CLIENTS AND POTENTIAL CLIENTS: We continue to work on cases but due to the Coronavirus, we are avoiding
in-person meetings. We will answer questions by phone, email, and video
and remain committed to investigating new cases and working on existing
ones. The safety of our staff, clients, and community always comes first.
The first paragraph of Rule 11(a), SCRCP, is amended to provide as follows:
(a) Signature. Every pleading, motion or other paper of a party represented
by an attorney shall be signed in his individual name by at least one
attorney of record who is admitted to practice law in South Carolina,
and whose address and telephone number shall be stated. A party who is
not represented by an attorney shall sign his pleading, motion or other
paper and state his address. Except when otherwise specifically provided
by rule or statute, pleadings need not be verified or accompanied by affidavit.
The written or electronic signature of an attorney or party constitutes
a certificate by him that he has read the pleading, motion or other paper;
that to the best of his knowledge, information and belief there is good
ground to support it; and that it is not interposed for delay.
Rule 77(d), SCRCP, is amended to provide as follows:
(d) Notice of Orders or Judgments. Immediately upon the entry of an order
or judgment the clerk shall serve a notice of the entry by first class
mail upon every party affected thereby who is not in default for failure
to appear, and shall make a note in the case file or docket sheet of the
mailing. For parties proceeding in the SCE-File electronic filing system,
the clerk shall serve a notice of the entry by electronically transmitting
a Notice of Electronic Filing to all parties. Such mailing or electronic
transmission shall not be necessary to parties who have already received
notice. Such mailing or electronic transmission is sufficient notice for
all purposes for which notice of the entry of an order or judgment is
required by these rules; but any party may in addition serve a notice
of entry on any other party in the manner provided in Rule 5 for the service
of such papers. 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.
Note to 2014 Amendment
This amendment requires the clerk to serve notice of entry of an order
or judgment through the SCE-File electronic filing system for all parties
who are proceeding in the electronic filing system. Any party or the attorney
for a party who is a traditional filer and not proceeding in the electronic
filing system must be served by first class mail as provided in paragraph (d).
The South Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure are amended by adding the following rule:
PRIVACY PROTECTION FOR FILINGS
(a) Redaction. A person filing a document in paper or electronic format
shall not include, or will redact where inclusion is necessary, the following
personal identifying information.
(1) Social Security Numbers, Taxpayer Identification Numbers, Driver's
License Numbers, Passport Numbers or Any Other Personal Identifying Numbers.
If it is necessary to include personal identifying numbers in a document,
the parties should utilize some other identifier. Parties shall not include
any portion of a social security number in a filing.
(2) Names of Minor Children. If a minor is the victim of a sexual assault
or the victim in an abuse or neglect case, the minor's name must be
completely redacted and a term such as "victim" or "child"
should be used. In all other cases, the minor's first name and first
initial of the last name (i.e., John S.), or only the minor's initials
(i.e., J.S.) should be used.
(3) Financial Account Numbers, Including Any Type of Bank Account Numbers,
Personal Identification Number (PIN) Code, or Passwords. If financial
account numbers are relevant, only the last four digits of these numbers
should be used.
(4) Home Addresses of Minors, Sexual Assault and Abuse and Neglect Victims,
and Non-Parties. If a home address of a minor, sexual assault victim,
or non-party must be included, only the city and state should be used.
(5) Date of Birth. If a date of birth must be included, only the year
of birth should be included.
Easy access to electronic court records raises privacy concerns. This
rule details the type of personal information that parties are required
to redact in court filings. Parties preparing or filing documents are
prohibited from filing documents which contain personal identifying information
delineated in S.C. Code Ann. § 30-2-330(A). Parties should exercise
caution and refrain from including any unnecessary personal identifying
information in court filings so as to limit the necessity of redacting
documents. Furthermore, parties should exercise caution in including other
sensitive personal data in filings, such as medical records, employment
history, individual financial information, proprietary or trade secret
information, information regarding an individual's cooperation with
the government, information regarding the victim of any criminal activity,
or national security information.
(b) Reference Lists. Where personal data identifiers are relevant to an
issue in the case, a filing that contains redacted information may be
filed together with a confidential reference list that identifies each
item of redacted information and specifies an appropriate identifier that
uniquely corresponds to each item listed. The list must be filed as a
confidential document, which is not available to the public, and may be
amended as of right. The confidential reference list shall not be made
available on the Case Management System Public Index and may only be viewed
by the parties and the court and staff. Any reference in the case to a
listed identifier will be construed to refer to the corresponding item
of information. No order of the court is required to file a reference list.
Paragraph (b) provides for the same procedure as provided in Rule 5.2(g)
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and permits parties to file a
reference list to accompany a redacted filing. Parties should only file
a reference list if the redacted information is relevant to an issue in
the case or necessary to understand the filing.
(c) Responsibility to Redact. The clerks of court and their staff will
not review filings for redaction or to determine if materials should be
sealed pursuant to Rule 41.1, SCRCP. The responsibility for ensuring that
information is redacted or sealed rests with counsel and the parties.
(d) Limitations on Remote Access to Electronic Files. Some documents or
images that are filed may be removed from the Case Management System Public Index.
(1) The clerk of court may remove documents, exhibits, or other filings
that may be highly inflammatory or otherwise potentially harmful.
(2) Documents, exhibits, or other filings which are removed under paragraph
(d)(1) may be viewed at the courthouse.
(e) Requests to Remove. An individual may request that a clerk of court
remove, from an image or copy of an official record placed on the Case
Management System Public Index, any data which should have been redacted
under paragraph (a) of this rule.
(1) Any request to remove data which should not have been included or
should have been redacted in accordance with paragraph (a) must be made
in writing, legibly signed by the requester, and delivered by mail, facsimile,
electronic transmission, or in person to the clerk of court. The request
must specify the document and the page number of the document that contains
information to be redacted.
(2) The clerk of court has no duty to inquire beyond the written request
to verify the identity of an individual requesting redaction.
(3) A fee must not be charged for the redaction pursuant to the request.
Paragraph (e) of this rule is consistent with the requirements of S.C.
Code Ann. § 30-2-330(B).