Moose International files suit to claim Claremont lodge
CLAREMONT — Moose International has filed a lawsuit claiming ownership of the former Moose Lodge on Broad Street.
“They don’t have a dime in the building,” said lawsuit defendant and former Claremont Moose Lodge Administrator Howard A. Bowie Jr. “If they own the building, why aren’t we paying them rent, and why aren’t they fixing everything in the building?”
In May, Moose International revoked the charter of the Claremont Moose Lodge Family Center on Broad Street, stripping it of its status as a Moose Lodge.
Earlier this month, former members of the Moose Lodge gathered at the 209 Broad St. building and voted to become an Eagles Club.
The lodge has the largest function hall in the city and renting it out is how the new Eagles Club will support itself, Bowie said.
In the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Concord on July 10, Moose International of Mooseheart, Ill., claims the Lodge Hall is the rightful property of Moose International.
In 2012, the Claremont Moose Lodge had a dispute with Moose International over $34,000 in past due liability insurance payments.
The Claremont lodge agreed to make payments, but this year asked Moose International for a new court-negotiated payment agreement because of the high interest rates Moose International was charging, Bowie said.
Instead, the Claremont charter was revoked.
At the time, T. Michael Leuer, general counsel for Moose International, Inc., would only confirm that the charter had been revoked May 29, based upon the Lodge’s intentional failure to comply with Moose International general laws.
“Pursuant to the terms of the General Laws and the Articles of Agreement, upon revocation of the Claremont Lodge charter, Plaintiff is entitled to all property of the Claremont Lodge, including the Lodge Hall, after the payment of all indebtedness of the lodge,” the lawsuit says.
The defunct Claremont lodge owes Moose International more than $40,000, according to the lawsuit.
The building was assessed at $301,100 in 2013, according to the lawsuit.
Named in the suit is the Claremont Lodge No. 1201, Loyal Order of Moose, and the five former board members, Bowie, his son Howard A. Bowie III, Kevin Blaine, Patrick McCann and Harold Hall.