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2004-06-23-02 The Supreme Court of South Carolina

The Supreme Court of South Carolina

Re: Indexing Standards


Pursuant to the provisions of S.C. Const. Art. V § 4,

In order to promote uniformity in the courts of this state, the attached Indexing Standards are approved for use in the Courts of the State of South Carolina.  For the purposes of administration, the attached indexing standards for the purposes of recording deeds, judgments, and all applicable court rulings will be mandatory effective January 1, 2005 in the courts of South Carolina.

A copy of the indexing standards will be available on the South Carolina Judicial Department website at located under the ‘Clerks of Court Manual’ link.


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
June 23, 2004


The following indexing standards are effective as of January 1, 2005 and are hereby adopted for the State of South Carolina where proper indexing is vital for location of documents.


Global Rules:

1) All entries are keyed in capital letters and are entered as they appear on the document with the exceptions as presented.

2) All signed names of parties on a document will be indexed. In the cases where signatures are not required or do not appear for various reasons (e.g. name of mortgagee), all human and organization names on the document will be indexed. In the case of a person unable to sign their full name and he or she makes an “X” or some other type of mark, the name typed under the mark will be indexed. In the case that the indexer is unsure as to whether a name is a Grantor or a Grantee, etc., all names will be entered both ways.

3) No punctuation is used. All names that have punctuation, with the following exceptions, should be entered altogether with no spaces. The exceptions are:

a) Human names rule 1
b) Human names rule 2
c) Organization rule 4
d) Comma after last name if the computer system requires it.

4) If unsure whether indexed party is a human or organization name, it will be indexed twice, once as a human name and also as an organization.

5) When indexing a Trustee, both the human and trust, church or organization name will be indexed. For example: Mary Smith, Trustee for the Smith Family Trust is indexed under SMITH MARY TRUSTEE (human name) and SMITH FAMILY TRUST (organization name). In the example: Mary Smith, Trustee for Trust B, Trust B will not be indexed.

6) Abbreviations used: AIF= power of attorney; TR= trustee. No other abbreviations are used. For systems with limited character space, all characters in the name will be entered until all spaces are filled.

Human Name Rules:

1) Compound names contain no hyphens. Hyphens are replaced with spaces so that Mary Sue Rogers-Johnson is indexed: first: MARY middle: SUE surname: ROGERS JOHNSON and will not be indexed under JOHNSON. In the case of Mary Sue Rogers Johnson (no hyphen) both Sue and Rogers will be indexed as middle names and Johnson will be indexed as the last name.

2) All foreign names are assumed to have a given name (or names) and a surname. Thus, Ah Ho Chen is indexed, first: AH middle: HO surname: CHEN. Also, Hamid Al-Sarras is indexed: first: HAMID, surname: AL SARRAS. No foreign symbols or accent marks are used.

3) The full name of the party is indexed as it appears on the document. No abbreviation will be used unless the names are abbreviated on the document.

4) When the signature is legible, the signature governs the indexing. When the signature is not legible, the printed or typed name under the signature governs the indexing. In a case where the typed name below the signature conflicts with the signature, index both ways.

5) Surnames that begin with “Mc” such as McDonald and Mc Coy will be entered without spaces regardless of how the name appears on the document.

6) If it is unclear as to whether a name is a surname or part of a given name, it is entered twice. For example, Joe Van Cott will be indexed: first: JOE, middle: VAN, surname: COTT, as well as: surname: VAN COTT. Searchers are advised to check both ways.

7) One initial is considered a given name. Two initials are considered as two given names. Thus, M. L. Jones is entered: first: M middle: L surname: JONES.

8) All titles such as Dr. or Rev. will be dropped.

9) A woman who uses Mrs. and her husband’s given name such as Mrs. John Smith, “Mrs.” will be entered at the end of the given name(s) or in the suffix field for computer systems that allow this type of search option.

10) Suffixes such as Jr. or Sr. will be entered after the given name(s) or in the suffix field for computer systems that allow this type of search option.

Organization Name Rules:

1) Never convert a roman numeral to a number. Never spell out a number or numeral. And never convert a number that is spelled out. These will be entered as presented on the document.

2) The, An and A are not indexed. These will be dropped.

3) Human names in an organization entry are not reversed. Thus, Carl Magnum, Inc. is entered: CARL MAGNUM INC. (Search under C) Steve Hendrix Builders is entered: STEVE HENDRIX BUILDERS (Search under S)

4) Fractions in an organization name are separated by a slash (/). Thus, 7 5/8 Company is entered: 7 5/8 COMPANY.

5) Organization names containing the words Mount, Mt., Saint or St. are entered as they appear on the document and are never converted to either the full or abbreviated form.

6) These will be entered altogether with no spaces. No symbols or punctuation marks are used. For example, U.S.C. Booster Club, Inc. will be entered: USC BOOSTER CLUB INC and A-1 Auto Sales will be entered A1 AUTO SALES. Likewise, will be entered DITECHCOM.

7) Punctuation marks are not used in organization names. Thus, Jones, Smith and Associates is entered: JONES SMITH AND ASSOCIATES. America’s Wholesale Lender is entered: AMERICAS WHOLESALE LENDER.

8) Indexing procedures for organization names will apply to governmental agencies unless otherwise noted. Governmental agencies will be indexed first by agency name, followed by political subdivision notation. For example:

a) United States Farmer’s Home Loan Association will be entered FARMERS HOME LOAN ASSOCIATION UNITED STATES (Farmers Home Loan Association is the agency and United States is
the political subdivision)

b) South Carolina Budget and Control Board will be entered BUDGET AND CONTROL BOARD SOUTH CAROLINA (Budget and Control Board is the agency and South Carolina is the political subdivision)

c) Greenville County Master in Equity will be entered MASTER IN EQUITY GREENVILLE COUNTY (Master in Equity is the agency and Greenville County is the political subdivision)

The name of the individual who signed the document for the agency or political subdivision will not be indexed. In the example Wendy Wise, Delinquent Tax Collector, Wendy Wise will not be entered. No prefixes Such as “Secretary of” will be entered. County of York will be entered YORK COUNTY OF. State of South Carolina will be entered SOUTH CAROLINA STATE OF. Searchers are advised to consider all possibilities when searching governmental entries.

9) Allowable symbols are: $ & / @ if it is part of a name.