2016 Wesleyan Discipline: 5062–5068

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5062. Right of Appeal. The accused, if found guilty, shall have the right to appeal the verdict and/or the discipline unless such right has been forfeited for misconduct. Misconduct shall consist of withdrawing from the Church, publicly discrediting, slandering or libeling the members of the judicatory, refusing to abide by the decision of the judicatory, or by refusing to appear in person or by counsel if cited to appear by the appellate body, or by resorting to a suit in a civil court concerning the matter involved in the charges. Misconduct shall be decided upon by the appellate body. If, on the other hand, the accused was found innocent, the official body which ordered the hearing has the right to appeal the verdict. 5064. Procedure of Appeal. The appellant or the counsel of appellant, within thirty days after being notified of the verdict and/or discipline, may submit a request in writing and shall set forth the grounds of the appeal. The chair of the appellate body shall ask for a transfer of all the official records of the matter, or a transcript of the same, which shall be forwarded promptly by the person having custody of such records. The appellant shall be responsible to pay the cost of the appeal, including the cost of preparing a transcript of the records. Upon modification or reversal of the verdict and/or discipline, such cost of the appeal shall be paid by the person or body losing the appeal. 5066. Status of the Accused during Appeal. While the appeal is pending, the discipline shall be deferred, though if under discipline prior to hearing such discipline shall remain. Whenever the accused is a church or a district, it may continue to function but shall have the status of being under discipline and shall not be entitled to any representatives in a conference body and, in the case of a district, shall not have authority to buy, sell or transfer any real property, except with the approval of the General Superintendent. 5068. Judgment of the Appellate Body. The appellate body shall promptly consider the matter and the grounds for appeal and shall render judgment within sixty days, with the exception of the General Board of Review. The appellate body, by a majority vote, may affirm, modify or reverse the verdict and recommendations of the lower judicatory in whole or in part, or may remand the matter for a new hearing, provided that if the accused has been previously found innocent, it shall require a two-thirds majority vote of the appellate body to find the accused guilty (does not apply to the General Board of Review, cf. 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:5425:3). In all matters the right to present evidence shall be exhausted when the matter has been heard once on its merits in the proper judicatory. Whenever a matter is remanded for a new hearing, a new judicatory shall be constituted, to provide for a fair and proper hearing. When any appellate body shall modify or reverse, in whole or in part, the verdict and recommendations of a judicatory, or change the discipline imposed by the official body having jurisdiction, it shall return to the official body having jurisdiction, or to the judicatory, a statement of the grounds of its action.