliamentarian shall attend meetings and give opinions on parliamentary procedures upon request of the President. This officer shall be familiar with CAPS bylaws and NALA bylaws, shall receive all proposed bylaw amendments, and shall prepare standing rules and amendments to standing rules and bylaws upon request of the Executive Committee. Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised serves as parliamentary authority for items not covered by these bylaws or the association standing rules.


Section 10. The Advisory Council

The Advisory Council will stand as a separate and autonomous body whose purpose is to provide steering consultancy to the Board in particular and to the membership in general. Advisory Council members will be appointed and seated by the Executive Board. Members of the Advisory Council serve at the pleasure of the Executive Board.


The Advisory Council will consist of at least one Academic Advisor and of such other Advisors as may be appointed and confirmed by the Board. The Academic Advisor will be the chairperson of the Advisory Council, and will serve as primary facilitator of interaction between the Executive Board and the Advisory Council.


Nominations and Elections. See Section 10 and Article IX.



The fiscal year of CAPS shall be from Sept to Aug. The fiscal year of CAPS shall begin with the accordance of the School Year (Fall to Spring), of the Cuyamaca College.



Every member of this association shall subscribe to and be bound by the Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility of the National Association of Legal Assistants, Inc., and any other code so adopted by the membership of this association. Violations of the NALA Code shall be grounds for immediate dismissal from membership and/or removal from office.


Membership may be revoked if a member consistently displays inappropriate behavior toward their peers, publicly expresses sentiments that are clearly contrary to the philosophy of CAPS and/ or affiliated associations. Any such allegations must be provably detrimental to the organization through documented evidence as opposed to hearsay.


Any member or membership applicant attempting to present themselves and/ or their organization as representatives of, spokespersons for, or a chapter, branch or affiliate of CAPS without authorization of the Executive Board will have their membership revoked or denies.


A member may be removed for: The organization and its members agree to adhere to city, state, and national laws, to the Student Code of Conduct – any member should violating this may be removed from the organization.


Removal of membership procedures: Any member may have their membership revoked by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Executive Board.


An officer of the Executive Board may be removed, by the voting membership with a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote, from office if the officer does not carry out the duties of the office.


Anyone whose membership application is denied or membership revoked, may appeal it in writing to the Executive Board of CAPS or to the general membership. Said member shall be considered reinstated with two-thirds (2/3) approval of the members.



Revision of the Bylaws must be approved by a majority of the members present at any general meeting.


The Bylaws may be amended by a vote of simple majority of the members present at any general meeting, provided that the proposed amendment has been presented at a previous meeting.


Bylaw amendments (not in conflict with NALA bylaws) may be amended by a majority vote of the Membership in attendance at any Annual Meeting or Special Meeting CAPS provided that the proposed change has been presented to the Membership in writing at a preceding meeting. The NALA Affiliated Associations Director must be advice of any amendments within sixty days of passage.



In the event of dissolution of this association, all property and assets shall be distributed to a nonprofit charitable organization as defined by the Internal Revenue Code, to be selected by a majority vote of the remaining members of CAPS, notice having been given to members of CAPS and the NALA affiliated associations director at least fifteen days prior to the meeting. In no event shall any of such property and assets be distributed to any member or private individual.



Affiliation with the National Association of Legal Assistants, Inc., is renewable each year by payment of an affiliation fee and attached to a current membership roster. In the event of suspension of affiliation, this association may re-affiliate with NALA by submitting a new application with membership roster, bylaws, sample of educational programs, petition and current initial fee.


In addition to the renewal fee, this association must comply with the required reports and requested procedures as outlined in these bylaws.


The annual renewal fee is payable on October 1 and delinquent November 1. Payment received after due date must be accompanied by a late fee penalty established by NALA.