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The Historical Development of the PCA Book of Church Order

Chapter 32 : General Provisions Applicable to all Cases of Process

Paragraph 7 :

32-7. The time which must elapse between the serving of the first citation on the accused person, and the meeting of the court at which he is to appear, shall be at least ten (10) days. The time allotted for his appearance on the subsequent citation shall be left to the discretion of the court, provided that it be quite sufficient for a seasonable and convenient compliance with the citation.

[DIGEST :In the second sentence, the current PCA text has "provided that it be quite sufficient" whereas PCA 1973 and texts back to PCUS 1879 have "provided that it be not less than is quite sufficient". The effect of the editing is to create a more succinct reading. However, at the time of this posting, we are unable to find any authorization for this change. Apart from this mystery, the current PCA text is basically that of PCUS 1879, with one difference of punctuation after the word "court" in the second sentence.]

ANTECEDENT TEXTS :
1. PCA 1973, RoD, 6-7, Adopted text, as printed in the Minutes of General Assembly, p. 147
2. Continuing Presbyterian Church 1973, RoD, 6-7, Proposed text, p. 44
3. PCUS 1933, VI-§199
4. PCUS 1925, VI-§199
The time which must elapse between the serving of the first citation on the accused person, and the meeting of the court at which he is to appear, shall be at least ten days. But the time allotted for his appearance on the subsequent citation shall be left to the discretion of the court, provided that it be not less than is quite sufficient for a seasonable and convenient compliance with the citation.

PCUS 1879,
Rules of Discipline, VI-7
The time which must elapse between the serving of the first citation on the accused person, and the meeting of the court at which he is to appear, shall be at least ten days. But the time allotted for his appearance on the subsequent citation shall be left to the discretion of the court ; provided that it be not less than is quite sufficient for a seasonable and convenient compliance with the citation.


PCUS 1869 draft, Canons of Discipline, VI-7
and
PCUS 1867 draft, Canons of Discipline, VI-7
The time which must elapse between the first citation of an accused person and the meeting of the court at which he is to appear,
is at least ten days. But the time allotted for his appearance on the subsequent citation is left to the discretion of the court, provided always, however, that it be not less than is quite sufficient for a seasonable and convenient compliance with the citation.

PCUSA 1858, Revised Book of Discipline, Chapter IV - Actual Process, paragraph 5
The time which must elapse between the first citation of an accused person and the meeting of the judicatory at which he is to appear, is at least ten days. But the time allotted for his appearance on the subsequent citation, is left to the discretion of the judicatory; provided always, however, that it be not less than is quite sufficient for a seasonable and convenient compliance with the citation.

PCUSA 1789, Forms of Process, I-4

When complaint is made of a crime, cognizable before any judicatory, no more shall be done at the first meeting, unless by consent of parties, than to give the accused a copy of each charge with the names of the witnesses to support it ; and a citation of all concerned, to appear at the next meeting of the judicatory, to have the matter fully heard and decided. Notice shall be given to the parties concerned, at least ten days, previously to the meeting of the judicatory.

COMMENTARY :
F.P. Ramsay, Exposition of the Book of Church Order (1898, p. 198), on Rules of Discipline, VI-7:

178.--VII. The time which must elapse between the serving of the first citation on the accused person, and the meeting of the court at which he is to appear, shall be at least ten days. But the time allotted for his appearance on the second citation shall be left to the discretion of the court, provided that it be not less than is quite sufficient for a seasonable and convenient compliance with the citation.
The accused must really have a second opportunity.
[Ramsay, or his publisher, introduces an error with the wording "second citation" in place of the correct "subsequent citation".]



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