The Vermont Statutes Online
- Subchapter 001: Repairs of Churches
§ 1471. Notice of meeting to provide for repairs
When a building owned and used as a house of public worship needs repairs, and the owners are not a corporation or incorporated association, or have not the power by their charter or articles of association to repair such building, any three persons who are owners of such house may call a meeting of those who are proprietors or pew owners. At least 15 days before such meeting, such owners shall post a notice upon the door of such house, setting forth the time when it will be held and the business to be transacted, and they shall also cause such notice to be published three weeks successively in a newspaper circulating in the town where such house of worship is situated, the last of which publications shall be at least two weeks prior to such meeting.
§ 1472. Organization of meeting
At the time appointed, such meeting shall be organized by the election of a chair and a secretary. (Amended 2013, No. 161 (Adj. Sess.), § 72.)
§ 1473. Voting and assessment
Owners of pews shall have one vote for each pew. At the meeting, a committee of three shall be elected by ballot, who shall appraise each interest and establish the proportion each interest shall bear to the whole. The charges for such repairs shall be assessed upon the interest of each proprietor agreeably to such proportion.
§ 1474. Assessment of pews
At such meeting, the majority of such owners or proprietors may assess the pews in such house for defraying the expenses of repairing the house, and direct and make such repairs as the majority deem necessary.
§ 1475. Sale of pews for nonpayment
When the owner or occupant of a pew so assessed does not pay the assessment to the person authorized by the meeting to collect the same, upon three weeks' notice and demand made after the completion of the repairs, which notice and demand shall be made either in person or by publishing the same for three weeks successively in some daily or weekly newspaper of general circulation in the town where such house of public worship is situated, such collector may sell the pew of such delinquent person at public auction to the highest bidder, upon giving notice thereof as is provided in section 1471 of this title. The balance of the proceeds arising from the sale, if any, after the payment of assessments, expenses of advertising, and fees equal to those allowed by law for the collection of an execution, shall be paid to the owner of the pew so sold.
§ 1476. Redemption
Within six months after the sale, the owner or occupant may redeem the property by paying to the person entitled to receive the same, the purchase price with accrued interest. If such property is not redeemed, the collector shall thereupon execute and deliver to the purchaser a deed of such pew, which deed, when recorded, shall convey to the purchaser a title thereto.
- Subchapter 002: Consolidation or Merger
§ 1501. Procedure
The word "persons" as used in sections 42 and 1925 of this title shall apply to and include churches and religious or ecclesiastical corporations or societies. Churches and religious or ecclesiastical corporations or societies desiring to unite and form a corporation under the provisions of chapters 1 and 17 of this title shall hold meetings of their members to vote upon the question. Notices of such meetings and of the fact that the question of forming a corporation under the terms of such chapters is to be considered thereat shall be sent to all of the members of such churches, societies, or corporations. Voting at such meetings may be in person or by proxy, and a majority of the votes cast at such a meeting shall be necessary to determine the question of forming a corporation.
§ 1502. Signing and filing of articles
In case it is voted to form a new corporation, a church, or religious or ecclesiastical corporation or society so voting, at the meeting when such vote is taken, shall authorize the secretary of such corporation or society to sign the name of such corporation or society to the articles of association of such new corporation. There shall be filed with the articles of association of such new corporation an attested copy of the minutes of the meeting of each corporation or society at which it was voted to form such new corporation. Upon the filing of the articles of association in the Office of the Secretary of State as required by section 1927 of this title, all rights, title, and interest of each church or religious or ecclesiastical corporation or society signing such articles of association shall vest in such new corporation.
- Subchapter 003: Dissolving or Moving Religious Associations
§ 1531. Petition for dissolution
When five members of a corporation or society created for the support of the gospel and the maintenance of public worship, or to procure, hold, and keep in repair a house of public worship, or a parsonage, or for all or any of such purposes, desire to dissolve or move such corporation or society, they may apply by petition in writing to the Superior Court in the county in which the corporation or society is located. Such petition, with a citation, shall be served on such corporation or society like a summons. (Amended 1973, No. 193 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. April 9, 1974.)
§ 1532. Recognizance
Before issuing the citation the petitioners shall cause some other person to recognize to such corporation or society in not less than $500.00, to the satisfaction of the clerk of the court, conditioned that the petitioners will prosecute their petition to effect, and answer the damages and costs if judgment is rendered against them. A minute of the recognizance, with the name of the surety and the sum in which he or she is bound, shall be made upon the citation at the time of signing the same, and signed by the clerk. If such citation is otherwise issued, on motion it shall abate.
§ 1533. Opposing petition
When such petition is brought, members of the corporation or society may appear and defend in the name of such corporation or society, by filing a bond with the clerk in the penal sum of not less than $500.00, conditioned for the payment of the costs which the petitioners may recover against such corporation or society.
§ 1534. Appointment of commissioners, hearing
If sufficient cause is shown, the court shall appoint three disinterested persons as commissioners, who shall fix a time and place for hearing, and give reasonable notice thereof to those who defend. If, at the time of giving such notice, a person has not entered to defend, the commissioners shall give notice of such hearing by posting a notice thereof, at least 14 days before such hearing, in three or more public places in the town in which such corporation or society is located. (Amended 2017, No. 11, § 13.)
§ 1535. Report and judgment
When, upon such hearing, it appears to be for the best interests of a majority of the members of such corporation or society or the persons interested therein, that the same should be dissolved or moved, and that the property should be divided among the owners thereof, or that such property should be sold and the proceeds divided, the commissioners shall so report to the court within 30 days of their determination of the matter. The court shall thereupon render judgment in accordance with the facts found, and that such corporation or society is dissolved, and that the property belonging to it, whether real or personal, shall be divided or sold, and its proceeds divided among the owners thereof, or the persons interested therein, as to the court seems just, and for the petitioners to recover their costs, if defense is made to such petition. If defense is not made, the petitioners shall pay the costs, and the court shall so order.
§ 1536. Further proceedings
If no appeal is taken, the court shall issue its order directing the commissioners forthwith to carry out the provisions of such judgment and make return of their doings thereon to the clerk of the court and to the town clerk of the town where such corporation is located, and cause the same to be there recorded.
§ 1537. Commissioner's fees; costs
Each commissioner shall receive $2.00 a day for his or her services and necessary expenses, to be paid by the State as in case of other commissioners appointed by the Superior Court. All other costs incurred shall be taxed as costs are taxed in hearings before a referee in civil causes, and the court shall tax costs as seem just. (Amended 1973, No. 193 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. April 9, 1974.)
- Subchapter 004: Religious Convention as Trustee
§ 1571. Authority to act as trustee
A religious state convention organized under the laws of this State is hereby authorized to act as trustee under deeds, wills, or otherwise when such convention is a beneficiary under the trust.