Memorandum Number 1088
Review of Bishop's Decision of Law in the California-Nevada Annual Conference Concerning Involuntary Leave of Absence, Administrative and Judicial Process, and Voluntary or Involuntary Retirement.
During the 2007 clergy session of the California-Nevada Annual Conference, a member presented six questions of law as follows:
1. In the matter of the Involuntary Leave of Absence of Rev. Dr. Myron Goodyear, was the placement of Mr. Goodyear on Involuntary Leave of Absence in November 2005 by the Executive Committee of the Board of Ordained Ministry, an action which was confirmed by both the Administrative Review Committee and by the Clergy Executive Session at its 2006 meeting, a legal action by the Executive Committee and the Executive Session of the Annual Conference since no Administrative Complaint had been forwarded to the Executive Committee of the Board of Ordained Ministry in violation of Paragraph 354.1B and/or Paragraph 362.2 and 362.4?
2. In the matter of the charge against the Rev. Dr. Myron Goodyear, since the presiding officer of the trial court, Bishop William Dew, found that the Committee on Investigation was in violation of Paragraph 2704.2b of the 2004 Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church, thus having the effect of dismissing the complaints against Mr. Goodyear, on what disciplinary grounds is there to continue the complaints against him?
3. If the Committee on Investigation takes up complaints against Mr. Goodyear, on what Disciplinary grounds does this not constitute double jeopardy under Paragraph 2701.5?
4. Since the complaints against Rev. Goodyear are dismissed by the Presiding Officer of the Trial Court, and were judicial as opposed to administrative complaints (Paragraph 362), on what Disciplinary grounds do those complaints have any weight and therefore may be used to keep Mr. Goodyear on Involuntary Leave of Absence?
5. Since no existing administrative or judicial complaints remain against the Rev. Dr. Goodyear, I presume he now is in good standing; therefore, on what Disciplinary grounds may he be continued on Involuntary Leave of Absence with no Complaint pending?
6. If Rev. Goodyear requests retirement and if the Involuntary Leave of Absence cannot stand under the provisions of Paragraph 359.2a in the light of Judicial Council Decision 995, does his request to be placed on voluntary retirement supersede the recommendation of the cabinet to continue him in involuntary retirement?
In the decision of law, the Bishop stated, "based on Judicial Council Decision 799, which states, in part, 'substantive rulings by a bishop which comes under the purview of the judicial and/or administration process are improper', my response . . . and my ruling on [the] questions of law was that [the] questions were improper."
The minutes of the clergy session have not been provided to the Judicial Council. The Judicial Council continues this matter to the spring 2008 session and directs the Conference Secretary of the California-Nevada Annual Conference to provide the Judicial Council with a copy of such minutes within thirty days of the date of this decision. The Judicial Council retains jurisdiction under ¶ 2609.6 of the 2004 Book of Discipline.
This matter is continued to the spring 2008 session of the Judicial Council.
James W. Holsinger, Jr., Jon R. Gray and Shamwange P. Kyungu were absent. C. Rex Bevins, the first clergy alternate, and Solomon Christian, the first lay alternate, participated in this decision.