Memorandum Number 564


April 17, 1986

The Request of the Western Jurisdictional Court of Appeals as to Whether a Trial Court of an Annual Conference May Issue a Penalty which is a Departure from Discipline 2624.1(h).


¶2615.2(g) of the 1984 Discipline refers to legislative or administrative bodies, not the independent ecclesiastical courts of the church.

The Western Jurisdiction Court of Appeals does not have the authority to request a Declaratory Judgment of the Judicial Council.

¶2625.1(h) states:

In all cases where an appeal is made and admitted by the appellate court, after the charges, findings, and evidence have been read and the arguments conclude, the parties shall withdraw, and the appellate court shall consider and decide the case. It may reverse, in whole or in part, the findings of the Committee on Investigation or the Trial Court, or it may remand the case for a new trial to determine verdict and/or penalty. It may determine what penalty, not higher than that affixed at the hearing or trial may be imposed. If it neither reverses, in whole or in part, the judgment of the Trial Court, nor remands the case for a new trial, nor modifies the penalty, that judgment shall stand. The appellate court shall not reverse the judgment nor remand the case for a new hearing or trial on account of errors plainly not affecting the result. All decisions of the appellate court shall require a majority vote.

An appellate court must do one of these things. That decision may then reach the Judicial Council, under the proper circumstances.

The request is dismissed.

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