Supreme Court Seal
South Carolina
JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT
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RULE 13
CONDUCT OF TRIAL; JURY TRIALS; WITNESSES; SUBPOENAS

(a) Trials should be conducted in an informal manner and the South Carolina Rules of Evidence shall apply but shall be relaxed in the interest of justice. In the trial of a civil action, in which one or both parties are unrepresented by legal counsel, the court shall question the parties and witnesses in order to assure that all claims and defenses are fully presented.

(b) Notice of the fact that court personnel will explain to all parties the procedure of the magistrates court and will assist them, if such assistance is required, to fill out all forms that may be necessary or appropriate shall be conspicuously posted in the magistrates office in the following form:

NOTICE TO ALL PARTIES IN CIVIL ACTIONS

THIS OFFICE WILL EXPLAIN THE PROCEDURE OF THE COURT, AND WILL HELP YOU PREPARE PAPERS RELATED TO YOUR ACTION, IF THE COURT DETERMINES SUCH HELP IS REQUIRED.

(c) If either party wants a jury trial, it must be requested in writing at least five (5) working days prior to the original date set for trial.

(d) All testimony shall be given under oath or affirmation.

(e) The court shall have the power to issue subpoenas to compel the attendance of witnesses. The court may issue a subpoena, signed but otherwise in blank, to a party requesting it, who shall complete it before service.  An attorney as officer of the court may also issue and sign a subpoena on behalf of a court in which the attorney is authorized to practice.