PCA BCO and Complaints (Leithart)

Discussion in 'Church Order' started by Romans922, Oct 9, 2008.

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  1. Romans922

    Romans922 Puritan Board Professor

    Thinking about Complaints with the PNW Presbytery, etc.

    I have a question about BCO 43-3. It says at the end of the paragraph, "Written notice of complaint, together with supporting reasons, shall be filed with both the clerk of the lower court and the clerk of the higher court within thirty (30) days following the meeting of the lower court."

    In the context of the paragraph at the beginning it seems that this is after a complaint has already been made to the court of original jurisdiction when it says, "If, after considering a complaint...". Is this true or am I reading too much into this paragraph? There are two "if" statements in the paragraph and it is throwing me off.

    So if someone from PNW Presbytery was filing a complaint with their presbytery now, would they send the complaint and reasons to the higher court as well as the lower court (right now). Or is this within 30 days of the complaint being heard before the next PNW Presbytery Meeting?

    Hope this isn't confusing.
  2. fredtgreco

    fredtgreco Vanilla Westminsterian Staff Member


    You have confused 43-3 with 43-2.

    43-2 deals with how the Complaint should be filed:

    Notice that it is just to be filed with the lower ourt (here the Presbytery.

    But if the Complaint is ignored (notice the phrase in bold below) by the lower court (here, the Presbytery), then the written notice of the Complaint must be filed at the higher court (so the lower court can't ignore it and hold it in limbo (no Romanisim intended).

    Does that make sense?
  3. Romans922

    Romans922 Puritan Board Professor

    Yes that makes sense. Thanks for bolding it. That is what I thought, thanks for making it clearer.
  4. Scott1

    Scott1 Puritanboard Commissioner

    Anyone have a general explanation about how such a complaint might be filed with the Standing Judicial Commission (SJC) of the PCA as opposed to appealing to the next highest court (General Assembly)?

    What is the difference between appeal to the Standing Judicial Commission versus appealing a presbytery ruling to the General Assembly in PCA polity?
  5. fredtgreco

    fredtgreco Vanilla Westminsterian Staff Member

    The Standing Judicial Commission is a commission (which can act on behalf of the court) and not a committee (which can only investigate and report back). It is also standing which means that it is a commission for all judicial cases. In other words, all cases appealed to GA are directed to the SJC (by the previous action of the GA setting up the SJC).
  6. Scott1

    Scott1 Puritanboard Commissioner

    Do I understand correctly that the Standing Judicial Commission, acting on delegated authority of General Assembly decides and then the General Assembly again votes whether to receive the decisions individually, en masse, etc.
  7. fredtgreco

    fredtgreco Vanilla Westminsterian Staff Member

    Yes. But the GA cannot change he decisions, because they have been made by a Commission. The GA simply receives it as information.
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