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South Carolina
JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT
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2007-06-28-03

The Supreme Court of South Carolina


ORDER


Pursuant to the provisions of S. C. CONST. Art. V, §4 and S. C. Code Ann. §20-7-1360,

IT IS ORDERED that the authority of a judge designated as a chief judge for administrative purposes shall include, but not be limited to, the following administrative purposes and acts:

1. To call, or cause to be called, meetings of the county bar associations within the circuit for the purpose of preparing rosters and for such other purposes as they shall deem necessary. In any circuit with two chief judges for administrative purposes, each chief judge may call, or cause to be called, these meetings for the county for which he or she has been designated chief judge.

2. To set hearing rosters and/or dockets for all terms of family court, and to designate which presiding judge shall hear such roster or rosters. In any circuit with two chief judges for administrative purposes, each chief judge shall set hearing rosters and/or dockets and designate which presiding judge shall hear the roster or rosters for the county for which he or she has been designated chief judge.

3. To assure that in all instances where multiple judges are presiding over concurrent terms of court, establish dockets that equitably assign cases to each judge.

4. To assist the clerk of court in fulfilling his or her responsibility pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. §14-17-210(1976) to assign courtrooms and offices to the presiding circuit and family court judges.

5. To designate the hours of court for each term of family court. In any circuit with two chief judges for administrative purposes, each chief judge shall designate the hours of court for each term of family court for the county or counties for which he or she has been designated chief judge.

6. To coordinate the activities of the family court of the circuit with other affected persons and agencies to insure cooperation and effective judicial service. In any circuit with two chief judges for administrative purposes, each chief judge shall coordinate the activities of the family court for the county or counties for which he or she has been designated chief judge.

7. To direct the clerks of court and presiding judges to keep and maintain such records as they shall deem necessary, upon the approval of the Chief Justice, of the disposition of cases during each term of family court.

8. To grant continuances when requested by counsel for good and sufficient legal cause stated in writing prior to the commencement of any term of family court.

9. To resolve any scheduling and other administrative problems which may arise from time to time in conducting terms of family court.

10. To perform such other administrative duties as shall be assigned from time to time by the Chief Justice.

11. To ensure that all matters that may arise during the weeks designated as "in chambers" are heard within the time frames set by statute or rule.

12. To consider requests to be relieved of appointments to serve as counsel or guardian ad litem for indigents pursuant to Rule 608(f)(8), SCACR.

13. Except as specifically authorized herein, no rule affecting the operation of the courts shall be adopted without the prior approval of the Chief Justice.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that when a chief judge for administrative purposes has a conflict in a matter or proceeding and is thereby prevented from performing these duties in a matter or proceeding reserved to the chief judge for administrative purposes, the following procedures shall be followed.

a. In those circuits with only one chief administrative judge, the matter or proceeding shall be referred to the Chief Justice for assignment to the chief administrative judge of an adjoining circuit.

b. In those circuits with two chief administrative judges, the matter or proceeding shall be referred to the other chief administrative judge. If the other chief administrative judge is also disqualified, the matter or proceeding shall be referred to the Chief Justice for assignment to the chief administrative judge of an adjoining circuit.

c. Should the chief administrative judge(s) in the circuit and those of an adjoining circuit be disqualified, the matter or proceeding shall be referred to the Chief Justice for assignment to a judge.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that if a trial or hearing has been commenced and the judge is unable to proceed, the chief judge for administrative purposes shall assign the trial or hearing to a successor judge. If the chief administrative judge has a conflict and is thereby prevented from performing this duty, the matter shall be referred to the Chief Justice to assign a successor judge. The successor judge may proceed with the trial or hearing upon certifying familiarity with the record and determining that the proceedings may be completed without prejudice to the parties. In a hearing or a trial without a jury, the successor judge shall at the request of a party recall any witness whose testimony is material and disputed and who is available to testify without undue burden. A successor judge may provide for the recall of any witnesses.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that this Order shall remain in effect until amended or rescinded by Order of the Chief Justice.

  s/Jean Hoefer Toal
Jean Hoefer Toal
Chief Justice

June 28, 2007
Columbia, South Carolina