Memorandum Number 757


October 26, 1995

Review of Bishop's Decision of Law in the Alabama-West Florida Conference Concerning Leave of Absence and Grievance Procedures.


At the 1995 session of the Alabama-West Florida Annual Conference, the presiding bishop, William W. Morris received a written request for a decision of law on seven questions, all related to a complaint made against a clergy member in 1989. The decision came to the Judicial Council for review under Par. 2613.

The case is highly complex, hinging on numerous events transpiring over a period of almost seven years. There is dispute as to both law and fact, so that thorough documentation is essential to competent review by the Judicial Council. In the limited time available, it has not been possible for personnel of the Alabama-West Florida Conference to provide all of the necessary documents. For that reason, the Judicial Council defers action on the matter until the Spring of 1996, to allow additional time to gather and analyze essential information.

Until the Judicial Council has rendered a decision in the case, the Alabama-West Florida Conference is not to pursue further punitive action based on the original complaint against the ministerial member. If his service as a clergy member under appointment is satisfactory and there are no further grievances leading to a new complaint against him, he shall be permitted to continue under appointment while the matter is pending.

This copy subject to final editing and correction.

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