This section is from the book "The Law Of Contracts", by William Herbert Page. Also available from Amazon: Commercial Contracts: A Practical Guide to Deals, Contracts, Agreements and Promises.
Rules of a voluntary association are a part of a contract for membership in such association entered into between the association and a member thereof.1 The constitution and by-laws of a beneficial association form a part of a contract of insurance entered into between such association and a member thereof,2 whether such by-laws are referred to in the contract of insurance or not.3 The construction placed upon such by-laws by its highest tribunal becomes as much a part of the contract as the by-laws themselves.4 If power to change the by-laws is reserved, subsequent amendments become terms of the contract and are binding on the members.5 However, general power to change by-laws has been held not to confer power to change the contractual rights of a member.6
3Larkin v. Ins. Co., 80 Minn. 527; 81 Am. St. Rep. 286; 83 N. W. 409.
4 Palmer v. Tingle, 55 O. S. 423; 45 N. E. 313.
5 People v. Coler. 166 N. Y. 1;
52 L. R. A. 814; 59 N. E. 716; (City of) Cleveland v. Construction Co., 67 0. S. 197; 93 Am. St. Rep. 670; 59 L. R. A. 775; 65 N. E. 885. (Contracts of public corporations.) 1See Sec. 1123.