Supreme Court Seal
Supreme Court Seal
South Carolina
Judicial Branch

The Supreme Court of South Carolina

RE:  Summary Court Pretrial Detainees


I FIND THAT direction is needed in cases where a defendant is incarcerated on a summary level offense(s), is unable to make bond, and is detained pretrial for the maximum amount of time that the defendant would be subject to if convicted for the offense(s).

Therefore, pursuant to Article V, Section 4, S.C. Constitution,

IT IS ORDERED that when a defendant charged with a summary level offense(s) is unable to make bond and is detained pretrial for the maximum amount of time the defendant would receive if convicted for the offense(s), the on-call bonding magistrate or municipal court judge shall immediately convert the defendant’s surety bond to a personal recognizance bond and discharge the defendant.  Nothing herein affects the defendant’s right to contest the charge against him, including trial by jury.  When determining the maximum amount of time a defendant would receive if convicted of a summary level offense(s) for purposes of this Order, time off for good behavior, as provided in S.C. Code Ann. §24-13-210, shall not be considered so as to reduce the maximum amount of time.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the chief magistrate in each county and the chief municipal court judge of each municipality shall coordinate with their detention facility employees so as to ensure that the court is notified of all defendants who are nearing or who have reached the maximum amount of time to which they are subject if convicted on a summary level offense(s).

I take this opportunity to remind all summary court judges that when setting bond on a person charged with a noncapital offense triable in magistrate, municipal, or circuit court, S.C. Code Ann. §17-15-10 requires that the defendant be released pending trial on his own recognizance without surety in an amount specified by the court, unless the court determines in its discretion that such a release will not reasonably assure the appearance of the person as required, or unreasonable danger to the community will result.  If a summary court judge determines that a personal recognizance bond is not appropriate and requires a surety bond, the judge shall indicate in the designated section of Bond Form II the determinative factors in that decision.

The provisions of this Order are effective immediately and shall remain in effect unless amended or revoked by further Order of the Chief Justice.

  s/Jean Hoefer Toal
The Honorable Jean Hoefer Toal
Chief Justice

October 28, 2010
Columbia, SC