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South Carolina
JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT
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RULE 203

RULE 203
NOTICE OF APPEAL

(a) Notice.  A party intending to appeal must serve and file a notice of appeal and otherwise comply with these Rules.  Service and filing are defined by Rule 262.

(b) Time for Service.

(1) Appeals From the Court of Common Pleas.  A notice of appeal shall be served on all respondents within thirty (30) days after receipt of written notice of entry of the order or judgment.  When a timely motion for judgment n.o.v. (Rule 50, SCRCP), motion to alter or amend the judgment (Rules 52 and 59, SCRCP), or a motion for a new trial (Rule 59, SCRCP) has been made, the time for appeal for all parties shall be stayed and shall run from receipt of written notice of entry of the order granting or denying such motion.  When a form or other short order or judgment indicates that a more full and complete order or judgment is to follow, a party need not appeal until receipt of written notice of entry of the more complete order or judgment.

(2) Appeals From the Court of General Sessions.  After a plea or trial resulting in conviction or a proceeding resulting in revocation of probation, a notice of appeal shall be served on all respondents within ten (10) days after the sentence is imposed.  In all other cases, a notice of appeal shall be served on all respondents within ten (10) days after receipt of written notice of entry of the order or judgment.  When a timely post-trial motion is made under Rule 29(a), SCRCrimP, the time to appeal shall be stayed and shall begin to run from receipt of written notice of entry of an order granting or denying such motion.  In those cases in which the State is allowed to appeal a pre-trial order or ruling, the notice of appeal must be served within ten (10) days of receiving actual notice of the ruling or order; provided, however, that the notice of appeal must be served before the jury is sworn or, if tried without a jury, before the State begins the presentation of its case in chief.

(3) Appeals From the Family Court.  A notice of appeal in a domestic relations action shall be served in the same manner provided by Rule 203(b)(1).  A notice of appeal in a juvenile action shall be served in the same manner as provided by Rule 203(b)(2).

(4) Appeals From Masters and Special Referees. The notice of appeal from an order or judgment issued by a master or special referee shall be served in the same manner as provided by Rule 203(b)(1).

(5)  Appeals From Probate Court.  When a direct appeal is authorized by S.C. Code Ann. § 62-1-308(g), the notice of appeal shall be served in the same manner as provided by Rule 203(b)(1).

(6)  Appeals From Administrative Tribunals.  When a statute allows a decision of the administrative law court or agency (administrative tribunal) to be appealed directly to the Supreme Court or the Court of Appeals, the notice of appeal shall be served on the agency, the administrative law court (if it has been involved in the case) and all parties of record within thirty (30) days after receipt of the decision.  If a timely petition for rehearing is filed with the administrative tribunal, the time to appeal for all parties shall be stayed and shall run from receipt of the decision granting or denying that motion.  If a decision indicates that a more full and complete decision is to follow, a party need not appeal until receipt of the more complete decision.

(c) Cross-Appeals.  A respondent may institute a cross-appeal by serving a notice of appeal on all adverse parties, or in the case of an appeal from the administrative tribunal, by serving a notice of appeal on the agency, the administrative law court (if it has been involved in the case) and all parties of record, within five (5) days after receipt of appellant’s notice of appeal, or within the time prescribed by Rule 203(b), whichever period last expires.

(d) Filing.

(1) Appeals from the Circuit Court, Family Court and Probate Court.

(A) Where to File. The notice of appeal shall be filed with the clerk of the lower court and with the Clerk of the Supreme Court in the following cases:

(i) Any final judgment from the circuit court which includes a sentence of death.

(ii) Any final judgment involving a challenge on state or federal grounds to the constitutionality of a state law or county or municipal ordinance where the principal issue is one of the constitutionality of the law or ordinance; provided, however, in any case where the Supreme Court finds that the constitutional issue raised is not a significant one, the Supreme Court may transfer the case to the Court of Appeals.

(iii) Any final judgment from the circuit court involving the authorization, issuance, or proposed issuance of general obligation debt, revenue, institutional, industrial, or hospital bonds of the State, its agencies, political subdivisions, public service districts, counties, and municipalities, or any other indebtedness now or hereafter authorized by Article X of the Constitution of this State.

(iv) Any final judgment from the circuit court pertaining to elections and election procedure.

(v) Any order limiting an investigation by a State Grand Jury under S.C. Code Ann. § 14-7-1630.

(vi) Any order of the family court relating to an abortion by a minor under S.C. Code Ann. § 44-41-33.

In all other cases, the notice of appeal shall be filed with the clerk of the lower court and the Clerk of the Court of Appeals.

(B) When and What to File. The notice of appeal shall be filed with the clerk of the lower court and the clerk of the appellate court within ten (10) days after the notice of appeal is served. The notice filed with the appellate court shall be accompanied by the following:

(i) Proof of service showing that the notice has been served on all respondents;

(ii) A copy of the order(s) and judgment(s) to be challenged on appeal if they have been reduced to writing;

(iii) A filing fee as set by order of the Supreme Court;[1] this fee is not required for criminal appeals or appeals by the State of South Carolina or its departments or agencies;

(iv) If the appeal is from a guilty plea, an Alford[2] plea or a plea of nolo contendere, a written explanation showing that there is an issue which can be reviewed on appeal.  This explanation should identify the issue(s) to be raised on appeal and the factual basis for the issue(s) including how the issue(s) was raised below and the ruling of the lower court on that issue(s).  If an issue was not raised to and ruled on by the lower court, the explanation shall include argument and citation to legal authority showing how this issue can be reviewed on appeal.  If the appellant fails to make a sufficient showing, the notice of appeal may be dismissed;

(v) If the notice of appeal is from a post-conviction relief case and the lower court determined that the post-conviction relief action is barred as successive or being untimely under the statute of limitations, the written explanation required by Rule 243(c), SCACR; and,

(vi) If the notice of appeal is from a habeas corpus proceeding and the lower court determined that habeas corpus relief was improper because the issues could have been raised in a timely application under the Post-Conviction Relief Act (see Simpson v. State, 329 S.C. 43, 495 S.E.2d 429 (1998)),  a written explanation as to why this determination was improper.  This explanation must contain sufficient facts, argument and citation to legal authority to show that there is an arguable basis for asserting that the determination by the lower court was improper.  If the appellant fails to make a sufficient showing, the notice of appeal may be dismissed.

(2) Appeals from Administrative Tribunals.

(A Where to File.  Appeals from a decision of the Public Service Commission setting public utility rates pursuant to Title 58 of the South Carolina Code of Laws shall be filed with the Clerk of the Supreme Court.  Unless otherwise required by statute, all other appeals from administrative tribunals shall be filed with the Clerk of the Court of Appeals.

(B) When and What to File.  The notice of appeal shall be filed with the clerk of the appellate court within the time required to serve the notice of appeal under Rule 203(b)(6).  The notice filed with the appellate court shall be accompanied by the following:

(i) Proof of service showing that the notice has been served on the agency, the administrative law court (if it has been involved in the case), and all parties of record;

(ii) A copy of the decision(s) to be challenged on appeal; and

(iii) A filing fee as set by order of the Supreme Court;[3] this fee is not required for criminal appeals or appeals by the State of South Carolina or its departments or agencies.

(3) Effect of Failure to Timely File.  If the notice of appeal is not timely filed or the filing fee is not paid in full, the appeal shall be dismissed, and shall not be reinstated except as provided by Rule 260.

(e) Form and Content.  The notice of appeal shall be substantially in the form designated in the Appendix to these Rules.

(1) Appeals from the Circuit Court, Family Court and Probate Court.  In appeals from lower courts, the notice of appeal shall contain the following information:

(A) The name of the court, judge, and county from which the appeal is taken.

(B) The docket number of the case in the lower court.

(C) The date of the order, judgment, or sentence from which the appeal is taken; and if appropriate for the determination of the timeliness of the appeal, a statement of when the appealing party received notice of the order or judgment from which the appeal is taken, or, if a cross-appeal, when the respondent received appellant’s notice of appeal.

(D) The name of the party taking the appeal.

(E) The names, mailing addresses, and telephone numbers of all attorneys of record and the names of the party or parties represented by each.

(2) Appeals from Administrative Tribunals.  In appeals from administrative tribunals, the notice of appeal shall contain the following information:

(A) The name of the agency and the name of the administrative law judge (if applicable).

(B) The docket number of the case before the administrative law court, or if the appeal is from an agency, the docket number before the agency.

(C) The date of the decision from which the appeal is taken; and if appropriate for the determination of the timeliness of the appeal, a statement of when the appealing party received the decision from which the appeal is taken, or, if a cross-appeal, when the respondent received appellant’s notice of appeal.

(D) The name of the party taking the appeal.

(E) The names, mailing addresses, and telephone numbers of all attorneys of record and the names of the party or parties represented by each.

Last amended by Order dated January 29, 2009, effective April 29, 2009, by Order of the same date.


[1] By order dated April 17, 1990, this filing fee was set at one hundred ($100.00) dollars.

[2] North Carolina v. Alford, 400 U.S. 25, 91 S.Ct. 160, 27 L.Ed.2d 162 (1970)

[3] By order dated April 17, 1990, this filing fee was set at one hundred ($100.00) dollars.