Chapter 49

Defunct and Dormant Lodges


A defunct lodge is one whose dispensation, warrant, or charter has been surrendered or revoked, or whose membership has been reduced to less than twenty members. (This section amended, effective 1/1/2006)

1. Any lodge with less than twenty members, or whose membership shall hereafter fall below twenty members, may be continued by dispensation of the Grand Master to the next annual communication of the Grand Lodge at which time it shall be required to show cause why its charter should not be revoked.

2. The Grand Lodge may grant a further extension to the following annual communication for such lodge to remove the disability or rehabilitate itself. [41-1; 41-1.4].


A dormant lodge is one that has failed to meet for six consecutive months, or whose charter has been arrested but not revoked. [41-1.4; 41-10.6; 45-14; 49-9].

1. A lodge whose functions have been suspended by arrest of its charter by the Grand Master does not lose jurisdiction over its unfinished material until its charter has been revoked by the Grand Lodge. (This section amended, effective 1/1/2006)

2. During the time of arrest its members are all suspended from the rights and privileges of Masonry and its unfinished material can not be advanced.

3. No Grand Lodge demit may be issued to a member of such a lodge until after the Grand Lodge has revoked its charter. [41-1.4; 49-4.7; 75-15;76-11.1].


The surrender or revocation of a charter, when declared by the Grand Lodge, shall be conclusive upon the lodge and its members.

1. Members of a lodge cannot grant demits to themselves after surrendering the charter.

2. Demitted Masons cannot surrender the charter of a lodge.


The standing of a member of a lodge whose dues were paid when the charter of his lodge was surrendered or arrested and revoked shall be that of a nonaffiliated Master Mason as of the date of the surrender or arrest. [74-5.7].

1. Immediately after the return to the Grand Secretary of the charter, seal, books, and records of a defunct lodge he shall issue without cost to each member whose dues were fully paid up to the date that the charter was surrendered or revoked as shown by such books and records, a Grand Lodge demit under the seal of the Grand Lodge.

2. No brother who has not paid his dues in full shall receive a demit until he shall apply therefor and shall have paid to the Grand Secretary all his indebtedness to the defunct lodge at the date of its demise and shall have properly identified himself as being the one entitled to the demit. [41-15;49-4.4; 74-5.7; 76-11.1; 78-4; Official Form 56].

3. Dues are to be charged to members of a defunct lodge to the date of surrender or revocation of its charter. [77-14.2; 77-13].

4. A member of a defunct lodge applying for Grand Lodge demit who was excluded for nonpayment of dues prior to the demise of his lodge shall pay to the Grand Secretary all of his indebtedness to the lodge at the date of his exclusion before the Grand Lodge demit shall be issued to him. [76-3.6; Official Form 56].

5. In the event the books and records of a defunct lodge are not available or have not been properly maintained, the Grand Secretary may require lawful information satisfactory to himself that a member thereof applying for a demit was a member of such lodge, and as to his status therein and that he is entitled to such demit. [75-6].

6. An Entered Apprentice or Fellow Craft, reported to be in good standing when his lodge ceased to exist shall be entitled to a Grand Lodge certificate to that effect upon application to the Grand Secretary. [39-13; 49-10.1; 76-2.1; Official Form 52].

7. A former member of a defunct lodge applying for Grand Lodge demit who was suspended or expelled for unmasonic conduct prior to the demise of his lodge must first be restored as provided in Chapter 101 before such a demit shall be issued.


A lodge heretofore incorporated under the civil law shall not have directors. Its officers shall be the Master as president, the Treasurer and the Secretary in like capacities. Its corporate business shall be conducted at its stated communications or at emergent communications specially called for that purpose. Loss of its Masonic charter by revocation, or loss of its rights thereunder to transact business, shall likewise and at the same time suspend its corporate powers to transact business, and upon revocation of such charter the Grand Master shall proceed at once to wind up its affairs and dissolve the corporation. Any officer or member of the lodge who fails or refuses to observe this regulation or any order issued by the Grand Master hereunder shall be guilty of unmasonic conduct and upon conviction shall be expelled. Loss of its civil charter shall not automatically affect its Masonic charter. [4-6; 43-8.1.D; 43-8.1.E].


A lodge which shall admit to membership a brother who was a member of a defunct lodge and who does not have a demit issued by the Grand Secretary shall thereby be liable to the Grand Lodge for the dues owing by the brother to his lodge at the time of its demise, and to such additional punishment as the Grand Master or the Grand Lodge may impose. [75-6].


Immediately upon the surrender or revocation of the charter of a lodge all moneys, books, records, papers, furniture, jewels, charter, seal, and all other property of every nature and kind, real and personal, belonging to such lodge at the time of its demise, shall become the property of the Grand Lodge to be applied as hereinafter provided.

1. Within thirty days from the date of surrender or revocation of its charter it shall be the duty of the last Master or, in his absence, the Wardens in order of seniority of a defunct lodge to surrender to the Grand Secretary or to a brother authorized by him each and every item of property described in the preceding paragraph, belonging to the lodge.

2. A member of a lodge who shall refuse to make such surrender, or who shall by vote or otherwise make any other disposition of said property and effects other than as herein designated, shall be liable to Masonic discipline for violating the laws and regulations of this Grand Lodge. [56-3].

3. The Grand Master together with the Grand Secretary shall have the power and authority to sell any property of a defunct lodge which shall revert to the Grand Lodge under this Regulation.

4. The Grand Secretary, either in person or through the District Deputy Grand Master or some other brother authorized by him, shall take immediate possession of all property described in Regulation 49-7 including all real estate, furniture, and fixtures and sell the same except the charter seal, and records of the defunct lodge.

5. The Grand Secretary shall report the sale to the Grand Master and upon confirmation of the sale by the Grand Master. [26-3.12; 41-9.9; 41-12;49-7.3; 49-7.7].

6. The Grand Secretary may employ some brother to collect the dues of the defunct lodge and may, with the approval of the Grand Master, employ counsel to assist him to wind up the affairs of the defunct lodge.

7. The Grand Master together with the Grand Secretary shall have the authority to execute and deliver a proper quit-claim deed therefor in the name of the Grand Lodge. No such deed shall contain any warranty whatever. [13-2.11; 49-7.4].

8. The assets of a defunct lodge shall be applied to the payment of its just debts under the direction of the Grand Secretary.

9. If anything remains after the just debts of the defunct lodge are paid, the balance shall be transferred to the North Carolina Masonic Foundation, Inc. (This regulation amended, effective January 1, 2002)

10. The endowed membership of a living Master Mason who becomes an unaffiliated Mason as a result of the surrender or revocation of the charter shall be revived and transferred to any subordinate lodge in this grand jurisdiction with which the brother affiliates.


The Grand Lodge shall in no case and under no circumstances be liable for the indebtedness of a defunct lodge beyond the net amount realized from the sale of the property of such lodge after the necessary expenses have been deducted. [4-8].

REG. 49-9 Obsolete (This regulation amended, effective 1/1/2006)


When a lodge has taken action in any matter and has afterward ceased to exist, any further action required or authorized by law including the completion of unfinished material may be performed by the lodge acquiring jurisdiction over the subject matter.

1. An Entered Apprentice or a Fellow Craft whose lodge is defunct may petition the lodge in whose jurisdiction he resides, either within or without the state, for the remaining degree or degrees, stating in his petition the name, number, and location of the defunct lodge and attaching to his petition the certificate of the Grand Lodge provided for in Regulation 49-4.6.

2. Any such petition shall take the same course as that of a profane for the degrees and a favorable unanimous secret ballot shall entitle him to receive the remaining degree or degrees and to become a member of the lodge so electing him.

3. The status of the brother shall be the same as if he had received all of the degrees in such lodge.

4. If the brother received the first or second degree in a lodge in this state which is defunct, and petitions another lodge in this state for advancement and membership, the fees therefor shall not exceed the amount chargeable as fees in the by-laws of the lodge to which he makes petition, less the initiation fee.

5. If the brother received either the first or second degree in a lodge outside of this state, then he shall pay the entire fee stated in the by-laws of the lodge to which he makes petition, and the lodge shall remit to the Grand Secretary the initiation fee. [39-13; 20-1; 65-1; 73-7; 74-4; 75-18].


A rejected petitioner of a lodge which has ceased to exist may petition any lodge having territorial jurisdiction. The personal jurisdiction which a lodge acquires by rejecting a candidate ceases when such lodge ceases to exist. [42-14].


The organization of a new lodge at the place formerly occupied by a defunct lodge, though of the same name, does not restore the members of the old lodge to membership in the new lodge. They must procure proper demits and apply for membership the same as any other brother. Nothing in THE CODE shall be construed to prohibit the members of a defunct lodge with proper demits, or any of them, by themselves or with other demitted Masons, from organizing a new lodge.