questions is limited by section 70, which provides that: "All questions referred to the President of the International Lodge, as set forth in Section 68, shall be in writing, giving full details of the case." It was admitted that no such question was submitted to the president in writing; therefore, he was without authority to make the ruling aforesaid.
I conclude that for the reasons given the International Executive Board did not have the power to expel the plaintiff lodge under sections 12, 108, and 15; that the power to expel, if any, was by virtue of the powers contained in sections 75 to 79, inclusive, and as the plaintiff lodge was not served with notice, or afforded the right to offer evidence, or to be represented by counsel, that the proceedings to expel under these sections are illegal; also, that under section 12 a notice of hearing would have been required if the board had power to exercise a power of expulsion thereunder.
The action of the International Convention in approving the action of the International Executive Board in expelling plaintiff and other lodges was not valid for the reason that the plaintiff lodge, as well as other expelled lodges, were not permitted to be represented or to be heard at said convention and, therefore, the plaintiff lodge was denied, the fundamental requirement of notice and the opportunity to be heard. It was seriously contended by defendants that the action of the International Executive Board was taken in good faith and that said board did what it believed to be best in order to preserve the life of the defendant association, but it must be remembered that good faith cannot be used as a substitute for authority, or for the exercise of authority in a menner not provided for by law. As stated by our Supreme Court in Panama Refining Co. v. Ryan, 293 U.S. 388, 420, 55 S. Ct. 241, 248, 79 L. Ed. 446: "The point is not one of motives, but of constitutional authority, for which the best of motives is not a substitute."
It was contended by plaintiffs that the charter granted by the defendant association to the Valley Lodge should be revoked. Section 15 of the Constitution and general laws provides: "Any body composed of at least ten practical workmen as provided in Section 1, who are of good character and are eligible to membership in this Association * * * shall be entitled to a charter of the same." I do not find any other law of the defendant association, nor has such been pointed out to me, regarding the creation of subordinate lodges. The constitution and general laws, therefore, are not violated by the creation of Valley Lodge. If they are violated there does not seem to be any remedy provided for by the association's laws. However, no decree could be made affecting Valley Lodge without making it a party and it is not a party, either by itself or by representatives in this case.
I conclude that the order of expulsion made by the International Executive Board February 5, 1935, is illegal and void, and that the plaintiff lodge is entitled to be reinstated as a subordinate lodge of the defendant association as of the date of its expulsion.
Let a decree be prepared in accordance with the foregoing findings of fact, conclusions of law, and this opinion.
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