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some officer competent to take acknowledgment of deeds, articles of association, in which shall be stated :
1. The proposed corporate name of the association, which shall not so closely resemble the name of any association or insurance company already transacting business in this State as to mislead the public or lead to confusion.
2. The purpose for which it is formed, which shall not include more liberal powers than are granted by this Act; provided, that any lawful social, intellectual, educational, moral or religious advantages may be set forth among the purposes of the association and the mode in which its corporate powers are to be exercised.
3. The names, residences and official titles of all the officers, trustees, directors or other persons who are to have and exercise the general control and management of the affairs and funds of the association for the first year, or until the ensuing election, at which all such officers shall be elected by the supreme legislative or governing body.
Such articles of association, and duly certified copies of the constitution and laws, rules and regulations, and copies of all proposed forms of benefit certificates, applications therefor, and literature to be issued by such association, and a bond in the sum of five thousand dollars, with a corporate surety approved by the Commissioner of Insurance and Banking, and authorized to carry on a surety business within the State of Texas, conditioned upon the return of the advance payments, as provided in this Section, to applicants, if the organization is not completed within one year shall be filed with the Commissioner of Insurance and Banking, who may require such further information as he deems necessary, and if the purposes of the association conform to the requirements of this Act, and all provisions of the law have been complied with, the Commissioner of Insurance and Banking shall so certify and retain and record the articles of association in a book to be kept for that purpose and furnish the incorporators a preliminary certificate authorizing said association to solicit members as hereinafter provided.
Upon receipt of said certificates from the Commissioner of Insurance and Banking, said association may solicit members for the purpose of completing its organization and shall collect from each applicant the amount of not less than one death benefit assessment or payment, in accordance with its tables of rates, as provided by its constitution and laws, and shall issue to each such applicant a receipt for the amount so collected; but no association shall incur any liability other than for such advanced payments, nor issue any benefit certificate, nor pay or allow or offer, or promise to pay or allow to any person any death or disability benefit until actual bona fide applications for death benefit certificates have been secured upon at least five hundred lives, for at least one thousand dollars each, and all such applicants for death benefits shall have been regularly examined by legally qualified practicing physicians, and certificates of such examinations have been duly filed and approved by the chief medical examiner of such association, nor until there shall be established ten subordinate lodges or branches into which said five hundred applicants have been initiated, nor until there has been submitted to the Commissioner of Insurance and Banking, under oath of the presi
dent and secretary, or corresponding officers of such association, a list of such applicants, giving their names, addresses, date examined, date approved, date initiated, name and number of the subordinate branch of which applicant is a member, amount of benefits to be granted, rate of regular payments or assessments, nor until it shall be shown to the Commissioner of Insurance and Banking, by the sworn statement of the treasurer or corresponding officer of such association that at least two hundred applicants have each paid in cash at least one regular monthly payment or assessment as herein provided per one thousand dollars of indemnity to be effected, which payments shall amount to one assessment to aggregate not less than five hundred dollars, all of which shall be credited to the mortuary or disability fund on account of such applicants, and no part of which may be used for expenses.
Said advanced payments shall, during the period of organization, be held in trust for, and if the organization is not completed within one year, as hereinafter provided, returned to said applicants. Such association shall provide in its constitution or laws that no benefit in excess of one thousand dollars shall be payable by it until it shall have one thousand bona fide paying benefit members, and no such association shall be authorized to issue any benefit certificate for more than said sum until it has secured such members.
The Commissioner of Insurance and Banking may make such examination and require such further information as he deems advisable and upon presentation of satisfactory evidence that the association has complied with all the provisions of law, he shall issue to such association a certificate to that effect. Such certificate shall be prima facie evidence of the existence of such association at the date of such certificate. The Commissioner of Insurance and Banking shall cause a record of such certificate to be made and a certified copy of such record may be given in evidence with like effect as the original certificate.
No preliminary certificate granted under the provisions of this Section shall be valid after one year from its date, or after such further period, not exceeding one year, as may be authorized by the Commissioner of Insurance and Banking upon cause shown, unless the five hundred applicants herein required have been secured and the organization has been completed as herein provided, and the articles of association and all proceedings thereunder shall become null and void in one year from the date of said preliminary certificate, or at the expiration of said extended period, unless such association shall have completed its organization and commenced business, as herein provided. When any domestic association shall have discontinued business for the period of one year its charter shall become null and void.
SEC. 15. Powers retained, reincorporation, amendments: Any association now engaged in transacting business in this State, may exercise, after the passage of this Act, all of the rights conferred thereby, and all of the rights, powers and privileges now exercised or possesesd by it under its charter or articles of association, not inconsistent with this Act, or it may be reincorporated hereunder. But no association already organized shall be required to reincorporate hereunder, nor shall it be required to adopt the provisions prescribed herein for new associations, in order to avail itself of the privileges of this Act, and any such association may amend its articles of association, from time to time, in the manner provided herein, or in its constitution or laws, and all such amendments shall be filed with the Commissioner of Insurance and Banking, and shall become operative upon such filing, unless a later time be provided in such amendments, or in its articles of association, constitution or laws.
SEC. 16. Transfer of membership: No domestic association shall transfer its membership or funds to any association not authorized by the Commissioner of Insurance and Banking to transact business in this State, nor shall any such association transfer its membership or funds to any licensed association, unless the said contract of transfer has been approved by a two-thirds vote of the member of the supreme body of the
a association, whose membership is proposed to be transferred, and by a two-thirds vote of the trustees or board having charge of the association proposing to take such membership.
SEC. 17. Annual license: Associations which are now authorized to transact business in this State may continue such business until the first day of March next succeeding the passage of this Act, and the authority of such association shall thereafter be renewed annually, upon compliance with this Act, but in all cases to terminate on the last day of the succeeding February.
For each such license or renewal, the association shall pay the Commissioner of Insurance and Banking ten dollars. A duly certified copy of such license shall be prima facie evidence that the licensee is a fraternal beneficiary association within the meaning of this Act.
Sec. 18. Admission of foreign associations: No foreign association now transacting business organized prior to the passage of this Act, which is not now authorized to transact business in this State, shall transact business therein without a license from the Commissioner of Insurance and Banking. Any such association shall be entitled to a license to transact business within this State, upon filing with the Commissioner of Insurance and Banking a duly certified copy of its charter or articles of association, a copy of its constitution or laws, certified by its secretary or corresponding officer, a power of attorney to the Commissioner of Insurance and Banking, as hereinafter provided; a statement under oath of its president, and secretary, or corresponding officer, in the form required by the Commissioner of Insurance and Banking, duly verified by an examination made by the supervisory insurance official of its home state, of its business for the preceding year; a certificate from the proper official in its home state, province or country, that the association is legally organized, a copy of its contract, which must show that benefits are provided for by assessment upon, or other payments, by persons holding similar contracts and upon the furinshing the Commissioner of Insurance and Banking such other information as he may deem necessary to a proper exhibit of its business and plan of working, and upon showing that its assets are invested in accordance with the laws of the state, territory, district, province or country where it is organized, he shall issue a license to such association to do business in this State, until the last day of the succeeding February, and such license shall upon compliance with the provisions of this Act, be renewed annually, but in all cases to terminate on the last day of the succeeding February. Any foreign association hereafter organized, desiring admission to this State, in addition to the foregoing requirements of this Section, shall have the further qualifications required of domestic associations, organized under this Act, and have its assets invested as required by the laws of this State. For each such license or renewal, the association shall pay the Commissioner of Insurance and Banking ten dollars. When the Commissioner of Insurance and Banking refuses to license any association, or revokes its authority to do business in this State, he shall reduce his ruling, order or decision to writing and file the same in his office, and shall furnish a copy thereof, together with a statement of his reasons, to the officers of the association, upon request, and the action of the Commissioner of Insurance and Banking shall be reviewable by proper proceedings in any court of competent jurisdiction within this State; provided, however, that nothing contained in this, or the preceding Section, shall be taken or construed as preventing any such association from continuing in good faith, all contracts made in this State during the time such association was legally authorized to transact business therein.
SEC. 19. Power of Attorney and Service of Process: Every association, domestic or foreign, now transacting business in this State shall, within thirty days after the passage of this Act, and every such association hereafter applying for admission shall, before being licensed, appoint in writing the Commissioner of Insurance and Banking and his successors in office, to be its true and lawful attorney, upon whom all legal process in any action or proceeding against it shall be served and in such writing shall agree that any lawful process against it, which is served upon such attorney, shall be of the same legal force and validity as if served upon the association, and that the authority shall continue in force so long as any liability remains outstanding in this State.
Copies of such appointment certified by said Commissioner of Insurance and Banking shall be deemed sufficient evidence thereof and shall be admitted in evidence with the same force and effect as the original thereof might be admitted. Service may only be made upon such attorney, must be made in duplicate and shall be deemed sufficient service upon such association; provided, however, that no such service shall be valid or biniling against any such association when it is required thereunder to file its answer, pleading, or defense in less than thirty days after the date of such service. When legal process against any such association is served upon said Commissioner of Insurance and Banking, he shall forthwith forward, by registered mail, one of the duplicate copies, prepaid and directed to its secretary or corresponding officer. The plaintiff in such process so served shall pay to the Commissioner of Insurance and Banking for the use of the State at the time of such service a fee of two dollars, which shall be recovered by him as part of the taxable costs, if he prevails in the suit.
SEC. 20. Place of meeting, location of office: Any domestic association may provide that the meetings of its legislative or governing body may be held in any state, district, province or territory wherein such association has subordinate branches, and all business transacted at such meetings shall be as valid in all respects as if such meetings were held in this State. But its principal office shall be located in this State.
Sec. 21. No Personal Liability: Officers and members of the supreme, grand or any subordinate body of any such incorporated association shall not be individually liable for the payment of any disability or death benefit provided for in the laws and contracts of such associations, but the same shall be payable only out of the funds of such association, and in the manner provided by its laws.
SEC. 22. Waiver of the provisions of the laws: No subordinate body or any of its officers or members shall have the power or authority to waive any of the provisions of the laws and constitution of the association, and the same shall be binding on the association and each and every member thereof and their beneficiaries.
SEC. 23. Separate jurisdiction provisions: All grand lodges by whatever name known, whether incorporated or not, holding charters from any supreme governing body, which were conducting business in this State upon the passage of this Act as a fraternal beneficiary association, upon what is known as the separate jurisdiction plan, shall be treated as single State organization, and all reports required by the provisions of this Act shall be made and furnished by the officers of such supreme State governing body and shall embrace and contain the transactions, liabilities and assets of such State organization.
Sec. 24. Constitutions and laws, amendments: Every association transacting business under this Act shall file with the Commissioner of Insurance and Banking a duly certified copy of all amendments of or additions to its constitution and laws within ninety days after the enactment of the same. Printed copies of the constitution and laws and of additions or amendments thereto, certified by the secretary or corresponding officer of the association shall be prima facie evidence of the legal adoption thereof.
SEC. 25. Annual reports: Every association transacting business in this State shall annually, on or before the first day of March, file with the Insurance Commissioner in such form as he may require, a statement under oath of its president and secretary, or corresponding officer, of its condition and standing on the 31st day of December next preceding and of its transactions for the year ending on that date. However, if any such association has had its books and accounts audited within the time inquired about by some auditor of recognized honesty and ability, in some other state, and whose honesty and ability is recognized and approved by the Commissioner of Texas; and if said auditing and report is approved by the insurance commissioner of some other state, then a certified copy of said auditing and report, under oath, shall be accepted by the commissioner of this State as to all matters contained therein. The Insurance Commissioner may at other times require any further statement he may deem necessary to be made relating to such associations. But such Insuranc Commissioner shall neither make nor permit to be made from any information so obtained any valuation of