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real property,] railroads, and such other enterprise or business as may be otherwise specially provided for in this code, may make, sign, and acknowledge, before some officer competent to take the acknowledgment of deeds, and file in the officer of the recorder of deeds, a certificate in writing: Provided, That nothing herein contained shall be held to authorize the organization of corporations to buy, sell, or deal in real estate, except corporations to transact the business ordinarily carried on by real-estate agents or brokers.
Sec. 606. In such certificate shall be stated
First. The corporate name of the company and the object for which it is formed. Second. The term of its existence, which may be perpetual.
Third. The amount of the capital stock of the company and the number of shares of which said stock shall consist.
Fourth. The number of trustees who shall manage the concerns of the company for the first year and their names.
Fifth. The name of the place in the District in which the operations of the company are to be carried on.
Sec. 607. SIGNERS INCORPORATED.-When the certificate shall have been filed, in accordance with the provisions of the preceding section, the persons who shall have signed and acknowledged the same and their successors shall be a body politic and corporate in fact and in name, by the name stated in such certificate, and by that name have succession and be capable of suing and being sued in any court of law or equity in the District; and they and their successors may have a common seal and make and alter the same at pleasure, and they shall by their corporate name be capable in law of purchasing, holding, and conveying any real or personal estate whatever which may be necessary to enable the company to carry on its operations named in such certificates, but shall not mortgage such estate or give any lien thereon, except in pursuance of a vote of the stockholders of the company.
Sec. 608. TRUSTEES.— The stock, property, and concerns of such company shall be managed by not less than three nor more than fifteen trustees, who shall, respectively, be stockholders, and a majority citizens of the District, and shall, except for the first year, be annually elected by the stockholders, at such time and place as shall be determined by the by-laws of the company.
Sec. 609. ELECTIONS.-Public notice of the time and place of holding such election shall be published not less than thirty days previous thereto in some newspaper printed and published in the District, and the election shall be made by such of the stockholders as shall attend for that purpose, either in person or by proxy. All the elections shall be by ballot, and each stockholder shall be entitled to as many votes as he owns shares of stock in the company, and the persons receiving the greatest number of votes shall be trustees; and when any vacancy shall happen among the trustees it shall be filled for the remainder of the year in such manner as may be provided by the by-laws of the company.
Sec. 610. In case it shall happen at any time that an election of trustees shall not be made on the day designated by the by-laws of said company when it ought to have been made, the company shall not for that reason be dissolved, but it shall be lawful on any other day to hold an election for trustees, in such manner as shall be provided by the by-laws, and all acts of trustees shall be valid and binding as against said company until their successors shall be elected.
Sec. 611. OFFICERS.— There shall be a president of the company, who shall be designated from the trustees; and also such subordinate officers as may be elected or appointed, and who may be required to give security for the faithful performance of the duties of their office, as the company by its by-laws may require.
Sec. 612. BY-LAWS. — The trustees shall have power to make such prudential by-laws as they deem proper for the management and disposal of the stock and business affairs of such company, not inconsistent with the laws of the District and the Constitution of the United States, and prescribing the duties of officers, artificers, and servants that may be employed, for the appointment of all officers, and for carrying on all kinds of business within the objects and purposes of such company.
Sec. 613. CALLS.-No company incorporated under this subchapter shall be authorized to transact any business until ten per centum of the capital stock shall have been actually paid in, either in money or in property at its actual value; and it shall be lawful for the trustees to call in and demand from the stockholders the residue of their subscriptions in money or property at such times and in s'ich installments as the trustees shall deem proper, under the penalty of forfeiting the shares of stock subscribed for and all previous payments made thereon, if payment shall not be made by the stockholder within sixty days after a personal demand or a notice requiring such payment shall have been published for six successive weeks in a newspaper in the District.
Sec. 614. STOCK.—The stock of such company shall be deemed personal estate and shall be transferable in such manner as shall be prescribed by the by-laws of the company; but no shares shall be transferable until all previous calls thereon shall have been fully paid in or the shares shall have been declared forfeited for nonpayment.
Sec. 615. LIABILITY OF STOCKHOLDERS. — All the stockholders of every company incorporated under this subchapter shall be severally individually liable to the creditors of the company in which they are stockholders for the unpaid amount due upon the shares of stock held by them, respectively, for all debts and contracts made by such company, until the whole amount of capital stock fixed and limited by such company shall have been paid in, and a certificate thereof shall have been made and recorded, as prescribed in the following section.
Sec. 616. PAYMENTS ON CAPITAL STOCK.—The president and a majority of the trustees, within thirty days after the payment of the last installment of the capital stock so fixed and limited, shall make a certificate stating the amount of the capital so fixed and paid in, which certificate shall be signed and sworn to by the president and a majority of the trustees; and they shall within the said thirty days record the same in the office of the recorder of deeds of the District.
Sec. 617. ANNUAL REPORTS. -Every such company shall annually, except insurance companies, within twenty days from the first of January, make a report, which shall be published in a newspaper in the District, which shall state the amount of capital and of the proportion actually paid and the amount of existing debts, which report shall be signed by the president and a majority of the trustees, and shall be verified by the oath of the president or secretary of the company, and filed in the office of the recorder of deeds of the District.
Sec. 618. PENALTY FOR FAILURE.-If any company fails to comply with the provisions of the preceding section, any creditor of the corporation or other person interested may by petition for mandamus against the corporation and its proper officers compel such publication to be made, and in such case the court shall require the corporation or the officers at fault to pay all the expenses of the proceeding, including counsel fees. — Act of June 30, 1902.
[Sec. 618. PENALTY FOR FAILURE.-If any company fails to comply with the provisions of the preceding section, all the trustees of such company shall be jointly and severally liable for the debts of the company then existing and for all that shall be contracted before such report shall be made.]
Sec. 619. FALSE REPORT.—If any certificate or report made or public notice given by the officers of any company in pursuance of the provisions of this subchapter shall be false in any material representation, all the officers who shall have signed the same, knowing it to be false, shall be jointly and severally liable for all debts of the company contracted while they are stockholders or officers thereof.
Sec. 620. STOCK OF OTHER COMPANIES NOT TO BE BOUGHT.-It shall not be lawful for any company to use any of their funds in the purchase of any stock in any other corporation.
Sec. 621. LOANS TO STOCKHOLDERS.- No loan of money shall be made by any company upon the security, in whole or in part, of its own stock; and if any such loan shall be made, the trustee or officer authorizing the same shall be responsible to the corporation therefor: Provided, That nothing herein contained shall be held to release the borrower in such a case from liability to the corporation.- Act of June 30, 1902.
[Sec. 621. LOANS TO STOCKHOLDERS.—No loan of money shall be made by any company upon the security, in whole or in part, of its own stock; and if any such loan shall be made to a stockholder, the officers who shall make it or who shall assent thereto shall be jointly and severally liable, to the extent of such loan and interest, for all debts of the company contracted while they are stockholders or officers thereof.]
Sec. 622. DIVIDENDS.—If the trustees of any company shall declare and pay any dividend the payment of which would render it insolvent, or which would diminish the amount of its capital stock, they shall be jointly and severally liable for all the debts of the company then existing and for all that shall be thereafter contracted while they shall respectively remain in office.
Sec. 623. If any of the trustees shall object to declaring such dividend or the payment of the same, and shall, at any time before the time fixed for the payment thereof, file a certificate of their objection in writing with the secretary of the company and with the recorder of deeds of the District, they shall be exempt from the liability prescribed in the preceding section.
Sec. 624. EXECUTORS, AND SO FORTH, NOT PERSONALLY LIABLE.—No person holding stock in such company as executor, administrator, guardian, or trustee shall be personally subject to any liability as stockholder of such company, but the estate and funds in the hands of such executor, administrator, guardian, or trustee shall be liable in like
manner and to the same extent as the testator or intestate or the ward or person interested in such trust fund would have been if he had been living and competent to act and hold the stock in his own name.
Sec. 625. EXECUTORS, AND SO FORTH, MAY VOTE.—Every such executor, administrator, guardian, or trustee shall represent the stock in his hands at all meetings of the company, and may vote accordingly as a stockholder.
Sec. 626. PLEDGES OF STOCK.-No person holding stock in such company as collateral security shall be personally subject to any liability as stockholder of such company, but the person pledging such stock shall be considered as holding the same, and shall be liable as a stockholder accordingly; and every person who shall pledge his stock as collateral security may, nevertheless, represent the same at all meetings and vote as a stockholder.
Sec. 627. STOCK BOOK.-It shall be the duty of the trustees of every corporation formed under this subchapter to cause a book to be kept by the treasurer or secretary thereof, containing the names of all persons alphabetically arranged, who are or shall within six years have been stockholders of such company, and showing their place of residence, the number of shares of stock held by them respectively, the time when they became owners of such shares, and the amount of stock actually paid in.
Sec. 628. Such book shall, during the usual business hours of the day, on every business day, be open for inspection of stockholders and creditors of the company and their personal representatives, at the office or principal place of business of such company in the District where its business operations shall be located, and any stockholder, creditor, or representative shall have a right to make extracts from such books.
Sec. 629. TRANSFERS.- A person in whose name shares of stock stand on the books of a company shall be deemed the owner thereof as regards the company, but if any such person shall in good faith sell, pledge, or otherwise dispose of any of his shares of stock to another and deliver to him the certificate for such shares, with written authority for the transfer of the same on the books, the title of the former shall vest in the latter so far as may be necessary to effect the purpose of the sale, pledge, or other disposition, not only as between the parties themselves, but also as against the creditors of and subsequent purchasers from the former, subject to the provisions of section six hundred and fourteen.
Sec. 630. Such book shall be presumptive evidence of the facts therein stated in favor of the plaintiff in any suit or proceeding against such company or against any one or more stockholders.
Sec. 631. INSPECTION OF BOOKS. – Every officer or agent of any company who shall neglect to make any proper entry in such book, or shall refuse or neglect to exhibit the same, or allow the same to be inspected and extracts to be taken therefrom, as herein provided, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and the company shall pay to the party injured a penalty of fifty dollars for any such neglect or refusal, and all damages resulting therefrom.
Sec. 632. Every company that shall neglect to keep such book open for inspection, as provided in section six hundred and twenty-eight, shall forfeit to the United States the sum of fifty dollars for every day it shall so neglect, to be sued for and recovered in the supreme court of the District.
Sec. 633. INCREASE OR DIMINUTION OF STOCK.-Any company which may be formed under this subchapter may increase or diminish its capital stock, by complying with the provisions of this subchapter, to any amount which may be deemed sufficient and proper for the purposes of the corporation, and may also extend its business to any other business authorized hereby, subject to the provisions and liabilities of this subchapter.
Sec. 634. Before any corporation shall be entitled to diminish the amount of its capital stock, if the amount of its debts and liabilities shall exceed the amount of capital to which it is proposed to be reduced, such amount of debts and liabilities shall be satisfied and reduced so as not to exceed such diminished amount of capital.
Sec. 635. Whenever any company shall desire to call a meeting of the stockholders for the purpose of increasing or diminishing the amount of its capital stock, or for extending or changing its business, it shall be the duty of the trustees or directors to publish a notice, signed by a majority of them, in a newspaper in the District, at least three successive weeks, and to deposit a notice thereof in the postoffice addressed to each stockholder at his usual place of residence, at least three weeks previous to the day fixed upon for holding such meeting, specifying the object of the meeting and the time and place when and where such meeting shall be held.
Sec. 636. If, at any time and place specified in the notice provided for in the preceding section, stockholders shall appear by proxy or in person representing not less than two-thirds of all the shares of stock of the corporation, they shall organize and proceed to a vote of those present or by proxy.
Sec. 637. If, on canvassing the votes, it shall appear that a sufficient number of votes are in favor of increasing or diminishing the amount of capital, or extending or changing the business of the company, a certificate of the proceedings, showing a compliance with the provisions of this subchapter, the amount of capital actually paid in, the business to which it is extended or changed, the whole amount of debts and liabilities of the company, and the amount to which the capital shall be increased or diminished, shall be made out, signed, and verified by the affidavit of the chairman, and be countersigned by the secretary.
Sec. 638. Such certificate shall be acknowledged by the chairman, and filed as required by section six hundred and six, and when so filed the capital stock of such corporation shall be increased or diminished to the amount specified in the certificate, and the business extended or changed accordingly; and the company shall be entitled to the privileges and provisions and be subject to the liabilities of this subchapter.
Sec. 639. A vote of at least two-thirds of all the shares of the stock of a company shall be necessary to an increase or diminution of the amount of its capital stock or the extension or change of its business.
Sec. 640. COPY OF CERTIFICATE TO BE EVIDENCE.-A copy of any certificate of incorporation filed in pursuance of this subchapter, certified by the recorder of deeds to be a true copy and the whole of such