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The Historical Development of the PCA Book of Church Order

Chapter 42 : Appeals

Paragraph 8 :

42-8. After a higher court has decided that an appeal is in order and should be entertained by the court, the court shall hear the case, or in accordance with the provisions of BCO 15-2 and 15-3, appoint a commission to do so.
At the hearing, after the Record has been read, each side should be allotted not over thirty (30) minutes for oral argument, the appellant having the right of opening and closing the argument. After the hearing has been concluded, the court or commission should go into closed session, and discuss the merits
of the case.
The vote then should be taken, without further debate, on each specification in this form:
Shall this specification of error be sustained?
If the court or commission deem it wise, it may adopt a minute explanatory of its action, which shall become a part of its Record of the Case. The court or commission shall designate one of its members to write the opinion, which opinion shall be adopted by the court or commission as its opinion.


[Historical Summary : The text of this paragraph dates to 1984 [M14GA, 12-14, Item 5, p. 89].

Background and Comparison :
1. PCA 1973, RoD, 16-7, Adopted text, as printed in the Minutes of General Assembly, pp. 153-154
2. Continuing Presbyterian Church 1973, RoD, 16-7, Proposed text, p. 58
3. PCUS 1933, RoD, XVI-§279
4. PCUS 1925, RoD, XVI-§279
After a higher court has decided that an appeal is in order and should be entertained by the court, the following procedure is to be adopted: (1) The reading of the complete record of the case, except any part of it that may be omitted by consent of the parties and the court itself; (2) the parties shall be heard, the appellant having the right of opening and closing the argument; (3) opportunity shall be given the member of the appellate court to express their opinions; (4) the vote shall then be taken, without further debate, on each specification in this form: "Shall this specification of error be sustained?" If the court deems it wise, it may adopt a minute explanatory of its action, which shall become a part of its record in the case.

PCUS 1879, Rules of Discipline, XIII-3-7
In taking up an appeal, after ascertaining that the appellant on his part has conducted it regularly, the first step shall be to read "the record of the cause;" the second, to hear the parties, first the appellant, then the appellee, and the appellant shall close; the third, to call the roll, that the members may express their opinion in the cause; and then the vote shall be taken.

PCUS 1869 draft, Canons of Discipline, XIII-3-7
and
PCUS 1867 draft,
Canons of Discipline, XIII-3-7
In taking up an appeal in judicial cases, after ascertaining that the appellant on his part has conducted it regularly, the first step shall be to read the “record” in the case; the second, to hear the parties, first the appellant, then the appellee; thirdly, the roll shall be called, and the final vote taken.

PCUSA 1858 draft, Revised Book of Discipline, VIII-3-7
In taking up an appeal in judicial cases, after ascertaining that the appellant, on his part, has conducted it regularly, the first step shall
be to read all the records in the case from the beginning; the second, to hear the parties, first the appellant, then the appellee; thirdly, the roll shall be called, and the final vote taken. In all appeals in cases not judicial, the order of proceeding shall be the same as in cases of complaints, substituting appellant for complainant.

COMMENTARY :
F.P. Ramsay, Exposition of the Book of Church Order (1898, p. 250), on XIII-3-7:
261.--VII. In taking up an appeal, after ascertaining that the appellant on his part has conducted it regularly, the first step shall be to read "the record of the cause;" the second, to hear the parties, first the appellant, then the appellee, and the appellant shall close; the third, to call the roll, that the members may express their opinion in the cause; and then the vote shall be taken.
Cf. 186. The vote must be according to the next paragraph (262).



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