Supreme Court Seal
South Carolina
JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT
Site Map | Feedback
Court News

2004-04-27-01

The Supreme Court of South Carolina

RE: Amendments to the South Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure


ORDER


By Order dated January 29, 2004, certain amendments to the South Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure were submitted to the General Assembly pursuant to Art. V, § 4A of the South Carolina Constitution. Ninety or more days having passed since the submission to the General Assembly without rejection, the amendments are effective immediately.

s/Jean H. Toal                                    C.J.

s/James E. Moore                             J.

s/John H. Waller, Jr.                           J.

s/E.C. Burnett, III                                 J.

s/Costa M. Pleicones                        J.

Columbia, South Carolina
April 27, 2004


AMENDMENTS TO THE SOUTH CAROLINA
RULES OF CIVIL PROCEDURE

(1) Rule 3 is amended to read as follows:

RULE 3
COMMENCEMENT OF ACTION

(a) Commencement of civil action. A civil action is commenced when the summons and complaint are filed with the clerk of court if:

(1) the summons and complaint are served within the statute of limitations in any manner prescribed by law; or

(2) if not served within the statute of limitations, actual service must be accomplished not later than one hundred twenty days after filing.

(b) Filing In Forma Pauperis. A plaintiff who desires to file an action in forma pauperis shall file in the court a motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis, together with the complaint proposed to be filed and an affidavit showing the plaintiff's inability to pay the fee required to file the action. If the motion is granted, the plaintiff may proceed without further application and file the complaint in the court without payment of filing fees.

(2) The following note is added to the end of Rule 3:

Note to 2004 Amendment:

This amendment rewrote subsection (a), deleted subsection (b), and renumbered subsection (c) as subsection (b). These changes are intended to reflect the legislative intent expressed in § 15-3-20 as amended by 2002 S.C. Act No. 281, § 1.

(3) Rule 63 is amended to read:

RULE 63
DISABILITY OF A JUDGE

If at any time after a trial or hearing has been commenced, but before the final order or judgment has been issued, the judge is unable to proceed, a successor judge shall be assigned. The successor judge may proceed upon certifying familiarity with the record and determining that the proceedings may be completed without prejudice to the parties. In a hearing or a trial without a jury, the successor judge shall, at the request of a party, recall any witness whose testimony is material and disputed and who is available to testify without undue burden. A successor judge may also provide for the recall of any witnesses.

(4) The following note is added to the end of Rule 63:

Note to 2004 Amendment:

The 2004 Amendment rewrote this Rule to provide a clear procedure when a judge who has heard some or all of a case is unable to proceed. The language is similar to Rule 63 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

(5) Rule 71.1(f) is re-lettered 71.1(g) and new Rule 71.1(f) shall read as follows:

(f) Filing and Service of Order. The post-conviction relief judge shall submit the signed final order or judgment to the clerk for filing and the clerk of court shall provide notice of entry of judgment and serve a copy of the order or judgment to the parties as provided in Rule 77(d), SCRCP.

(6) The following note is added to the end of Rule 71.1:

Note to 2004 Amendment:

The 2004 Amendment clarifies the process for filing and notification of parties of filed orders in post-conviction relief actions.

(7) The following two sentences are added to the end of Rule 77(d):

In addition to the above, in post-conviction relief actions, the post-conviction relief judge shall submit the signed order or judgment to the clerk of court for filing and the clerk shall promptly provide notice of the entry of judgment and serve a copy of the signed order to the parties. Pursuant to Rule 5(b) service shall be made solely on the attorney when the applicant is represented by counsel and, where an applicant is proceeding pro se, service shall be made upon the applicant at the last known address provided to the clerk by the applicant.

(8) The following note is added to the end of Rule 77:

Note to 2004 Amendment:

The 2004 amendment clarified the process for clerks of court providing notice of entry of judgment and copies of the final signed order to the parties. It made clear that service is to be made on the attorney of a represented applicant and only on applicants when they are proceeding pro se.