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Current through the end of the 2004 Regular Session
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This statutory database is current through the 2004 Regular Session of the South Carolina General Assembly. Changes to the statutes enacted by the 2005 General Assembly, which will convene in January 2005, will be incorporated as soon as possible. Some changes enacted by the 2005 General Assembly may take immediate effect. The State of South Carolina and the South Carolina Legislative Council make no warranty as to the accuracy of the data, and users rely on the data entirely at their own risk.
Title 33 - Corporations, Partnerships and Associations
SOUTH CAROLINA NONPROFIT CORPORATION ACT
SECTIONS 33-31-10 to 33-31-100. Repealed by 1994 Act No. 384, Section 1, eff May 10, 1994.
SECTIONS 33-31-10 to 33-31-100. Repealed by 1994 Act No. 384, Section 1, eff May 10, 1994.
SECTION 33-31-101. Short title.
This chapter may be cited as the South Carolina Nonprofit Corporation Act of 1994.
SECTION 33-31-102. Reservation of power to amend or repeal.
The General Assembly of South Carolina has power to amend or repeal all or any part of Chapter 31, Title 33 at any time, and all domestic and foreign corporations subject to Chapter 31 of this title are governed by the amendment or repeal.
SECTION 33-31-110. Repealed by 1994 Act No. 384, Section 1, eff May 10, 1994.
SECTION 33-31-120. Filing requirements.
(a) A document must satisfy the requirements of this section, and of any other section that adds to or varies these requirements, to be entitled to filing by the Secretary of State.
(b) This chapter must require or permit filing the document in the office of the Secretary of State.
(c) The document must contain the information required by this chapter. It may contain other information as well.
(d) The document must be typewritten or printed.
(e) The document must be in the English language. However, a corporate name need not be in English if written in English letters or Arabic or Roman numerals, and the certificate of existence required of foreign corporations need not be in English if accompanied by a reasonably authenticated English translation.
(f) The document must be executed:
(1) by the presiding officer of its board of directors of a domestic or foreign corporation, its president, or by another of its officers;
(2) if directors have not been selected or the corporation has not been formed by an incorporator; or
(3) if the corporation is in the hands of a receiver, trustee, or other court-appointed fiduciary, by that fiduciary.
(g) The person executing a document shall sign it and state beneath or opposite the signature his or her name and the capacity in which he or she signs. The document may, but need not, contain:
(1) the corporate seal;
(2) an attestation by the Secretary or an assistant secretary; or
(3) an acknowledgement, verification, or proof.
(h) If the Secretary of State has prescribed a mandatory form for a document under Section 33-31-121, the document must be in or on the prescribed form.
(i) The document must be delivered to the office of the Secretary of State for filing and must be accompanied by one exact or conformed copy, except as provided in Sections 33-31-503 and 33-31-1509, the correct filing fee, and any franchise tax, license fee, or penalty required by this chapter or other law.
SECTION 33-31-121. Forms.
(a) The Secretary of State may prescribe and furnish on request forms for:
(1) an application for a certificate of existence;
(2) a foreign corporation's application for a certificate of authority to transact business in South Carolina;
(3) a foreign corporation's application for a certificate of withdrawal; and
(4) the notice of change of principal office. If the Secretary of State so requires, use of these forms is mandatory.
The Secretary of State through regulation may prescribe a mandatory form with regard to any other forms required or permitted by Chapter 31, Title 33 to be filed in his office. All mandatory forms must comply with the statutory requirements contained in Chapter 31.
(b) The Secretary of State may prescribe and furnish on request forms for other documents required or permitted to be filed by this chapter, but their use is not mandatory.
SECTION 33-31-122. Filing, service, and copying fees.
(a) The Secretary of State shall collect the following fees when the documents described in this subsection are delivered for filing:
(1) Articles of incorporation $25.00
(2) Application for use of indistinguishable name $10.00
(3) Application for reserved name $10.00
(4) Notice of transfer of reserved name $ 3.00
(5) Application for registered name $10.00
(6) Application for renewal of registered name $10.00
(7) Corporation's statement of change of registered agent or $10.00
registered office or both
(8) Agent's statement of change of registered office for each $ 2.00
(9) Agent's statement of resignation $ 3.00
(10) Amendment of articles of incorporation $10.00
(11) Restatement of articles of incorporation with amendments $10.00
(12) Articles of merger $10.00
(13) Articles of dissolution $10.00
(14) Articles of revocation of dissolution $10.00
(15) Certificate of administrative dissolution No Fee
(16) Application for reinstatement following administrative $25.00
(17) Certificate of reinstatement No Fee
(18) Certificate of judicial dissolution No Fee
(19) Application for certificate of authority $10.00
(20) Application for amended certificate of authority $10.00
(21) Application for certificate of withdrawal $10.00
(22) Certificate of revocation of authority to transact business No Fee
(23) Notice of change of principle office $10.00
(24) Articles of correction $10.00
(25) Application for certificate of existence or authorization $10.00
(26) Notification by existing corporation $10.00
(27) Irrevocable election to be governed $25.00
(28) Any other document required or permitted to be filed by this $10.00
(b) The Secretary of State shall collect a fee of ten dollars each time process is served on him under Chapter 31 of this title. The party to a proceeding causing service of process is entitled to recover this fee as costs if he prevails in the proceeding.
(c) The Secretary of State shall collect the following fees for copying and certifying the copy of any filed document relating to a domestic or foreign corporation:
(1) for copying, one dollar for the first page and fifty cents for each additional page; and
(2) two dollars for the certificate.
SECTION 33-31-123. Effective date of document.
(a) Except as provided in subsection (b), a document is effective:
(1) at the time of filing on the date it is filed, as evidenced by the Secretary of State's endorsement on the original document; or
(2) at the time specified in the document as its effective time on the date it is filed.
(b) A document may specify a delayed effective time and date and if it does so the document becomes effective at the time and date specified. If a delayed effective date but no time is specified, the document is effective at the close of business on that date. A delayed effective date for a document may not be later than the ninetieth day after the date filed.
SECTION 33-31-124. Correcting filed document.
(a) A domestic or foreign corporation may correct a document filed by the Secretary of State if the document:
(1) contains an incorrect statement; or
(2) was defectively executed, attested, sealed, verified, or acknowledged.
(b) A document is corrected:
(1) by preparing articles of correction that:
(i) describe the document, including its filing date, or attach a copy of it to the articles;
(ii) specify the incorrect statement and the reason it is incorrect or the manner in which the execution was defective; and
(iii) correct the incorrect statement or defective execution; and
(2) by delivering the articles of correction to the Secretary of State.
(c) Articles of correction are effective on the effective date of the document they correct except as to persons relying on the uncorrected document and adversely affected by the correction. As to those persons, articles of correction are effective when filed.
SECTION 33-31-125. Filing duty of the Secretary of State.
(a) If a document delivered to the office of the Secretary of State for filing satisfies the requirements of Section 33-31-120, the Secretary of State shall file it.
(b) The Secretary of State files a document by stamping or otherwise endorsing "filed", together with his name and official title and date and time of receipt, on both the original and document copy, together with a further endorsement that the document is a true copy of the original document. After filing a document, except as provided in Sections 33-31-503 and 33-31-1510, the Secretary of State shall deliver the document copy to the domestic or foreign corporation or its representative and the document copy must be retained as part of the permanent records of the corporation.
(c) Upon refusing to file a document, the Secretary of State shall return it to the domestic or foreign corporation or its representative within five days after the document was delivered, together with a brief, written explanation of the reason or reasons for the refusal.
(d) The Secretary of State's duty to file documents under this section is ministerial. His filing or refusing to file a document does not:
(1) affect the validity or invalidity of the document in whole or in part;
(2) relate to the correctness or incorrectness of information contained in the document; or
(3) except as provided in Section 33-31-127, create a presumption that the document is valid or invalid or that information contained in the document is correct or incorrect.
SECTION 33-31-126. Appeal from Secretary of State's refusal to file document.
(a) If the Secretary of State refuses to file a document delivered for filing to the Secretary of State's office, the domestic or foreign corporation may appeal the refusal to the court of common pleas for Richland County. The appeal is commenced by petitioning the court to compel filing the document and by attaching to the petition the document and the Secretary of State's explanation of the refusal to file.
(b) The court may summarily order the Secretary of State to file the document or take other action the court considers appropriate.
(c) The court's final decision may be appealed as in other civil proceedings.
SECTION 33-31-127. Evidentiary effect of copy of filed document.
A certificate attached to a copy of a document filed by the Secretary of State, bearing his signature, which may be in facsimile, and the seal of this State, is conclusive evidence that the original document is on file with the Secretary of State and must be taken and received in all courts, public offices, official bodies, and in all proceedings as prima facie evidence of the facts therein stated.
SECTION 33-31-128. Certificate of existence.
(a) A person may apply to the Secretary of State to furnish a certificate of existence for a domestic corporation or certificate of authorization for a foreign corporation.
(b) The certificate of existence or authorization sets forth:
(1) the domestic corporation's corporate name or the foreign corporation's corporate name used in this State;
(2) that (i) the domestic corporation is duly incorporated under the law of this State, the date of its incorporation, and the period of its duration if less than perpetual; or (ii) that the foreign corporation is authorized to transact business in this State;
(3) that all fees, taxes, and penalties owed to the Secretary of State have been paid;
(4) that the Secretary of State has not mailed notice to the corporation pursuant to either Section 33-31-1421 or 33-31-1531 that the corporation is subject to being dissolved or its authority revoked;
(5) that articles of dissolution have not been filed; and
(6) other facts of record in the office of the Secretary of State that may be requested by the applicant.
(c) Subject to any qualification stated in the certificate, a certificate of existence or authorization issued by the Secretary of State may be relied upon as conclusive evidence that the domestic or foreign corporation is in existence or is authorized to transact business in this State.
SECTION 33-31-129. Penalty for signing false document
(a) A person commits an offense if he signs a document he knows is false in any material respect, including an omission of a material fact necessary in order to make the statements made in light of the circumstances under which they were made, not misleading, with intent that the document be delivered to the Secretary of State for filing.
(b) An offense under this section is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not to exceed five hundred dollars.
(c) A person who violates subsection (a) is liable to any person who is damaged by the violation.
SECTION 33-31-130. Powers.
The Secretary of State has the power reasonably necessary to perform the duties required of the Secretary of State's office by this chapter.
SECTION 33-31-140. Definitions.
Unless the context otherwise requires;
(1) "Approved by the members" or "approval by the members" means approved or ratified by the members entitled to vote on the issue through either:
(a) the affirmative vote of a majority of the votes of the members represented and voting at a duly held meeting at which a quorum is present or the affirmative vote of the greater proportion including the votes of any required proportion of the members of any class as the articles, bylaws, or this chapter may provide for specified types of member action; or
(b) a written ballot or written consent in conformity with this chapter.
(2) "Articles of incorporation" or "articles" include amended and restated articles of incorporation and articles of merger.
(3) "Board" or "board of directors" means the individual or individuals vested with overall management of the affairs of the domestic or foreign corporation, irrespective of the name by which the individual or individuals are designated, except that no individual or group of individuals is the board of directors because of powers delegated to that individual or group pursuant to Section 33-31-801(c).
(4) "Bylaws" means the code or codes of rules, other than the articles, adopted pursuant to this chapter for the regulation or management of the affairs of the corporation irrespective of the name or names by which the rules are designated.
(5) "Class" refers to a group of memberships which have the same rights with respect to voting, dissolution, redemption, and transfer. For the purpose of this section, rights are considered the same if they are determined by a formula applied uniformly.
(6) "Conspicuous" means so written that a reasonable person against whom the writing is to operate should have noticed it. For example, printing in italics or boldface or contrasting color or typing in capitals or underlined is conspicuous.
(7) "Corporation" means public benefit, mutual benefit, and religious corporation.
(8) "Delegates" means those persons elected or appointed to vote in a representative assembly for the election of a director or directors or on other matters.
(9) "Deliver" includes mail.
(10) "Directors" means natural persons, designated in the charter or bylaws or elected by the incorporators, and their successors and natural persons elected or appointed to act as members of the board, irrespective of the names or titles by which these persons are described.
(11) "Distribution" means the direct or indirect transfer of assets or any part of the income or profit of a corporation to its members, directors, or officers. The term does not include:
(a) the payment of compensation in a reasonable amount to its members, directors, or officers for services rendered;
(b) conferring benefits on its members in conformity with its purposes; or
(c) repayment of debt obligations in the normal and ordinary course of conducting activities.
(12) "Domestic corporation" means a corporation.
(13) "Effective date of notice" is defined in Section 33-31-141.
(14) "Employee" includes an officer but not a director. A director may accept duties that make him also an employee.
(15) "Entity" includes corporation and foreign corporation; business corporation and foreign business corporation; profit and nonprofit unincorporated association; corporation sole; business trust, estate partnership, trust, and two or more persons having a joint or common economic interest; and state, United States, and foreign government.
(16) "File", "filed", or "filing" means filed in the office of the Secretary of State.
(17) "Foreign corporation" means a corporation organized under a law other than the law of this State which would be a nonprofit corporation if formed under the laws of this State.
(18) "Governmental subdivision" includes authority, county, district, and municipality.
(19) "Includes" denotes a partial definition.
(20) "Individual" includes the estate of an incompetent individual.
(21) "Internal Revenue Code" means the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, or any future federal tax code or succeeding statute of like tenor and effect, and any reference to a section of the Internal Revenue Code also shall mean the corresponding section of any future federal tax code.
(22) "Means" denotes a complete definition.
(23)(a) "Member" means a person entitled, pursuant to a domestic or foreign corporation's articles or bylaws, without regard to what a person is called in the articles or bylaws, to vote on more than one occasion for the election of a director or directors or any other matter which under the terms of this chapter requires approval by the members.
(b) A person is not a member by virtue of any of the following:
(A) any rights the person has as a delegate;
(B) any rights the person has to designate or appoint a director or directors; or
(C) any rights the person has as a director.
(24) "Membership" refers to the rights and obligations a member has pursuant to a corporation's articles, bylaws, and this chapter.
(25) "Mutual benefit corporation" means a domestic corporation which either is formed as a mutual benefit corporation pursuant to Sections 33-31-201 through 33-31-207, is designated a mutual benefit corporation by a statute, or does not come within the definition of public benefit or religious corporation.
(26) "Notice" is defined in Section 33-31-141.
(27) "Person" includes any individual or entity.
(28) "Principal office" means the office, in or out of this State, so designated in the articles of incorporation, application for certificate of authority, or in a notice of change of principal office filed pursuant to either Section 33-31-505 or 33-31-1515 where the principal office of a domestic or foreign corporation is located.
(29) "Proceeding" includes civil suit and criminal, administrative, and investigatory action.
(30) "Public benefit corporation" means a domestic corporation which is formed as a public benefit corporation pursuant to Sections 33-31-201 through 33-31-207 or is required to be a public benefit corporation pursuant to Section 33-31-1707.
(31) "Record date" means the date established under Sections 33-31-601 through 33-31-640 or Sections 33-31-701 through 33-31-730 on which a corporation determines the identity of its members and their membership rights for the purposes of this chapter. The determinations must be made as of the time of close of transactions on the record date unless another time for doing so is specified at the time the record date is fixed.
(32) "Religious corporation" means a domestic corporation which is formed as a religious corporation pursuant to Sections 33-31-201 through 33-31-207 or is required to be a religious corporation pursuant to Section 33-31-1707.
(33) "Secretary" means the corporate officer to whom the board of directors has delegated responsibility under Section 33-31-840(b) for custody of the minutes of the directors' and members' meetings and for authenticating the records of the corporation.
(34) "State", when referring to a part of the United States, includes a state and commonwealth, and their agencies and governmental subdivisions, and a territory, and insular possession, and their agencies and governmental subdivisions of the United States.
(35) "United States" includes district, authority, bureau, commission, department, and any other agency of the United States.
(36) "Vote" includes authorization by written ballot and written consent.
(37) "Voting power" means the total number of votes entitled to be cast on the issue at the time the determination of voting power is made, excluding a vote which is contingent upon the happening of a condition or event which has not occurred at the time. Where a class is entitled to vote as a class for directors, the determination of voting power of the class must be based on the percentage of the number of directors the class is entitled to elect out of the total number of authorized directors.
SECTION 33-31-141. Notice.
(a) Notice may be oral or written.
(b) Notice may be communicated in person; by telephone, telegraph, teletype, facsimile transmission (FAX), or other form of wire or wireless communication; or by mail or private carrier. If these forms of personal notice are impracticable, notice may be communicated by a newspaper of general circulation in the area where published; or by radio, television, or other form of public broadcast communications.
(c) Oral notice is permissible if reasonable under the circumstances and is effective when communicated if communicated in a comprehensible manner. Oral notice also includes notice through broadcast transmission.
(d) Written notice, if in a comprehensible form, is effective at the earliest or the following:
(1) when received;
(2) five days after its deposit in the United States mail, if mailed correctly addressed and with first class postage affixed;
(3) on the date shown on the return receipt, if sent by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, and the receipt is signed by or on behalf of the addressee;
(4) fifteen days after its deposit in the United States mail, if mailed correctly addressed and with other than first class, registered, or certified postage affixed.
(e) Written notice is correctly addressed to a member of a domestic or foreign corporation if addressed to the member's address shown in the corporation's current list of members.
(f) A written notice or report delivered as part of a newsletter, magazine or other publication regularly sent to members constitutes a written notice or report if addressed or delivered to the member's address shown in the corporation's current list of members, or in the case of members who are residents of the same household and who have the same address in the corporation's current list of members, if addressed or delivered to one of such members, at the address appearing on the current list of members.
(g) Written notice is correctly addressed to a domestic or foreign corporation, authorized to transact business in this State, other than in its capacity as a member, if addressed to its registered agent or to its secretary at its principal office shown in its most recent Notice of Change of Principal Office and if none has been filed, in its articles of incorporation or application for certificate of authority.
(h) If Section 33-31-705(b) or any other provision of this chapter prescribes notice requirements for particular circumstances, those requirements govern. If articles or bylaws prescribe notice requirements, not inconsistent with this section or other provisions of this chapter, those requirements govern.
SECTION 33-31-150. Private foundations.
Except where otherwise determined by a court of competent jurisdiction, a corporation that is a private foundation as defined in Section 509(a) of the Internal Revenue Code:
(a) shall distribute such amounts for each taxable year at such time and in such manner as not to subject the corporation to tax under Section 4942 of the Internal Revenue Code;
(b) may not engage in any act of self-dealing as defined in Section 4941(d) of the Internal Revenue Code;
(c) may not retain any excess business holdings as defined in Section 4943(c) of the Internal Revenue Code;
(d) may not make any taxable expenditures as defined in Section 4944 of the Internal Revenue Code;
(e) may not make any taxable expenditures as defined in Section 4945(d) of the Internal Revenue Code.
SECTION 33-31-151. Express amendment excluding application of Section 33-31-150.
A corporation may amend its articles of incorporation expressly to include the application of Section 33-31-150, or any portion of that section.
SECTION 33-31-152. Rights of State are not impaired.
Nothing in Sections 33-31-150, 33-31-151, 62-7-506, and 62-7-507 impairs the rights and powers of the courts or the Attorney General of this State with respect to a corporation.
SECTION 33-31-155. Authority to dispose of assets from a dissolved nonprofit corporation or eleemosynary organization.
(A) Persons serving as directors or trustees at the time of dissolution of a nonprofit corporation or eleemosynary organization created pursuant to Section 33-31-10 and located in Florence County for the public good other than religious purposes are invested with the authority to dispose of any remaining assets of the corporation by resolution pursuant to the requirements of this section.
(B) The corporation's charter does not have to be reinstated for the disposition of such assets.
(C) The directors or trustees must call a special meeting for the limited purpose of disposing of the corporate assets remaining after dissolution. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a quorum shall not be required for the conducting of the special meeting. Notice of such meeting must be published in a newspaper of general circulation, in the county in which the organization was perfected, for a period of one week prior to the meeting date.
(D) The assets may only be disposed of if a majority of the directors or trustees present and voting cast a favorable majority for such disposition. The assets must be distributed in such a manner to ensure their continued use for public and civic purposes.
(E) If persons serving as directors or trustees at the time of dissolution are deceased or have not taken action to dispose of assets of a dissolved nonprofit eleemosynary organization within five years of dissolution, any remaining assets escheat to the general fund of the State.
SECTION 33-31-160. Judicial relief.
(a) If for any reason it is impractical or impossible for a corporation to call or conduct a meeting of its members, delegates, or directors, or otherwise obtain their consent, in the manner prescribed by its articles, bylaws, or this chapter, then upon petition of a director, officer, delegate, member, or the Attorney General, the court of common pleas for the county in which the principal office designated on the last filed notice of change of principal office, articles, or application for authority to transact business is located, or if none within South Carolina, then the Richland County Court of Common Pleas, may order that such a meeting be called or that a written ballot or other form of obtaining the vote of members, delegates, or directors be authored, in such a manner as the court finds fair and equitable under the circumstances.
(b) The court, in an order issued pursuant to this section, shall provide for a method of notice reasonably designed to give actual notice to all persons who would be entitled to notice of a meeting held pursuant to the articles, bylaws, and this chapter, whether or not the method results in actual notice to all such persons or conforms to the notice requirements that would otherwise apply. In a proceeding under this section, the court may determine who the members or directors are.
(c) The order issued pursuant to this section may dispense with any requirement relating to the holding of or voting at meetings or obtaining votes, including any requirement as to quorums or as to the number or percentage of votes needed for approval, that would otherwise be imposed by the articles, bylaws, or this chapter.
(d) Whenever practical, any order issued pursuant to this section shall limit the subject matter of meetings or other forms of consent authorized to items, including amendments to the articles or bylaws, the resolution of which will or may enable the corporation to continue managing its affairs without further resort to this section. However, an order under this section may also authorize the obtaining of whatever votes and approvals are necessary for the dissolution, merger, or sale of assets.
(e) Any meeting or other method of obtaining the vote of members, delegates, or directors conducted pursuant to an order issued under this section and that complies with all the provisions of such order, is a valid meeting or vote, as the case may be, and has the same force and effect as if it complied with every requirement imposed by the articles, bylaws, and this chapter.
SECTION 33-31-170. Attorney General.
(a) The Attorney General must be given notice of the commencement of any proceeding that this chapter authorizes the Attorney General to bring but that has been commenced by another person.
(b) Whenever a provision of this chapter requires that notice be given to the Attorney General before or after commencing a proceeding or permits the Attorney General to commence a proceeding:
(1) if no proceeding has been commenced, the Attorney General may take appropriate action including, but not limited to, seeking injunctive relief;
(2) if a proceeding has been commenced by a person other than the Attorney General, the Attorney General, as of right, may intervene in the proceeding.
SECTION 33-31-171. Investigation by Attorney General authorized.
The Attorney General, or any of his assistants or representatives when authorized by the Attorney General, may make investigations into the organization, conduct, and management of a nonprofit corporation, domestic or foreign, operating in this State. Every such corporation shall permit the Attorney General or any of his authorized assistants or representatives to examine and take copies of all its books, accounts, records, minutes, letters, memoranda, documents, checks, vouchers, telegrams, articles, bylaws, and any and all other records of any such corporation as often as the Attorney General may deem it necessary to show or tend to show that the corporation has been, or is, engaged in acts or conduct in violation of its charter rights and privileges or in violation of any law of this State.
SECTION 33-31-172. Requesting permission to make examinations.
A written request must be made to the president or another officer of the nonprofit corporation at the time the Attorney General or his assistants or representatives desire to examine the affairs of the corporation, and it is the duty of the officer or his agent to immediately permit the Attorney General, or his authorized assistants or representatives, to inspect and examine any of the documents of the corporation.
SECTION 33-31-173. Use of information is restricted.
The Attorney General, or his authorized assistants or representatives, may not make public or use any document, copy, or other information derived in the course of an examination authorized by Sections 33-31-170 through 33-31-175, except in a judicial proceeding to which the State is a party or in a suit by the State to revoke the certificate of authority or cause the articles of the corporation to be forfeited or to collect penalties for a violation of the laws of this State or for the information of any officer of this State charged with the enforcement of its laws.
SECTION 33-31-174. Forfeiture of right to operate for refusing examination.
A foreign nonprofit corporation operating in this State under certificate of authority granted under the laws of this State, or any officer or agent thereof, or any domestic nonprofit corporation which fails or refuses to permit the Attorney General or his authorized assistants or representatives to examine or take copies of any of its documents as provided in Sections 33-31-170 through 33-31-175, whether they be situated within or without this State, shall forfeit its right to operate in this State and its articles of incorporation or certificate of authority shall be canceled or forfeited.
SECTION 33-31-175. Provisions are cumulative.
The provisions of Sections 33-31-170 through 33-31-175 are cumulative of all other laws now in force in this State and may not be construed as repealing any other means afforded by law for securing testimony or inquiring into the affairs of domestic or foreign nonprofit corporations.
SECTION 33-31-180. Religious corporations; Constitutional protections.
If religious doctrine governing the affairs of a religious corporation is inconsistent with the provisions of this chapter on the same subject, the religious doctrine controls to the extent required by the Constitution of the United States or the Constitution of South Carolina, or both.
SECTION 33-31-1102. Limitations on mergers by public benefit or religious corporations.
(a) Without the prior approval of the court of common pleas of Richland County in a proceeding in which the Attorney General has been given written notice, a public benefit or religious corporation may merge only with:
(1) a public benefit or religious corporation;
(2) a foreign corporation that would qualify under this chapter as a public benefit or religious corporation;
(3) a foreign or domestic business; mutual benefit corporation; or a corporation chartered directly by special act of the General Assembly, a city, county, or other governmental unit other than the Secretary of State, provided the public benefit or religious corporation is the surviving corporation and continues to be a public benefit or religious corporation after the merger; or,
(4) a foreign or domestic business or mutual benefit corporation, provided that:
(i) on or before the effective date of the merger, assets with a value equal to the greater of the fair market value of the net tangible and intangible assets, including goodwill, of the public benefit corporation or religious corporation or the fair market value of the public benefit corporation or religious corporation if it were to be operated as a business concern are transferred or conveyed to one or more persons who would have received its assets under Section 33-31-1406(a)(5) and (6) had it dissolved;
(ii) it shall return, transfer, or convey any assets held by it upon condition requiring return, transfer, or conveyance, which condition occurs by reason of the merger, in accordance with such condition; and
(iii) the merger is approved by a majority of directors of the public benefit or religious corporation who are not and will not become members or shareholders in or officers, employees, agents, or consultants of the surviving corporation.
(b) At least twenty days before consummation of a merger of a public benefit corporation or a religious corporation pursuant to subsection (a)(4), notice, including a copy of the proposed plan of merger, must be delivered to the Attorney General.
(c) No member of a public benefit or religious corporation may receive or keep anything as a result of a merger other than a membership or membership in the surviving public benefit or religious corporation.
(d) Where approval or consent is required by this section, it must be given if the transaction is consistent with the purposes of the public benefit or religious corporation or is otherwise in the public interest.
SALE AND DISTRIBUTION OF ASSETS
SECTION 33-31-1201. Sale of assets in regular course of activities and mortgage of assets.
(a) A corporation, on the terms and conditions and for the consideration determined by the board of directors, may:
(1) sell, lease, exchange, or otherwise dispose of all, or substantially all, of its property in the usual and regular course of its activities; or
(2) mortgage, pledge, dedicate to the repayment of indebtedness, whether with or without recourse, or otherwise encumber any or all of its property whether or not in the usual and regular course of its activities.
(b) Unless the articles require it, approval of the members or any other person of a transaction described in subsection (a) is not required.
SECTION 33-31-1202. Sale of assets other than in regular course of activities.
(a) A corporation may sell, lease, exchange, or otherwise dispose of all, or substantially all, of its property, with or without the goodwill, other than in the usual and regular course of its activities on the terms and conditions and for the consideration determined by the corporation's board if the proposed transaction is authorized by subsection (b).
(b) Unless this chapter, the articles, or bylaws, require a greater vote or voting by class, the proposed transaction to be authorized must be approved:
(1) by the board;
(2) by the members by two-thirds of the votes cast or a majority of the voting power, whichever is less; and
(3) in writing by any person whose approval is required by a provision of the articles authorized by Section 33-31-1030 for an amendment to the articles or bylaws.
(c) If the corporation does not have members, or does not have members entitled to vote on the transaction, the transaction must be approved by a vote of a majority of the directors in office at the time the transaction is approved. In addition, the corporation shall provide notice of any directors' meeting at which such approval is to be obtained in accordance with Section 33-31-822(c). The notice also must state that the purpose, or one of the purposes, of the meeting is to consider the sale, lease, exchange, or other disposition of all, or substantially all, of the property or assets of the corporation and contain or be accompanied by a copy or summary of a description of the transaction.
(d) If the corporation seeks to have the transaction approved by the members at a membership meeting, the corporation shall give notice to its members of the proposed membership meeting in accordance with Section 33-31-705. The notice also must state that the purpose, or one of the purposes, of the meeting is to consider the sale, lease, exchange, or other disposition of all, or substantially all, of the property or assets of the corporation and contain or be accompanied by a copy or summary of a description of the transaction.
(e) If the board needs to have the transaction approved by the members by written consent or written ballot, the material soliciting the approval shall contain or be accompanied by a copy or summary of a description of the transaction.
(f) A public benefit or religious corporation must give written notice to the Attorney General twenty days before it sells, leases, exchanges, or otherwise disposes of all, or substantially all, of its property if the transaction is not in the usual and regular course of its activities unless the Attorney General has given the corporation a written waiver of this subsection.
(g) After a sale, lease, exchange, or other disposition of property is authorized, the transaction may be abandoned, subject to any contractual rights, without further action by the members or any other person who approved the transaction in accordance with the procedure set forth in the resolution proposing the transaction or, if none is set forth, in the manner determined by the board of directors.
Questions From a Ewe
Challenges Facing Catholicism
(Bishop Geoffrey Robinson in converation with Dr Ingrid Shafer)