Chapter 41

Loss of Charter

REG. 41-1 POWERS LOST OR SUSPENDED. The powers granted in a charter can be lost or suspended as follows.

1. The charter may be voluntary surrendered as provided by law. (41-91).

2. The arrest of a charter is a suspension of the functions of a lodge. The Grand Master may arrest the charter which suspends the powers therein until final action of the Grand Lodge unless the charter is restored by the Grand Master prior thereto. (46-151).

3. The Grand Lodge may revoke the charter which act completely annuls and makes it void. Revocation renders the lodge defunct, and the charter shall not subsequently be restored or issued again. (41-9.7; 49-11).

4. The lodge may become defunct or dormant as provided by law. (49-1: 49-2; 49-91).

5. By consolidation of the lodge with another as provided in Chapter 48.

REG. 41-2 LOSS OF DOCUMENT. The document called a charter can be lost or destroyed without impairing the powers granted by the Grand Lodge in that instrument. Whenever a charter is lost or damaged by fire or other cause the Grand Master may issue his dispensation giving the lodge authority to continue its work in all respects as if its charter had not been lost or damaged imtil the next annual communication of the Grand Lodge when the lodge shall apply for a duplicate charter. (13-3.1; 39-3.1; 38-3,4; 41-2: Official Form 42).

REG. 41-3 LODGE NUMBER NOT REASSIGNED. A lodge number rendered blank or unassigned by loss of charter shall remain blank and unassigned and shall not be assigned to any other lodge at any time. (34-9.1; 39-7.2; 40-2; 40-3).

REG. 41-4 DUPLICATE CHARTER. The issuance of a duplicate charter to a lodge to replace one that has been lost, destroyed, or stolen, or one that has become so mutilated, defaced, or illegible as to render it unfit for use may be authorized by the Grand Lodge upon written application of the lodge setting forth the facts and circumstances in full and satisfactory proof thereof. (34-9.2).

1. The issuing of a duplicate charter to replace one reported lost, stolen, or destroyed shall automatically cancel the replaced charter and render it null and void.

2. Should the old charter subsequently be recovered, the Master of the lodge shall forward it to the Grand Secretary immediately.

3. Should conditions warrant, the Grand Lodge at its next annual communication may restore the old charter and take up the new one.

4. Should a Master fail or refuse to surrender the recovered old charter, the Grand Master shall arrest the charter of the lodge and cite the lodge to appear before the next annual communication of the Grand Lodge to show cause why its charters should not be revoked.

REG. 41-5 CHANGE THE NAME OR LOCATION. Subject to Regulations 40-2., 40-3, and 42-1.5 the Grand Lodge, is empowered to change the name or location of a subordinate lodge as designated in its charter. Where a new name or new location of a lodge has been ordered by the Grand Lodge, the charter of the lodge shall be surrendered to the Grand Secretary and canceled by him, and a duplicate charter showing the new name or new location and the old number of the lodge shall be issued. (38-4.1; 40-2; 40-3; 42-1.5; 42-1.6.H; Chapter 46). To change its name as designated in its charter, a lodge shall proceed as follows.

1. A written resolution proposing a change in name shall be presented and read at a stated communication and shall lie over not less than twenty-eight days to a subsequent stated communication.

2. If it is adopted by a majority vote, a copy of the resolution certified by the Secretary under the seal of the lodge with a petition from the lodge to change its name shall be presented to the Grand Lodge at its next annual communication and referred to the Committee on Charters and Dispensations.

3. If the Grand Lodge approves the petition, the name will be changed. (34-9.1: 40-2: 40-3: Chapter 46).

REG. 41-6 CONTENTS OF DUPLICATE CHARTER. A duplicate charter issued as provided in this chapter shall bear thereon the following:

1. The words Duplicate Charter,

2. A brief notation showing the cause of its issuance and giving the date the original charter was issued, if known,

3. The names of the original grand officers together with the names of the officers of the lodge named in the original charter, if known, and if those names are not available, the appropriate names of the current grand officers and officers of the lodge,

4. The signatures of the Grand Master and the Grand Secretary,

5. The seal of the Grand Lodge, and

6. The date the Grand Lodge ordered that the duplicate charter be issued.

REG. 41-7 FEE FOR DUPLICATE CHARTER. A fee of one hundred fifty dollars plus the cost of preparation shall accompany an application for a duplicate charter or a petition to change the name or the location of a lodge. [5-1.3; 42-1.6.H]. (This regulation amended, effective January 1, 2006).

REG. 41-8 PHOTOGRAPHIC COPY. When the charter of a lodge has reached the age of fifty years, a photographic copy may be made under the direction of the Grand Secretary at the request and the expense of the lodge holding such charter. The Grand Secretary shall attach thereto a certificate with the seal of the Grand Lodge affirming that the photograph is a true copy of the original charter. Such certified copy may be used by the lodge instead of the original charter in order that the original charter may better be preserved by the lodge as an ancient Masonic document or relic. (23-1.9: 38-3.1: 84-4.1).

REG. 41-9 VOLUNTARY SURRENDER. The charter of a lodge may voluntarily be surrendered as follows. (41-1.1: 59-2.361.

1. A resolution proposing the surrender of the charter shall be presented and read at a stated communication of the lodge, it shall lie over not less than twenty-seven days, to a subsequent stated communication, the date of which shall be set by the Master of the lodge.

2. Not less than fifteen days prior to the date set for action on the resolution the Secretary of the lodge shall send by first-class United States mail to each member of the lodge, at his last known address, a written notice of the proposed action.

3. The Secretary of the lodge shall make the following proof of service which shall be conclusive of the fact and which shall be entered in the minutes of the lodge for the stated communication set to act on the resolution: "I hereby certify that on____________ 20___ , I notified each member of ____________ Lodge, No._____ A.F. & A.M., to attend the stated communication of said lodge to be held on the _____ day of 20___ , at __.M. at ____________, North Carolina, by forwarding such notice, together with a copy of a resolution proposing the surrender of the charter of said lodge, by fully prepaid first-class mail addressed to him at his last known address.

____________, Secretary"

4. At the stated communication designated to consider and act upon the resolution if a legal quorum is present and if proof of service is filed and made of record, the lodge may act on the proposal. (41-9.7: 45-8).

5. The Master shall submit the question: "Shall the charter of ____________ Lodge, No. _____ A.F. & A.M., be surrendered?"

6. The vote shall be by ballot, with the word Yes or No, as each member determines his vote.

7. If the majority of the ballots are affirmative and if there are less than twenty negative votes, the charter shall be surrendered, provided that the Grand Master approves the surrender. Otherwise the charter shall not be surrendered. If it is surrendered the Grand Lodge shall revoke the same at the next annual communication. (41-1.3).

8. A charter shall not be surrendered so long as twenty Master Masons, members in good standing in the lodge, desire to continue work under it, nor shall it be surrendered unless action is taken at a stated communication and the Grand Master approves the surrender as hereinbefore provided.

9. Upon revocation of the charter of a lodge all moneys, books, papers, and property of every nature and kind, belonging to it shall become the property of the Grand Lodge; and the same shall be forthwith delivered over to the Grand Secretary or to a Master Mason designated by him, and the effects and assets shall be managed and disposed of as provided in Chanter 49. (41-12: 49-7.4).

REG. 41-10 GROUNDS FOR ARREST. The charter of a subordinate lodge may be arrested or revoked for any of the following reasons: (2-6.1: 71-2: The Trial Code. Regulation 95-4.5).

1. Disobedience of any provision of The Code, Regulations, laws, orders, or edicts, of the Grand Lodge,

2. Failure to recognize the lawful authority of the Grand Master, or of his authorized deputy, or of any other authorized officer or agent of the Grand Lodge, or failure to obey the lawful orders of either of them,

3. Violation or neglect of the generally recognized usages of the Craft,

4. Receiving petitioners for the degrees in Masonry known to be unworthy or for refusing or neglecting to discipline unworthy members,

5. Any departure from the original plan of Masonry,

6. Failure without sufficient excuse to meet during a period of six consecutive months, (45-14: 49-2).

7. Failure to be represented at the annual communications of the Grand Lodge for two consecutive years, (43-2.12).

8. Failure to make annual returns or to pay in full its dues to the Grand Lodge within six months after the date required by law, (47-7: 47-7.6; 47-7.7).

9. A condition of the lodge as to discipline or otherwise of such gravity that its further existence would be deleterious to the honor or usefulness of the Craft, or

10. A depreciated condition of the lodge as to members, finances, or interest in the work. f41-15>.

REG. 41-11 ARREST. The Grand Master may during the recess of the Grand Lodge arrest the charter of a lodge for any of the reasons stated, which action he shall report, with the causes leading to it and his recommendations in the case, to the Grand Lodge, for its action at its next annual communication.

1. The Grand Master shall give the lodge a statement of his charges and recommendations at least ten days before his report is made to the Grand Lodge so that the lodge may be heard in its own behalf.

2. Hearings on such arrests ofcharter shall be before the Committee on Appeals which shall report its findings and recommendations to the Grand Lodge.

3. When circumstances do not require immediate arrest of charter, the lodge shall be given at least ten days notice of the charges to be brought against it, so that it may have opportunity to show cause against the contemplated arrest. a3-3.4: 34-7.4: 41-1.2: 59-2.36: The Trial Code. Regulation 98-1: Official Form 481.

4. A charter that has been arrested by the Grand Master may be restored by him before the next annual communication of the Grand Lodge upon compliance by the lodge with the conditions he may prescribe, a report of this shall be made by the Grand Master to the Grand Lodge.

5. If the Grand Master determines that any one or more of the officers or members of the lodge are responsible for the conditions in the lodge that would justify the arrest of its charter, then the penalty, if any, should be applied to the individuals at fault. The Grand Master may arrest the charter, or he may proceed under The Trial Code. Regulation 91-13. or he may refer the case to the Judge Advocate under The Trial Code. Regulation 91-3. (13- M; 41-1.2: 41-16: 71-2: 74-1.3: The Trial Code. Regulations 95-4.5: 98-1).

REG. 41-12 RECORDS AND PROPERTY. The Grand Master shall direct the Grand Secretary to take possession in the name of the Grand Lodge of the records and property of a lodge whose charter has been arrested, pending final action of the Grand Lodge. If the charter is restored, the books, records and property of the lodge, less Grand Lodge dues and the expenses incurred by the Grand Lodge, shall be returned to it. If the arrest is adjudged by the Grand Lodge to be wrongful, the said records and property shall be restored, without deductions for expense, to the subordinate lodge. If the arrest is upheld and the charter is revoked, the records and property shall be subject to the provisions of Chapter 49. (34-7.4: 41-9.9).

REG. 41-13 GRAND LODGE ACTION ON ARREST. The Grand Lodge on final hearing shall approve or disapprove the action of the Grand Master.

1. If it disapproves the action of the Grand Master the charter shall be thereby restored.

2. Although it may approve the arrest, it may restore the charter if satisfied that the discipline of the action of arrest, itself, is sufficient and that the good of the Craft will be served thereby. (34-9.2: The Trial Code, Regulation 94-4.5).

3. It may arrest the charter for a definite time.

4. It may revoke the charter.

5. If it fails to expressly restore the charter or arrest it for a definite time at its next annual communication the charter shall be automatically revoked as of the close of that annual communication and it shall not be reissued thereafter.

REG. 41-14 NOTICE. An arrested charter shall not be revoked by the Grand Lodge unless the lodge has had at least ten days notice from the Grand Master or the Grand Lodge for an opportunity to be heard in its own behalf. (41-11: Official Form 48).

REG. 41-15 MISCONDUCT OF A MEMBER. If a charge is filed with the Grand Secretary that the arrest or the revocation of a charter was brought about by the misconduct of a member or the misfeasance or malfeasance of any officer, the demit provided for in Regulation 49-4.1 shall not be issued to any such brother until the Grand Lodge directs that it he issued.

1. In case such charge is filed, the action of the Grand Lodge may be invoked by a petition of a member against whom the charge was filed seeking a demit.

2. The Grand Lodge shall assume complete jurisdiction and may investigate the matter summarily, or through the Judge Advocate, or otherwise, after which it may issue such orders as it deems proper and just to the rights of all concerned.

REG. 41-16 RESTORATION OF CHARTER. When a charter has been restored, the Masons then living who were members of the lodge at the date of the arrest of its charter shall again be members thereof, and together with any unfinished material, they shall resume their status in said lodge as of the date of such arrest.