Committee of Investigation and Its Report
This chapter shall govern all Committees of Investigation on all applications or petitions which are required by law to be referred to and considered by a Committee of Investigation, so far as it can be made to apply to each case and subject to any special law pertaining to the case. [67-2; 75-8].
Every petition for the degrees and every application for membership or for restoration which is received by a lodge shall be referred by the Master to a special Committee of Investigation to consist of three members of the lodge appointed by him, none of whom shall be a recommender of the petitioner or the applicant. [62-2.4; 75-8; 78-2.2.A; 101-6; Official Form 19].
Each member of the Committee of Investigation shall: [Official Form 19].
1. See the petitioner for the degrees personally, unless he has personal knowledge of all of the petitioner's qualifications as set forth in Regulation 66-1,
3. Diligently inquire into his age, character, and habits; his moral, mental, physical, and other qualifications, [66-1]
4. Ascertain whether he has resided within the state and within the jurisdiction of the lodge the prescribed time, [65-7]
5. Confer with his associate members, formulate and file his report to the lodge within twenty-seven days from the date the petition is received by the lodge, and [67-3.7;Official Form 19]
The Committee of Investigation shall make its report in writing as favorable or unfavorable unless they should find that the petitioner or applicant is not eligible or qualified as to territorial or personal jurisdiction or as to his physical condition, or other cause, except as to his moral qualifications, in which case they may make such further report as will enable the Master to decide upon the proper action to take on the petition or application under Regulation 67-6. [59-2.48; 62-2.3; 62-2.4; 66-2; Official Form 19].
4. The Committee of Investigation shall not be permitted to incorporate into its report letters and other documentary evidence giving information upon which report is based. [68-6].
7. When a petitioner for the degrees dies, or becomes mentally imcompetent or otherwise disqualified before the ballot is taken, the fact shall be noted on the minutes of the lodge, and no further action shall be taken except to return the fee paid. [68-9; 71-5]. (This subsection amended, effective 1/ 1/ 2009)
When the committee makes its report, it shall be filed with the Secretary and by him placed before the Master of the lodge. Immediately after the ballot has been taken and declared, or the petition or application is otherwise disposed of as provided by law, the report shall be destroyed if the petitioner or applicant has been rejected. [59-12.23].
The report of the Committee of Investigation upon a petition or upon an application shall be recorded on the minutes in this manner only; The Committee of Investigation on the petition of Mr._________________ (or upon the application of Brother _______________), reported; the ballot was spread and he was duly elected (or rejected as the case may be).
The character of the report shall not appear or be recorded anywhere in the records of the lodge. If the Committee of Investigation finds the petitioner or applicant is disqualified under the law, except as to his moral qualification, it shall make a special written report thereon, in which case the Master shall order the petition or application withdrawn and the fee returned, and the following entry or its substance shall be made on the minutes of the lodge:
The Committee of Investigation on the petition (or application) of Mr. _____________ reported, upon which the Master declared Mr. ____________ disqualified under the law of the Grand Lodge, and ordered that the petition (or application) be withdrawn and the fee returned to the petitioner (or applicant). [59-2.48; 62-2.1; 62-2.2; 62-2.3; 62-2.4; 62-2.5; 66-2; 67-4].
A lodge shall not be permitted to employ a paid investigator on petitions or applications nor appoint a standing Committee of Investigation.
Should the Committee of Investigation learn that the petitioner or the applicant is an atheist, it shall be its duty to report the fact to the Master who, upon satisfying himself that such is the case, shall order the petition or the application returned for want of qualification of the petitioner or the applicant. [52-4; 66-1.1; 66-4; 86-2.2; Preamble I].
In the event the majority of a Committee of Investigation fails or refuses to report within the required time, the Master shall discharge the committee and appoint another. In the event any member of such committee fails to report, the Master may remove him and appoint another brother in his place. In either case the report shall not be made immediately, and the ballot shall not be taken within twenty-one days from the date of any new appointment herein provided. [68-1].
No one may demand from any member of a Committee of Investigation the reasons for his report, or the facts on which the same was based, or how he came to his conclusion. [59-3.4].
When requested in writing to do so by a regular lodge within or without this state under its seal and the signature of its Master or its Secretary, the Master of a lodge within this state may appoint a Committee of Investigation on a petition or an application in the same manner, for the same purpose, and under the same rules and regulations that govern such matters within this state. The report of the committee shall not be considered or acted upon by the lodge from which the committee is named.
1. The report shall be forwarded promptly through the proper channel to the lodge making the request.