Determination & Decision of Trial Commission
On conclusion of a trial in a proceeding in which the accused has answered denying the charges either in whole or in part, or has pleaded exculpatory facts, the Trial Commission by a majority vote shall determine the guilt or innocence of the accused and fix the penalty to be imposed, if any, unless the penalty is fixed by the law of the Grand Lodge.
1. On conclusion of a trial in a proceeding in which the accused has failed to answer, the Trial Commission, by a majority vote shall determine the guilt or innocence of the accused and fix the penalty to be imposed, if any, unless the penalty is fixed by the law of the Grand Lodge.
2. On the conclusion of a trial in which the charges are admitted and the accused pleads facts in mitigation, the truth of which is in issue, the Trial Commission by a majority vote shall determine the truth of such issue and fix the penalty to be imposed, if any, unless the penalty is fixed by the law of the Grand Lodge.
A Trial Commission may inflict upon an individual Mason any of the following penalties. [43-3.19].
1. Expulsion, which terminates every vestige of Masonic rights and privileges. [87-12].
A. It shall be given in open lodge if possible, and by the Master or by a brother designated to do so by the Judge Advocate.
B. In special cases when the presence of the accused cannot be reasonably required, as when it would require a large expenditure of money, long distance of travel, or for other valid and satisfactory reasons, in the discretion of the Judge Advocate the reprimand may be in writing, and a certified copy thereof served on the accused in any of the methods provided for the service of other documents in a trial.
C. The reprimand, if in writing, shall be filed in the docket of the case in the office of the Grand Secretary.
D. The Judge Advocate shall file a certified copy thereof with the lodge of which the accused is or last was a member and it shall be read at the next stated communication after its receipt and be entered upon the minutes.
5. Except for the cost or a part of the cost of the trial, but one punishment or penalty may be imposed under one complaint. Where there is a conviction on two or more charges or on two or more specifications in the same complaint, the trial commissioners shall have in view one adequate penalty for all the offenses for which there is a conviction.
A Trial Commission may inflict upon a lodge any one or more of the following penalties.
5. In addition to the foregoing penalties, a Trial Commission may recommend to the Grand Master that the lodge charter be arrested until any other penalty imposed on the lodge has been satisfied or that it be arrested for a definite period of time, but not beyond the next annual communication of the Grand Lodge.
6. The charter of a lodge shall not be declared revoked except by action of the Grand Lodge at an annual communication at which the findings of the Trial Commission have first been submitted to the Committee on Appeals and a report made by said committee to the Grand Lodge specifically recommending the revocation. [41-11; 41-13; 41-10;95-2].
After a Trial Commission has reached its determination in accordance with the provisions hereinbefore contained, it shall with all convenient speed and within fifteen days, cause a written decision to be prepared which shall contain its determination of the case.
1. The decision of a Trial Commission as required by Regulation 95-5 shall be signed by the trial commissioners concurring therein, shall state its conclusion with respect to the guilt or innocence of the accused with respect to each separate charge and specification contained in the complaint, and shall state the penalty imposed, if any.
2. It need not contain separate findings of facts or conclusions of law for each charge or specification. [95-5.13; Trial Forms 17, 19].
4. If the decision of the Trial Commission is not unanimous, a dissenting trial commissioner may express his dissent therefrom either at the end of the written decision of the majority or in a separate minority opinion either of which shall be signed by him. [Trial Form 18].
A. If he discovers any errors in either, he shall promptly return to the Chairman of the Trial Commission all papers in the case theretofore received from him with such suggestions as he may deem proper and necessary.
B. The trial commissioners shall consider the same and take such further action and make such additional decision as they deem proper in the cause.
C. If additional decision is made in the cause, copies thereof shall be served on the same parties as the original decision and in the same manner.
7. If the Judge Advocate does not discover any error or when the final decision of the Trial Commission has been filed with him, he shall cause a copy of the decision rendered to be forwarded to the Grand Secretary who will enter the decision on his docket of the case.
8. Within five days after an appeal has been perfected, or the time for giving notice of an appeal has expired, the Judge Advocate shall forward the entire file of papers in the case making up the docket to the Grand Secretary who will carefully preserve all papers in the file and the said file shall not be subject to examination by any person except upon a written order signed by the Grand Master, the Judge Advocate or the Chairman of the Committee on Appeals, and they shall be kept subject to such disposition as may be ordered by the Grand Lodge.
9. Within five days after the date of any decision rendered by the Judge Advocate under Regulation 91-12, or within five days after the date a final decision is received by the Judge Advocate from a Trial Commission, the Judge Advocate shall cause to be served on the accused the complainant, the intervener, if any, and the lodge of which the accused is, or last was a member a certified copy of said decision together with a notice that an appeal may be taken as provided in Chapter 98, of the Trial Code.
10. A notice of appeal must be served on the Judge Advocate and the opposite party within forty-five days from the date of mailing the notice of the decision by the Judge Advocate. [98-6].
11. The Secretary of the lodge of which the accused is, or last was, a member shall read the decision of the Trial Commission at the first stated communication after he receives it and only the following record shall be made in the minutes of that communication, "Notice was received at this stated communication that Brother _______________ was found (not guilty or guilty) of the charges against him for unmasonic conduct and that he had been (penalty here) therefor." The Secretary shall within ten days notify all lodges having concurrent jurisdiction with his lodge, of the final judgment in the case. [91-13.9; 91-9; 98-12; Official Form 49].
12. In a case where the accused is a member of a lodge located in another grand jurisdiction but is subject to trial under Regulation 90-5, notices to and correspondence with such lodge shall be sent through the office of our Grand Secretary, and the provisions of Regulation 43-11, shall be complied with. [Duplicated in 91-9.5; 98-11.2]. [93-2].
13. If the decision of a Trial Commission contains a recommendation that the charter of a lodge be arrested, the Chairman of the Trial Commission shall cause a certified copy of its decision and report as provided in Regulation 95-5.5to be filed with the Grand Master for his consideration and action. [95-4.5; 95-5.5].
At the time of filing its decision as hereinbefore provided, and along with said decision, the Chairman of the Trial Commission shall cause the minutes of all hearings and all exhibits which have been received in evidence to be filed with the Judge Advocate, from whose custody either party may withdraw his own exhibits if no appeal is taken within the prescribed time, and if he provides copies of the originals for the file. [95-5.5].
The decision of a Trial Commission shall be effective on the date that a majority of the trial commissioners agree thereto as provided by law, or on the date entered by the Judge Advocate. When a copy thereof has been filed in the office of the Grand Secretary as provided in Regulation 95-5.6, it shall be final unless reversed or modified pursuant to an appeal taken in the manner provided by law. [73-4.5.C; 91-12; 95-5.3; Chapter 98].