Milwaukee, WI asked in Uncategorized for Wisconsin

Q: What is the penality for violating Chapter 187.10 statue?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Paul Overhauser
Paul Overhauser

A: This code does not have a penalty, as it relates to the establishment of Congregational churches.

Paul Overhauser

317 891-1500


187.10 Congregational church.


(1) Incorporation. The adult members, not less than three in number, of any Congregational church, known as such in both government and name, which shall have been organized in this state and which at the time maintains regular public worship, may after due public notice given at some stated meeting of such church, organize a corporation for religious, charitable or educational purposes in the manner hereinafter provided.


(2) Certificate. Such members shall sign and acknowledge, before some officer authorized to take acknowledgments of deeds in the county where such church is organized, a certificate substantially in the following form:

Know all by these presents: That the undersigned (insert the names of signers), and those who are or who may become associated with them for the purposes herein specified, have organized themselves into a church, located in (name of town, city or village), in the county of .... , and state of Wisconsin, for religious, charitable and educational purposes, which shall be known and incorporated by the name of (here insert the name).

And they shall record the same in the office of the register of deeds of such county, and when such record is made the church named therein shall be a corporation and possess the powers and privileges granted to corporations by ch. 181, so far as the same are applicable or necessary to accomplish its purposes, and also such as are conferred by this section.


(3) Rules. Such corporation may, by its constitution and bylaws, fix the terms and qualifications of membership and office therein, provide rules for the government of the church and its officers and fix the number of its trustees, which shall be not less than 3, their term of office and the manner of appointing or electing the same.


(4) Property, deed, etc. Such corporation may also take, receive, purchase, hold and use both real and personal estate for the purposes for which it has been incorporated and no other; and may lease, mortgage, sell and otherwise dispose of the same or any portion thereof in the manner provided by its rules and bylaws and may also take by purchase, gift or otherwise and forever hold and improve any lands intended to be used for cemetery grounds or burial places, subject to the provisions and restrictions, so far as applicable, in subch. II of ch. 157.


(5) Trustees' powers. The secular business and temporal affairs of such corporation shall be administered by the board of trustees, which shall have the custody and management of the corporate property and be governed in its official acts by the rules of the corporation applicable thereto and not inconsistent with this chapter. Any such corporation may change its corporate name and adopt any other. Such change may be made at either a regular annual meeting thereof or at a special meeting called for that purpose, by resolution adopted by a majority of the members thereof and spread upon its records. A certificate, duly signed and acknowledged by the secretary and the presiding officer of such corporation, containing a copy of such resolution and showing the name adopted, shall be filed and recorded at the same place and in the same manner as the original certificate of incorporation. Such corporation shall, from and after the filing of such certificate, be known by the name so adopted. The register of deeds shall note on the margin of the record of the original articles such change of name, together with the book and page where the certificate herein provided for is recorded.


(6) Reorganization; failure to make not to dissolve. Every existing religious society of any Congregational church, known as such in both government and name, whose board of trustees have heretofore been incorporated under the laws of this state may, by five or more of its members, including in every case all the members at the time acting as trustees, thereunto duly authorized by and acting for the society, become a corporation under this chapter by making and recording the certificate provided for herein, with an additional statement therein of the name by which such society and the corporation connected with it has before that time been known and called, and that such society and corporation are reorganized under this section; but such reorganization shall not work a change of the ecclesiastical connection of any such society. If any such society or corporation shall fail to become reorganized as herein provided such failure shall not work its dissolution; and the board of trustees heretofore incorporated, not less than three nor more than nine in number, shall hereafter be appointed or elected according to the rules of the society with which they are connected, be governed by the provisions of said sections which relate to the duties of trustees, and have all the powers and be subject to all the liabilities of religious corporations thereunder.


(7) Failure to elect trustees. No failure to elect trustees at the proper time shall work a dissolution of any such corporation, and those once elected shall hold their offices until their successors are elected. In case of the dissolution of any such corporation the same may be reincorporated under the provisions of this section, at any time within six years after such dissolution; and thereupon all the real and personal estate formerly belonging to the same and not lawfully disposed of shall vest in such corporation as if there had been no such dissolution.


(8) Property, title of, to vest in whom. All lands, tenements and hereditaments that have been or may hereafter be lawfully conveyed by demise, gift, grant, purchase or otherwise to any persons or trustees in trust for the use of any religious society organized or which may hereafter be organized within this state, either for a meeting house, burying ground or parsonage shall, with the improvements, vest in such church when incorporated under the provisions of this section, as fully as if originally conveyed to it; and in case the society has not been so reincorporated shall vest in its trustees and be held by them and their successors in trust for it.


(9) Devolution of property of defunct churches. Whenever any local Congregational church shall become defunct or be dissolved, the property thereof shall vest in the Wisconsin Congregational Association, the state organization of said denomination. Any local Congregational church shall be deemed defunct within the meaning of this section when it shall have ceased to maintain at least one regular service per month for a period of two years.


(10) Exception and proviso. The societies of any Congregational church, known as such in both government and name, herein provided for, shall be exempt from the provisions of this chapter, except such as are contained in this section; provided, that the trustees of the funds and property of any church or religious denomination duly elected by any council, convention, conference, synod or other body of authorized representatives of any such church or religious denomination, and otherwise qualified as provided by law, and their successors in office are hereby declared to be a good and sufficient corporation, duly organized and fully formed, constituted and empowered to receive and hold any lands, tenements and hereditaments that may be conveyed to it by demise, gift, grant, purchase or otherwise by or from any person, persons, trustees or corporation in trust for a church, meeting house, parsonage, rectory, school or hospital, or for the other uses and purposes of any such church or denomination, and any property so conveyed with the improvements, appurtenances and conditions thereto annexed shall be held by such trustees and their successors in office, when such conveyance shall have been approved by the council, convention or synod represented by said trustees, exclusively for the purposes of such trust as specified and declared in the conveyance thereof and subject to all the conditions of said conveyance.

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