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Memorandum No. 829

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April 24 1998
In Re: Review of Decision of Law of Bishop Hae Jong Kim in the North Central New York Annual Conference Related to Withdrawal of a Clergy Member Under Complaint.

Digest of Case

The Judicial Council does not have jurisdiction, as the clergy person has forfeited his right to appeal at the time of the withdrawal from The United Methodist Church. For the same reason the bishop did not have authority to render a decision of law in this matter. This copy subject to final editing and correction.

Statement of Facts

The Judicial Council does not have jurisdiction as ¶ 2627.1(b) of the 1992 Discipline states: ...Appeals shall be heard by the proper appellate body, unless it shall appear to the said body that the appellant has forfeited the right to appeal... by withdrawal from the Church... The clergy member under complaint withdrew from the Church to join another denomination and thus forfeited any right to further proceedings in The United Methodist Church. In this case the appeal was not made by the former clergy person; however, the result must be the same. Once a person withdraws from The United Methodist Church there exists no relationship on which to base any additional proceedings. Par. 2627.1(d) of the 1992 Discipline states: The right of appeal, when once forfeited... cannot be revived by any subsequent appellate body. For the same reason the bishop did not have authority to render a decision of law in this matter.

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