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The 190th General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 45: Domestic societies governed by direct vote of members; membership limited to permanent employees of cities or towns, commonwealth or federal government; no death benefits; annuities or gratuities contingent on disabilities or long service; governing provisions

Section 45. (a) Domestic societies governed by direct vote of their members and limiting their membership as provided in section 4 and domestic fraternal benefit corporations limiting their membership to the permanent employees of cities or towns, the commonwealth or the federal government, and not paying death benefits, but paying annuities or gratuities contingent upon disability or long service, may continue to transact business in the commonwealth. Such corporations and like societies incorporated under this chapter shall be governed by sections 4 to 11, inclusive, sections 14, 18 and 21, so far as the same are applicable, sections 22, 29, 30, 32, 36 to 38, inclusive, sections 47, 47A, 48 and 49 of this chapter and section 5 of chapter 59, and in addition by the following provisions:

(1) the officers of such limited corporations shall be elected by ballot by the members as often as once in two years;

(2) proxies shall not be used in voting;

(3) no person under 16 years of age shall be admitted to membership;

(4) the recording officer of such a corporation shall file with the commissioner amendments to its by-laws, in English, within 30 days after their adoption and shall likewise file forthwith a duly certified copy of its by-laws whenever the commissioner requires in writing;

(5) such equitable assessments, either periodical or otherwise, shall be made upon the members as shall be necessary to carry out the purposes of the organization;

(6) paid agents shall not be employed in soliciting or procuring members, except that corporations which limit their certificate holders to a particular fraternity or which provide for stated periodical contributions sufficient to meet the mortuary obligations contracted, when valued upon the basis of the National Fraternal Congress Table of Mortality as adopted by the National Fraternal Congress on August 23, 1899, or any higher standard, with interest assumption not more than 4 per cent per annum, may pay members for securing new members, and any corporation may pay local collectors.

(b) A corporation subject to this section may furnish physicians and nurses for its members and their families or pay for the services of physicians or nurses engaged by its members for the care of themselves or their families. The expense incurred under this section by any such corporation in any year shall not exceed $5,000 in the aggregate, and shall not exceed $100 in the case of any member thereof and his family.

(c) No corporation formed after January 1, 1912, unless it confines its membership to that of a particular fraternity in any one country, or to a lodge of some fraternity, or to the employees or ex-employees of cities or towns or of the commonwealth or of the federal government, shall contract to pay benefits to its members until it shall satisfy the commissioner that it has received at least 500 bona fide applications for membership. With the written approval of the commissioner and the consent of each corporation expressed by vote at a duly-called meeting, any corporation governed by this section may transfer its membership and funds to any other domestic society organized under this chapter.

(d) Whoever violates any provision of this section shall be punished as provided in section 50.