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BYLAWS of the


(Adopted on September 22, 2010) Preamble - Name, Objectives and Purposes

Section 1 - Name

The name of this organization shall be SOUTHERN ASSOCIATION OF FORENSIC SCIENTISTS (SAFS).

Section 2 - Objectives

The objectives of the Association shall be to encourage dissemination of information within the field of forensic sciences and to discuss problems of common interest; to stimulate research and development of new techniques within the field; to promote the use of standardized methodology and presentation of conclusions; to encourage compilation of statistical data of value in the field; to assist in maintaining a high level of professional competence among practicing forensic scientists; to foster friendship and cooperation among forensic scientists, and to lend assistance to colleges and universities in the development of forensic science and related curricula and to law enforcement planning agencies.


A. Classes: Regular, Associate, Retired, and Student Affiliate.

B. Charter Membership. Forensic Scientists attending any meeting of this body prior to the adoption of the initial constitution (September 9, 1966) shall be classified as Charter Members.

C. Good Standing. A member shall remain in good standing provided that they are not in conflict with the objectives and goals, and that dues and other fees are paid as prescribed.


A. General. Be of good character and currently working in good standing in the forensic science field. 

B. Regular. Working, as described in Paragraph A of this section, full-time in a forensic science laboratory doing or having done examinations and interpretations of physical evidence or full time in forensic science education. A forensic science laboratory is defined as one that has, as its primary function, service to the criminal and/or civil justice system by the examination and interpretation of physical evidence. Forensic science education is defined as one that has as its primary function, education in the examination and interpretation of physical evidence.

Who must possess a 4-year Baccalaureate Degree or 10 years experience working in a forensic discipline.

Have completed two years full-time forensic laboratory experience or have taught five years full-time forensic science education, at an accredited college or university.

Have attended an annual meeting of SAFS.

C. Associate. Any of the following:

1) Working as described in Paragraph A of this Section but not meeting the requirements of Paragraph B of this Section.

2) Working in good standing in a scientific discipline and occasionally called upon to do forensic analysis in that discipline.

3) Working in good standing as a criminal justice professional with an interest in forensic science.

4) The Membership Committee will evaluate each Associate applicant on a case by case basis to determine whether the applicant's area of expertise qualifies as a relevant forensic science field.

D. Retired. Having been a Regular Member at least ten years prior to application, and be retired from all full time employment in the forensic science field.

E. Student Affiliate. A student engaged in science studies with forensic science being considered as a career goal. Such membership must be renewed annually by reapplying.


The term 'Voting Member' shall apply only to Charter, Regular and Retired members in good standing. 


Application for Membership or for change of membership classification shall be made in writing to the Treasurer. The application shall set forth the qualifications of the applicant, which must meet the requirements of the class of membership sought. All applications and supporting documents must be received by the Treasurer by June 1 prior to the annual business meeting in which the application will be voted upon. Those applications which are prima facie complete in all respects shall, not later than June 15 of each year, be forwarded to the chairman of the Membership Committee, which committee shall consider and make a recommendation concerning each application to the voting members present at the following business meeting. Proposals for membership or change of membership classification shall be considered only at the business meetings.


A. Change in Qualifications. Any member who by change of employment no longer meets the requirements to become a member may retain current membership status as long as the member remains in good standing and new employment is not in conflict with the objectives of the Association.

B. Maintenance. It is the responsibility of all members to notify the Treasurer in writing of all changes in name, address, employment and phone number as soon as they occur.

C. Termination. Requires approval by a majority of the Board. Any member terminated may bring the matter before the members and such termination may be reversed by a two-thirds vote of those voting at a regular meeting. Termination may be for any of the following reasons:

1) Failure to pay membership dues as prescribed.

2) Failure to comply with Paragraph A of this Section.

3) Resignations are to be submitted to the Corporation secretary in writing.

D. Reinstatement. Anyone whose membership is terminated may reapply, but the application will be treated as a new request, unless otherwise specifically approved by the Board.


A. Number, Date and Location: There shall be at least one regular meeting during the second half of the calendar year with the date and location to be selected by the Board.

B. Registration. Shall be at the discretion of the Annual Meeting Program Chair and Local Arrangement Chair.

C. Business Meetings. Shall be held in conjunction with each meeting of the members at which a quorum is present and may be attended by all members, but only voting members may vote.

1) Twenty (20) voting members shall be considered a quorum.

2) No proxy voting shall be allowed.

D. Manner of Acting. Any action normally taken at a meeting of the Corporation, may be taken without a meeting, The ballot may be disseminated via electronic mail. Votes may be tallied electronically. Electronic votes will be recorded via the member login side of the SAFS website. A quorum for an electronic vote will be 50 voting members with responses received by a deadline for voting set at a minimum of 2 weeks after posting of the ballot. A simple majority of the ballots cast shall be used to determine the winner.


A. General Powers. The affairs of the Corporation shall be managed by the Board of Directors, hereinafter referred to as the Board. To facilitate operations of the Corporation, the Board may issue and/or change Administrative Rules governing the actions of the Corporation or members on behalf of the Corporation. Such rules shall not be in conflict with the statutes, the Articles of Incorporation or these Bylaws.

B. Contracts. The Board may authorize any officer(s) or agent(s) of the Corporation to enter into any contract or execute and deliver any instrument in the name of the Corporation and such authority may be general or confined to specific instances.

C. Books and Records. The Corporation shall keep correct and complete books and records of account and also keep minutes of the proceedings of meetings of its members, Board, and committees having any of the authority of the Board and shall keep at the registered or principal office a record of the names and addresses of voting members. All books and records of the Corporation may be inspected by any member or his agent or attorney for any proper purpose at any reasonable time.

D. Public Statements. No officer or member may make statements on behalf of the Corporation without the approval of the Board.

E. Gifts. The Board may accept contributions, gifts, bequests or devices for the use of the Corporation; they may not accept those items for personal use or as remuneration for services as a Board Member. 


A. Fiscal Year. Shall be October 1 through September 30.

B. Checks, Drafts, Etc. The Administrative Rules shall contain procedures for the handling of Corporation funds. All such items for the payment of money, issuance of notes or other evidence of indebtedness issued in the name of the Corporation shall be signed as prescribed by Paragraph B of Section 1 of this Article, except that no such item shall be made payable to cash.

C. Deposits. Corporate funds shall be deposited to the credit of the Corporation in such banks, trust companies or other depositories as the Board may direct.

D. Dues and Fees. The Administrative Rules shall list the amount of the non-refundable application fee and annual dues payable to the Corporation within the following limitations:

1) Retired members are exempt from paying dues.

2) There shall be no fee for changes in membership status.

3) Student affiliate members will pay no more than 25% of the regular dues.

E. Audits. Following each fiscal year the Audit Committee shall conduct and complete an audit of the Corporation's books and present a report to the Board and members at the next regular meeting.


A. Composition. Limited to the following:

1) Principal officers as listed in these Bylaws.

2) Three or four members-at-large so as to provide for an uneven number of members on the Board.

B. Principal Officers and their Duties.

1) President: Presides at Corporation and Board meetings; conducts the business of the Corporation and promotes the fulfillment of its objectives. To accomplish these duties, the president may issue and/or change operational guidelines relating to committee and/or other operations providing such guidelines are not in conflict with these Bylaws, the Administrative Rules, or other items controlling actions of the Corporation.

2) President-Elect: Chairs the Membership Committee; fulfills the president's duties should the president be absent, leave office or become incapacitated. If both the president and president-elect are absent from a business meeting, the voting members shall elect a meeting chairperson.

3) Past President: Serves on the Board and chairs the Nomination Committee. The Past President also keeps, maintains, reviews, updates and distributes the Meeting/Workshop Manual. Chairs the Ethics Committee in the year following service as Board Past President.

4) Secretary: Records the minutes of Board and Corporation business meetings, and maintains the Corporation's record book. In the absence of the secretary from a business meeting, the presiding officer shall appoint a temporary secretary.

5) Treasurer: Keeps Corporation financial records, safeguard its funds, keeps the membership list current and notifies the Webmaster of changes of address.

6) Newsletter Editor: Publishes a newsletter as prescribed in the Administrative Rules.

C. Nomination/Election. Candidates shall be selected by the Nominating Committee with the election to be held by mail ballot (electronic or hard copy) prior to the regular meeting of the membership; the procedure to be determined by the Board. Those elected shall be determined by a plurality of the valid votes cast. Any ties from the mail balloting shall be resolved by a run-off election between those tied, with such election being held at the next regular business meeting of the members.

1) Qualifications: Board members shall be regular members in good standing,

2) President: To be filled by the president-elect at the end of the president's tenure. If for any reason the president-elect is unable to assume the president's office, the office of president will be added to the mail ballot for the other Board members. If this is not practical, the membership will be notified of the situation and the nominations and election held at the meeting.

3) All other Board members: To be elected by an e-mail ballot with write-in candidates acceptable, except that the election for any position for which more than one qualified candidate applied and the Nominating Committee does not present at least two candidates shall be held at the next regular business meeting with nominations accepted from the floor.

4) Vacancies are to be filled in the following manner:

a) President: By the president-elect or as determined by Article III, Section 3.C of these Bylaws.

b) President-Elect: Filled by a e-mail ballot or at a business meeting.

c) Other Board Members: Elected by the Board for the unexpired term

D. Tenure.

1) As follows, with the terms to expire at the close of the Annual meeting or when their successor has been elected and duly qualified, whichever is later. Any changes in these terms shall be effective with the election following the adoption of the change.

a) President: One year

b) President-Elect: One year c) Secretary: Three years

d) Board members-at-large: Two years with terms staggered so that all are not elected in the same year.

e) Past-President: one year if in good standing.

2) As follows, with the terms to expire on December 31 of the year their successor has been elected and duly qualified.

a) Treasurer: Three years

b) Newsletter Editor: Three years

E. Meetings. To be held in conjunction with the regular meetings of the Corporation members with no other notice than that given for the meeting of the members. A second regular meeting may be called in the first half of the calendar year by the president. A special meeting may be called by the president or any two Board members with the location and time determined by the person(s) calling such meeting.

1) Quorum: To consist of a majority of the Board members. To complete a quorum, votes may be taken by phone provided that they are confirmed in writing.

2) Manner of acting: The act of a majority of the Board members voting at a meeting at which a quorum is voting shall be the act of the Board unless a greater number is required by statute, these Bylaws, or the Articles of Incorporation.

Compensation. Board members shall not receive any stated salaries for their services as Board members. They may receive reimbursement for expenses on the same basis as others. This section shall not be construed to preclude any Board member from receiving reasonable compensation for other services provided to the Corporation.

Recall. To be initiated by petition which shall state the reason(s) for the recall by at least 10% of the voting members. Final action on a recall is to be determined by a majority of the valid votes cast by voting members in a mail (electronic or hard copy) ballot.

1) Procedure. The petition with the required signatures is to be delivered to the Corporation secretary; should the secretary be the subject of the recall, delivery should be made to the treasurer.

The recipient of the recall petition shall determine the validity of the signatures, both as to quantity and to voting members and if found valid, deliver the petition within 15 days to the Ethics Committee. If found invalid the petition shall be delivered to the first signer of the petition with a statement as to the problem(s) noted. The Ethics Committee shall deliver a copy of the petition to the subject thereof allowing the subject 30 days from the date of delivery to provide a written response. Following this response or lack thereof, the committee shall within 30 days initiate by mail a recall ballot including with the ballot a copy of the petition and any written response received from the subject of the recall. The procedure shall be the same as for a mail ballot of election of officers except that the ballots shall have a return deadline of 30 days.

2) Final Action: To be determined by a majority of the valid votes cast.


A. Standing. To have duties as prescribed by these Bylaws and/or the administrative rules or otherwise designated by the Board. The chairman is to be appointed by the president from the membership and to serve for a term of one year or until his or her successor is appointed. Each committee shall be made up of at least three members in good standing including the chairman and two other voting members unless otherwise designated in the bylaws. Each member will be appointed by either the president or the committee chairman pending approval of the president. At least one member from the previous committee is to be included as a member if possible.

1) Ethics: six members including: The Chair will be the individual who has just completed service on the Board as the past President (one year as Chair), two former Board members (two year terms, to be staggered), and two voting members who are not current Board members (two year terms, to be staggered) to be appointed by the Ethics Chair, with the President's approval. The sixth as hoc member will be the Section Coordinator (or another voting member) of the discipline affected. All committee members shall be in good standing and be willing to serve. Should any committee member become a party to a complaint (as the subject or complainant), that person shall withdraw from any deliberation concerning the matter and a temporary committee member shall be named by the Chair.

2) Audit: Chaired by a member-at-large; membership to include the treasurer as an ex-officio non-voting member, three additional voting members in good standing, and the appointed Local Arrangements Chairpersons of the next two upcoming fall meetings.

3) Membership: Chaired by the President Elect.

4) Nomination: Chaired by the immediate Past President; membership can include associate in lieu of voting members.

5) Historical: Chaired by the historian, membership to include as many voting members as deemed fit by the historian pending approval by the president

6) Awards: Chaired by a voting member.

7) Training and Education: Chaired by a voting member; membership to include five voting members, with at least two from the previous year's committee and no two members from the same section, if feasible. The Workshop Coordinator for the Fall Meeting to be held two years hence is to be invited as an ad-hoc member.

8) Research: Chaired by a voting member.

9) Electronic Communication: Chaired by Web Master; membership to include the Newsletter Editor.

10) By Laws/Administrative Rules: Chaired by a voting member

B. Temporary. The president shall appoint from the membership other committees as deemed necessary.

C. Committee Operation. Unless otherwise provided in the appointment of the committee, a majority of the whole committee shall constitute a quorum and the act of a quorum shall be the act of the committee. Meetings may be conducted by telephone or mail (electronic or otherwise), but in such instances a quorum shall consist of the whole membership of the committee.

1) Chairperson: To be designated by the president unless predetermined by these Bylaws.

2) Rules: Each committee may adopt such operational rules as are not in conflict with these

Bylaws, administrative rules, or extensions thereof.


A. Deadline. Proposed amendments shall be submitted in writing to the president by June 1 for consideration at the Fall meeting.

B. Publication. Proposed amendments shall be delivered to the members at least 30 days prior to the meeting at which they are to be voted upon.

C. Approval. Amendments to the Bylaws shall require approval by two-thirds of the voting members present and voting.

D. Changes. After a proposed amendment has been published, changes which alter the substance of the amendment may be made only by unanimous vote of those present and voting.

E. Implementation. Required implementation instructions shall be a part of the motion presenting the amendment, but shall not become part of the Bylaws.


Unless otherwise ordered by a majority of the voting members present, the order of business at the annual meeting shall be as follows:

(1) Reading and Approval of Minutes

(2) Reports of Officers, Boards, and Standing Committees

(3) Reports of Special (Select or ad hoc) Committees

(4) Special Orders

(5) Unfinished Business and General Orders

(6) New Business

"Robert's Rules of Order" shall determine the Parliamentary procedure of the meetings. Section 2 - Repeal of Previous Constitution and Bylaws

These Bylaws shall become effective immediately upon adoption by the voting members, and the previous constitution together with all Bylaws are hereby repealed.

Chapter VII - Amendments

Any part of these Bylaws may be amended by a three-fourths (3/4) vote of the voting members present at the Annual meeting, provided a quorum is present and that copies of each proposed amendment shall have been distributed to all voting members at least thirty (30) days in advance of the meeting at which action is to be taken.

A copy of the Administrative Rules and SAFS By Laws are available for download:


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