The Supreme Court of South Carolina

MEMORANDUM

TO:    Circuit Court Judges
Family Court Judges
Masters-In-Equity
Clerks of Court
Members of the Bar
 
FROM:
 
The Honorable Jean H. Toal
 
RE:
 
Motion Fee -- Update to Memorandum Issued August 16, 2002
 
DATE: 
 
January 15, 2003
 

Effective July 1, 2002, Act No. 329 of 2002 amended the Code of Laws by adding § 8-21-320, which requires a fee of $25.00 to be collected for every motion made in the Court of Common Pleas and Family Court.  The fee does not apply to family court juvenile delinquency proceedings, nor to family court matters involving rules to show cause in child and spousal support matters.  The legislation also exempts certain matters involving indigents as provided in the Order of the Chief Justice dated June 26, 2002.  The fee shall not be imposed on any motions in the Court of General Sessions.   The revenues from the motion fee must be separately transmitted to the state treasurer to be used exclusively by the Judicial Department.

Rule 7(b)(1), SCRCP generally provides that all motions must be made in open court or in writing.  All written, filed motions that fall into this definition and do not fall under the exceptions stated in the paragraph above require the $25.00 fee.  All matters traditionally exempt from a filing fee do not carry the $25.00 fee on motions subsequently made in those cases.  In those instances where it is not clear whether the motion fee applies, the applicable statute or rule should serve as a guide.  If the word application, petition, motion, or affidavit appears in the statute or rule and no exemption applies, the motion fee should be assessed.

On August 16, 2002, I issued a memorandum concerning this matter.  After reviewing numerous suggestions from the Bar and court personnel, I present you with an updated listing as a guide to promote uniformity in the application of the $25.00 motion fee.  These changes are effective as of today’s date and shall not be retroactively applied. We will continue to monitor the situation, and inform you of any additions or changes to this list.  If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact Court Administration at (803) 734-1800. [1]  

A.   Motions Requiring the $25.00 Fee

1. Motion for Court Approved Settlement:  $25.00.

2. Motion for Release of Counsel:  $25.00.

3. Consent Orders:  $25.00. (See Rule 43(k), SCRCP; See also C.14 for special circumstance).

4. Supplemental Pleadings: Rule 15(d), SCRCP:  $25.00.

5. Motion for Default Judgment: Rule 55, SCRCP:  $25.00, regardless of whether damages are liquidated or unliquidated.  No further fee required if proposed order presented ten days later.

a.  Motion to Set Aside Default: Rule 55(c), SCRCP:  $25.00.

6. Motion for New Trial: Rule 59, SCRCP:  $25.00, if made in writing after the conclusion of the trial.

7. Motion to Alter or Amend Judgment: Rule 59(e):  $25.00, if made in writing after the conclusion of the trial.

8. Motion to Amend a Motion:  $25.00.

9. Motion to Intervene: Rule 24, SCRCP:  $25.00.

10. Motion Requesting Physical and/or Mental Examination:  Rule  35, SCRCP:  $25.00.

11. Motion for Amendment of Judgment: Rule 52(b), SCRCP:  $25.00.

12. Motion for Summary Judgment: Rule 56, SCRCP:  $25.00.

13. Motion for Relief from Judgment or Order: Rule 60, SCRCP:  $25.00.

14. Motion for Seizure of Person or Property: Rule 64, SCRCP:  $25.00

15. Motion for Execution or Assistance: Rule 70, SCRCP:  $25.00.

16. Motion for Appointment of Receiver: Rule 66, SCRCP:  $25.00.

17. Single Motion Applied to Multiple Cases:  $25.00 Per Case.

18. Subsequent Motions to Master:  $25.00.

19. Motion to Restore to Active Docket After Bankruptcy:  $25.00.

20. Motion for Order Updating Judgment Figures due to Stay Caused by Bankruptcy:  $25.00.

21. Motion for Admission Pro Hac Vice: Rule 404, SCACR:  $25.00 Per Case.

22. Rule to Show Cause in Family Court for Non-Payment of Previously Court Ordered Fees:  $25.00.

23. Motion to Reduce or Increase Child Support:  $25.00.

B.    Motions Requiring Fee With Special Conditions

1.  Motion for Referral to Master: Rule 53, SCRCP:  If referred to     Master by Motion or Consent of Parties:  $25.00.  If referred to Master by Motion of Court:  No Fee.

a.  § 14-11-310 requires various fees to be collected in Master’s Court and retained by County.  These fees will be collected in addition to the motion fee.

2. Supplemental Proceedings:  If conducted in the Court of Common Pleas:  $25.00. If conducted by Master, refer to #1 above. 

3. Amendment of Pleadings: Rule 15(a), SCRCP:  When leave of Court is required: $25.00. With consent of both parties and without leave of court: No Fee.

4. Third Party Practice: Rule 14, SCRCP:  Defendant as Third Party Plaintiff bringing in Non-Party, if done within ten days after service of original answer:  No Charge.   After ten days with leave of Court:  $25.00.

5. Joinder, Permissive Joinder, Misjoinder, and Non-Joinder of Parties:  Rules 19, 20, and 21, SCRCP:  If by Motion of Party:  $25.00.  If by Motion of the Court:  No Fee.

6. Depositions before Action or Pending Appeal: Rule 27, SCRCP:  If by Petition of Party:  $25.00. 

7. Depositions Upon Oral Examination: Rule 30, SCRCP:  If leave of Court required:  $25.00. 

8. Motion for Dismissal: Rule 41, SCRCP.

a. (a)(1)(A): By Plaintiff by Stipulation, without leave of Court:  No Fee.

b. (a)(1)(B):  By Stipulation with Consent of both Parties without Leave of Court:  No Fee.

c.  (a)(2): By Order of Court:  $25.00.

d. (b): Involuntary Dismissal, Non-Suit:  $25.00.  If made in open court during trial:  No Fee.

9.  Motion to Consolidate or Sever: Rule 42, SCRCP:  If requested by Party:  $25.00 (Only one Fee regardless of number of Cases).  Upon Court’s own Motion:  No Fee.

10. Rule 65, SCRCP:  All actions contained in the Rule require separate filing fees; subsequent Motions in same action:  $25.00. 

11. Motion to Enforce Settlement:  $25.00, but may be shifted to other Party by judge.

12. Motion to Compel:  Rule 26, SCRCP:  $25.00, but may be shifted to other Party by judge.

13. Rule 40, SCRCP

a. (a):  Request for Jury or Non-Jury in Pleadings:  No Charge.

b. (c):  Transfer to Jury Trial Roster by Agreement:  $25.00.

c. (d):  Objection to Transfer:  $25.00.

d. (e):  Request Transfer to Jury Roster Nine Months to Twelve Months after Filing:  $25.00.

e. (g):  Motion to Strike from Jury Trial Roster:  $25.00.

f. (i):  Continuance:  $25.00.

g. (j):  Requires New Filing Fee and New Case Number:  No Motion Fee.

h. (k):  Alternate Method of Transfer to Jury Roster:  $25.00.

14. Motion for Order of Protection from Discovery; Motion to Quash:  Rules 24, 37, and 45, SCRCP:  $25.00, but may be assessed to other Party by judge.

15. Motion for Temporary Relief in Family Court: Rule 21, SCRFC:  $25.00.  This Motion may include numerous standard forms of relief, such as temporary custody, visitation, support, etc.  However, only one fee charged.

16. Matters Involving Rule to Show Cause in Court Ordered Custody and Visitation Cases:  $25.00.

17. Motion for Appointment of Guardian ad Litem:  $25.00.  If by Motion of Court:  No Fee.

18. Motion to Restore to Active Docket in Family Court:  $25.00, but no Fee if Filed by State Agency or if Indigency Case.

19. Motion for Substitution of Counsel:  If in attorney appointed case:  No fee.  Otherwise:  $25.00.

20. Motion for Order of Continuance:  $25.00.  If requested pursuant to Rule 601, SCACR, conflict in hearing dates: No fee. 

21. Rule 50, SCRCP.

a. Motion for Directed Verdict:  No fee.

b. Motion for Judgment Notwithstanding the Verdict if reduced to writing:  $25.00.  If made orally in open court: No fee.

c. Motion for New Trial if reduced to writing:  $25.00.  If made orally in open court: No fee.

22. Rule 12, SCRCP Motions:  If presented in an answer: No fee.  If made by separate motion: $25.00.

C.    Motions With No Fee

1. No Fees Shall be Charged for any Motions in the Court of General Sessions.

2. Motions for Orders of Protection of Attorneys from Court Appearances:  No Fee.

3. Sexually Violent Predator Cases:  Regulation exempts filing fee.  No subsequent Motion Fees.

4. General request for Subpoena:  No Fee.

5. Matters Involving Rules to Show Cause for Spousal Support:  No Fee.  No Subsequent Motion Fees.

6. Matters Involving Rules to Show Cause for Child Support:  No Fee.  No Subsequent Motion Fees.

7. Juvenile Delinquency Matters in Family Court:  No Fee.  No Subsequent Motion Fees.

8. Matters Involving Indigency in Common Pleas or Family Court where a Party has been allowed to proceed without costs.  No Subsequent Motion Fees for that Party.

9. Matters Involving Orders of Protection from Domestic Abuse:  No Fee.  No Subsequent Motion Fees.

10. Matters Involving Abuse and Neglect:  No Fee.  No Subsequent Motion Fees.

11. Execution on Judgment: Rule 69, SCRCP: No Fee.

12. Matters Involving State Agency v. Party Granted Indigent Status Pursuant to Rule 3(c), SCRCP: No Fee for either party.

13. Motion for Stay Due to Bankruptcy:  No Fee.

14. Consent Order filed resolving Motion on which the Fee has been paid:  No Additional Fee.

15. Anything Contained in an Answer:  No Fee.

16. Motion for Request for Jury Instruction: Rule 51, SCRCP:  No fee.

17. Collateral Matters Contained in Rules to Show Cause and Support Cases:  No Fee if Relief is directly related to Defendant’s Non-Payment of Child or Spousal Support.

18. Motion for Order of Publication:  § 15-9-710:  No Fee.

18 Motion for Substitution of Parties: Rule 25, SCRCP:  No Fee.

19. Post-Conviction Relief: No Fee.

20. Rule 43, SCRCP

a. Rule 43(j):  Motion for Right to Open and Close:  No Fee.

b. Rule 43(k):  Agreement of Counsel, Consent Order or Written Stipulation made in Court:  No Fee. 

JHT/amh


[1] All court rules and Acts cited in this memorandum have been hyperlinked for your convenience.