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2003-12-11-02

The Supreme Court of South Carolina


RE: Deposits to Summary Court Judge in Lieu of Recognizance.


O R D E R


Pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. § 22-5-530 (Supp. 2002) Summary Court Judges are allowed to release a person charged with a crime within the jurisdiction of the summary court immediately upon payment, in lieu of a recognizance, of the maximum fine in the case for which the accused is to be tried. However, this ability to immediately release persons charged with a crime is limited by S.C. Code Ann. § 16-3-1525(H) (Supp. 2002), which requires notification of the victim of the bond hearing and if the notification is not given in a timely manner, requires the bond hearing to be delayed for a reasonable time to allow notice. Section 16-3-1525(H) also requires bond conditions which are sufficient to protect a victim from harassment or intimidation by the defendant or persons acting on the defendant’s behalf.

Because of the seeming conflict between these two sections, effective immediately, counties and municipalities that have instituted proceedings pursuant to § 22-5-530, shall provide for individualized hearings in cases where the accused may pose a threat to the public, or an individual victim, such as charges involving Driving Under the Influence, Criminal Domestic Violence, Simple Assault and Battery, and other similar cases and shall set bond and conditions of bond, if any, according to the particular circumstances of the case.

Further, upon payment of the fine, a receipt must be issued and maintained with a copy provided to the accused.

Finally, all counties and municipalities already utilizing the provisions of section 22-5-530, and any county which may do so in the future, shall submit their plan for implementation to the Office of Court Administration for approval.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

 
s/ Jean Hoefer Toal                             
Jean Hoefer Toal
Chief Justice

Columbia, South Carolina
December 11, 2003