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SPROGELL v. PHILADELPHIA LODGE OF PERFECTION 14 DE

September 22, 1943

SPROGELL
v.
PHILADELPHIA LODGE OF PERFECTION 14 degrees



The opinion of the court was delivered by: GANEY

This is an action brought by the trustee in bankruptcy of the estate of Philadelphia Consistory Sublime Princes Royal Secret 32 Degree Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite (hereinafter called Consistory) to recover from the Lodge of Perfection 14 degrees (hereinafter called Lodge), the sum of $11,785.50, transferred by the Consistory to the Lodge on May 20, 1941, three days before filing its voluntary petition in bankruptcy. The basis of the action is the Bankruptcy Act of August 22, 1940, 11 U.S.C.A. § 107, sub. d(2), the relevant portion of which is as follows: "Every transfer made * * * within one year prior to the filing of a petition in bankruptcy * * * is fraudulent as to creditors existing at the time of such transfer * * * if made or incurred without fair consideration by a debtor who is * * * insolvent, without regard to his actual intent."

With respect thereto, are made the following findings of fact:

 (1) The Philadelphia Consistory Sublime Princes Royal Secret 32 Degree Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite is an unincorporated masonic association and is the official title of the Philadelphia Consistory; the other Scottish Rite bodies in Philadelphia, comprise the Lodge of Perfection 14th Degree (Lodge); deJoinville Council, Princes of Jerusalem, 16th Degree (Council) and Kilwinning Chapter of Rose Croix, 18th Degree (Chapter).

 (2) The membership in the Consistory was generally identical with the three other subordinate lodges, to wit: the Lodge, the Council and the Chapter.

 (3) The dues were $8 per year for each of the bodies, but payment of all dues in the higher body exempted the individual from payment of dues in the lower body that is, a member paying dues in the Consistory was exempt from the paying of any dues in the Lodge, Council or Chapter.

 (4) Each body had its own by-laws and the secretary and treasurer of all of the bodies was the same individual.

 (5) All dues were paid into the general fund of the Consistory, which funds were deposited in the Philadelphia National Bank under the account of "Bodies of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite in Philadelphia".

 (6) The three subordinate bodies, the Lodge, Council and Chapter, had no assets other than furniture, and initiation and ceremonial paraphernalia.

 (7) Bills incurred by any of the lower bodies were sent by the creditors to the Consistory, and in keeping the Consistory's accounts, all bills of all bodies went on the books of the Consistory as Accounts Payable, and were paid out of the general fund of the Consistory.

 (8) Each body subordinate to the Consistory had separate by-laws in which the Consistory was designated as its fiscal agent, but in reality all funds were held by the Consistory as owner.

 (9) Membership cards were issued when dues were paid and each card showed membership in the Consistory, with no reference to any of the three subordinate bodies. However, if in a rare instance an individual did not proceed through the various degrees to the Consistory, he was given a membership card in the particular subordinate body in which he was a member, his dues however thereafter going into the general fund of the Consistory.

 (10) None of the three subordinate bodies, the Lodge, the Council or Chapter, had any bank ...


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