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upon the outer entrance to the principal place of worship of such
L. 1313, ch. 60, $$ 6, 9; R. S., 8th cl., 1886.
L. 1876, ch. 329, § 3; R. S., Sth ed., 1910. The provisions of the present law as to notice of meeting are amplified but not substantially changed. The provision, that trustees shall give notice of approaching expiration of term, is omitted here as unnecessary.
The provision requiring a special corporate meeting of Pres. Ch. to elect pastor, etc., to be called by session only, is new in the statute.
The rector of an incorporated church may be mandamused to give notice of the annual election. McLaurey v. Hartt (Sp. T.), 11 N. Y. Supp.
A presiding officer prevented by violence from discharging his duties at a regular meeting may retire, with those who choose to follow him and conduct the meeting elsewhere. Field v. Field, 9 Wend. 394.]
$ 85. Organization and conduct of corporate meetings; qualifications of voters thereat. - At a corporate meeting of an incorporated church to which this article is applicable the following persons and no others shall be qualified voters, to wit: All persons of full age, who are then members in good and regular standing of such church by admission into full communion or membership therewith, in accordance with the rules and regulations thereof, and of the governing ecclesiastica? body, if any, of the denomination or order to which the church belongs, or who have been stated attendants on divine worship in such church
and have regularly contributed to the financial support thereof during the year next preceding such meeting; except that at a corporate meeting of any Methodist Episcopal church in the city of Brooklyn, only persons who shall have then been members thereof for at least one year prior thereto shall be qualified voters; and any incorporated church in connection with the Congregational denomination may at any annual corporate meeting thereof, if notice of the intention so to do has been given with the notice of such meeting, determine that thereafter only members of such church shall be qualified voters at corporate meetings thereof.
The presence at such meeting of at least six persons qualified to vote thereat shall be necessary to constitute a quorum. The action of the meeting upon any matter or question shall be docided by a majority of the qualified voters voting thereon, a quorum being present.
The first named of the following persons who is present at such meeting, shall preside thereat, to wit: The minister of such church, the officiating minister thereof, the officers thereof in the order of their age beginning with the oldest, any qualified voters elected therefor at the meeting. The presiding officer of the meeting shall receive the votes, be the judge of the qualifications of voters and declare the result of the votes cast on any matter. The polls of an annual corporate meeting shall continue open for one hour, and longer in the discretion of the presiding officer, or if required, by a majority of the qualified voters present.
At each annual corporate meeting, successors to those trustees whose terms of office then expire, shall be elected from the qualified voters by ballot, for a term of three years thereafter.
[L. 1813, ch. 60, $$ 3, 6, 7, 14; R. S., Sth ed., 1884.
L. 1876, ch. 329, § 4; R. S., Sth ed., 1911. The provisions as to certificate and record of meeting are omitted, as any church may be safely trusted to take care of its own records without statutory direction. A single presiding officer is substituted for two as by present law. As to changes in qualifications of voters see note to g 82. The exception as to Methodist Episcopal churches in Brooklyn is in accordance with L. 1813, ch. 60, § 7, as am. by L 1875, ch. 597.]
Voters.-Subject to the exception in this section as to Methodist Episcopal churches in the city of Brooklyn and Congregational churches generally, two classes of qualified voters are recognized by $ 85, viz.: (1) Menbers of the church and (2) persons who have been stated attendants on divine worship and have regularly contributed to the financial support of the church for the preceding year.
A member's right to vote depends upon his connection with the particular society, and not with the denomination at large. Watkins v. Wilcox, 4 Hun, 220.
The members of the church have no greater riguts as corporators than the members of the congregation who sicilily attend divine worship with them and contribute to the suprort of the church. Baptist Church in Hartford y. Witherell, 3 Paige, 295.
Persons otherwise qualified do not lose their right to vote by reason of having renounced the doctrive of the ecclesiastical government of the church. Petty v. Tooker, 21 N. Y. 267.
A religious corporation may, under its rules, exclude a member from spiritual privileges, but can not deprive him of his statutory rights as an incorporator. People v. German Church, 53 N. Y. 103; reversing o Lans. 172; People v. Phillips, 1 Den. 388.
Stated attendance means the personal presence of the voter at the religious meetings of the society. The regular attendance of members of his family is not sufficient. Casual attendance and regular contributions will not constitute a person a voter. People v. Tuthill, 31 N. Y. 550.
Contribution and support must be according to the usages and customs of the church, which implies that contribution must be of a vital and substantial character. Id.
Contributions to the support of a charity connected with the church, or to a mission school, are not sufficient. Id.
A court of equity has no power to require qualifications in electors, other than those prescribed by the statutes. Robertson v. Bullions, 11 N. Y. 243.
A member can not vote by proxy at meetings of a religious corporation. Gen. Corp. L., 21.
The presiding officer may exact an oath of every person offering to vote. Gen. Corp. L., $ 22.
Legality of election.— The question of the legality of votes cast at a corporate election can not be determined by the inspectors (or presiding officer acting as such), after they have already made a certificate declaring certain persons elected. Hart v. Harvey, 32 Barb. 55.
After the ballots are received, the right of the inspectors (or presiding officer acting as such) to inquire into their legality ceases. They must return the vote as cast. People v. White, 11 Abb. Pr. 168; Hart v. Harrey, 32 Barb. 55.
An election of the trustees is valid, although the notice required by the statute was not given, if the election was fairly conducted and there is no complaint of want of notice. L'eople v. Peck, 11 Wend. 604.
A certificate of election is presumptive evidence of election and can only be overcome by proof that the person holding it received less than a majority of the votes cast, unless the certificate shows upon its face that the person holding it was not legally elected. People v. Lacoste, 37 N. Y. 192. Hart v. Harvey, 32 Barb. (Sp. T.) 55.
$ 86. Changing date of annual corporate meetings.-An annual corporate meeting of an incorporated church to which this article is applicable, may change the date of its annual meeting thereafter. If such date shall next thereafter occur less than six months after the annual meeting at which such change is made, the next annual meeting shall be held one year from such next recurring date. For the purpose of determining the terms of office of trustees, the time between the annual meeting at which such change is made and the next annual meeting there after shall be reckoned as one year.
[L. 1826, ch. 47, § 3; R. S., Sth cd., 1893.
$ 87. Changing number of trustees.-An incorporated church to which this article is applicable, may, at an annual corporate meeting, change the number of its trustees to three, six or nine, or classify them so that the terms of one-third expire each year. No such change shall affect the terms of the trustees then in office, and if the change reduces the number of trustees, it shall not take effect until the number of trustees whose terms of office continue for one or more years after an annual election, is less than the number determined upon. Whenever the number of trustees so holding over is less than the number so determined on, trustees shall be elected in addition to those so holding over, sufficient to make the number of trustees for the ensuing year equal to the number so determined on. The trustees so elected up to and including one-third of the number so determined on, shall be elected for three years, the remainder up to and includ.
ing one-third of the number so determined on for two years and the remainder for one year.
[L. 1813, ch. 60, § 9; R. S., 8th ed., 1887.
$ 88. Meetings of trustees.-Two of the trustees of an incorporated church, to which this article is applicable, may call a meeting of such trustees, by giving at least twenty-four hours' notice thereof personally or by mail to the other trustees. A majority of the trustees lawfully convened shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. In case of a tie vote at a meeting of the trustees, the presiding officer of such meeting shall, notwithstanding he has voted once, have an additional casting vote.
[L. 1813, ch. 60, $ 5; R. S., 8th ed., 1886.
Without change of substance. See Gen. Corp. L., & 29, for quorum provisioa, etc.)
$ 89. The creation and filling of vacancies among trustees of Such churches.- If any trustee of an incorporated church to which this article is applicable, declines to act, resigns or dies, or having been a member of such church, ceases to be such member, or not having been a member of such church, ceases to be a qualified roter at a corporate meeting thereof, his office shall be vacant, and such vacancy may be filled by the remaining trustees until the next annual corporate meeting of such church, at which meeting the vacancy shall be filled for the unexpired term.
[L. 1813, ch. CO, & 6; R. S., 8th ed., 1886.
$ 90. Control of trustees by corporate meetings of such churches; salaries of ministers.- A corporate meeting of an incorporated church, whose trustees are clective as such, may give directions, not inconsistent with law, as to the manner in which any of the temporal affairs of the church shall be admin