The Supreme Court of South Carolina
RE: Recission of Order Relating to the Operation of the Appellate Courts During the Coronavirus Emergency
Appellate Case No. 2020-000447
On March 20, 2020, the Court issued an order entitled "Operation of the Appellate Courts During the Coronavirus Emergency" (hereinafter referred to as "Appellate Coronavirus Order"). This order was subsequently amended on May 29, 2020.
Based on the discussion that appears below, the Appellate Coronavirus Order is hereby rescinded, effective immediately.
As to motions for extensions, the clerks of the Supreme Court of South Carolina and the South Carolina Court of Appeals1 may continue to process motions for extensions without the filing fee required by Rule 240(d) of the South Carolina Appellate Court Rules (SCACR) until September 9, 2021.
In deciding to rescind the Appellate Coronavirus Order in its entirety, this Court has taken into consideration the following:
(a) Authority of the Chief Justice to Impose Mitigation Measures. As the Chief Justice has done throughout the coronavirus pandemic, this Court is confident that the Chief Justice will continue to issue administrative orders or other guidance relating to the operation of the Appellate Courts as may be appropriate to minimize the risk posed by the coronavirus. This includes placing restrictions or conditions on the entry or use of the Supreme Court and Calhoun Buildings.
(b) Use of Remote Communication Technology. During the coronavirus pandemic, the Appellate Courts used WebEx to conduct oral arguments and hearings. Based on this experience, Rules 218 and 240(h), SCACR, have been amended to allow oral arguments and hearings to be conducted using remote communication technology, including the remote administration of any necessary oath or affirmation.
(c) Methods of Electronic Service and Filing. The Appellate Coronavirus Order included methods for the electronic service and filing of documents. These methods have proved very beneficial to both the litigants and the Appellate Courts, and Rule 262, SCACR, has been amended to allow this Court to establish electronic methods of service and filing. By separate order issued today, this Court has specified the permissible methods of electronic service and filing under Rule 262, SCACR.
(d) Outgoing Correspondence to Persons Admitted to Practice Law in South Carolina. The Appellate Coronavirus Order allowed the Appellate Courts to send correspondence (including letters, orders and opinions) to lawyers admitted to practice law in South Carolina using their primary e-mail addresses in the Attorney Information System. The order referenced in (c) above will allow this practice to continue.
(e) Signatures on Documents Filed With the Appellate Courts. Rule 267(b), SCACR, has been amended to allow a lawyer or self-represented litigant to sign a document using "s/ [typed name of person]," a signature stamp, or a scanned or other electronic version of the person's signature.
(f) Reduction of Copies to Be Filed. Pursuant to Rule 267(f), SCACR, this Court has today issued an order reducing the number of paper copies required to be filed with the Appellate Courts.
This Court is extremely grateful for the patience and cooperation exhibited by the litigants appearing before this Court and the South Carolina Court of Appeals during the coronavirus pandemic. Further, this Court specifically commends the members of the South Carolina Bar and the staffs of both Appellate Courts for their professionalism and dedication in rapidly adjusting to new appellate practices and procedures necessitated by the pandemic, including electronic filing and service, WebEx oral arguments and working remotely.
s/Donald W. Beatty C.J.
s/John W. Kittredge J.
s/Kaye G. Hearn J.
s/John Cannon Few J.
s/George C. James, Jr. J.
Columbia, South Carolina
August 25, 2021
1 These Courts will be referred to as "Appellate Courts" in this order.