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South Carolina
JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT
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2002-11-14-02

The Supreme Court of South Carolina

RE: Proper Distribution of Handling Fee in Estreatments


O R D E R


I FIND THAT Act No. 329 of 2002 amended S.C. Code Ann. § 38-53-70 (Supp. 2001), as amended, relating to bond estreatments when criminal defendants fail to appear for trial, so as to permit a surety to pay an estreatment in installments for up to six months, and to require a surety to pay a handling fee to the court of four percent of the value of the bond for that privilege.

I FURTHER FIND that clarification is needed concerning the proper distribution of the four percent handling fee. Therefore, pursuant to the provisions of Article V, Section 4, South Carolina Constitution,

IT IS ORDERED that when an estreatment is paid in installments pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. § 38-53-70 (Supp. 2001), as amended, the clerk shall collect from the surety a handling fee of four percent of the value of the bond, which shall be distributed pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. § 17-15-260 (Supp. 2001). Pursuant to that statute, the four percent handling fee shall be distributed twenty-five percent to the general fund of the State, twenty-five percent to the solicitor’s office in the county in which the estreatment is ordered, and fifty percent to the county general fund of the county in which the estreatment is ordered. However, if the case in which the estreatment is ordered originated by a municipality, the four percent handling fee shall be distributed twenty-five percent to the general fund of the State, twenty-five percent to the solicitor’s office in the county in which the estreatment is ordered, twenty-five percent to the county general fund of the county in which the estreatment is ordered, and twenty-five percent to the municipality.

This Order is effective immediately and remains in effect unless further amended or revoked by Order of the Chief Justice.

 
s/ Jean Hoefer Toal                             
Jean Hoefer Toal
Chief Justice

November 14, 2002
Columbia, South Carolina