scouts-l Mail Archive for November of 1999: Re: Who "owns" a Troop?--another angle (somewhat not loved by all)
Daniel T. Fitzhenry, Esq. (dfitzhen@BELLATLANTIC.NET
Wed Nov 03 1999 - 22:12:37 CST
Gee normally I don't comment......
But......to protect troop assets and/or faciliate the ownership of
things the CO is not willing to deal with (ie. vehicles or land or lots
of stuff).....then one answer lies in the following:
Set up a separate entity (some states have non-incorporated
associations or require a some corporate identity--no real big deal for
a "scouter" attorney)...the new and separate entity would be known as
"Friends of Troop XYZ"..."....an entity/group/association/non-profit
corp. whose only function is to hold in trust equipment/funds for the
use of the troop XYZ and its members....and other successor troop(s) of
XYZ as the association would see fit. This organization would get a
separate EIN, hence eliminating the burden on the CO. Here, neither the
CO nor the Council could lay claim, per se, on the asets but neither
would they have liability associated with those assets. Also, it could
be easily argued that the new entity is not necessarily held to the same
fundraiser parameters of troops -- yet decorum would no doubt rule.
As an example, in the Pittsburgh area, when the steel industry died
in the 1980's and lots of people left the area, many churches went under
or were merged; troops disappeared and the "survivors" were often not
too successful in geting "all hard-earned equipemnt" transferred from
defunct troops to remaining troops...church members (and troops) who
thought that they had standing to say where the assets were to go to,
(since they had worked hard to get the funding for such) found that they
were not the owners and thus had no standing to make such a request --
their requests were often unanswered.
Hence, having learned a hard lesson, some churches (and troops) now
have "Friends of ....." accounts to protect local assets.
Also, try getting land donated to the troop or a troop to own a
vehicle; and, have the CO become aware of the CO's potential liability,
if they are "legally smart" they'll say, prduently, "NO WAY" -- then
what??--see above. But I laud the CO who is willing to take some risk
and hold "co-title".
This methodolgy of a separate entiy is loved by some councils and
CO's, as it is clean with repect to $$, property ownership, and also
distances the troop and the CO from liabiltiy; but, is absolutely
despised, discouraged, and deemed blasphemy by others.
Dan Fitzhenry, Esq.
ASM Troop 139
Verona-Penn Hills, Pennsylvania
Ted Burton wrote:
> At 2:59 -0600 on 11/3/99, Sarah Nunez spake about Re: Who "owns" a Troop? thus:
> >But if the bank account holding those funds is in the name of the
> >troop, and the donation/fundraiser checks to put in that account are
> >made out to the troop, then the KoC will have a hard row to hoe
> >proving that the vehicle titled in the name of the troop actually
> >belongs to the KoC. Their only possible recourse would be to produce
> >written policy documents from the BSA stating that a chartering
> >organization in fact owns all assets of the troop it charters.
> And even such policy documents would just be nice words, unable to
> bootstrap themselves into law. Such words, if true under the facts
> and law, would be true; and if untrue under the facts and law, would
> be ineffective to alter fact or law.
> Asst Scoutmaster, District Committee, District Commissioner,
> Lewis-Clark Trail District, Inland Northwest Council 611, & 'a good
> ol' Fox too'; Es Kaielgu Lodge 311, Tseminicum Chapter, Vigil,
> mailto:email@example.com ; and Macintosh fan. Take a look at