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2011-04-28-01

The Supreme Court of South Carolina

RE:  Rule Amendments


ORDER



On January 27, 2011, the following were submitted to the General Assembly pursuant to Article V, §4A, of the South Carolina Constitution:

(1)     An order amending Rule 219 of the South Carolina Appellate Court Rules.

(2)     An order amending Rules 16, 26, 28, 33, 34, 37 and 45 of the South Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure.

(3)     An order amending Rule 3 of the South Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure.

(4)     An order amending Rule 29 of the South Carolina Rules of Criminal Procedure.

A copy of these orders is attached.  Since ninety days have passed since submission without rejection by the General Assembly, the amendments contained in the above orders are effective immediately.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

s/Jean H. Toal                                    C.J.

s/Costa M. Pleicones                        J.

s/Donald W. Beatty                            J.

s/John W. Kittredge                           J.

s/Kaye G. Hearn                                 J.

Columbia, South Carolina
April 28, 2011


The Supreme Court of South Carolina

RE:  Amendment to the South Carolina Appellate Court Rules 


ORDER



Pursuant to Article V, § 4 of the South Carolina Constitution, Rule 219 of the South Carolina Appellate Court Rules (SCACR) is amended as shown in the attachment to this order.  This amendment shall be submitted to the General Assembly as provided by Article V, § 4A of the South Carolina Constitution.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

s/Jean H. Toal                                    C.J.

s/Costa M. Pleicones                        J.

s/Donald W. Beatty                            J.

s/John W. Kittredge                           J.

s/Kaye G. Hearn                                 J.

Columbia, South Carolina
January 27, 2011


Amendment to South Carolina Appellate Court Rules (SCACR)

Rule 219, SCACR, is amended to read as follows:

RULE 219
HEARING OR REHEARING OF CASES BY THE

COURT OF APPEALS EN BANC

(a) When Hearing or Rehearing En Banc Will Be Ordered.  It shall require the affirmative vote of six (6) members of the Court of Appeals to hear or rehear an appeal or other proceeding en banc.   A hearing or rehearing en banc is not favored and ordinarily will not be ordered except (1) when consideration by the full court is necessary to secure or maintain uniformity of its decisions, or (2) when the proceeding involves a question of exceptional importance.

(b) Suggestion of a Party for Hearing or Rehearing En Banc.  If a party desires to suggest that a matter be heard initially en banc, the suggestion shall made in writing, and must be served and filed not later than twenty (20) days prior to the hearing date.  If a suggestion for rehearing en banc is to be made, it shall be included in the petition for rehearing.  No response shall be filed by other parties unless the Court shall so order.  The Clerk of the Court of Appeals shall transmit the suggestion to all judges of the Court.  A vote will not be taken to determine if the matter shall be heard or reheard en banc unless a member of the Court calls for a vote on the suggestion.   If no vote is taken on the suggestion, the parties shall be advised that the suggestion has been rejected.


The Supreme Court of South Carolina

RE: Amendments to South Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure 


ORDER


Pursuant to Article V, § 4 of the South Carolina Constitution, Rules 16, 26, 28, 33, 34, 37 and 45 of the South Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure are hereby amended as shown in the attachment to this order.  These amendments shall be submitted to the General Assembly as provided by Article V, § 4A of the South Carolina Constitution.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

s/Jean H. Toal                                    C.J.

s/Costa M. Pleicones                        J.

s/Donald W. Beatty                            J.

s/John W. Kittredge                           J.

s/Kaye G. Hearn                                 J.


Columbia, South Carolina
January 27, 2011


Rule 16(b), SCRCP is amended to provide as follows:

(b) Pre-trial Orders. The court shall make a written order which recites the action, if any, taken at the hearing, the amendments allowed to the pleadings, and the agreements made by the parties as to any of the matters considered, and which limits the issues for trial to those not disposed of by admissions or agreements of counsel; and such order when entered controls the subsequent course of the action, unless modified on motion, or at the trial to prevent manifest injustice. The order may, in the court's discretion, also: (1) provide that exhibits or witnesses not listed at the hearing may not be called or admitted in evidence at the trial, unless such witness or exhibit is discovered after pre-trial hearing and promptly disclosed to opposing parties; (2) provide that all motions pending at the time of the hearing which are not presented for disposition are deemed abandoned; (3) provide that all or part of the pre-trial hearing be continued to a future time, or that additional pre-trial hearings be scheduled to promote the orderly and efficient disposition of the action; (4) establish provisions for disclosure or discovery of electronically stored information; and (5) include any agreements the parties reach for asserting claims of privilege or of protection as trial preparation material after production.

Rule 26, SCRCP, is amended to provide as follows:

(b) Scope of Discovery. Unless otherwise limited by order of the court in accordance with these rules, the scope of discovery is as follows:

.     .     .

(5) Claims of Privilege or Protection of Trial Preparation Materials.

(A) Information Withheld.  When a party withholds information otherwise discoverable under these rules by claiming that it is privileged or subject to protection as trial preparation material, the party shall make the claim expressly and shall describe the nature of the documents, communications, or things not produced or disclosed in a manner that, without revealing the information itself privileged or protected, will enable other parties to assess the applicability of the privilege or protection.

(B) Information Produced.  If information produced in discovery is subject to a claim of privilege or of protection as trial preparation material, the party making the claim may notify any party that received the information of the claim and the basis for it.  After being notified, a party must promptly return, sequester, or destroy the specified information and any copies it has and may not use or disclose the information until the claim is resolved.  A receiving party may promptly present the information to the court under seal for a determination of the claim.  If the receiving party disclosed the information before being notified, the receiving party must take reasonable steps to retrieve the information.  The producing party must preserve the information until the claim is resolved.

(6) Electronically Stored Information.

(A) A party need not provide discovery of electronically stored information from sources that the party identifies to the requesting party as not reasonably accessible because of undue burden or cost.  On motion to compel discovery or for a protective order, the party from whom discovery is sought must show that the information is not reasonably accessible because of undue burden or cost.  If that showing is made, the court may nonetheless order discovery from such sources if the requesting party shows good cause, considering the limitations of Rule 26(b)(6)(B).  The court may specify conditions for the discovery, including allocation of expenses associated with discovery of the electronically stored information.

(B) On motion or on its own motion, the court shall limit the frequency or extent of discovery otherwise allowed by these rules if the court determines that:

(i) the discovery sought is unreasonably cumulative or duplicative, or is obtainable from some other source that is more convenient, less burdensome, or less expensive;

(ii) the party seeking discovery has had ample opportunity by discovery in the action to obtain the information sought; or

(iii) the burden or expense of the proposed discovery outweighs its likely benefit, taking into account the needs of the case, the amount in controversy, the parties' resources, the importance of the issues at stake in the litigation, and the importance of the proposed discovery in resolving the issues.  The court may act upon its own initiative after reasonable notice or pursuant to a motion under Rule 26(c).

.     .     .

(f) Discovery Conference. At any time after commencement of an action the court may direct the attorneys for the parties to appear before it for a conference on the subject of discovery. The court shall do so upon motion by the attorneys for any party if the motion includes:

(1) A statement of the issues as they then appear;

(2) A proposed plan and schedule of discovery;

(3) Any limitations proposed to be placed on discovery;

(4) Any other proposed orders with respect to discovery;

(5) A statement of any issues relating to discovery of electronically stored information, including the form or forms in which it should be produced;

(6) A statement of any issues relating to claims of privilege or of
protection as trial preparation material, including—if the parties agree on a procedure to assert such claims after production—whether the parties wish to have the court include their agreement in an order; and

(7) A statement showing that the attorney making the motion has made a reasonable effort to reach agreement with opposing attorneys on the matters set forth in the motion.  Each party and his attorney are under a duty to participate in good faith in the framing of a discovery plan if a plan is proposed by the attorney for any party.  Notice of the motion shall be served on all parties. Objections or additions to matters set forth in the motion shall be served not later than 10 days after service of the motion.

Following the discovery conference, the court shall enter an order tentatively identifying the issues for discovery purposes, establishing a plan and schedule for discovery, setting limitations on discovery, if any; and determining such other matters, including the allocation of expenses, as are necessary for the proper management of discovery in the action.  An order may be altered or amended whenever justice so requires. Subject to the right of a party who properly moves for a discovery conference to prompt convening of the conference, the court may combine the discovery conference with a pretrial hearing authorized by Rule 16.

.     .     .     .


Rule 33(c), SCRCP, is amended to provide as follows:

(c) Option to Produce Business Records.  Where the answer to an interrogatory may be derived or ascertained from the business records, including electronically stored information, of the party upon whom the interrogatory has been served or from an examination, audit or inspection of such business records, including a compilation, abstract or summary thereof, and the burden of deriving or ascertaining the answer is substantially the same for the party serving the interrogatory as for the party served, it is a sufficient answer to such interrogatory to specify the records from which the answer may be derived or ascertained and to afford to the party serving the interrogatory reasonable opportunity to examine, audit or inspect such records and to make copies, compilations, abstracts or summaries.  A specification shall be in sufficient detail to permit the interrogating party to locate and to identify, as readily as can the party served, the records from which the answer may be ascertained.


Rule 34, SCRCP, is amended to provide as follows:

(a) Scope. Any party may serve on any other party a request (1) to produce and permit the party making the request, or someone acting on his behalf, to inspect and copy, any designated documents, or electronically stored information (including writings, drawings, graphs, charts, photographs, phonorecords, and other data compilations from which information can be obtained, translated, if necessary, by the respondent through detection devices into reasonably usable form), or to inspect and copy, test, or sample any tangible things which constitute or contain matters within the scope of Rule 26(b) and which are in the possession, custody or control of the party upon whom the request is served; or (2) to permit entry upon designated land or other property in the possession or control of the party upon whom the request is served for the purpose of inspection and measuring, surveying, photographing, testing, or sampling the property or any designated object or operation thereon, within the scope of Rule 26(b).

(b) Procedure. The request may, without leave of court, be served upon the plaintiff after commencement of the action and upon any other party with or after service of the summons and complaint upon that party. The request shall set forth the items to be inspected either by individual item or by category, and describe each item and category with reasonable particularity. The request shall specify a reasonable time, place, and manner of making the inspection and performing the related acts.  The request may specify the form or forms in which electronically stored information is to be produced.

The party upon whom the request is served shall serve a written response within 30 days after the service of the request, except that a defendant may serve a response within 45 days after service of the summons and complaint upon that defendant. The court may allow a shorter or longer time. The response shall state, with respect to each item or category, that inspection and related activities will be permitted as requested, unless the request is objected to, including an objection to the requested form or forms for producing electronically stored information, in which event the reasons for objection shall be stated. If objection is made to part of an item or category, the part shall be specified. If objection is made to the requested form or forms for producing electronically stored information (or if no form was specified in the request) the responding party must state the form or forms it intends to use. The party submitting the request may move for an order under Rule 37(a) with respect to any objection to or other failure to respond to the request or any part thereof, or any failure to permit inspection as requested. A party who produces documents for inspection shall produce them as they are kept in the usual course of business or shall organize and label them to correspond with the categories in the request.

Unless the parties otherwise agree, or the court otherwise orders:

(1) If a request does not specify the form or forms for producing electronically stored information, a responding party must produce the information in a form or forms in which it is ordinarily maintained or in a form or forms that are reasonably usable; and

(2) a party need not produce the same electronically stored information in more than one form.

.     .     .     .


Rule 37, SCRCP, is amended to add the following provision:

(f) Electronically Stored Information.  Absent exceptional circumstances, a court may not impose sanctions under these rules on a party for failing to provide electronically stored information lost as result of the routine, good-faith operation of an electronic information system.


Rule 45, SCRCP, is amended to provide as follows:

(a) Form; Issuance.

(1) Every subpoena shall:

(A) state the name of the court from which it is issued; and

(B) state the title of the action, the name of the court in which it is pending, and its civil action number; and

(C) command each person to whom it is directed to attend and give testimony or produce and permit inspection and copying of designated books, documents or tangible things in the possession, custody or control of that person, or to permit inspection of premises, at a time and place therein specified; and

(D) set forth the text of subdivisions (c) and (d) of this rule.

A command to produce evidence or to permit inspection may be joined with a command to appear at trial or hearing or at deposition, or may be issued separately.  A subpoena may specify the form or forms in which electronically stored information is to be produced.

(2) A subpoena commanding attendance at a trial or hearing shall issue from the court for the county in which the hearing or trial is to be held.  A subpoena for attendance at a deposition shall issue from the court for the county designated by the notice of deposition as the county in which the deposition is to be taken.  If separate from a subpoena commanding the attendance of a person, a subpoena for production or inspection shall issue from the court for the county in which production or inspection is to be made.  Provided, however, that a subpoena to a person who is not a party or an officer, director or managing agent of a party, commanding attendance at a deposition or production or inspection shall issue from the court for the county in which the non-party resides or is employed or regularly transacts business in person.

(3) The clerk shall issue a subpoena, signed but otherwise in blank, to a party requesting it, who shall complete it before service.  An attorney as officer of the court may also issue and sign a subpoena on behalf of a court in which the attorney is authorized to practice.

.     .     .

(c) Protection of Persons Subject to Subpoenas.

(1) A party or an attorney responsible for the issuance and service of a subpoena shall take reasonable steps to avoid imposing undue burden or expense on a person subject to that subpoena.  The court on behalf of which the subpoena was issued shall enforce this duty and impose upon the party or attorney in breach of this duty an appropriate sanction, which may include, but is not limited to, lost earnings and a reasonable attorney's fee.

(2)(A) A person commanded to produce and permit inspection and copying of designated electronically stored information, books, papers, documents or tangible things, or inspection of premises need not appear in person at the place of production or inspection unless commanded to appear for deposition, hearing or trial.  A party or an attorney responsible for the issuance and service of a subpoena for production of books, papers and documents without a deposition shall provide to another party copies of documents so produced upon written request.  The party requesting copies shall pay the reasonable costs of reproduction.

(B) Subject to paragraph (d)(2) of this rule, a person commanded to produce and permit inspection and copying may, within 14 days after service of the subpoena or before the time specified for compliance if such time is less than 14 days after service, serve upon the party or attorney designated in the subpoena written objection to inspection or copying of any or all of the designated materials or of the premises—or to producing electronically stored information in the form or forms requested.  If objection is made, the party serving the subpoena shall not be entitled to inspect and copy the materials or inspect the premises except pursuant to an order of the court by which the subpoena was issued.  If objection has been made, the party serving the subpoena may, upon notice to the person commanded to produce, move at any time in the court that issued the subpoena for an order to compel the production.  Such an order to compel production shall protect any person who is not a party or an officer of a party from significant expense resulting from the inspection and copying commanded.

.     .     .

(d) Duties in Responding to Subpoena.

(1)(A) A person responding to a subpoena to produce documents shall produce them as they are kept in the usual course of business or shall organize and label them to correspond with the categories in the demand.

(B) If a subpoena does not specify the form or forms for producing electronically stored information, a person responding to a subpoena must produce the information in a form or forms in which it is ordinarily maintained or in a reasonably usable form or forms.

(C) A person responding to a subpoena need not produce the same electronically stored information in more than one form.

(D) A person responding to a subpoena need not provide discovery of electronically stored information from sources that the person identifies as not reasonably accessible because of undue burden or cost.  On motion to compel discovery or to quash, the person from whom discovery is sought must show that the information sought is not reasonably accessible because of undue burden or cost.  If that showing is made, the court may nonetheless order discovery from such sources if the requesting party shows good cause, considering the limitations of Rule 26(b)(6)(B).  The court may specify conditions for the discovery.

(2)(A) When information subject to a subpoena is withheld on a claim that it is privileged or subject to protection as trial preparation materials, the claim shall be made expressly and shall be supported by a description of the nature of the documents, communications, or things not produced that is sufficient to enable the demanding party to contest the claim.        

(B) If information produced in response to a subpoena is subject to a claim of privilege or of protection as trial preparation material, the person making the claim may notify any party that received the information of the claim and the basis for it.  After being notified, a party must promptly return, sequester, or destroy the specified information and any copies it has and may not use or disclose the information until the claim is resolved.  A receiving party may promptly present the information to the court under seal for a determination of the claim.  If the receiving party disclosed the information before being notified, the receiving party must take reasonable steps to retrieve the information.  The person who produced the information must preserve the information until the claim is resolved.

.     .     .     .


The following language is added to the Notes in each of the above rules:

Note to 2011 Amendment:

The amendments to Rules 16, 26, 33, 34, 37 and 45 of the South Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure concerning electronic discovery are substantially similar to the corresponding provisions in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.  The rules concerning electronic discovery are intended to provide a practical, efficient and cost-effective method to assure reasonable discovery.  Pursuit of electronic discovery must relate to the claims and defenses asserted in the pleadings and should serve as a means for facilitating a just and cost-effective resolution of disputes. 


The Note to Rule 28, SCRCP, is amended to add the following:

Rule 28(d) is consistent with the South Carolina Uniform Interstate Depositions and Discovery Act, which is codified at S.C. Code Ann. § 15-47-100 et seq.

 


The Supreme Court of South Carolina

RE: Amendments to South Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure 


ORDER


Pursuant to Article V, § 4 of the South Carolina Constitution, Rule 3 of the South Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure (SCRCP) is amended as shown in the attachment to this order.  These amendments shall be submitted to the General Assembly as provided by Article V, § 4A of the South Carolina Constitution.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

s/Jean H. Toal                                    C.J.

s/Costa M. Pleicones                        J.

s/Donald W. Beatty                            J.

s/John W. Kittredge                           J.

s/Kaye G. Hearn                                 J.

Columbia, South Carolina
January 27, 2011


Amendments to South Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure (SCRCP)

 

(1) Rule 3, SCRCP, 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.

(1) Except as provided in (2) below, 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) Where a party is represented in a civil action by an attorney working on behalf of or under the auspices of a legal aid society or a legal services or other nonprofit organization funded in whole or substantial part by funds appropriated by the United States Government or the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina, which has as its primary purpose the furnishing of legal services to indigent persons, or the South Carolina Bar Pro Bono Program, fees related to the filing of the action shall be waived without the necessity of a motion and court approval.  Before the filing fees will be waived, the attorney representing the party must file with the clerk a written certification that representation is being provided on behalf of or under the auspices of the society, organization or program, and that the party is unable to pay the filing fees.

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

Note to 2011 Amendment:

This amendment added the language of (b)(2) which allows for the waiver of the filing fees for an action when a party is represented by an attorney working on behalf of or under the auspices of a legal aid society, a legal services or other nonprofit organization, or the South Carolina Pro Bono Program.


The Supreme Court of South Carolina

RE: Amendments to the South Carolina Rules of Criminal Procedure 


ORDER


Pursuant to Article V, § 4 of the South Carolina Constitution, the South Carolina Rules of Criminal Procedure (SCRCrimP) are amended as shown in the attachment to this order.  These amendments shall be submitted to the General Assembly as provided by Article V, § 4A of the South Carolina Constitution.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

s/Jean H. Toal                                    C.J.

s/Costa M. Pleicones                        J.

s/Donald W. Beatty                            J.

s/John W. Kittredge                           J.

s/Kaye G. Hearn                                 J.

Columbia, South Carolina
January 27, 2011


Amendments to South Carolina Rules of Criminal Procedure (SCRCrimP)

(1) Rule 29, SCRCRimP, is amended to read as follows:

RULE 29
POST-TRIAL MOTIONS

(a) Generally. Except for motions for new trials based on after-discovered evidence, post-trial motions shall be made within ten (10) days after the imposition of the sentence.  In cases involving appeals from convictions in magistrate's or municipal court, post-trial motions shall be made within ten (10) days after receipt of written notice of entry of the order or judgment disposing of the appeal.  The time for appeal for all parties shall be stayed by a timely post-trial motion and shall run from the receipt of written notice of entry of the order granting or denying such motion.  The time within which to make the motion shall not be affected by the ending of a term of court or departure of the judge from the circuit, and the circuit judge shall retain jurisdiction of the action for the purpose of hearing and disposing of the motion if not heard and disposed of during the term.  Except by consent of the parties, argument on the motion shall be heard in the circuit where the trial or hearing was held.  The motion may, in the discretion of the court, be determined on briefs filed by the parties without oral argument.

(b) New Trials Based on After-Discovered Evidence.   A motion for a new trial based on after-discovered evidence must be made within  one (1) year after the date of actual discovery of the evidence by the defendant or after the date when the evidence could have been ascertained by the exercise of reasonable diligence.  A motion for a new trial based on after-discovered evidence may not be made while the case is on appeal unless the appellate court, upon motion, has suspended the appeal and granted leave to make the motion.  Leave of the appellate court is not required if no appeal has been taken or if the appeal has been finally decided in the appellate court.

(2) The following note is added to the end of Rule 29, SCRCrimP:

Note to 2011 Amendment:

This amendment places a one year limit on the time to make a motion for a new trial based on after-discovered evidence.