State Laws Pertaining to Friends in New England

[This text is Appendix 9 of Faith & Practice, the book that provides guidance for Friends in New England Yearly Meeting.]

(See p. 261 in NEYM Faith and Practice 1985)

[NOTE: Any statutes added since the 1985 F&P were located by searching for “church” or “religious”.]

There are several areas of law which might be of importance to Friends:

  • Laws pertaining to the incorporation of New England Yearly Meeting;
  • Laws pertaining to the incorporation of monthly meetings;
  • Laws pertaining to churches, church government, religious societies in general, or in some states “non-business” corporations;
  • Laws pertaining to property tax exemption;
  • Laws pertaining to military exemption;
  • Laws pertaining to Friends’ manner of marriage;
  • Laws pertaining to oaths/affirmations;
  • Laws pertaining to records (minutes, letters, etc.).

CONNECTICUT

Connecticut General Statutes Annotated: http://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/menu/statutes.asp

  • Title 33 Chapter 598 Sections 243-264 (Corporations)
  • Title 12 Chapter 203 Section 81 (Property Tax Exemption)
  • Title 46b Chapter 815e Section 22 (Marriage)
  • Title 1 Chapter 4 Section 23 (Oaths)

MAINE

Maine Revised Statutes Annotated: http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/statutes

  • Title 13 Chapter 93 Section 2986 (corporations)
  • Title 36 Chapter 105 Section 652 (property tax exemption)
  • Title 19A Chapter 23 Section 658 (marriage)
  • Title 1 Section 72 (1A) (definition of affirmations and oaths)
  • Title 32 Chapter 19 Section 13856 (counseling professionals)
  • Title 22 Chapter 1071 Section 4011-A (required reporting of suspected abuse or neglect)

MASSACHUSETTS

Massachusetts General Laws Annotated: http://www.malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws/Search

  • Part I Title XI Chapter 68 Sections 10 (Overseers or trustees of monthly meeting of Quakers as corporation), and 11 (Monthly meeting of Quakers; appointment of trustees; powers and duties)
  • Part I Title XI Chapters 67 (Parishes and Religious Societies) & 68 (Donations and Conveyances for Pious and Charitable Uses)
  • Part I Title IX Chapter 59 Section 5 (property tax exemptions)
  • Part II Title III Chapter 207 Sections 38, 40, 42 (marriage)
  • Part III Title II Chapter 233 Section 17 (affirmation by Quakers in place of oath)
  • Part I Title X Chapter 66 Section 16 (surrender of church records)
  • Part I Title XVII Chapter 119 Section 21 (protection of children)
  • Part I Title IX Chapter 64H Section 6 (certain exemptions from sales tax)
  • Part I Title XVI Chapter 114 (cemeteries and burials)

NEW HAMPSHIRE

New Hampshire Revised Statutes Annotated: http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/indexes/default.html

  • Title XXIX Chapter 306, Section 11 (financial committee of Quakers as corporate body)
  • Title XXIX Chapters 306 (Religious Societies Generally), 307 (Sale, Repairs, Etc., of Meetinghouses), 308 (Dissolution)
  • Title V Chapter 72 Section 23 (tax exemptions)
  • Title XLIII Chapter 457 (Marriage) Section 37 (Affirmation of Freedom of Religion in Marriage)
  • Title XXVI Chapter 289 (cemeteries)
  • Constitution Part 2 Article 84 and Title I Chapter 21 Section 24 (affirmations by Quakers)

RHODE ISLAND

General Laws of Rhode Island: http://www.rilin.state.ri.us/statutes/

  • Title 7, Chapter 7-6 (non-profit corporations)
  • Title 44, Chapter 44-3, Section 44-3-3 (property tax exemption)
  • Title 15, Chapter 15-3, Section 15-3-6 (marriage)
  • Title 43, Chapter 43-3, Section 43-3-11 (oaths and affirmations)
  • Title 23, Chapter 23-18 (cemeteries)

VERMONT

Vermont Statutes Annotated: http://www.leg.state.vt.us/statutesmain.cfm

  • Title 11, Chapter 13 (Religious Societies)
  • Title 32, Chapter 125, Sections 3802, 3832 (exemption from taxation)
  • Title 18, Chapter 105 (marriage); Chapter 106 (civil unions); Chapter 121 (cemeteries) 
  • Title 12, Chapter 211, Section 5851 (affirmation/oaths)