Canon 42 – Of Ecclesiastical Discipline
Applicability. Except as otherwise implemented by this Canon, all matters of Ecclesiastical Discipline in the Diocese of Atlanta, including appointment of officials and composition of boards and panels by whatever name, shall be governed by the provisions of Title IV-Ecclesiastical Discipline-of the Canons of the General Convention of The Episcopal Church, hereafter, Title IV.
(a) Composition. There is hereby established a court to be known as The Disciplinary Board of the Diocese of Atlanta, hereafter, Board and Diocese, comprising five priests or deacons and four lay persons. All priests or deacons on the Board must be canonically resident in the Diocese but need not be domiciled in the Diocese. All lay persons on the Board must be Confirmed Communicants in Good Standing of a congregation in the Diocese but need not be domiciled in the Diocese. All Members of the Board must be at least 24 years of age. A priest or deacon shall serve for five years, and a lay member shall serve for four years.
(b) Ineligibility. The following persons shall be ineligible for election or continued service on the Board:
(1) a Member of the Standing Committee;
(2) a Member of the Board elected to the Standing Committee;
(3) a Member who has served two consecutive full terms of office unless one year has elapsed since the end of the Member’s second term.
(c) Elections. At each Diocesan Annual Council the Bishop Diocesan shall nominate and the Council shall elect one priest or deacon to serve five years and one lay person to serve four years. The terms of office of elected Members shall begin on January 1st of the year following election.
(d) Vacancies. The President of the Board shall declare when a vacancy in the Board occurs and shall so notify the Bishop Diocesan. In the event of a vacancy not the result of a challenge, within two months after such notification the Bishop Diocesan shall appoint with the advice and consent of the Executive Board an eligible replacement of the same order to serve the remaining portion of the replaced Member’s term. The term of office of Members appointed to fill a vacancy not the result of a challenge shall begin on the adjournment of the Executive Board meeting that consented to their appointment. If the vacancy is the result of a challenge, the Bishop Diocesan shall appoint in like manner a replacement Board Member of the same order who shall serve only for proceedings for which the elected Board Member is not serving as a result of the challenge. The Bishop Diocesan may remove a Board Member whenever in the judgment of the Bishop the best interests of the Diocese would be served thereby. This action shall be taken with ratification by the Executive Board or the Diocesan Council.
(e) Transitional Provisions. At the Council at which this canon is adopted, the Bishop Diocesan shall nominate and the Council shall elect five priests or deacons and four lay persons to be Members of the Board effective July 1st, 2011. The Bishop shall state the length of term of each person nominated.
(f) President. Not later than two months after the Diocesan Council at which Board Members are elected, the Board shall elect, by a majority vote of all the Members, a Member of the Board as President to serve for one year. In the absence of an elected President or if the elected President is disqualified in a particular case, the Member of the Board with the longest period of continuous service who is not disqualified shall serve as President pro tempore.
(g) Communications. The Board may confer by telephonic or other electronic means to elect the President of the Board and for other purely administrative matters as the President deems necessary. This method shall not be used when evidence may be taken or examined.
(h) Disqualification. In addition to the provisions for disqualification in Title IV, if any Member of a Conference Panel or Hearing Panel shall become aware of a conflict of interest or undue bias in a proceeding under Title IV, the Member shall immediately notify the President of the Board and request a replacement member of the Panel for the particular case in which the perceived conflict of interest or undue bias applies.
(i) Challenges. Respondent and the Church Attorney shall have the right to challenge any Member of a Panel for conflict of interest or undue bias by motion to the Panel for disqualification of the challenged Member. The Members of the Panel not the subjects of the challenge shall promptly consider the motion and determine whether the challenged Panel Member shall be disqualified in that proceeding. If a challenge of the entire Board is made, it shall be resolved by the Standing Committee.
Officers. Officers shall be selected and shall perform the duties assigned them by Title IV, to include these appointed in accordance with this canon.
(a) Advisor. The Bishop Diocesan shall make provision for an Advisor for the complaining party and an Advisor for the Respondent. Advisors shall hold no other appointed or elected position provided by Title IV, and shall not include any person likely to be called as a witness in the proceeding.
(b) Church Attorney. The Bishop Diocesan, with the advice and consent of the Standing Committee, shall annually appoint one or more attorneys to serve as Church Attorney(s) who shall serve for one year. The appointment may be renewed. Vacancies shall be filled in like manner. The duties and eligibility for appointment of Church Attorneys are set forth in Title IV. The Church Attorney shall hold no other office listed in Title IV. The Bishop Diocesan may remove a Church Attorney from office, acting with the advice and consent of the Standing Committee.
(c) Intake Officer. The Bishop Diocesan shall appoint an Intake Officer or Officers from time to time who shall serve at the pleasure of the Bishop. The Bishop shall publish the name(s) and contact information of the Intake Officer(s) throughout the Diocese.
Records. The Bishop Diocesan shall make provision for the permanent storage of all proceedings under Title IV at the Diocesan Office and the Archives of The Episcopal Church as prescribed in Title IV.