Memorandum Number 826

April 24, 1998

Appeal From New England Conference Person on Trial and Appeal Procedures


The disciplinary requirement that within thirty days of the close of a trial the presiding officer of the Trial Court must be notified of the intention to appeal together with grounds for appeal was not met. There can be no deviation from this requirement.

This copy subject to final editing and correction.

Statement of Facts

This matter is before the council on the basis of an appeal by the Rev. Joyce Sheehan, which was filed by Sven D. Wiberg. The decision of the trial court was made on August 21, 1996.

The presiding officer of the trial court said:

At my request the New England Conference Office on November 6 faxed me a copy of a letter dated September 20, 1996, from Sven D. Wiberg containing notice of appeal.

According to this copy of Mr. Wiberg's letter, it was to be sent to me, as one of three to whom it was addressed, by overnight mail. Even if this letter had been delivered to me, which it was not, the letter could not have arrived until September 21 which is 31 days from the date of conviction in the trial and therefore would not have met the time required.

Par. 2627.1 of the 1992 Discipline has a requirement that within thirty days of the close of a trial the presiding officer of the trial court must be notified of intention to appeal, together with the grounds for appeal.

The appeal dated September 20, 1996 was not timely filed.

Further, the 1996 Discipline, ¶ 2628.1(d) says:

the right of appeal when once forfeited by neglect, or otherwise, cannot be revived by any subsequent appellate body.

Ms. Sheehans's appeal was not timely filed and, therefore, the Judicial Council has no jurisdiction.

Appearing at an oral hearing in Seattle, Washington, on April 24, 1998 were Sven D. Wiberg, representing the appellant, and Thomas W. Porter, representing the New England Annual Conference.

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