Petition 81444

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Referral to General Counsel (81444-JA-¶2704.1)

Delete ¶2704.1.a, c, and d and substitute the following:
¶2704. Referral of Original Complaint to Counsel for the Church, Who Shall Prepare Judicial Complaint and Supporting Material for Consideration by Committee on Investigation
  1.     When respondent is a bishop
    a)    Judicial Complaint
If a complaint is based on allegations of one or more offenses listed in ¶2702, general legal counsel for General Council on Finance and Administration shall serve as counsel for the Church.  Counsel for the Church shall represent the interests of the Church in pressing the claims of the person making the complaint.  Counsel for the Church shall have the right to choose one assistant counsel without voice who may be an attorney.  The counsel for the Church shall draft and sign the complaint as a judicial complaint, forward it to the General Conference Committee on Investigation (¶2704), and represent the Church in the judicial process.  The fair process provisions in ¶2701 shall apply to this judicial process.  The statute of limitations in 2702.4 should be considered prior to the referral of a judicial complaint.21
b)   If a written complaint...sixty days of receiving the judicial complaint.
        c)   If by sixty percent or more majority vote the Committee on Investigation so recommends, the respondent may be suspended pending the outcome of the judicial process.
      [NOTE:  This Petition is interrelated to Petitions 81445 and 81446.]


The 1798 Methodist Episcopal Church established bishops to be ‘perfectly subject’ to the General Conference via a General Conference review body.  The current practice of a jurisdictional bishop handling the charge of a colleague bishop is a conflict of interest,unsound organizational principle, and detrimental to the superintendency.