The Supreme Court of South Carolina
RE: Video/Audio Conferencing Hearings Statewide
As the administrative head of the Unified Judicial System, I find that the public health emergency created by the COVID-19 requires changes to the normal functioning of the South Carolina Judicial System. The use of remote communication technology has allowed essential operations to continue while minimizing the risk to the public, litigants, lawyers and court employees.
On April 28, 2020, revised or new consent forms for video/audio conferencing in the Circuit, Family, Probate and Summary Courts (SCCA 650, SCCA 651, SCCA 653, SCCA 654 and SCCA 655) were approved to aid transition to the use of remote communication technology for hearings during this public health emergency. These forms are voluntary and a signed consent form is not required for a remote hearing to proceed.
Therefore, pursuant to Article V, Section 4 of the South Carolina Constitution,
IT IS ORDERED that Circuit, Family, Probate and Summary Court Judges are to proceed with remote hearings regardless of whether parties have verbally consented or submitted a signed consent form to the Court.
This Order is effective immediately and remains in effect until modified or rescinded by order of the Chief Justice.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
s/Donald W. Beatty
Donald W. Beatty
Chief Justice of South Carolina
Columbia, South Carolina
April 30, 2020