Memorandum Number 1364
IN RE: Petition for Declaratory Decision from the Minnesota Annual Conference regarding the constitutionality and legality of mandatory registration fees for non-delegates at the called session of General Conference.
Because the request for a Declaratory Decision from the Minnesota Annual Conference was received after the deadline to be placed on the October 2018 docket of the Judicial Council, the request could not be considered during that session. Furthermore, because the Commission on the General Conference reversed the decision to charge mandatory registration fees, the request for Declaratory Decision is moot and will not be placed on the spring docket of the Judicial Council.
Ruben Reyes was absent.
Warren Plowden, first lay alternate, participated in this decision.
Luan-Vu Tran did not participate
First clergy alternate, Tim Bruster, participated in this decision.
Statement of Facts
On May 11, 2018, the Commission on the General Conference of the United Methodist Church, received a report that there was an approximate $700,000 difference between the amount needed and the amount already funded for the 2019 Special Session. A proposal was received that the difference be funded through registration fees set at various levels. In order to avoid deficit spending, and in an effort to be good stewards of the funds available, the Commission determined there was no alternative available at that time but to charge the proposed registration fees.
On Friday Morning, June 1, 2018 a clergy member of the Minnesota Annual Conference moved that the annual conference request a declaratory decision from the Judicial Council regarding the constitutionality and legality of mandatory registration fees for non-delegates at the called session of the General Conference in February of 2019. The request for the declaratory decision passed.
On July 12, 2018, upon receiving an updated financial report which reflected the allotment of additional funds, the Commission on the General Conference was able to approve a motion to no longer charge mandatory registration fees for the 2019 Special Session of the General Conference.
The issue raised in this matter is moot. Therefore, we do not reach the question of whether we have jurisdiction.