Lex Caecilia de collegis et sodaliciis (Nova Roma)

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Codex Iuris Novae Romae


Civic life (Nova Roma)


This lex is currently IN FORCE.

Approved by comitia plebis tributa
Yes: 19 No: 0 Abs.: 0
a.d. IV Id. Dec. C. Cethego Q. Arrio (IV) cos. MMDCCLXXVI a.u.c.

I. Based on the lex Cassia de sodalitatibus, Nova Roman citizens have the privilege to form sodalitates in Nova Roma. This present law enhances this right and gives even more possibilities for Nova Romans to forum internal civic societies within Nova Roma in which membership may be extended to Latins or non-citizens.

II. Forms of civic association in Nova Roma

There shall exist two forms of internal civic societies in Nova Roma: state sponsored associations (corpora publica) and private associations (corpora privata).

A. State sponsored civic associations, which were, before the enactment of this law, officially termed sodalitates, shall henceforth be classified as collegia. If an existing collegium wishes to continue the name “sodalitas,” they are allowed to use this word as their brand name, but their appellation as a legal entity will be collegium (for example: Collegium “Sodalitas Militaris”). A private association may not use the word collegium in their name except if the senate grants a special authorization for that. State sponsored associations shall enjoy priority over private associations, shall be entitled to all forms of support, assistance and publicity from the state and may take over certain functions of the state and be granted privileges and monopolies over certain activities, assets or areas of interest.
B. Private civic associations do not have a special status in Nova Roma, but the state shall allow place for them to exert their beneficial activities among the citizenry. After the enactment of this lex, private associations may be legally termed as
1. sodalitas and sodalicium (henceforward "sodalitas") if they include at least a ceremonial aspect, or
2. societas if they are purely of profane and commercial nature.

III. Requirement of registration for associations

A. Each association which, by its own definition, assists, supports or serves Nova Roma or the citizens of Nova Roma, or which appears in the interpretation of the aediles as doing so, shall register itself at the aediles, with their name and charter. Associations that do not agree with such an interpretation have the right to legal objection and remedy according to the judicial procedures of Nova Roma. Unregistered societies may not have any legal protection or any rights in Nova Roma. The process of registration is the following:
1. The approval of private associations by the aediles shall be automatic, unless there is any subversive, dangerous or highly unRoman and unlawful in the their character. Their charter of all these societies must state who are the presiding officers of the association (or any officer who can serve as the contact person for Nova Roman authorities). Certain private associations may not have an official charter (for example a business company): such societies shall describe to the aediles in a few words their structure, name their owners, directors, location and similar.
2. The approval procedure for state sponsored associations shall remain the same as defined by the lex Cassia.
3. If an association has a macronational legal entity it must be reported in the registration document.
B. Unregistered civic societies and groups may not bear the titles collegium, sodalitas, sodalicium, societas, corpus, corporatio, sociatio (and terms etymologically including the previous words e.g. associatio, consociatio, incorporatio etc.). If an unregistered society uses these terms in their name, or if it operates under another title but it appears, in a significant part, to work for the benefit of Nova Roman citizens (as described in III.A), the aediles shall privately warn the involved citizens to register their association. If the involved citizens do not comply with the private warning within a nundinum, the aediles shall repeat the warning in private and shall issue a public warning at the same time. If there is still no cooperation by the leaders of the association after another nundinum, the aediles shall initiate a legis actio against all involved citizens, and if proven guilty, said citizens shall suffer a penalty of census point deduction up to 100 CP, and/or multa pecuniaria and/or inhabilitatio up to five years.
C. Any association founded outside the frames of Nova Roma may be also registered at the aediles as a society operating in Nova Roma, as well. This clause refers also to those associations that were founded by Nova Roman citizens who originally did not intend to include their association within the framework of Nova Roman civic life.
1. Their acceptance is determined by the same rules as those of the associations founded within Nova Roma, but they do not have to declare a ceremonial function or patron deities.
2. Such registered societies may be imposed certain requirements of contribution to Nova Roma and may be granted various benefits, as defined by law.

IV. The charter of associations

A. Collegia and sodalitates shall define a ceremonial purpose of religious nature, such as honoring one or more patron deities the cult of whom will be the formal legitimation of the society, or the celebration of certain festivals, occasions (for example, burial) because ancient Roman civic societies were always formed around some sacral purpose, at least nominally. The deity can be of any religion, but only such deity who was worshiped in the territory and time period of the ancient Roman Empire (all eras). This shall not be interpreted as obligatory worship or participation in the sacred activity for all members, except if the society willingly sets this as a rule for members in the charter. Actual religious ceremonies will not be required, but the society must have a declared ceremonial purpose. Societates do not have to define a ceremonial purpose.
B. Only Nova Roman citizens may be authorized in the charter to hold any office in a collegium. Sodalitates and societates may have non-citizen officers.

V. Scope of this law

A. Various types of res publicae, municipalities and reenactment military units do not belong among the civic associations.
B. Besides the general category of associations, gladiatorial groups belong under the present lex, and officially registered merchants of Nova Roma who are allowed to advertise in our forums and sell products to citizens shall belong under the present lex, as well. If a merchant forms a company (association, corporation, a brand), they shall register their company according to this lex; if they operate as private individuals, simply as registered merchants of Nova Roma, under the regulations of the aediles, they do not have to register an association.
C. All registered associations function under the authority of Nova Roman law, and under the supervising authority of the magistrates and officers of Nova Roma, in as much as their activity is related to Nova Roma. At the same time, Nova Roma recognizes that macronational law has precedence and the rule of Nova Roman law depends on the acceptance of it by the involved parties; however Nova Roma reserves the right to exclude those individuals and entities from the organization which do not accept its internal legal system.
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