Judicial Council will conduct Zoom deliberations, adds items to docket

The Judicial Council of The United Methodist Church is the denomination's top "court."

Due to the pandemic, at the end of March 2020, the Judicial Council’s April 2020 Regular Session was postponed indefinitely as were the deliberations on the 0420 Docket. The period for submission of briefs and reply briefs for consideration at the April Session had concluded on February 28, 2020. Thus, when the April Session was cancelled there were no further submissions expected or pending for the April Docket. Thereafter, it became evident that the Fall 2020 Regular Session also could not be held as anticipated. 

In an attempt to faithfully execute the duties in which the Judicial Council has been entrusted by the denomination, the Judicial Council is going to conduct its deliberations through a series of Zoom conferences throughout the coming weeks and months. The Judicial Council will publish its decisions on its website as each decision and memorandum is perfected. 

This is a new process for the Judicial Council. There is a 16-hour time span among the time zones in which the members reside. The Council will endeavor to remain faithful in its work albeit slower than meeting in person for one four-day session as is the custom. The Judicial Council asks for the denomination’s patience.

The Judicial Council hereby announces that it is adding to its current docket (that was published in January) four cases that were submitted since February 28, 2020. Pursuant to the Discipline, there will be thirty days for the submission of briefs by persons who desire to do so. The thirty days will commence on the date that the cases are posted. Persons are not precluded from submitting reply briefs although no provisions are being made for such in the timeline. The date certain for the submission deadline will likewise be posted on the website. The Judicial Council requests that any briefs on docket 0420-15 limit the scope of their brief to the issue of the exercise of jurisdiction.

The Judicial Council is not conducting oral hearings on any of the docket items.

The four items that the Judicial Council has added to the pending docket are Docket items 0420-15, 16, 17 and 18. These docket items are posted and the deadline for submission of all briefs on Docket Items 15-18 is January 5, 2021.

View docket