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The Historical Development of the PCA Book of Church Order

Chapter 42 : Appeals

Paragraph 1 :

42-1. An appeal is the transfer to a higher court of a judicial case on which judgment has been rendered in a lower court, and is allowable only to the party against whom the decision has been rendered. The parties shall be known as the appellant and appellee. An appeal cannot be made to any court other than the next higher, except with its consent.

[Historical Summary : The current PCA text dates to the revision enacted with PCUS 1925.]

Background and Comparison :
1. PCA 1973, RoD, 16-1, Adopted text, as printed in the Minutes of General Assembly, p. 153
2. Continuing Presbyterian Church 1973, RoD, 16-1, Proposed text, p. 57
3. PCUS 1933, XVI-§273
4. PCUS 1925, XVI-§273
An appeal is the transfer to a higher court of a judicial case on which judgment has been rendered in a lower court, and is allowable only to the party against whom the decision has been rendered. The parties shall be known as the appellant and appellee. An appeal cannot be made to any court other than the next higher, except with its consent.

PCUS 1879, XIII-3-1

An appeal is the removal of a cause, already decided, from an inferior to a superior court, the effect of which is to arrest sentence until the matter is finally decided. It is allowable only after judgment has been rendered, and to the party against whom the decision has been rendered.

PCUS 1869 draft, Canons of Discipline, XIII-3-1
and
PCUS 1867 draft,
Canons of Discipline, XIII-3-1
An appeal is the removal of a cause already decided, from an inferior to a superior court, the peculiar effect of which is to arrest sentence until the matter is finally decided. It is allowable only in cases where judgment has been rendered, and to the party against whom it has been rendered.

PCUSA 1858 draft, Revised Book of Discipline, VIII-3-1
An appeal is the removal of a ease, already decided, from an inferior to a superior judicatory, the peculiar effect of which is to arrest all proceedings under the decision, until the matter is finally decided in the last court. It is allowable in two classes of cases: 1st. In all judicial cases, by the party to the cause against whom the decision is made. 2d. In all other cases, when the action or decision of the judicatory has inflicted an injury or wrong upon any party or persons, he or they may appeal; and when said decision or action, though not inflicting any personal injury or wrong, may, nevertheless, inflict directly, or by its consequences, great general injury, any minority of the judicatory may appeal.

OTHER COMPARISONS:
OPC 2005, Book of Discipline, VII-1
An appeal in a judicial case is the removal of the case to an appellate judicatory by the filing of a petition asking that the final judgment of a lower judicatory be reversed or modified. An appeal may be taken by the accused, or by a judicatory whose judgment has been reversed or modified by an appellate judicatory.

COMMENTARY :
F.P. Ramsay, Exposition of the Book of Church Order (1898, pp. 246-247), on XIII-3-1 :
SECTION III.--OF APPEALS.
Six paragraphs regulate the taking of an appeal ; and the last six, the disposal of it. After defining an appeal, and the parties to whom it is permissible, in the first two paragraphs, the section enumerates the grounds upon which an appeal may be taken, in the third paragraph. And the fourth paragraph gives special regulations concerning the notice of appeal, the fifth prescribes to what court it may be taken, and the sixth controls the appearance of the parties before the superior court. Then the last six paragraphs present, first, the order of proceedings ; second, the scope of the decision ; third, when an appellant is to be regarded as abandoning his appeal ; fourth, what is to be done with an appellant manifesting a wrong spirit ; fifth, what effect the taking of the appeal has on the force of the judgment appealed from ; and sixth, what shall be done with a court neglecting to send up the record of a case.
255.--I.
An appeal is the removal of a cause, already decided, from an inferior to a superior court, the effect of which is to arrest sentence until the matter is finally decided. It is allowable only after judgment has been rendered, and to the party against whom the decision has been rendered.
Appeal differs from general review in three particulars : first, it and general review cannot bring the same issues before the superior court ; the issue is brought by express action of a party, and not as a matter in course by the records, and it does not permit the inferior court to be censured for its decision. Appeal differs from reference in two particulars : it brings to the superior court an issue already decided ; and it is a party that brings the issue, and not the court itself. The sentence appealed from cannot be pronounced until the judgment is confirmed in a higher court ; that is, no one sentenced to be admonished, suspended, excommunicated or deposed, is to be admonished, suspended, excommunicated or deposed, after giving notice of his intention to appeal as required in paragraph 258 ; but see paragraph 265. No one can appeal before the judgment has been made, not even after the decision has been made. (186:6.) In a judicial case there are always two parties, the accuser and the accused (163) ; and the decision can never go against the accuser, since he is not on trial. If the decision has gone against the accused, he may appeal. No one else may appeal ; others may complain (267).



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