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Memorandum No. 1107

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October 24 2008
In Re: Review of Determination by Bishop John L. Hopkins of the East Ohio Annual Conference that a Motion to Refer a Matter to the Judicial Council Was Not a Request for a Decision of Law

Decision

On June 16, 2008, during the clergy session of the East Ohio Annual Conference following a two-thirds vote to continue a conference clergy member (Elder) on Involuntary Leave of Absence, a motion was made by a retired elder of the annual conference to request a review of the Bishop’s decision. The request stated: The decision of Bishop John Hopkins to relieve Rev. Anita McGee of all pastoral duties and responsibilities and locking her out of the Trinity UMC on April 4, 2007 (with no formal complaint filed against her) was inconsistent with the UMC Discipline ¶362.1, ¶362.3 and the response to the recommendations from the BOM (Board of Ordained Ministry) was not in keeping with the ¶635. I request that the Bishop’s decision be reviewed by the Judicial Council as to whether or not the law of the church was followed in these matters (¶2600). The verbatim record of proceedings provided by the Secretary of the Annual Conference indicates that the presiding bishop made no decision of law and was never specifically asked to do so. The request was for a Judicial Council review of the Bishop’s administrative decision to relieve the elder of pastoral duties. Although a decision of law made by a bishop is reviewable under ¶ 2609, the decision in this request was an administrative decision, not a decision of law. Therefore, the Judicial Council does not have jurisdiction to review this matter.

DIGEST

The Judicial Council does not have jurisdiction.

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