Commissions to Take Testimony
If either party desires the testimony of a witness who resides at a distance from the place of trial, the Judge Advocate and the accused, either in person or by his attorney, may stipulate that such testimony be taken by commission.
1. If either party refuses to stipulate, the party desiring such commission, upon at least five days notice to the adverse party of his intention so to do, may apply to the Chairman of the Trial Commission for a commission to take the testimony of such witness. [Trial Forms 10, 11, 12].
2. If on application the Chairman of the Trial Commission shall determine that the application is made in good faith and that the testimony sought to be taken is material to the applicant, he shall issue a commission.
The Chairman of the Trial Commission shall issue a commission to the Master, or to a Master Mason who is a member in good standing of a lodge convenient to the residence of the witness, directing and empowering him to serve as examiner.
1. If the testimony is to be taken in another grand jurisdiction, the said commission shall be forwarded through the office of the Grand Secretary of such grand jurisdiction with a request that, if consistent with the law of such grand jurisdiction, the commission be forwarded to the brother named therein, and that he be authorized to act under said commission to take the testimony of such witness. [Trial Form 12].
At the time of applying for a commission or at such other time as shall be agreed upon or appointed by the Chairman of the Trial Commission or by the Judge Advocate as the case may be, the parties shall submit to him for settlement their respective interrogatories and cross-interrogatories, and he shall note his settlement thereof in writing upon both. [Trial Forms 13,14].
1. Interrogatories and cross-interrogatories shall each conclude with the question: "Do you know of anything concerning the matters at issue in this proceeding that may tend to the advantage of the complainant (or the accused as the case may be)?" "If your answer is Yes, state the same as fully and at the same length as if you had been particularly interrogated concerning the same." [Trial Forms 13, 14].
2. When the interrogatories and cross-interrogatories have been settled they, with the commission, shall be delivered to the Chairman of the Trial Commission or to the Judge Advocate, as the case may be, who shall transmit them to the examiner named in the commission, together with a copy of the complaint and answer.
Upon receipt of the commission the examiner shall fix the time and place for taking the testimony of the witnesses named therein.
1. The attendance of a Mason who is a witness at the time and place fixed by the examiner for taking his testimony shall be compelled, if necessary, by a summons issued and served as prescribed in Regulation 94-10 except that such summons may be signed by either the Chairman of the Trial Commission, the Judge Advocate, or the examiner. [83-1;83-1.2; 87-13.2; 86-2.8; 94-21; Trial Forms 8, 9].
2. The examiner shall read to the witness the several interrogatories and cross-interrogatories addressed to him and shall take down or cause to be taken down, the answers thereto in the language of the witness and shall cause him to sign his name at the end of his deposition. [Trial Form 15].
A deposition taken as provided in this chapter may in the absence of the witness be read in evidence by either party and shall have the same effect, and no other, as the oral testimony of the witness would have. Any objection to the competency of the witness, or to a question and answer, may be made as if the witness were being then personally examined, but an objection as to the form of a question only shall be waived unless noted upon the deposition.