ORDER FOR CONDUCTING APPEALS
8:00 a.m. Pre-hearing conference
The presiding officer convenes a pre-hearing conference between appellant, appellant’s assistant(s), and the respondent, respondent’s assistant(s) to confirm agreements about how the appeal will proceed. The setting of the time schedule is determined in the pre-hearing conference. The time schedule provided in this appendix is a suggested guide.
8:30 a.m. Hearing Begins
Members of the appeal committee, elected by the Board of Administration, are seated and introduced. (Reserves will be in the room for the hearing, in case they are subsequently needed, but will not sit with the appeal committee itself.)
1) Devotions & prayer
2) Appointment of a secretary by the presiding officer
3) Roll call
4) The presiding officer asks members of the appeal committee: “Have you discussed with any member of the ___________ ministerial education, guidance and placement committee, the prosecutor or his/her assistant, the appellant or his/her assistant, or the presiding officer, any fundamentals of this case since agreeing to serve as a member of the appeal committee?
5) Statement of the grounds of the appeal (The presiding officer will read the arguments
presented in the appellant’s statement.)
6) Instructions from the presiding officer from ¶920 (lay members) or ¶930 (ministers) of The
Manual of The Free Methodist Church in Canada.
The appeal committee must confine itself to the grounds of the appeal but is entitled to all
relevant information that will throw light upon the appeal as presented.
Grounds for appealing the verdict of an official board/trial committee are limited to:
- New and important testimony exists and has become available, and satisfactory reasons are given as to why it was not presented at the trial.
- The minutes of the official board/trial committee are so inaccurate that the true merits of the case cannot be determined from them.
- There was illegal administration of The Manual of The Free Methodist Church in
- There was incorrect adherence to proper procedure by the presiding officer and/or the
official board/trial committee.” While it will be important for the appeal committee to
consider each of the bases for the appeal, it will not be ruling on any of them individually.
Its deliberations must result in answering only the following two questions:
i. “Have the requirements of The Manual of The Free Methodist Church in Canada
making provisions for an appeal been met (or those that have not been met, waived
in writing) by both sides?”
– If the answer to this question is “yes”, then the grounds of the appeal are heard.
– If the answer to this question is “no”, then the hearing terminates and the appeal is
dropped or re-initiated by the appellant.
ii. “Are there grounds for a trial?”
– If the answer to this question is “no”, then the appeal fails and the decision of the
official board/trial committee is sustained, including the penalty assessed. The matter
is now closed for lay members. Ministers are entitled to appeal as provided for in
– If the answer to this question is “yes”, then the appeal committee will try the case as
provided for in The Manual of The Free Methodist Church in Canada.
7) Reading (by the presiding officer) of the charges from which the appeal is taken and a
statement of the final action of the trial committee.
– The appellant and/or assistant present arguments (limited to 45 minutes)
10:00 a.m. (approximately) Recess will be taken at the conclusion of an argument.
10:15 a.m. (approximately) Reconvene
– The respondent and/or assistant present argument (limited to 45 minutes)
– Rebuttal by appellant and/or assistant (limited to 10 minutes plus any time not used during
the 45 minutes allotted for the original argument)
– Rebuttal by respondent and/or assistant (limited to 10 minutes plus any time not used
during the 45 minutes allotted for the original argument)
Each party will be given a 5-minute warning and a 1-minute warning prior to the termination of the allotted time. When time is up, the argument or rebuttal must immediately stop.
The presiding officer shall remind the appeal committee of the two questions (in section six above) to be answered.
9) Prayer to conclude this portion of the hearing
10) 11:30 a.m. (approximately) Decision process of the appeal committee begins.
The interested parties shall retire while the appeal committee deliberates the two questions. It is proper to re-read the testimony or any part of it if necessary to refresh the memory, and to discuss the pending issue until all are able to make an informed decision.
12:00 Noon Lunch recess
11) 4:00 p.m. Conclusion of proceedings, or agreeing upon a plan to continue, so as to be able to present the report of the appeal committee. (A decision is required within 30 days).