||Robert L. McCurdy, Senior Staff Attorney
|| Jury Lists
||December 15, 2008
I have attached an Order of the Chief Justice dated December 11, 2008, suspending the effective date of Act No. 270 of 2008, until February 15, 2009. That Act amended §14-25-130, relating to the composition of municipal court jury lists, so as to require the Department of Motor Vehicles to forward to the State Election Commission on an annual basis individual’s eligible for jury duty in each municipality who hold a valid South Carolina driver’s license or identification card. The Act requires that the State Election Commission merge this list with the list of eligible voters in each municipality and provide the merged list to each municipality for the purpose of drawing municipal juries. The Department of Motor Vehicles has reported that they are currently unable to provide the Election Commission with driver’s license and ID holders separated by municipalities. In response, Justice Toal issued the attached Order.
I have forwarded this Order to the Election Commission and asked that they issue the 2009 jury wheels composed solely of electors in each municipality. Pursuant to the Order, municipal courts may draw their juries through February 15, 2009, composed solely of electors in each municipality.
I will notify you of any action by the Department of Motor Vehicles in regard to Act No. 270 of 2008. Should you have any questions concerning this matter, please do not hesitate to contact this Office.
Cc: Liz Simmons
State Election Commission
The Supreme Court of South Carolina
RE: Municipal Court Jury Lists
I FIND THAT Act No. 270 of 2008 amended Code §14-25-130, so as to require that the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (SCDMV) shall provide to the State Election Commission an electronic file of all individuals eligible for jury duty in each municipality who hold a valid South Carolina driver's license or identification card issued pursuant to State law. The State Election Commission is then required to merge this list with the list of registered voters in each municipality and distribute this merged list in October of each year to municipalities statewide for the preparation of jury lists for municipal courts. SCDMV has reported that they are currently unable to furnish the list described above to the State Election Commission, leaving the State Election Commission currently unable to provide municipalities with a jury list in compliance with Act No. 270 of 2008.
THEREFORE, pursuant to Article V, Section 4, South Carolina Constitution,
IT IS ORDERED that, due to the current inability of SCDMV to comply with the provisions of Act No. 270 of 2008, the State Election Commission shall distribute 2009 municipal jury lists comprised only of registered voters in each municipality. Municipalities statewide are authorized to draw juries through February 15, 2009, from lists comprised of registered voters provided by the State Election Commission. Any juries drawn on or prior to February 15, 2009, for cases held subsequent to February 15,2009, are valid pursuant to this Order.
The provisions of this Order are effective immediately and remain in effect through the end of February 15, 2009, at which time it becomes ineffective.
|s/Jean Hoefer Toal
Jean Hoefer Toal
December 11, 2008
Columbia, South Carolina