The motion to adjourn
, in parliamentary procedure
, is used to close a meeting or convention. This motion may be a privileged
or a main
motion depending on conditions existing at the time that it is made.
Explanation and Use
A motion "to adjourn" is given high privilege even to the point of interrupting the pending question and, on adoption, it immediately closes the meeting. This is because a majority should not be forced to continue in session substantially longer than it desires and this is also the reason why this motion is not debatable. It cannot be made while another has the floor.
If the motion to adjourn is qualified in any way such as a motion to adjourn at a future time, it is not a privileged motion, but is a main motion. As a main motion, it cannot interrupt pending business, it is amendable and debatable.
The motion to Adjourn can be renewed after material progress in business or debate, such as an important decision or speech. A vote on a motion to lay on the table or recess (motion) does not count as business of a character to justify renewal of a motion to adjourn. Along with the motion to fix the time to which to adjourn, recess, and take measures to obtain a quorum, it is one of the only motions allowed in the absence of a quorum. The motion to adjourn is a privileged motion unless it is qualified in some way (as in the case of motion to adjourn at or to a future time), or the time for adjourning is already established, or the adjournment will dissolve the assembly with no provision another meeting.
The Standard Code (TSC)
The Standard Code also treats the motion to adjourn as a privileged motion but under fewer circumstances. Like RONR, TSC considers it a privileged motion when business is pending and therefore is undebatable. As a privileged motion, however, TSC allows the motion to be (limitedly) amended to establish the time when the interrupted meeting will continue. Unlike under RONR it is considered a main motion (debatable and amendable) when no business is pending.