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South Carolina
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RULE 54

RULE 54
JUDGMENTS: COSTS

(a) Definition; Form. "Judgment" as used in these rules includes any decree or order which dismisses the action as to any party or finally determines the rights of any party. A judgment need not contain a recital of pleadings, the report of a master, or the record of prior proceedings.

(b) Judgment Upon Multiple Claims or Involving Multiple Parties. When more than one claim for relief is presented in an action, whether as a claim, counterclaim, cross-claim, or third-party claim, or when multiple parties are involved, the court may direct the entry of a final judgment as to one or more but fewer than all of the claims or parties only upon an express determination that there is no just reason for delay and upon an express direction for the entry of judgment. In the absence of such determination and direction, any order or other form of decision, however designated, which adjudicates fewer than all the claims or the rights and liabilities of fewer than all the parties shall not terminate the action as to any of the claims or parties, and the order or other form of decision is subject to revision at any time before the entry of judgment adjudicating all the claims and the rights and liabilities of all the parties.

(c) Demand for Judgment. A judgment by default shall not be different in kind from or exceed in amount that prayed for in the demand for judgment. Except as to a party against whom a judgment is entered by default, every final judgment shall grant the relief to which the party in whose favor it is rendered is entitled, even if the party has not demanded such relief in his pleadings.

(d) Costs. Except when express provision therefor is made either in a statute or in these rules, costs shall be allowed as of course to the prevailing party unless the court otherwise directs; but costs against the State, its officers, and agencies shall be imposed only to the extent permitted by law. A motion for costs, supported by an affidavit that the costs are correct and were necessarily incurred in the action, may be filed by the prevailing party within 10 days of the receipt of written notice of the entry of final judgment. Upon notice that the matter has been appealed, the clerk may delay the taxation of costs until the appeal is completed. A party who prevails for the first time on appeal may file a motion for costs, as provided herein, within 10 days of written notice of the entry of the final judgment after appeal. After an appeal, the clerk shall include the costs incurred in the appeal as taxable costs as provided in Rule 58(b). Costs may be taxed by the clerk on one day's notice. On motion served within 10 days after receipt of notice, the action of the clerk may be reviewed by the court. Upon allowance, the costs shall be included in the judgment or decree.

(e) Taxable Costs. Taxable costs shall include:

(1) Costs Authorized by Statute and Sanctions Imposed in Favor of Prevailing Party. All sanctions including reasonable attorneys fees, if ordered, imposed upon another party and in favor of the prevailing party under any statute or Rule of Civil Procedure are taxable;

(2) Fees of the Clerk. All filing and recording fees charged by the clerk of the court in which the action was pending, or fees or costs taxed under > Rule 222, SCACR, are taxable;

(3) Fees of the Sheriff. All fees and costs chargeable by the sheriff for service of summons and complaint, or subpoenas for trial witnesses who testified at trial or for the production of documents and materials actually used at trial, and all costs actually incurred by the sheriff in serving other process necessarily required in the case, including costs incurred attaching property, in caring for property attached, or in conducting the sale of attached property, including any bond, guarantee, sales commissions or insurance premiums, if required, are taxable;

(4) Fees Incurred in Service of Process. All fees and costs incurred in the service of summons and complaint, or subpoenas for the witnesses who testified at trial, or for the production of documents and materials actually used at trial, in an amount not to exceed that which may be charged by the sheriff for comparable services, are taxable;

(5) Witnesses' Fees. All witness fees and mileage actually traveled as specified in Rule 45(b)(1), paid to persons who were subpoenaed and testified at trial, are taxable;

(6) Fees for Exemplification and Copies of Papers Necessarily Obtained for Trial. The costs of one copy of a document introduced in evidence in lieu of the original; the fees of officials for certification of proof of the non-existence of documents; the cost of securing translation if the document translated is taxable or the translation is necessary for exemplification of matters before the court; the cost of maps and one copy of a photograph introduced into evidence, are taxable.

Note:

Rule 54(a) adopts generally the definition of judgment found in Code § 15-35-10, rather than the language of the Federal Rule. The simple form of judgment as set out in the Appendix of Forms is sufficient, but may be expanded to include other matters as the court deems necessary. The judgment under Rule 58 is a separate document, distinct from underlying opinions, decisions and other orders. Its use will simplify entry, execution, enforcement and proof of judgment, and should state simply and directly the recovery or relief granted. It should be prepared by the court or by the clerk, but may be prepared by the prevailing party and submitted for signature by the judge, or by the clerk in appropriate cases. Rules 54(b)-(d) are substantially the Federal Rule; they represent the flexibility of the Rules procedure but with very little change from the provisions of Code §§ 15-35-40, 50, 70, 90, and 100.

Note to 1993 Amendment:

Rule 54(d) is amended to provide the procedure for filing for costs. The motion, supported by affidavit, shall be filed by the prevailing party within 10 days of notice of the entry of the final judgment. A later motion is untimely unless it is filed by a party who prevailed for the first time on appeal. The clerk may delay taxation of the costs until the completion of an appeal, and as required by Rule 58(b), add the taxable costs incurred on appeal at that time. The clerk taxes the costs on one day's notice to the opposing party, who has 10 days after the clerk's action to request a review by the trial court. Upon allowance, the taxable costs become part of the judgment.

Rule 54(e) provides a list of taxable costs. It is based upon the comparable local federal rule, and follows generally the state statutes that previously authorized taxable costs.