Skip Navigation

Judicial Council Decisions Search


Memorandum No. 1102

Back to Search

Share:

October 24 2008
In Re: IN RE: Request for a Declaratory Decision from the Alaska United Methodist Conference upon the meaning, application and effect of ¶ of the 2004 Book of Discipline as it relates to ¶¶214 and 225

Decision

The 2008 session of the Alaska United Methodist Conference approved a motion to request a declaratory decision from the Judicial Council. According to the record supplied by the Secretary of the Annual Conference, daily proceedings were as follows:

May 31, 2008: "A Request for a Declaratory Decision by the Judicial Council of The United Methodist Church was presented to the members of the Conference by Conference Lay Leader, Lonnie Brooks. Motion seconded from the floor. After a brief discussion, the request was unanimously approved (62 in favor, 0 opposed)."
The transmittal from the Secretary of the Alaska United Methodist Conference made reference to, but did not include, a copy of the request for a declaratory decision. No further official record of the conference action was supplied. An oral hearing was held on October 24, 2008 in Bloomington, Minnesota. Lonnie Brooks appeared on behalf of the Alaska United Methodist Conference. Under the current Rules of Practice and Procedure of the Judicial Council, it is the responsibility of the Secretary of the Annual Conference to provide the Secretary of the Judicial Council with materials relating to the matter being appealed, including a copy of the minutes where such matter arose in the normal proceedings of the body. See Rule III B. The minutes should include an exact statement of the entire question submitted for declaratory decision and clearly reflect facts sufficient to invoke the Judicial Council’s jurisdiction, including any and all parliamentary actions tendered thereto. The record supplied is insufficient in that it fails to provide an exact statement of the entire question submitted for declaratory decision. Consequently, the submission fails to reflect facts sufficient to invoke the Judicial Council’s jurisdiction. The accompanying brief submitted by a member of the Alaska United Methodist Conference is not a suitable substitute for the Annual Conference record, nor may briefs or gratuitous statements of parties or interested persons serve in lieu of the record of the Annual Conference action that is maintained and supplied by the Secretary of the Annual Conference. The matter is remanded to the Secretary of the Alaska United Methodist Conference with directions within 30 days to provide the Secretary of the Judicial Council with materials relating the matter being appealed, including a copy of the minutes where such matter arose in the normal proceedings of the body. The minutes should include an exact statement of the entire question submitted for declaratory decision and reflect facts sufficient to invoke the Judicial Council’s jurisdiction, including any and all parliamentary actions tendered thereto.

DIGEST

Deferred to the Spring 2009 docket.

DISSENTING OPINION

The majority opinion correctly observes that the record supplied by the Secretary of the Annual Conference was insufficient. I believe that the Judicial Council should not accept jurisdiction when a submission fails to comply with the Rules of Practice and Procedure.

Jon R. Gray

Back to Search

Share: