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The Historical Development of the PCA Book of Church Order

Chapter 43 : Complaints

Paragraph 2 :

43-2. A complaint shall first be made to the court whose act or decision is alleged to be in error. Written notice of complaint, with supporting reasons, shall be filed with the clerk of the court within thirty (30) days following the meeting of the court. The court shall consider the complaint at its next stated meeting, or at a called meeting prior to its next stated meeting. No attempt should be made to circularize the court to which complaint is being made by either party.

[Historical Summary : Paragraph 43-2 dates to its inclusion in the Book of Church Order in 1984 [M14GA, 12-14, Item 5, p. 89]. A subsequent amendment to the paragraph was made in 1987 [M15GA, 15-25, Item 2, p. 95]. No similar provision was found in the earlier PCA and PCUS editions.

Background and Comparison :
No comparable paragraph is found in the following editions:
PCA 1973, RoD, Chapter 17, Adopted text
Continuing Presbyterian Church 1973, RoD, Chapter 17, Proposed text
PCUS 1933
PCUS 1925
PCUS 1879

PCUS 1869 draft
PCUS 1867 draft

OTHER COMPARISONS:
OPC 2005, Book of Discipline, IX-2
A complaint shall first be presented to the judicatory which is alleged to be delinquent or in error, and this judicatory shall be asked to make amends. The complaint shall be presented as soon as possible after the alleged delinquency or error, and always within three months, unless it is shown that it could not have been presented within that time.

COMMENTARY :
F.P. Ramsay, Exposition of the Book of Church Order (1898) :
[no comparable provision in this chapter for discussion]



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