Supreme Court Seal
Supreme Court Seal
South Carolina
Judicial Branch

The Supreme Court of South Carolina

RE:   Summary Court's Approval of Bonds and Execution of Orders of Confinement


I FIND THAT expediting the approval of bonds and execution of orders of release from confinement for those defendants who previously have had an appropriate bond hearing with a judicial officer but were unable to originally make bond would assist in the protection of the constitutional and statutory rights of those defendants and further the efficiency of the judicial system.

I FURTHER FIND THAT the approval of bonds and execution of orders of release from confinement are ministerial judicial functions which may be delegated by the magistrate or municipal judge to a court employee(s). 

Therefore, pursuant to the provisions of Section 4, Article V, South Carolina Constitution,

IT IS ORDERED that the Chief Magistrate in any county of this State or any Chief Municipal Judge in any municipality of this State may designate an employee(s) of the court to approve bonds on those defendants who previously had an appropriate bond hearing but were unable to make bond at that time.  Upon approval of the bond, the designated employee(s) shall sign Bond Form II in the appropriate area.  The designated employee(s) shall also have authority to sign orders of release from confinement on those defendants whose bond they have approved.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT any Chief Magistrate or Chief Municipal Judge shall ensure that the designated court employee(s) receive appropriate legal training to carry out this function prior to acting pursuant to this Order.  The designated county or municipal employee(s) must be adequately bonded pursuant to S. C. Code Ann. § 22-1-160.  Any judicial employee (s) so designated has no judicial authority beyond the scope of this Order. The name of any employee (s) so designated must be reported to Court Administration, along with confirmation by the chief magistrate for chief municipal judge, ensuring that such employee (s) have received adequate training to function in this capacity.

Nothing in this Order shall be construed to conflict, alter, amend, or revoke any previous Orders of the Chief Justice concerning bond hearings.  Magistrates and municipal judges assigned to a detention facility must comply with the Order of the Chief Justice dated September 19, 2007, outlining bonding procedures.  Nothing in this Order should be construed to shorten the amount of time that a magistrate or municipal judge is assigned to duty at a detention facility.  This Order shall remain in effect until later amended or revoked by Order of the Chief Justice.

  s/Jean Hoefer Toal
Jean Hoefer Toal
Chief Justice

June 10, 2009
Columbia, South Carolina