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ARCH v. SLOVENE NATIONAL BENEFIT SOCIETY (09/30/57)

September 30, 1957

ARCH
v.
SLOVENE NATIONAL BENEFIT SOCIETY, APPELLANT.



Appeal, No. 111, April T., 1957, from judgment of Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Oct. T., 1946, No. 1657, in case of F.J. Arch v. Slovene National Benefit Society. Judgment reversed.

COUNSEL

Francis Taptich, for appellant.

Frank R. Bolte, for appellee.

Before Rhodes, P.j., Hirt, Gunther, Wright, Woodside, Ervin, and Watkins, JJ.

Author: Watkins

[ 184 Pa. Super. Page 414]

OPINION BY WATKINS, J.

This is an action in assumpsit for salary alleged to be due to Dr. F.J. Arch, the appellee, as the Supreme Medical Director of the Slovene National Benefit Society.

The appellant is a corporation, a fraternal benefit Society, organized and incorporated under the laws of the State of Illinois, having its present place of business in the City of Chicago in said State, and organized to do business in Pennsylvania, by and through its subordinate lodges.

The 12th regular convention of the appellant Society was held at Pittsburgh from September 13 to September 24, 1941, inclusive. This convention consisted of 19 sessions held during the above period, and was assembled by virtue of the Constitution and By-Laws of the Society.

Changes made in the by-laws are at issue in this case. Until this convention of the appellant Society the Medical Examiner was an appointed officer and was not a member of the Supreme Board. A resolution was adopted at the convention that the by-law committee be instructed to prepare an amendment to the by-laws to provide that a Supreme Medical Director should be elected at the convention in the manner provided for the election of other Supreme Board members and that he be declared a member of the Supreme Board. The resolution further provided that any member of the Society with qualifications as provided in the by-laws shall have the right to submit his name for election. At a subsequent session of the convention but prior to the completion of the new by-laws, the appellee, was elected Supreme Medical Director. Prior to his election the following appears in the minutes of the convention, "By-Laws Committee reports provisions for Medical Director are not completed but are contained

[ 184 Pa. Super. Page 415]

    in resolution". This resolution clearly bound the appellee because it specifically stated, "Any member of the Society with qualifications as provided in the By-Laws shall have the right to submit his name for election", and he was advised that the by-laws in question had not been completed. His election therefore to a position, the term of which was to begin January 1, 1942, as provided by the by-laws was also contingent on qualifications provided in by-laws to be adopted, also effective January 1, 1942. The qualifications of the new Supreme Medical Director were fully set forth and adopted at the same session at which he was elected. One of the newly adopted by-laws provided "No Supreme Board member of any other fraternal Society or organization shall be eligible, and no Supreme Board member of this Society shall be a Supreme Board member of any other fraternal Society". Another by-law that has a part in this proceeding, adopted at this convention, increased the salary of the new Supreme Medical Director from $75. to $100. a month.

At the time his name was placed in nomination, and at the time of his election, the appellee was a Medical Director and a member of the Supreme Board of another fraternal Society. This was called to his attention at the time of his nomination and prior to the adoption of the by-law prohibiting dual board membership. He stated then, that if elected, he was prepared to resign, if required. The by-law ...


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