Resolved, the House of _______ concurring, That Canon IV.6 be amended by amending Sec. 8, adding a new Sec. 9 and renumbering all subsequent Sections:
Sec. 8. The Reference Panel shall meet as soon as possible, but no longer than fourteen (14) days, after receiving the intake report to determine how to refer the report. Referral options are (a) no action required other than appropriate pastoral response pursuant to Canon IV.8; (b) Conciliation pursuant to Canon IV.10; (c) investigation pursuant to Canon IV.11; (d) to the Conference Panel pursuant to Canon IV.12; or (e) referral for possible agreement with the Bishop Diocesan regarding terms of discipline pursuant to Canon IV.9. Referral decisions shall require the approval of a majority of the Reference Panel. The initial referral shall be made no later than thirty (30) days after receiving the Intake Report.
Sec. 9. (a) The Reference Panel shall monitor the progress of each referral on a monthly basis to ensure that the matter is progressing in a timely fashion. Until such time as the matter is referred to a Hearing Panel, if the Reference Panel determines that the matter has reached an impasse or is not progressing in a timely fashion, it may re-refer the matter. Once a matter is referred to a Hearing Panel, Canon IV.15.1 shall govern any issue regarding the progress of the matter. The Intake Officer shall report at least monthly to the Respondent, the Respondent’s Advisor, the Respondent’s counsel, if any, the Complainant, the Complainant’s Advisor and the Complainant’s counsel, if any, on the progress in the matter.
(b) If the referral is for Conciliation pursuant to Section 8(b), unless waived in writing by the Respondent and Complainant, the Conciliation shall take place within 60 days of the referral.
(c) If the referral is for investigation pursuant to Section 8(c), the investigation shall be completed within 90 days of the referral.
(d) If the referral is to the Conference Panel pursuant to Section 8(d), the Conference Panel shall complete its proceedings within four months of the referral.
(e) If the referral is for possible agreement with the Bishop Diocesan regarding terms of discipline pursuant to Section 8(e) and an agreement for discipline resulting in an effective Accord is not reached within ninety (90) days of the referral, unless waived in writing by both the Respondent and the Complainant, the Reference Panel shall re-refer the matter under Sections 8(b), (c), or (d). The re-referral shall be made by the Reference Panel within fourteen (14) days of the expiration of the ninety (90) day period for the reaching of an effective Accord herein.
In the 2009 revision, too many timeframes were removed and attempts to reinstate them in 2015 were stripped out in committee. Given the realities on the ground and the experiences of those who are currently using Title IV, this needs to be revisited in 2018. This is a justice issue and an issue of taking care of people. We need to remember the courage it takes to make a claim.
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