7. THE RULES OF DISCIPLINE
CHAPTER 1 General Rules
Article 1 The Meaning of Discipline
Ecclesiastical discipline is the exercise of that authority that the Lord Jesus Christ has committed to the visible church for the execution of laws established by him, and shall include all the cases that govern and admonish the members, the officers, and all governing bodies in the church.
Article 2 The Purposes of Discipline
The purposes of discipline are to protect the truth, to strengthen the authority and honor of Christ, to eliminate offenses, to purify his church, to edify the church, and to promote the spiritual welfare of the offender.
1. To fulfill the above purposes, discipline must be conducted wisely and carefully.
2. All governing bodies, at the time of discipline, must consider the relations and circumstances of offenses in view of cases of similar character and decide based on the precedents. But a different decision may be rendered for those cases with different circumstances.
Article 3 Offenses
Regardless of the members, officers, or governing bodies involved, an offense is any act that is contrary to the Scriptures, and even if it is not wicked, it may constitute an offense if it causes others to commit sin or hinders the building of virtue.
Article 4 Judicial Cases
If the charged offense is not a violation of the Scriptures or of church rules and customs regulated by the Scriptures, or if the case is prohibited by other articles of discipline, the matter shall not constitute a judicial case.
Article 5 Judicial Cases and Administrative Cases
If formal charges of offense are filed against members or officers, irrespective of whether a lower body or a higher body is involved, such cases shall constitute judicial cases; all other cases shall be administrative cases.
Article 6 The Children of Communicant Members
All children of all communicant members are members of the church, and they shall be baptized and placed under the care of the church, subject to its government and discipline, and when they have reached the age of reason (discretion), they shall discharge the obligations of members faithfully.
CHAPTER 2 The Complainant and the Accused
Process against an offender shall not be commenced unless some person or persons undertake to make out the charge. Where discipline is deemed necessary, the court may itself become the complainant to file a formal charge.
If the case is very difficult to decide as a result of strange circumstances, even when the charged offense is grave, it would be better to stay the judgment till God provides positive evidence by his means of justice, rather than to dismiss the case halfway through as a result of insufficient evidence and lose the effect of discipline.
No charge of a private offense shall be admitted unless the court has first ascertained from the complainant that the course set forth by our Lord in Matthew 18:15-17 has been faithfully followed, which says:
“Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church.”
When the governing bodies decide to file the charge directly, the provisions of the previous article shall not apply. However, when a third patty other than the governing bodies or the injured party files the charges, it would be better for the governing body to try to get both patties reconciled quietly and not to institute judicial process, if possible.
When the governing body files the charges, the World Korean Presbyterian Church becomes the complainant and prosecutor. In other cases, the party who filed the charges becomes the complainant.
When the governing body files the charges for judicial process, one, two, or three of its members shall be elected as prosecutors, and they will act as complainants until the judgment of the highest court is rendered.
If judicial cases are transmitted to a higher body, the prosecutor may request assistants from among the members of the higher body, and the higher body shall elect one or two of its members as requested to assist him.
When a communicant member is slandered by another member and requests an investigation of the case by the governing body, and when the governing body deems it proper, it shall elect one or more members to investigate and report. The governing body shall accept the report and record it in the minutes to close the case.
Great caution ought to be exercised in receiving accusations from any person: (1) who is known to indulge a malignant spirit towards the accused,
(2) who is not of good character,
(3) who is himself under censure or process,
(4) who is deeply interested in any respect in the conviction of the accused, (5) who is known to be litigious, or
(6) who is rash or highly imprudent.
When the complainant who files the charges is not a member selected by the governing body, but rather a private person, the governing body, before it institutes the judicial procedure, shall warn him and declare:
“If the charge is false, and your intention is discovered to have been wicked and imprudent, you shall be censured as a slanderer of brothers.”
CHAPTER 3 The Writ of Complaint and Specifications
In the writ of complaint, every charge must set forth the alleged offenses, and, in the specifications, the evidences of the offenses must be recorded in detail: the time, place, and circumstances, along with the explanation of the witnesses for each item.
In the writ of complaint, each article shall record one offense only, but many offenses may be charged against one accused at the same time, in which case the evidence shall be specified separately for each offense. The court, as it sees fit, may conduct a trial on all charges at the same time, but the judgment shall be rendered seriatim (charge by charge).
When one or more injured parties intend to file charges directly, they must present, with the writ of complaint, a statement that they have followed the course set forth by the teaching of our Lord recorded in Matthew 18:15-17.
CHAPTER 4 Ordinary Rules Governing the Trial of Judicial Cases
Original jurisdiction over a minister belongs to the presbytery of which he is a member. Original jurisdiction over church members belongs to the session of which the individual is a member. However, when the lower body fails to obey the higher body’s instruction to rule on a matter, either willfully or carelessly, then the higher body shall have authority to rule on it directly.
When the governing body is constituted as a court, the moderator shall first announce the reasons for being so constituted and shall declare that the case must be handled carefully. The writ of complaint and specifications shall be read once. If the complainant or the accused does not want to be tried immediately, but requests that the trial be delayed, only the following things shall be done:
1. A copy of the writ of complaint and specifications shall be handed to the accused. (The specifications of witnesses for each charge shall be recorded in detail.)
2. The court shall issue citations directing the complainant, the accused, and all persons concerned to appear at the next session of the trial (which shall not be less than ten days later).
3. In the writ of prosecution, the name of the governing body shall be written, and the moderator and the clerk shall sign it.
4. Upon request by the complainant or the accused, witnesses shall be cited to appear.
However, the accused need not inform the complainant of the names of his witnesses.
All citations should be served personally, but in case this is not possible, citations shall be sent to the last known address of the person cited. Before the court opens, evidences of service must be presented.
If the defendant does not appear after receiving the subpoena, the governing body shall issue another subpoena with the warning that if he does not respond to the subpoena (unless there are natural hindrances), punishment shall be imposed according to the Book of Discipline (Arts. 34, 39, and 47). If the defendant does not appear after receiving the subpoena twice, the trial court shall proceed with the trial in his absence. In this case, the governing body shall appoint a defense counsel for the defendant. For the first subpoena, the trial date shall be set after ten days or longer, but for the second subpoena, the governing body may set the date for trial as well as for the subpoena of witnesses as it sees fit according to the situation.
The defendant shall appear at the governing body on the date appointed in the subpoena. If he is unable to attend, he may send his proxy.
1. In the following cases, the defendant may interpose objections:
a. When he deems that the governing body convened unlawfully against the rules and regulations,
b. When he deems that the trial amounts to illegal interference,
c. When he deems that the writ of complaint and/or the writ of evidences does not follow the guidelines set forth in the Constitution or that applying the Constitution to the case at bar is improper, or
d. When there are other important considerations.
2. The governing body, before the trial, may hear the pleading from both the plaintiff and defendant regarding the complaint, and may, in virtue of its office, decide as follows:
a. It may dismiss the case forthwith, or
b. To be fair and honest, it may permit the complaint to be amended or any errors in the specifications to be corrected, provided that such amendments or corrections do not materially alter the documents.
3. If the governing body decides that the complaint meets the standard for legal adjudication, and that the writ of complaint and the specifications of the facts merit a trial, the accused shall be called upon to plead ‘guilty,’ ‘not guilty,’ or ‘silent.’ His plea shall be entered upon the record, and the court shall proceed to try the case.
The court shall decide the date for trial and issue formal subpoenas to both the plaintiff and the defendant, and proceed as follows;
1. When the witnesses are examined, the plaintiff may cross-examine the Defendant’s witnesses, and the defendant may cross-examine the plaintiff’s witnesses, and they may present other legal evidence.
2. After that, only to impeach the credibility of the proffered evidence, the plaintiff or defendant may present new witnesses or new evidence.
3. During the trial, if new evidence is found by either party, the court may receive such evidence, but, before it does, the court shall inform the defendant of the names of witnesses and the specifications of the testimony; the court shall allow defendants sufficient time to examine it for fairness’ sake.
4. After hearing the testimony of witnesses, the plaintiff and the defendant shall make their pleading.
5. The court shall immediately have the plaintiff, the defendant, their counsels, and the audience retire, and shall hold a closed deliberation.
6. Only the members of the court shall be allowed to participate in the conference and to vote therein.
7. Decisions shall be made on each charge of the writ of complaint and on each specification of the facts.
8. Then the judgment shall be made for the whole case, and the final judgment shall be recorded in the minutes of the governing body.
The court shall preserve a complete record of the trial, including the following: charges and specifications, objections made by the accused, the final judgment, all rulings and findings of the court (including the reasons for them), and minutes of the deliberations. In case of an appeal, the statement of appeal and the reasons for it shall be recorded in detail. This record, together with the statements made by both parties and all relevant papers, shall be certified by the clerk; they constitute the complete trial record.
The accused may object to any and all rulings or findings made by the court, unless it is the highest court. All such objections must be entered on the record.
Both the plaintiff and the defendant shall be entitled to the assistance of counsel, and may present pleading orally or in writing.
1. No person shall be eligible to act as counsel who is not a minister or an elder of the World Korean Presbyterian Church. No person who is counsel in a judicial case may sit in judgment on the same case.
2. When the governing body is the complainant in the case, the prosecutors (as mentioned in Chap. 2, Art. 12) and assistants appointed by the higher body shall be the counsel for the governing body, provided that no such person shall receive any compensation for serving as counsel.
In the course of trial, if there are any disputes regarding the regulations or the evidence, the moderator shall hear the pleading of both parties and decide between them. Any party who does not agree to the decision may raise an objection, and the moderator shall decide on the validity of such objections. Such rulings shall be recorded in the minutes at the request of the complainant or the accused.
Only members of the court who have been present and have heard all the proceedings shall be allowed to vote thereon, irrespective of the consent of the complainant, the accused, or any members of the court. The clerk shall call the roll at the opening of each session, whether after an adjournment or a recess, except at the highest court, and keep a record of absent members.
The complainant or the accused may request a copy of the records related to the trial, and shall bear the cost of copying them. Upon the higher court’s ruling on an appeal, its decision and the records thereof shall be forwarded to the lower court.
In case of the imposition or removal of church censures, the governing body shall follow the rules set forth in Chapters 16 and 17 of the Directory for the Worship of God of the World Korean Presbyterian Church.
The governing body may hold a closed session by one-third vote of the court.
The governing body, if it is deemed proper for the well-being of the church, may suspend the accused from church office or from communion with the church until the trial is adjudicated, but, in such cases, the case must be expedited.
CHAPTER 5 Special Rules Governing the Session Trial
When the accused fails to appear (or send his counsel to represent him) after the second citation, or, having appeared, refuses to testify, the session shall discipline him until he repents of his perversity and obeys the session.
The session may impose these degrees of discipline: admonition, rebuke, suspension, deposition, suspension from communion, expulsion, and excommunication. Excommunication shall be imposed only on those who do not finally repent. Such discipline may be lifted upon repentance. Otherwise, the governing body shall decide.
A decision regarding an offense mayor may not be publicly announced. A public announcement shall be made only in the church involved or in the churches concerned with it.
CHAPTER 6 Regulations Governing the Trial of Officers
In as much as the honor and progress of the gospel are much related to the reputation of ministers, the presbytery must carefully take notice of individual behavior and the official behavior of the ministers in the presbytery, and may not favor a minister or lighten his censure as a result of his position. On the other hand, it should not rashly accept a complaint against a minister on a minor matter.
When a minister is charged far away from his home, and if his home presbytery has no way to ascertain the facts, but the presbytery that has jurisdiction over the place where the complaint is filed determines that the accused is guilty, then that presbytery shall inform the minister’s home presbytery of the nature of the case, and the home presbytery shall immediately take action if the matter is concerned with religious honor.
If the accused minister does not appear after receiving the second citation, nor send his counsel, the presbytery may suspend him for his rejection of its oversight. If he does not appear after the third citation, nor send his counsel, the presbytery shall impose suspension from communion.
When a minister is on trial, the governing body hearing his case may decide to suspend his right to speak and vote on the general deliberations of that body during the course of his trial.
If the accused is judged to be guilty, then admonition, rebuke, suspension from office, deposition (in the case of suspension or deposition, suspension from communion may also be imposed at the same time), or excommunication shall be imposed. When, after a year has passed, a suspended person has failed to repent, the court may impose deposition without further trial.
When a minister advocates heresy or breaks up the church illegally, if the case is serious, deposition shall be imposed. (However, it should be ascertained beforehand whether he deliberately encouraged others to oppose sound doctrine, or whether he did so as a result of a lack of knowledge and as such did not harm the doctrine of the church.)
If the presbytery determines that the infraction is minor, and the congregation considers his repentance to be sufficient, and if there is no serious hindrance to ministry, proper measures shall be taken to prevent future incidents and the complaint shall be withdrawn.
When a minister who has been deposed from his office on account of a misdemeanor repents deeply and manifests exemplary modesty and virtue for a long time, and when the presbytery with jurisdiction sees and ascertains that there would be no hindrance to his continued ministry, it shall reappoint him to his ministry, whether it be the presbytery that originally imposed deposition or another presbytery that is entrusted with his oversight.
When the pastor of a local church is deposed but not excommunicated, the presbytery shall announce that he is released from his office. In this case, it shall give him a letter of transfer as an ordinary member and send it to the church where he wishes to go. In the letter the details of his circumstances shall be recorded. When a pastor is suspended, he may be subsequently released from office. However, if he appeals his suspension, he may not be released from office.
The presbytery, for the well-being of the church, may suspend a pastor temporarily from office when a charge is filed against him, but in such a case the trial should be adjudicated speedily.
If a charge is filed against an elder or a deacon, the provisions of this chapter shall apply correspondingly.
CHAPTER 7 Provisions for Summary Judgment
When a person commits an offense at the court or confesses an offense committed at another place, the court may hear the case and proceed to judgment without full process.
1. When a person commits an offense at the trial, he is entitled to request an extension of the trial for two days or longer.
2. In such a case, the specifications of the offense and the reasons for the decision shall be recorded in detail in the minutes of the court, and the case may be appealed as in other cases.
When an active member, without any offense to be tried, comes before the session as his own accuser and declares that he is not qualified for communion, the session shall carefully consider the case, and, if it confirms that his declaration is not a misunderstanding, it shall temporarily suspend him from communion and shall record the facts in detail in the session minutes.
When an active member moves to another place, the pastor or the secretary of the session shall give his address to the pastor or secretary of the session in that district.
1. When an active member moves to another place, but does not request a letter of transfer (without a proper reason) for more than two years, the home session shall reinvestigate the matter, and until the matter is resolved his name shall be moved to a separate roll (with the date noted).
2. When an active member moves to another place and is missing for three years, the session shall apply the provisions in the preceding paragraph correspondingly, and the reasons shall be recorded in detail in the minutes of the session.
3. In the roll of disciplined members, the name of censure shall be recorded, and the members mentioned in the two preceding paragraphs shall be recorded in a separate roll book. In the statistics presented to the presbytery, they shall not be counted as active members.
4. Before the session presents membership statistics to the presbytery, it shall examine the roll of the members carefully and adjust it according to the rules of discipline. Notification shall be sent to the members whose addresses are known, and efforts should be made to restore disciplined members.
When a member of the church residing in the district does not attend the various services of the church, yet does not commit a chargeable offense, the session shall admonish him to attend. If he does not comply within one year, the session shall notify the member first and then take disciplinary action; if there is no charge against him and if he attends church services, he shall be restored.
When a minister without blame presents a request to the presbytery according to the provisions of the Form of Government, Chapter 15, Articles 1 and 3, the presbytery shall inquire about the purposes and reasons for it and make a decision. In the case of Article 3, no action shall be taken for one year, after which the presbytery may conclude that the minister cannot carry out his responsibilities willingly and beneficially, and then may permit his resignation. Then his name shall be erased from the roll of the presbytery, and a certificate of transfer for a baptized member shall be given to him, and he will be sent to the church desired.
When a church member joins another denomination without a certificate of transfer from his home church, it is an illegal act, and the session shall expel him from membership and record it in the minutes of the session. If there is any case pending against him, the trial may be carried out.
When a minister who has not committed a definite offense rejects the jurisdiction of this church and gives up his office, or establishes a church of his own, or joins another denomination without a writ of transfer, the presbytery shall erase his name from the roll of the presbytery and record the reasons in the minutes. If there is any case pending against him, the trial may be carried out. If he joins a denomination regarded as heretical, then suspension, deposition, or excommunication may be imposed.
CHAPTER 8 Regulations Governing Evidence
The governing body, when it receives evidence, must be attentive and fair. Not all witnesses are qualified, and not all qualified witnesses are trustworthy.
Witnesses are permitted to testify, except those who do not believe in the existence of God or who do not believe in rewards and punishments in the future, or who do not understand the responsibility of an oath. Both the plaintiff and the defendant may object to any witnesses presented by the other party, and the governing body shall decide whether such witnesses shall be permitted to testify or not.
In deciding to what extent a witness is believable or credible, the following circumstances may be considered:
1. The relationship of the witness to the complainant or the accused.
2. Any direct interest that the witness may have in the outcome of the trial.
3. The age of the witness.
4. The intelligence of the witness.
5. The behavior and temper of the witness.
6. Whether the witness is under the censure of the church.
7. The impetuosity and lack of discernment of the witness.
8. Whether the witness, irrespective of circumstances, may have an indirect interest in the case, and so be too biased to testify honestly or knowledgeably.
A husband may bear testimony concerning his wife, or a wife concerning her husband, but the governing body may not compel either to bear testimony against the other.
Testimony may be oral or written, direct or indirect as the case may be. In case of an offense, if there is only one witness and no other evidence, it is hard to adjudicate the case. However, when several offenses of similar nature are enumerated in one writ of complaint, and there is at least one credible witness for each of the offenses, then the writ of complaint may be adjudicated as a whole.
Except for members of the governing body, the witnesses who will be testifying before and after shall not sit together.
As to the order of examination of witnesses, witnesses shall be examined first by the governing body, and, with the permission of the body, by the party introducing them. They may then be cross-examined by the opposing party, after which any member of the court may question them. The court shall not permit irrelevant and frivolous questions. Unless permitted by the court to clarify important facts, the party that introduced a witness shall not ask him leading questions.
The moderator shall require each witness to take the following oath before he testifies:
“Do you solemnly swear in the presence of the omniscient and heart-searching God that you will speak the truth, the whole truth, nothing but the truth, concerning the matters on which you are called to testify, as you shall answer to almighty God, who will judge the living and the dead?”
The witness shall reply, “I do.”
The testimony of the witnesses shall be recorded only when the party introducing them is present. When the complainant, the accused, and the court deem it necessary, every question put to a witness and the answer thereto shall be reduced to writing, and the testimony of the witness shall be read to him at the court for his approbation and subscription.
The records of a court, whether original or transcribed, if authenticated with a signature by the clerk of the court (or by the moderator, if the clerk is deceased, out of town, or unable to perform his duties), shall be deemed good and sufficient evidence in the higher court or in any other court.
In like manner, testimony taken by one court and regularly certified, as in the preceding article, shall be received by every other court as no less valid than if it had been taken by itself.
In the course of the trial, if it is unavoidable, as a result of the circumstances of the complainant, the accused, or the witnesses, the governing body may, upon the request of both parties, appoint a commission consisting of ministers and elders to examine the evidence.
1. The members of such a commission need not be members of the governing body.
2. The commission shall receive the evidence presented by both parties. Before it starts the examination, it shall notify both parties of the time and place of the examination. It shall, according to the rules of the court, either question the witnesses orally or receive their written statements. The complainant and the accused may examine the witnesses directly or cross-examine them.
3. The court shall decide whether evidence presented through such a commission is relevant and credible.
4. The commission shall authenticate with a signature the evidence collected, and deliver it to the clerk of court.
When the governing body opens the court, it may allow any member of the body to testify, and such member shall testify under oath like any other witnesses. After testifying, he may carry out his duties in the body as usual.
Any member of the church who fails to appear after receiving a subpoena or who refuses to testify, though present, may be censured for contumacy.
If, after the trial is closed by the governing body and the time limit for an appeal has passed, new evidence by which the accused may be acquitted is discovered, the accused may apply for a new trial, and the court may grant his request if it deems that justice may be served by a retrial.
If, in the prosecution of an appeal, new testimony is offered which, in the judgment of the appellate court, has an important bearing on the case, that court may refer the case to the lower court for a new trial. Or, if both parties desire, the higher court may consider the evidence and retry the case, provided that the provisions of Article 100 be applied.
CHAPTER 9 Provisions for Appeals
An appeal against a decision made by the session or the presbytery may be made, in order, to the higher Court by the following methods:
1. Examination and correction,
2. Entrusted judgment,
3. Petition, or
(1) Examination and Correction
The cases adjudicated by the church or by its agencies shall be reported to its session, which shall examine the case, approve the record, and add it to the record of the session. Higher bodies shall examine the minutes of lower bodies once a year. If the lower body fails to present its minutes to the higher body, the higher body shall have it presented as is convenient or shall order it to be presented by a certain date.
The higher body shall examine the minutes of the lower body and consider:
1. Whether the facts are recorded properly,
2. Whether the case was decided in accordance with the Constitution, and
3. Whether the case was decided wisely, fairly, and for edification.
When the higher body evaluates the minutes of the lower body, the delegates from that lower body shall not have the right to vote.
When the higher body examines the minutes of the lower body and finds mistakes, it is customary to record them in the minutes of the higher body and in those of the lower body. If the mistake is grave, the higher body may order the lower body to correct or change the matter and have it report whether it has been done, setting a time within which to do it. However, in a judicial case, the higher body may not change the judgment of the lower body unless the case has been appealed.
Whenever a higher body confirms that a lower body under its jurisdiction has adjudicated a case in violation of the Constitution, it shall instruct the lower body to bring the record to a designated place and report the circumstances. If it is clearly found that a mistake was made, the higher court may correct it directly or send it back to the lower body to be corrected. When a petition or an appeal is being considered by a governing body or its court, before the judgment is announced, if the petitioner or the appellant distributes to the members of the higher body or to the public copies of the pleading or specifications or publishes them to influence the result directly or indirectly, such action shall constitute contempt of the governing body and shall be censured, and the petition or appeal may be dismissed.
When the lower body neglects to fulfill its responsibility, so that heresy or immorality prevails and clearly wicked persons escape discipline, and the adjudicated cases are omitted from the minutes or miswritten, the higher body, if it confirms such a fact, shall examine the minutes of the lower body and have them corrected so as to adjudicate the case properly, applying Article 76 of this chapter.
(2) Entrusted Judgment
The lower body may present a judicial case that is hard to decide to the higher body in writing, seeking guidance on how to handle it. However, it is usually better for the church if the lower body decides the case using its own discernment.
The lower body shall request an entrusted judgment in unprecedented cases, vital cases, cases that are difficult to adjudicate, cases that present difficult circumstances, cases in which the decision of the lower court may set a precedent, cases in which the opinions of the members of lower body are divided, and cases that should be decided by the higher body due to the gravity of the matter.
When an entrusted judgment is requested of the higher body by the lower body, the lower body (1) may request the guidance of the higher body in preparing material for its decision, or (2) may request the higher body to examine the case directly and reach a judgment. When only guidance is requested, the lower body shall suspend the decision temporarily, but when examination and judgment are requested, the whole case shall be entrusted to the higher body.
When the higher body deliberates on the case, delegates from the lower body may participate and vote.
The higher body may decide not to examine and decide the entrusted case, but only provide guidance. Or it may send the case back to the lower body with or without any direction.
When the higher body accepts the case entrusted by the lower body, the lower body shall immediately send the records of the case to the higher body, and, when the higher body has received them, it shall also hear statements from both the complainant and the accused.
One or more members who are under the jurisdiction of a higher body may petition in writing for redress if the lower body does not fulfill its duty in an administrative case, or if it takes an action or makes a decision in violation of law. When the court that acts for the lower body makes a decision on an administrative case after the closing of the body, the petition may be presented to the higher body as if the decision was made at a regular meeting. If one-third of the members of the court who participated in its decision were consulted for the action, the decision of the lower court shall be suspended until the higher body rules on the petition.
Notice of the petition and any supporting statement shall be presented to the clerk of the lower body within ten days after the decision of that body (or to the moderator, if the clerk is deceased, out of town, or unable to act), and the clerk, by the second day of the stated meeting of the higher body, shall lodge the notice of petition, the statement of reasons for it, and all the records and documents of the case with the clerk of the higher body.
In an administrative case (other than a judicial case), if one-third of the members who participate in the decision of the lower body jointly present a petition, the decision of the lower body shall be suspended until the case is decided by the higher body.
Those who have given notice of a petition shall present it and the reasons for it to the clerk of the higher body by the second day of the next stated meeting of the higher body.
When the higher body deems that the petition is in order and that there are good reasons for it, the decision and all pertinent records of the lower body shall be recited and the pleading of both parties shall be heard, after which the case shall be adjudicated.