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Memorandum No. 1063

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April 27 2007
In Re: Review of Bishop’s Decision of Law in the New York Annual Conference Concerning Actions of the Clergy Session with Respect to a Clergyperson on Administrative Location under ¶ 362.4 (11) of the 2004 Book of Discipline.

A written request for a decision of law was made to the bishop of the New York Annual Conference on June 9, 2006 during a session of the annual conference. The question asked was as follows:

Did the ruling of the New York Annual Conference Clergy Session meeting on June 7, 2006, illegally deny matters concerning the Reverend Hae Young Park, who on administrative location, under paragraph 362.4 (11), to be heard by an executive session of the clergy members in the New York Annual Conference, in lure [sic] of paragraph 604.1 (2004 DISCIPLINE) and paragraph 4, Article IV (2004 DISCIPLINE)?
(Original italics). Within thirty days, the bishop ruled the question out of order because “Hae Young Park is not a clergy member of the New York Annual Conference. Thus the matters you raised did not deal with a clergy member of the annual conference.” The Judicial Council has jurisdiction under ¶ 2609.6 of the 2004 Book of Discipline. The bishop ruled the question “out of order” because “Hae Young Park is not a clergy member of the New York Annual Conference. Thus the matters you raised did not deal with a clergy member of the annual conference.” The question was not a proper question of law, and the bishop should have so ruled. The bishop’s ruling that the question “is out of order” is modified to state: The question is not a proper question of law because Hae Young Park is not a clergy member of the New York Annual Conference. Thus the matters raised did not deal with a clergy member of the annual conference. While the bishop’s ruling would appear on its face to be a parliamentary ruling, it is in fact a ruling on the issue of germaneness. The Judicial Council has consistently held that questions of law must be germane to the regular business, considerations or discussions of the annual conference. The question must state the connection to a specific action taken or to be taken or it must be raised during the deliberation of a specific issue or matter upon which the conference takes action. Questions that do not meet these criteria are moot and hypothetical and shall not be decided. See Memorandum 1001, Decisions 927, 903, 799, 762, 747, 746, 651, 396, 33. The question of law to the bishop did not meet any of these requirements. It was moot and hypothetical. No substantive ruling is required. Moreover, the Judicial Council has previously considered the substance of this case in Memorandum 1001. A request for reconsideration was denied in Memorandum 1018. Memorandum 1001 constitutes the law of the underlying case, the final disposition, and no further review of the action that placed Hae Young Park on administrative location is available. Beth Capen recused herself and did not participate in any of the proceedings related to this decision.
DIGEST
The bishop’s decision of law is modified to state: The question is not a proper question of law because Hae Young Park is not a clergy member of the New York Annual Conference. Thus the matters raised did not deal with a clergy member of the annual conference. The decision is affirmed as modified. April 28, 2007 Shamwange P. Kyungu was absent.

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