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Memorandum No. 949

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October 24 2002
In Re: Review of Bishop’s Decision of Law in the Northern Illinois Annual Conference Related to the Constitutionality of a Property Action Taken by the Annual Conference.

Digest of Case

During the regular plenary session of the Northern Illinois Annual Conference held on June 8, 2002, the annual conference considered and adopted Resolution No. 700-06 (amended substitute), to reassert annual conference rights over the facility and operation of the Chicago District Campground Association. Before the conclusion of that session, a clergy member of the annual conference submitted her written request for a decision of law, which reads as follows: I am asking the bishop to rule on a point of church law. Given that the Conference does not own the Campground, and given that there is a current litigation about this, in which you have been deposed; In view of the Constitution, Division 1, Article 6 concerning titles to properties, Is this motion in compliance with Article 6, or is it out of order? * * * Do I understand that this ruling is automatically referred to the Judicial Council? Bishop C. Joseph Sprague treated the question as a valid request for a decision of law when, in fact, it was a question of parliamentary procedure. There is no disciplinary authority for the Judicial Council to assume jurisdiction to consider a question of parliamentary procedure addressed to a presiding bishop. Larry Pickens recused himself and did not participate in any of the proceedings related to this decision. There is no disciplinary authority for the Judicial Council to assume jurisdiction to consider a parliamentary ruling by a presiding bishop.

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