Petition 81399

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Complaint Process (81399-JA-¶2704.2a)

Amend  ¶ 2704.2.a) as follows:
  
2704. Referral of Original Complaint to Counsel for the Church, Who Shall Prepare Judicial Complaint and Supporting Material for Consideration by Committee on Investigation
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. When respondent is a clergy member of an annual conference, clergy on honorable or administrative location or a local pastor
       a) Judicial Complaint
–If the bishop determines that the complaint is based on allegations of one or more offenses listed in ¶ 2702.1, the bishop shall refer the complaint to the counsel for the Church, who shall be appointed by the bishop  designated by the Board of Ordained Ministry for the annual or central conference. The counsel for the Church shall be a  an   clergyperson  elder in full connection and shall have the right to choose one assistant counsel without with voice who may be an attorney. ...

Rationale

The respective annual or central conference Board of Ordained Ministry should designate the elder in full connection to serve as counsel for the Church, not the bishop. This step helps alleviate any criticism that a bishop may unfairly take sides in the complaint process. Assistant counsel, which can include a...