Chapter 98



A Masonic appeal is a proceeding to review a decision or act of the Grand Master, or the Judge Advocate, or the Chairman of a Trial Commission, or a Trial Commission, or a Master of a lodge, or a lodge, in order to review errors of law or fact alleged to have been made by either. The Grand Lodge has exclusive jurisdiction over all appeals arising out of Masonic trials, and it has final jurisdiction over all other appeals. [36-10.23.C; 41-11; 8-3; 101-7].

1. Where an appeal to both the Grand Master and the Grand Lodge is authorized by law, unless otherwise provided, it may be taken directly to the Grand Lodge.

2. For the procedure in appeals that do not arise out of Masonic trials, see Regulation 8-3. [34-1].

3. This Chapter applies only to appeals arising out of Masonic trials.


The primary appellate authority of the Grand Lodge in all matters arising out of Masonic trials shall be exercised by the Committee on Appeals chosen in a manner provided by law of the Grand Lodge, which shall report to each annual communication of the Grand Lodge for its approval, modification, or disapproval in respect to all appeals determined by it during the preceding Masonic year and the decision of the Grand Lodge upon such report shall be conclusive upon all parties. [23-2; 34-7].

1. On review or appeal the Grand Lodge may reverse or affirm the judgment or order or modify the same in any way including the decreasing or increasing of the penalty.

2. It may, if necessary and proper, order a new trial. [98-10.5].

3. The Committee on Appeals may appoint at least two meetings during each Masonic year when it will sit to hear appeals.

4. Notice of meetings shall be filed with the Grand Secretary and by him promptly forwarded to the Judge Advocate and to all parties concerned in any appeals pending that could be heard and considered by the committee on the dates of its meetings.


An appeal may be taken from any decision of a Trial Commission as a whole or from any part thereof, except in a case in which it has recommended the arrest of the charter of a lodge. An appeal may be taken from any decision denying a petition to open a default or from a decision of the Grand Master, or the Judge Advocate, or any lodge or Master of a lodge unless such appeal is expressly denied by any law of the Grand Lodge. An appeal may be taken from a decision of not guilty.


An appeal may be taken by the Judge Advocate, or by the accused lodge or individual brother, or by the complainant, or by any Master Mason in good standing who declares himself aggrieved by the decision, or by an intervener in the cause. An appeal from the decision rendered in any Masonic trial may be taken by the Judge Advocate by serving upon the accused lodge or brother a written notice containing a detailed statement of the grounds of appeal, or by the accused, or the complainant by serving a like notice on the Judge Advocate, or by any Master Mason in good standing who declares himself aggrieved by the decision, or by any intervener who qualifies as provided in Regulation 90-19. [98-7].


The parties to a Masonic appeal are respectively the appellant, who seeks the review, and the respondent, against whom the review is sought.


The notice of appeal must be served on the opposite party and at the same time on the Judge Advocate, if he is not the appellant, within forty-five days of the date of service of notice of the decision of the Trial Commission upon the accused and the complainant. Notice of an appeal from any other order or action must be served within thirty days after the date of such order or action unless otherwise specified in the law. [90-17].


The original and six certified copies of the notice of appeal shall be filed with the Grand Secretary within five days after the service thereof as provided in Regulation 98-6. The filing shall be deemed a jurisdictional requirement, failure to comply with which shall result in a dismissal of the appeal. [Trial Form 20].


There shall be no authority for any extension or variation of the time fixed in Regulations 98-6 and 98-7.


On application of the appellant after service of the notice of appeal, the Grand Master in his sole discretion may stay the execution of the sentence pending the final disposition of the appeal, otherwise an appeal shall not suspend the findings and judgment which shall remain in force until reversed or otherwise ordered by the Grand Lodge.


On the filing of a copy of the notice of appeal as provided for in Regulation 98-7, the Grand Secretary with all convenient speed shall transmit all papers pertaining to the case to the Chairman of the Committee on Appeals.

1. Notice of the submission or argument of an appeal must be served upon the opposing parties and upon the Judge Advocate in all cases at least ten days before the day in which it is to be brought on and may be given by either appellant or respondent. [Trial Form 21].

2. At least ten days before the date for the submission or argument of an appeal, the appellant shall serve his printed or typewritten brief or written argument upon the respondent, and at the same time file seven copies thereof with the Grand Secretary; and within five days thereafter the respondent shall serve his brief or written argument, similarly prepared, upon the appellant and file seven copies thereof with the Grand Secretary, but failure of either party to do so shall not prevent the Committee on Appeals from disposing of the appeal. [90-15; 90-17].

3. The Grand Secretary shall deliver five copies of the said briefs to the Chairman of the Committee on Appeals and one copy of said briefs to the Judge Advocate.

4. An appeal shall be determined on the record of the case as filed in the office of the Grand Secretary, the briefs and written arguments of the parties, if any shall have been filed, and on the oral argument of either party, if desired by him, who has filed a brief or written argument as provided in Regulation 98-10.2. New testimony will not be considered on appeal.

5. The decision on an appeal shall be affirmance modification of sentence, new trial, or reversal, as provided in Regulation 98-2.1, but no decision shall be reversed for technical irregularity or technical violation of the rules of evidence, unless injustice has been done by such violation. In case of reversal a new trial may be ordered in a proper case, or the Committee on Appeals may recommend such judgment as may seem just and proper to the end that complete justice may be done without requiring a new trial. [2-6.6; 98-2.1].


Reversal of a decision suspending or expelling the accused, when approved by the Grand Lodge as provided in Regulations98-2.1 and 98-10.5, shall have the effect of restoring him to all rights and privileges of Masonry including membership in the lodge of which he was a member at the time the decision of the Trial Commission was rendered.

1. If he was not a member of a lodge at that time, he would be restored to the status he then had and to no other. [74-5.5;100-5].

2. In a case where the accused is a member of a lodge located in another grand jurisdiction but is subject to trial under Regulation 90-5, notices to and correspondence with such lodge shall be sent through the office of our Grand Secretary.

3. The provisions of Regulation 43-11, shall be complied with. [93-2].


If on appeal any former decision in the case is changed in any manner, a certified copy of the final decision shall be filed by the Grand Secretary with the lodge of which the accused is, or last was, a member, and the Secretary thereof shall make only the following record in the minutes of the first stated communication after he receives the amended decision: "Notice is received at this stated communication that the decision in the case against Brother _______________, charged with unmasonic conduct, was reviewed on appeal and he was (show here the decision as changed on appeal)." [91-13.10; 91-9.1; 95-5.11].


In any case where the punishment imposed after a trial is expulsion, or arrest of charter, or in the case where the complaint has been dismissed, all papers in the case shall be laid before the Committee on Appeals by the Judge Advocate, whether or not a formal appeal has been taken as provided in this chapter, and the said committee shall proceed as if an appeal had been perfected hereunder. [16-1.13; 91-7.2].


An appellant may abandon his appeal by written notice to that effect filed with the Judge Advocate, who will give due notice thereof to all interested parties.