Surrender of church records; jurisdiction of superior court
Section 16. If a church, parish, religious society, monthly meeting of the people called Friends or Quakers, or any similar body of persons who have associated themselves together for holding religious meetings, shall cease for the term of two years to hold such meetings, the persons having the care of any records or registries of such body, or of any officers thereof, shall deliver all such records, except records essential to the control of any property or trust funds belonging to such body, to the custodian of a depository provided by the state organization of the particular denomination or to the clerk of the city or town where such body is situated and such clerk may certify copies thereof upon the payment of the fee as provided by clause (25) of section thirty-four of chapter two hundred and sixty-two. If any such body, the records or registries of which, or of any officers of which, have been so delivered, shall resume meetings under its former name or shall be legally incorporated, either alone or with a similar body, the clerk of such city or town or the custodian of said depository shall, upon written demand by a person duly authorized, deliver such records or registries to him if he shall in writing certify that to the best of his knowledge and belief said meetings are to be continued or such incorporation has been legally completed. The superior court shall have jurisdiction in equity to enforce this section.