Suspension for NPD in Virginia

Discussion in 'Masonic Jurisprudence' started by Number4, Sep 12, 2020.

  1. Number4

    Number4 Registered User

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    I have been studying the VA Methodical Digest as part of my preparation to step up to Junior Warden for the forthcoming year. In the section on Dues and the non payment thereof, it states that a member who is NPD for one year should be cited for suspension at the next stated (i.e February, as the citation goes out in January) communication to show cause as to why he should not be suspended. Therefore, a member should never be allowed to accumulate arrears of more than one year's dues, plus the current year, if I interpret that correctly.

    On going through some old records as part of archival work, I found citations for NPD were the Brothers concerned were said to owe as much as $500 in back dues, which cannot be right, as suspension should have occurred in the year immediately following the first non payment. It seems that the Secretary and WM in those particular years did not follow correct Masonic procedure, in which case according to a 1997 decision by the GL, those suspensions should be set aside as being irregular.

    Now all these were before my time, and I am not a fan of feckless people who fail to pay their dues without reason and have voted to suspend; I have also voted to waive the dues of members who do bother to contact the Lodge and explain their situation, but these cases are different. Yes the Brothers who did not pay were at fault initially, but allowing several years of debt to accumulate before citation is in my view unjust and highly irregular.

    The question is, have I interpreted the law correctly, or am I opening a can of worms here?
     
  2. jermy Bell

    jermy Bell Registered User

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    No, I'm pretty sure you got it right. At my lodge we try to figure out what the problem is with a brother and why they hadn't paid the new dues. If you haven't paid the new year dues,plus the following without any communications. We will suspend until a payment is made.
     
    Bill Lins and Number4 like this.
  3. Keith C

    Keith C Registered User

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    I will say that while the rules may be cut and dry, in practice "it's complicated."

    Our dues are due by December 31st. We have it our rules tht NPD suspensions are to be voted on at the March stated meeting. We mail, email, and call on the phone Brothers who's dues have not been paid several times between January 1st and the March meeting. We are very gererous in the remission of dues for just cause, when Brothers are deployed, face difficult financial issues or time constraints / personal issues. All our suspensions must be approved by the DDGM. Sometimes he is OK with our list and sometimes we have to take the list down to a lower number of suspensions. There is no mention of this in the minutes, but the Secretary keeps track and any who got a pass one year are at the top of the list the next if they have not come up to date. This year due to COVID we did not do any suspensions for NPD, so there are a few Members who are now 2 years in arrears for dues.
     

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