Revocation of California State Grange Charter

April 5, 2013

To the Officers of the Suspended State Grange of California:

Chapter 1, Article III, Section 1.3.1 to the Constitution of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry establishes the National Grange, as the national representative division of the Order, shall be the controlling and supreme law making division of the Order from which body all the other Granges of the divisions of the Order shall derive their rights and powers. The National Grange shall have the right and power as the good of the Order requires to adopt laws for the organization, administration, and regulation of the affairs of the various Granges of the divisions of the Order including laws limiting, defining, and regulating the powers of the various Granges of the divisions of the Order. (Chapter 1, Article III, Section 1.3.1)

The Constitution of the California State Grange Article II states that the State Grange, as a chartered division of the National Grange, shall have the right and power, as the good of the Order requires, to adopt laws for the organization, administration, and regulation of the affairs of the various divisions of the State Grange, including laws limiting, defining, and regulating the powers of the various Granges of the divisions of the State Grange, so long as they do not conflict with the laws of the National Grange.

Chapter 4, Article V, of the By-Laws for the Order of Patrons of Husbandry, outline the procedure for suspension or revocation of a Charter. Chapter 4, Article V, Section 4.5.7 establish the criteria for the Suspension or Revocation of a State Grange Charter. The criteria includes when the State Grange is working in violation of the law and usages of the Order or when dues are not received by the National Grange for two consecutive quarters. Chapter 4, Article V, Section 4.5.11 provides that the remedy of revocation of a Charter is intended to be used when the judgment of the Master of the Grange having jurisdiction, the deficiencies in the criteria are incapable of being remedied or may not be remedied within a reasonable time.

On September 17, 2012, the Charter of the California State Grange was suspended by the National Grange Master with the advice and consent of the Executive Committee of the National Grange for violation of the laws and usages of the Order, as follows:

“In early August, State Grange Master Bob McFarland was suspended according to Digest of Laws rules which are incorporated by Section I, Article II; Section I, Article IX; Section II, Article XIV (14.13) of the Digest of Laws of the California State Grange. As a result of the suspension, the Overseer was to take over until the Grange Judicial process was completed. Bob McFarland and a majority in interest of the State Grange Executive Committee have failed to acknowledge the suspension of Bob McFarland. The majority of the California State Grange Executive Committee, acting as the California State Grange, has failed to enforce the rules of the Order requiring the Master of the California State Grange to follow the rules of the Order, i.e. accept his suspension; by failing to acknowledge the authority of the Acting Master of the California State Grange including holding a duly-noticed Executive Committee meeting and conducting business without the presence of the Acting Master with a vote of all Executive Committee members, by refusing to respond to requests of the Acting State Master, National Master, and the National Grange for confirmation of desire to follow the rules of the Order; and for engaging legal representation with the support of the suspended State Grange Master.”

Since that time, the suspended California State Grange has made no effort to work with the National Grange to resolve the issues which resulted in the suspension. The suspended California State Grange has repeatedly conducted a destructive public relations campaign against the National Grange, the Master of the National Grange, and California Grange members who disagree with the actions of the suspended State Grange. The Leadership of the California State Grange has sought to prevent internal Grange procedures from being conducted to enforce the By-Laws of the Order. It is the duty of the officers of the California State Grange to ensure that the Constitution and By-Laws of the Grange at all levels are observed and obeyed, and generally to perform all duties pertaining to their elected office, as contained in the Constitution, By-Laws, and Manual of the Degrees of
the Order. This duty has not been upheld. The Suspended State Grange leadership has improperly used rules to remove from office any dissenters to their view, and to attempt to expel from membership other California Grange officers who stated that they would follow the rules of the Order. Consistent with Chapter 4, Article V, Section 4.5.7 of the By-Laws, the California State Grange is working in violation of the law and usages of the Order.
This is grounds for the revocation of the Charter.

The suspended State Grange Master has admitted in public, and one of his deputy’s has admitted, to organizing or re-organizing at least one Community Grange outside the Chartering process which is authorized only through the National Grange. This action amounts to a violation of Chapter 4, Article III, Section 4.3.1 of the By-Laws as Charters can only be issued by the National Grange.  Such action is grounds for revocation of the California State Grange Charter.

In addition the last quarterly report and payment received by the National Grange from the suspended California State Grange was the second (2nd) quarter report thereby putting the California State Grange more than two quarters behind in dues and quarterly reports. Consistent with Chapter 4, Article V, Section 4.5.7, this is grounds for immediate revocation of the Charter.

It is my judgment that the current situation with the California State Grange cannot be remedied at this time nor does there appear to be any remedy to this situation within the foreseeable future for the stated reasons listed above and the fact that the California State Grange continues to advocate the position that they are not subject to the rules of the Grange due to their interpretation of State law which is unlikely to be resolved in the near future. After consulting with the Executive Committee of the National Grange and for the good of the Order, I hereby revoke the Charter of the California State Grange as of today, April 5, 2013 on the grounds that the California State Grange is continuing to work in violation of the law and usages of the Order and shows no desire to abide by the rules of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry.

Fraternally,

Edward L. Luttrell,
Master The National Grange

cc: National Grange Executive Committee
cc: Bob Clouse, Deputy
cc: California Community and Pomona Grange

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