Memorandum Number 1064


April 27, 2007

Review of the Bishop's Decision of Law in the Rocky Mountain Annual Conference Concerning Suspension under ¶ 2704.2(c) of the 2004 Book of Discipline, and Fair Process, Confidentiality and Supervisory Response under ¶ 362 of the 2004 Book of Discipline.

During the regular business of the clergy session of the 2006 Rocky Mountain Annual Conference and during consideration of the conference relations report, a clergy member delivered seven questions of law in writing to the presiding bishop. The bishop acknowledged receipt of the questions and indicated his intent to respond to the questions within thirty days. The questions presented related to aspects of complaints against, the supervision of, and the supervisory response concerning a clergy member. In responding to the questions presented, the bishop made reference to the fact that the supervisory matters related to the clergy member had been referred as a judicial complaint prior to the annual conference and prior to the presentation of the questions.

The Judicial Council has jurisdiction under ¶ 2609.6 of the 2004 Book of Discipline.

Supervisory or judicial processes may not be reviewed by a presiding bishop by way of a request for ruling of law. Persons who are the subject of administrative or judicial processes are entitled to review of their case by appeal to the appropriate administrative or judicial bodies.

The Judicial Council has held that substantive rulings by a bishop concerning matters that come under the purview of judicial and/or administrative processes are improper. See Decision 799. The bishop's decisions of law are void and of no effect.


A presiding bishop has no authority to make substantive rulings on judicial or administrative processes. Such matters are limited to the purview of the judicial or administrative bodies such as the committee on investigation, trial court, committee on appeals or Judicial Council.

Shamwange P. Kyungu was absent.

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