Supreme Court Seal
South Carolina
JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT
Site Map | Feedback

RULE 501
GENERAL RULE

Except as required by the Constitution of South Carolina, by the Constitution of the United States or by South Carolina statute, the privilege of a witness, person or government shall be governed by the principles of the common law as they may be interpreted by the courts in the light of reason and experience.

Note:

This rule modifies the federal rule to refer to the South Carolina Constitution and statutes. Like the federal rule, this rule does not set forth a list of privileges. Among those privileges which would be covered by this rule are: husband and wife (S.C. Code Ann. § 19-11-30); priest and penitent (S.C. Code Ann. § 19-11-90); certain mental health professionals and clients (S.C. Code Ann. § 19-11-95); news media and sources (S.C. Code Ann. § 19-11-100); attorney and client [Drayton v. Industrial Life & Health Ins. Co., 205 S.C. 98, 31 S.E.2d 148 (1944)]; privilege against self-incrimination (U.S. Const. amend. V; S.C. Const. art. I, § 12; S.C. Code Ann. § 19-11-80); and the identity of a confidential informant [State v. Hayward, 302 S.C. 75, 393 S.E.2d 918 (1990)].