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By-Laws of our Council

These are our By-Laws as adopted in 1980 with 1980 amendments included. It should be noted that resolutions have been passed changing aspects of these By-Laws. Where there is a known discrepancy a red comment has been placed. You may also wish to see the non-integrated Original 1980 By-Laws and the 1980 Amendments.



Knights of Columbus
Santa Cruz Council
No. 971
Santa Cruz, California
Adopted March 11, 1980
Amendments passed October 14, 1980


Section 1. This Council shall be known as Santa Cruz Council, No. 971, Knights of Columbus.

Sec. 2. The initiation fee shall be $15.00 except that for applicants under 26 years of age it shall be $10.00 and for Priests and religious is shall be nil. One-half of the initiation fee shall accompany the application but it shall be refunded if the applicant is rejected.

Sec. 3. Each member shall pay annual dues, the same to be payable quarterly in advance at the first regular meetings in January, April, July and October. The annual dues of members shall be $28.00, excepting insured members under 26 years of age whose dues shall be one-half that sum, honorary members who shall pay $6.00 and honorary life members who shall pay nothing. Except as above stated, the dues of associate and insurance members shall be the same. [At some point annual dues were increased.]

Sec. 4. The officers shall receive annual compensation, payable in quarterly installments at the end of each quarter, as follows: Financial Secretary: From the council an amount equal to ten per cents of the moneys collected on account of dues from both insurance and associate members, payable in quarterly installments at the end of each quarter. From the Supreme Council, payable annually at the end of each calendar year, thirty cents for each life insurance certificate registered through the council and in good standing at the end of the calendar year.

Amendments to Section 4:
1. An expense account not to exceed $35 per month shall be paid to the Financial Secretary.
2. Any officer or deleegate who is required to be present at, or attend any state, district, or chapter business shall be compensated for out-of-pocket expenses.

ARTICLE II - Elections

Section 1. The annual election of officers shall take place at a regular meeting held between May 15 to and including June 15. Not less than two months before the annual elections the Grand Knight shall appoint a Nominating Committee of three who shall prepare a slate of candidates for the elective council offices. This slate shall be presented to the council not later than the regular business meeting preceding the meeting at which annual elections are to take place. Other nominations may be made from the floor and nominations may not be closed until the election meeting has convened and the members are ready to ballot.

Sec. 2. The election of officers shall be by ballot. A majority of all the votes cast shall be necessary to elect; except that where several of equal degree are to be chosen, a majority shall not be necessary, but all shall be voted for on one ballot and no ballot containing names of more or less candidates than there are such offices to be voted for shall be counted, and those receiving the highest number of votes shall de declared elected in the order of the number of votes received.

Sec. 3. The Grand Knight shall appoint two members to act as Tellers. After all who are entitled to do so have voted, the ballot shall be declared closed and the Tellers shall then proceed to count the votes in full view of the Council. One of the Tellers shall examine each ballot singly and pass the same to his associate, who shall read aloud the name or names written or printed on all legal ballots. The Recorder shall tally the same and the result thereof shall be announced by the presiding officer.

Sec 4. Each officer elected must qualify and fill the office to which he is chosen, with or without installation, at the first regular meeting in the month of July succeeding his election, unless excused by a vote of the Council, and must present himself for installation at the time specified in the notice issued by or through the State Deputy or District Deputy, unless excused by such officer. Otherwise such office shall be considered vacant.

Sec. 5. Vacancies in elective offices shall be filled, after notice to the members, by election at the regular business meeting next succeeding the regular meeting at which the vacancy was created.

ARTICLE III - Officers

Section 1. Only members who are in good standing and who have been initiated in the first three Degrees of the Order shall be eligible to hold office in this Council. No member shall hold more than one office at the same time.

Sec. 2. The elective officers shall be as follows: Grand Knight, Deputy Grand Knight, Chancellor, Recorder, Treasurer, Advocate, Warden, Inside Guard, Outside Guard (two Outside Guards may be elected) and Board of Trustees.

Sec. 3. The appointive officers shall be as follows: Financial Secretary, Lecturer, Chaplain and Organist.

The Financial Secretary shall be appointed by the Supreme Knight.

The Chaplain shall be selected by the Grand Knight, Deputy Grand Knight and Board of Trustees in accordance with any rules established by the Bishop of the Diocese. The Grand Knight shall select the Lecturer and the Organist.

Sec. 4. At the last regular business meeting in June of each year the Council shall determine the amount of the bond (if any) to be given by the Treasurer and Financial Secretary in addition to the bond furnished by the Supreme Council, and the Treasurer and Financial Secretary shall not take office or be installed or receive any money or property of the Council until they have furnished such bond and the same has been approved by the Board of Trustees. The premium on said bond shall be paid by the Council.

Sec. 5. The Council Officers shall perform the duties required of them by the Laws and Rules of the Order and these By-Laws and such other duties as the Council may direct.

Sec. 6. Except when notice of application shall be published as provided by Section 110 of the Laws and Rules, it shall be the duty of the Grand Knight, as early as practicable before each regular meeting, to file with the Recorder a list of candidates to be balloted upon at such meeting.

Sec. 7. At the end of each semiannual period the Board of Trustees shall meet and audit the several books of this Council and shall in each January and July make a full report of their findings, including the receipts and disbursements of the moneys of this council for the previous semiannual period, the balance on and to the credit of each of the various funds at the end of each semiannual period, and the assets and liablitites of thsi council the Grand Knight shall issue the call for such meeting of the Board of Trustees.

Sec. 8. Where a member ipso facto forfeits his membership, the Grand Knight and Financial Secretary shall immediately notify the Supreme Secretary of such forfeiture and shall immediately send notice in writing to the member, including the date and reason therefor. In those cases related to ipso facto forfeiture for failure to pay council dues, such notice shall not be sent to the Supreme Secretary or to the member until an officer or a member of the Conservation Committee shall contact the member and endeavor to have him retain his membership.

Sec. 9. The Recorder shall file all reports in a filing book to be provided for that purpose and the same shall be preserved as a part of the record of this Council.

ARTICLE IV - Meetings

Section 1. Regular meetings of the Council shall be held on the second and fourth Tuesday each month. The first meeting each month shall be a regular business meeting. All meetings shall commence at 8:00 p.m. Twelve members shall constitute a quorum at business meetings. [At some point meetings were changed to Wednesday nights.]

Amendment to Section 1.
1. Regular meetings of the Council shall commence at 7:30 p.m.

Sec. 2. All meetings of the Council shall be presided over by the Grand Knight, who will ascertain from the Warden if all present are possessed of the current membership card.

Sec. 3. The order business and procedure at regular business meetings of this council shall conform to Section 125 of the Laws of the Order. (See "Order of Business at Regular Business Meetings" below.)

Sec. 4. Special business meetings shall be convened as follows: By vote of the Council at a preceding regular business meeting; by direction of the Grand Knight; by the Grand Knight upon the written request of seven members, which request shall state the object of the meeting. Due notice of special business meetings and their purpose shall be given to each member in the usual way and no other business shall be transacted at any such meeting.

Sec. 5. The following shall be the order of business and procedure at special business meetings:

1. Call to Order.
2. Warden's Report on Membership Card.
3. Prayer.
4. Roll Call of Officers.
*5. Opening Ode.
6. Special Order of Business.
7. Prayer.
*8. Closing Ode.

Sec. 6. It shall be the duty of all officers to attend each meeting of the Council. In case of inability of any officer to attend a meeting, due notice shall be given to the Grand Knight and arrangements made to have all necessary books and papers in the possession of such officer at the meeting. If a Chair Officer is absent from a meeting, the presiding officer shall designate a member to act for him. If an elected officer, without reasonable excuse approved by the Grand Knight is absent from three consecutive regular business meetings, the Grand Knight may report this fact to the District Deputy for such action under Section 92(b) of the Laws of the Order as the District Deputy deems appropriate.

Sec. 7. In the absence of inability of the Grand Knight the Deputy Grand Knight shall preside and he shall execute all of the duties of the Grand Knight. In the absence of the Grand Knight and Deputy Grand Knight the duty of presiding shall devolve on the other officers of the Council in the order in which they are named in Section 126 of the Laws of the Order.

Sec. 8. If any meeting shall fall on a legal holiday said meeting shall be held the following day unless the Council, by vote at a previous business meeting, annuls such meeting or fixes a different date for such meeting within the month for which it is scheduled.

ARTICLE V - Balloting for Candidates

Section 1. The Grand Knight and Deputy Grand Knight shall privately inspect the ballot box, both before and after the ballot, and the former shall announce the result. Balloting of candidates shall be in charge of the Warden who shall distribute ballots to all member present. He shall place the ballot box on the salutation table and take his place six feet therefrom. He shall then request that all officers vote and after they have voted, he shall request the members to vote. They shall advance in single file and deposit their ballots, but no member shall pass the Warden until the member preceding him has voted. After all who desire to do so have voted, the Warden shall exhibit the ballot box to the Grand Knight and Deputy Grand Knight and they shall count the votes. If the number of negative ballots cast does not exceed one-half of the members present, the applicant shall be declared elected, otherwise rejected. The exact number of negative ballots shall not be stated. If more than one candidate is to be balloted for at a meeting, the Grand Knight may announce that the first ballot shall be a general one upon all the candidates, and if not more than one-half of those present shall cast negative ballots upon such general ballot no other ballots shall be taken. If such announcement is made, and not more than one-half negative ballots are cast upon said general ballot, all candidates so balloted for shall be declared elected. If more than on-half negative ballots are cast upon said general ballot, then an individual ballot shall be taken on each candidate.

ARTICLE VI - Committees

Section 1. In addition to the Committees provided for in the Laws and Rules of the Order, the following Service Program Directors shall be appointed:

(a) Program Director whose goal will be the direct involvement and personal commitment of the council and membership in a program that will establish the Knights of Columbus as truly a Catholic, family, fraternal, service organization.

(b) Membership Director to have supervision of a comprehensive program of recruitment and retention for his council.

(c) Director of Church Activities to promote the program that will enable the membership to respond to the constant call for the active participation of the laity in the work of the Church.

(d) Director of Community Activities whose responsibility it will be to make the council aware of its life within the community and to develop programs that will be of service to the community.

(e) Director of Council Activities who will be concerned with the promotion of brotherhood through athletic, cultural and social programs. Additionally, he will be responsible for the development of public relations in the council.

(f) Director of Youth Activities to provide the youth in the community with the means and the opportunity to become personally committed and involved in meeting the challenges of our times. He will also be responsible for the promotion of the Order's junior organization, the Columbian Squires.

(g) Director of Family Life Activities to promote activities and programs within the Council that would strengthen and support the family life of its member.

(h) Such other Committees as may be required by these by-laws.

Sec. 2. Except as herein provided, all Committees shall be appointed by the Grand Knight and the first person named on the Committee shall act as Chairman thereof. By virtue of his office, the Chancellor will serve as the Chairman of the council's Vocation Committee. Standing committees shall serve for the current fiscal year or until their successors have been appointed. A majority of the Committee shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.


Section 1. All money obtained from any source, by or through any person or persons, acting for or in the name of the Council or under its direction or authority, shall be considered Council Funds and shall be forthwith delivered to the Financial Secretary, who shall give his official receipt therefor and who shall report at the close of each meeting the amounts so received and from what source and shall deliver the same to the council Treasurer and take his receipt therefor.

Sec. 2. The Treasurer shall deposit all moneys received from the Financial Secretary in a bank to the credit of the council. Disbursements from this fund shall be made only by check signed by the Grand Knight, Financial Secretary and Treasurer. The depository bank shall be furnished with a copy of this section.

Sec. 3. No money in excess of $100.00 shall be paid or transferred from the Treasury of this Council, except such moneys as the Council is called upon to regularly pay for its current expenses and as provided by the Laws of the Order or for purposes approved by the Supreme Council or Board of Directors, unless by a two-thirds vote of the members present and voting at a regular business meeting held subsequent to a regular business meeting at which notice in writing of a resolution of intention to pay or transfer such money and the purpose and amount to be paid or transferred shall have been given and regularly read.

Sec. 4. All bills shall be presented to the Recorder and by him read to the Council before being referred to the Board of Trustees. In case a bill is not approved by the Board of Trustees, it shall be referred back to the Council for action. [Bills are now read by the Financial Secretary to the Council.]

Relief Fund

Sec. 5 [As amended/modified October 1980.] A transfer of $1,000 will be made from the General Fund to the Relief Fund. When any of these funds are expended, they will be automatically replaced from the General Fund, if feasible.

An amount of $250 will be extended to aid a needy brother in financial need. The Grand Knight, Financial Secretary, and Treasurer shall constitute a Relief Committee and will make all necessary investigation concerning a brother in distress, or in need of relief. With the approval and discretion of the above officers and with the signature authority of at least two of them, payments will be made in the following manner:

$25.00 for 10 months, or
$50.00 for 5 months,
or $250.00 at one time (maximum amount).

If $250.00 is given at one time (max. amount), then ten months must elapse before any further aid is given, and this will be left to the discretion of the above-listed officers.

Building Fund

Sec. 6 All monies received on account of initiation fees and five per cent (5%) of all moneys received on account of dues shall be deposited in a special fund to be known as the "Building Fund" of this Council, and such fund, together with the interest thereon, shall be maintained for the purpose of providing and maintaining a permanent home for the Council. [There is no standing Building Fund at this time.]


A Permanent Charity Fund shall be established. This fund may be augmented from the receipt from the Knights of 971, Inc., and shall be placed to accrue interest. This interest shall be dispersed to worthy charities as the Council designates. [There is no Permanent Charity Fund for our Council at this time.]

There is hereby established a Committee to review all charitable requests. The Committee's recommendations concerning these requests shall be brought before the Council at their next business meeting. The Treasurer shall report to the Committee as to the amount of funds available on a quarterly basis.

ARTICLE VIII - Funerals, Etc.

Section 1. On the death of a member in good standing the Memorial Committee shall give notice to the members and, if time permits, shall request them to assemble and pay their respects to the memory of the deceased at a time and place to be indicated in such notice.

Sec. 2. When notice of the death of a member in good standing is received the Memorial Committee shall forward to the family of the deceased a message of condolence on behalf of the Council and the Memorial Committee shall arrange to have five Masses said for the repose of the soul of the deceased. [We have one Mass said specifically for a deceased brother Knight.]

Sec. 3. The Memorial Committee shall arrange for the celebration during the month of November of each year of a Mass for the repose of the souls of the deceased members and shall cause five days' notice to be given to the members of the time and place of such Mass. The Mass shall be celebrated by the Chaplain unless he is indisposed.

Sec. 4. The Council shall receive Holy Communion in a body during the Easter period, at a time and place to be determined by vote of the Council. [This is not currently practiced.]

ARTICLE IX - Miscellaneous

Section 1. These By-Laws may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the member present and voting at a regular business meeting held subsequent to a regular business meeting at which a resolution in writing providing for such amendment shall have been read and notice of the proposed amendment shall have been given to the members in writing or in the council publication at least five days prior to the second meeting.

Sec. 2. Procedure and debate shall be in accordance with the Laws and Rules of the Supreme Council, the Board of Directors, these By-Laws and the Rules of Parliamentary Law known as "Robert's Rules of Order."

These By-Laws adopted by vote of the Council, March 11, 1980.

Grand Knight


Date of Institution February 26, 1905

Approved May 27, 1980

Supreme Advocate.

Order of Business at Regular Business Meetings

The Laws of the Order require that the following shall form a part of the order of business and procedure at regular business meetings of every subordinate council:

  1. Call to Order.
  2. Warden's Report on Membership Card.
  3. Prayer.
  4. Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag or some other suitable patriotic display of loyalty.
  5. Roll Call of Officers.
  6. *Opening Ode. [This is not practiced.]
  7. Reading of Minutes from Previous Meeting.
  8. Report of Admission Committee and Reading of Applications.
  9. Balloting for Membership.
  10. Reading of Notices of Applications in other Councils.
  11. *Initiations.
  12. Grand Knight's Report.
  13. Chaplain's Report.
  14. *Treasurer's Report.
  15. *Reading by Grand Knight of Receipts of Treasurer to Financial Secretary and Treasurer's Voucher of Deposit.
  16. *Reading of Bills and Communications.
  17. Financial Secretary's Report of Receipts of Meeting.
  18. *Report of Auditors and Trustees.
  19. *Chancellor's Report.
  20. *Report of Committees.
  21. Unfinished Business.
  22. *New Business (When elections are in order, this is the first item under New Business).
  23. Insurance Agent's Report.
  24. District Deputy's Report.
  25. *Good of the Order.
  26. Chaplain's Summation.
  27. Closing Prayer.
  28. *Closing Ode. [This is not practiced.]

*Part of the order of business marked with an asterisk may be omitted at regular meetings other than regular business meetings. At regular business meetings, minutes of all meetings to and including the last regular business meeting shall be read. [We read only the minutes of the previous meeting.]

Knights of Columbus, Council 971 :: P.O. Box 971, Santa Cruz, CA 95061 ::