The United Pentecostal Church
Judicial Procedure
Appeals

ARTICLE X

APPEALS

Section 1. District Board Action.

1. A minister may appeal any disciplinary action by the District Board to the ministers appeal council. (For the procedure, see Article III, Section 3.)

Section 2. A Grievance.

A minister may appeal the decision of an arbitration panel to the District Board (or ministers appeal council), whose decision shall be final. (For the procedure, see Article IV, Sections 3 and 4.)

Section 3. A Hearing.

There shall be no appeal from the decision of the District Board to refer a case to a trial.

Section 4. The Verdict of a Trial.

1. A minister who has been found guilty by a trial may appeal the verdict to the ministers appeal council.

2. A minister who appeals a verdict must do so within twenty (20) days after he or she receives the notification of the verdict or else he or she forfeits his or her right to appeal.

3. He or she must send this appeal by official notice to the General Secretary.

4. He or she may appeal this verdict on one or both of the following grounds.

(a) The trial was not conducted in accordance with the judicial procedure. An appeal on this ground must be based on an objection or objections raised in a timely manner during the trial (when the error may have been corrected). (b) The evidence presented at the trial is insufficient to support the verdict.

5. The General Superintendent shall select another regional presiding officer for the appeal.

6. The General Secretary shall send by official notice a copy of the appeal to the district representative and the regional presiding officer.

7. The regional presiding officer shall set the place, date, and time for the minis­ters appeal council to hear the appeal. He or she shall communicate this infor­mation by official notice to the minister who has appealed, the district repre­sentative, and the regional presiding officer of the trial.

8. Both the district representative and the regional presiding officer of the trial may submit written responses to the appeal.

9. The ministers appeal council shall not conduct a trial but must limit its inquiry to the grounds allowed for an appeal.

10. Only the regional presiding officer of the trial, the district representative, his counselors, the accused minister, and his or her counselors may appear before the ministers appeal council. Their presentation must be pertinent to the grounds stated for appeal.

11. The counselors for the minister making the appeal shall present the case for the appeal first.

12. After the ministers appeal council hears the counselors, receives information from the regional presiding officer of the trial, and reviews the records of the trial, the appeal, and the written responses, it shall take one of the following actions.

(a) Uphold the verdict.
(b) Reverse the verdict if the evidence is insufficient to support the verdict.
(c) Order a new trial if it finds that the judicial procedure was not followed and that the error could have had a material effect on the outcome of the trial. In the case of a new trial, the Executive Board:
(1) Shall designate another regional presiding officer for the trial.
(2) Shall refer the case to the regional presiding officer, who shall set the place, date, and time for the new trial and follow the procedure in Articles VII, VIII, and IX.

13. The regional presiding officer of the ministers appeal council shall communi­cate the decision of the ministers appeal council to the minister who has appealed, to the District Superintendent, to the regional presiding officer of the trial, and to the General Secretary by official notice within ten (10) days of the decision.

14. In the event the ministers appeal council overturns the verdict of the jury or rules a mistrial, the District Board may appeal the decision of the ministers appeal council to the General Board, whose decision shall be final.

(a) The appeal shall be a review of the decision of the ministers appeal council. (See this section, Paragraph 12, Items b and c.)
(b) The General Secretary shall send by official notice a copy of the appeal of the District Board to the accused minister and the regional presiding officer of the trial.
(c) The General Superintendent shall set the place, date, and time for review­ing the appeal, preferably but not necessarily at the next General Board meeting, and shall communicate the same by official notice to the accused minister, regional presiding officer of the trial, the District Superintendent, and if a special General Board meeting is necessary, to the members of the General Board. He shall be the presiding officer at the appeal.
(d) At the appeal, only the members of the General Board, the regional presid­ing officer of the trial, the district representative, his counselors, the accused minister, and his or her counselors may be present.
(e) During the appeal process, the district representative and his counselors shall present the side of the District Board first.
(f) The counselors for the accused minister shall be allowed to present the side of the accused minister.
(g) The General Board shall (1) sustain the decision of the ministers appeal council or (2) overturn the decision of the ministers appeal council in favor of the verdict by the jury.
(h) The General Secretary shall communicate by official notice the decision of the General Board to the accused minister, the district representative, and the regional presiding officer of the trial.

Section 5. A Sentence.

1. A minister who has been sentenced may appeal the sentence to the ministers appeal council. A minister who appeals a sentence must do so within twenty (20) days after he or she receives official notice of the sentences.

2. The procedure to appeal the sentence shall be the same as the procedure given for an appeal of a verdict in Article X, Section 4, Paragraphs 1-13 with the following changes:

(a) The references to the regional presiding officer of the trial shall be deleted.
(b) The minister may appeal on one or both of the following grounds.
(1) The sentence is not consistent with the General Constitution.
(2) The sentence is too severe for the violation.
(c) In response to the appeal, the ministers appeal council shall take one of the following actions:
(1) Uphold the sentence.
(2) Modify the sentence.

3. In the event the ministers appeal council modifies the sentence, the District Board may appeal to the General Board, whose decision shall be final.

(a) The procedure shall be the same as Article X, Section 4, Paragraph 14, Items a-f, except that the references to the regional presiding officer of the trial shall be deleted.
(b) The General Board shall (1) sustain the decision of the ministers appeal council or (2) overturn the decision of the ministers appeal council in favor of the sentence imposed by the jury.
(c) The General Secretary shall send by official notice the decision of the General Board to the accused minister, the District Superintendent, and the regional presiding officer of the ministers appeal council.

Section 6. Notification.

1. Within thirty (30) days after the conclusion of the trial and appeal process, the General Secretary shall send a letter to the accused minister stating the verdict.

2. If the accused minister is found innocent of all charges, the General Secretary shall send a copy of the letter to every minister in the district of the accused minister.

The above is part of the judicial procedure of the United Pentecostal Church International and is provided for informational purposes.


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