31 F. 592 (S.D.N.Y. 1887), Lazensky v. Supreme Lodge Knights of Honor

Citation:31 F. 592
Case Date:July 25, 1887
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Page 592

31 F. 592 (S.D.N.Y. 1887)




United States Circuit Court, S.D. New York.

July 25, 1887

Page 593

         Charles Steckler, for plaintiff.

         Morris Goodhart, for defendant.

         WHEELER, J.

         This suit is brought upon a benefit certificate issued by the defendant to Joseph Lazensky, a member of Manhattan Lodge No. 1,165, a subordinate lodge, wherein it is recited that the certificate was issued upon evidence received from the subordinate lodge that he had received the degree of manhood, and was a contributor to the widows' and orphans' benefit fund of that order; and that, upon condition, among other things not material, that he should comply with the laws, rules, and regulations then governing that order, or that might thereafter be enacted for its government, and be in good standing at the time of his death, the defendant agreed to pay to his wife, the plaintiff, $2,000 out of the widows' and orphans' fund, in accordance with an under the laws governing that order, upon satisfactory evidence of his death. The certificate was dated December 18, 1881. The plaintiff alleged that he was a member in good standing up to the time of his death; that he died January 20, 1886; that she demanded the sum of $2,000, and that the defendant refused to pay it. The defendant admitted the membership and issuing of the certificate; denied that it had any knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief that he was a member in good standing at the time of his death; and alleged that the defendant had laws, rules, and regulations providing for assessments and notices on death of members, and that each member should pay the amount within 30 days from the date of each notice, failing which he should stand suspended, and not be entitled to the benefits of the widows' and orphans' benefit fund until reinstated; that an assessment known as No. 155 was made, and became due and payable prior to June 1, 1885, of which he had due and timely notice, and which he failed to pay within the time required; and that in consequence of the failure to pay that assessment he was, in the month of June, 1885, and during his life-time, duly, properly, and lawfully suspended from the lodge;

Page 594

that he took no appeal from the suspension, and was not reinstated, but remained suspended. On the trial the plaintiff offered the receipt for assessment No. 155 in evidence, which was received, and rested her case. The defendant's counsel stated that, by a clerical error, the answer was made to read No. 155, instead of 159, and asked leave to amend, which was granted, in case the evidence should require it. The defendant then showed an assessment, May 19, 1885, numbered 159, and that notice of it was sent to him on the next day; the record of the lodge, in which was entered that on June 1, 1885, he was declared suspended; that on July 6th he was notified to go under examination of the physicians...

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