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  • PART I ADMINISTRATION OF THE GOVERNMENT
  • TITLE XXII CORPORATIONS
  • CHAPTER 176P LIMITED SOCIETIES
  • Section 46 Domestic societies; limited membership; members and ex-members of any social organization; governing provisions

Section 46. (a) A domestic society which limits its membership as provided in section 4, or which limits its membership to the members and ex-members of any social organization having a lodge system and secret form of work; or a secret order or fraternity which operates on the lodge system with a representative form of government and grants insurance benefits as incidental only to the work of the order or fraternity; or a purely charitable association or corporation existing on May 23, 1901, any one of which pays a death or funeral benefit limited to not more than $200 disability benefits not exceeding $10 a week, or any or all of such benefits, or a domestic society which limits its membership as provided in said section 4 to the employees of a designated firm, business house or corporation, or any department thereof, and pays disability benefits not exceeding $15 a week, and which is not conducted as a business enterprise or for profit, and a subordinate lodge of a secret fraternity or order as defined in this section which is not conducted as a business enterprise or for profit, which pays death benefits to families or dependents of deceased members as fixed by its by-laws, but not more than $200 if the lodge membership is 200 or less, and if over 200 not in excess of the amount of an assessment of $1 upon each member thereof in good standing at the time of the death of the member, and a society, either domestic or foreign, which confines its membership to members of organizations defined in the second sentence of section 29 of chapter 175, and which embraces therein only persons of the same occupation, may transact business in the commonwealth without conforming to the provisions of this chapter except this section and sections 29, 30, 36, 47, 47A and 49, or to said chapter 175. No proceeding shall be instituted under section 36 because such society has a membership of less than 400. Clause Seventh of section 5 of chapter 59 shall apply to such a society.

(b) A society transacting business under this section may, in the event of the death of the wife of a member, pay to the member a part of the amount payable at the member’s death. The amount so paid shall be deducted from the amount payable at the member’s death, and the total amount so paid, both at the death of the member and of the member’s wife, shall not exceed the amount allowed by this section to be paid at the death of a member. Such society may also furnish physicians and nurses for its members and their families.

(c) Such limited society may be incorporated, and limited societies may be formed, in the manner prescribed in and subject to this section and to sections 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 29, 30, 32, 36, 47A and 49 and clause Seventh of section 5 of chapter 59, but no proceeding shall be instituted under section 36 because such society has a membership of less than 400.

(d) With the written approval of the commissioner and the consent of each society expressed by a vote at a duly called meeting, any society subject to this section may transfer its membership and funds to any other domestic society organized under this chapter. A society to which the membership and funds of another society have been transferred as aforesaid may continue to transact business subject to this section, but may have a special class of members consisting of those persons who held membership in each of such societies immediately prior to the transfer, which members shall be entitled to dual benefits and shall pay dual membership dues and assessments. The class of membership shall not be expanded or replaced and shall not in any event receive disability benefits of more than $20 per week and death benefits of more than $400. Benefits not exceeding such amounts may be paid notwithstanding any other provisions of law to the contrary.

(e) The recording officer of any society subject to this section shall forthwith file with the commissioner, whenever he requires in writing, a duly certified copy of its by-laws.

(f) A society subject to this section shall within 30 days after a written request therefore by the commissioner file with him a financial statement, in such form and detail and of such date as he may prescribe, signed and sworn to by its president and secretary and treasurer. A society shall also annually on or before March 1 file with the commissioner a financial statement, in such form and detail as he shall prescribe, and as of December 31 of the preceding calendar year, certified to by its president and secretary and treasurer, showing its assets and liabilities, the names of banks used as depositories, and its total membership.

(g) A person violating any provision of this section, and any such society, or any officer or agent thereof, paying or agreeing to pay death or disability benefits in excess of the amounts prescribed in this section or collecting dues or assessments therefore, shall be punished as provided in section 50.