The Supreme Court of South Carolina
Re: Amendments to the South Carolina Electronic Filing Policies and Guidelines
Appellate Case No. 2022-000582
Based on the adoption of Rules 613 and 614 of the South Carolina Appellate Court Rules (SCACR), we amend several provisions of the South Carolina Electronic Filing Policies and Guidelines (SCEF). These amendments, which are set forth in the attachment and are effective immediately, are intended to allow for the greater use of electronic signatures, as recognized in Rule 614, SCACR, and for other forms of electronic service that may be authorized by Rule 613, SCACR. Further, several other provisions are amended in recognition of this Court's decision to change its public denomination from the Judicial Department to the Judicial Branch.
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
May 27, 2022
Section 1(d), (e), (n), (o), and (p), SCEF, are amended to provide:
(d) "Electronic Filing System" or "E-Filing System" is the South Carolina Judicial Branch's automated system for receiving and storing documents filed in electronic form.
(e) "Electronic Signature" is a signature made in compliance with Rule 614, SCACR.
. . .
(n) "Traditional Filing" is the physical filing of paper documents in the office of the Clerk of Court or as otherwise authorized under the South Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure.
(o) "Traditional Service" is the service of a document using the forms or methods of service authorized under the South Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure, or by electronic means pursuant to an order of the Supreme Court issued under Rule 613, SCACR.
(p) "Traditional Signature" is the original, handwritten signature of any person. All persons who are not authorized by Rule 614, SCACR, to use an Electronic Signature, including, but not limited to, paralegals, legal assistants, and notaries, are required to use a Traditional Signature on all E-Filed documents.
Section 3(c)(2), SCEF, is amended to provide:
(2) Notification of Unauthorized Use. An Authorized E-Filer shall immediately notify the South Carolina Judicial Branch Information Technology (IT) Helpdesk at the telephone number or email address listed on the South Carolina Judicial Branch's website, www.sccourts.org, if the Authorized E-Filer learns or suspects his or her login and password has been used without authorization.
Section 4(e)(5)(A) and (B), SCEF, are amended to provide:
(5) Service By or Upon a Party Who is Not an E-Filer in a Case.
(A) E-Filed motions, pleadings, or other papers that must be served upon a party who is not represented by an Authorized E-Filer in the case or who is a Traditional Filer must be served by a Traditional Service method in accordance with Rule 5, SCRCP, or any order of the Supreme Court issued under Rule 613, SCACR. An Authorized E-Filer who has E-Filed a motion, pleading, or other paper prior to service of the pleading, motion, or other paper shall serve a copy of the corresponding NEF on the Traditional Filer(s). The Authorized E-Filer must also file proof of Traditional Service as to all other parties who are Traditional Filers.
(B) Traditional Filers must continue to serve all parties with a copy of the pleading, motion, or other paper by a Traditional Service method in accordance with Rule 5, SCRCP, or any order of the Supreme Court issued under Rule 613, SCACR, and file a copy of the pleading, motion, or other paper with the Clerk of Court, together with proof of service, as required by Rule 5(d), SCRCP, or any order of the Supreme Court issued under Rule 613, SCACR.
Section 5(a)(2) and (c), SCEF, are amended to provide:
(2) The use of an Electronic Signature in the signature line of an E-Filed document shall constitute the Authorized E-Filer's Electronic Signature on all E-Filed documents in accordance with Rule 11, SCRCP. The Authorized E-Filer shall also provide other identifying information, including the name, physical address, telephone number, and email address of the E-Filer, along with the E-Filer's South Carolina Bar Number. For example:
S.C. Bar No. 12345
Attorney for the Plaintiff
1234 Any Street
Columbia, SC 29201
. . .
(c) Documents Requiring a Traditional Signature. Only an attorney or party authorized by Rule 614, SCACR, may utilize an Electronic Signature on an E-Filed document. Documents containing the signature of persons who are not authorized to use an Electronic Signature under Rule 614, SCACR, including affidavits, other notarized documents, or certificates of service signed by paralegals or legal assistants, cannot be E-Filed with an Electronic Signature. Any document that requires a signature of a person who is not authorized to use an Electronic Signature must be signed with a Traditional Signature and E-Filed as a scanned PDF image.
Section 8(c), SCEF, is amended to provide:
(c) Proposed Orders. Proposed orders must be prepared in Microsoft Word (*.doc or *.docx) format, unless the proposed order is a consent order signed by a person who is not authorized to use an Electronic Signature under Rule 614, SCACR, in which case the signed proposed order should be scanned to PDF. Proposed orders should be submitted in one of two ways:
. . . .
Section 9(a), (d)(2)(A), and (e), are amended to provide:
(a) Point of Contact. The point of contact for an Authorized E-Filer who is experiencing difficulty E-Filing a document is the South Carolina Judicial Branch Information Technology (IT) Helpdesk at the telephone number or email address listed on the South Carolina Judicial Branch's website, www.sccourts.org. The IT Helpdesk is open during the hours listed on the website and in the E-Filing application. Authorized E-Filers are encouraged to E-File documents during normal business hours in the event a problem with an Electronic Filing occurs.
. . .
(d)(2)(A) Email with an attachment containing the document with an Electronic Signature in PDF format, sent to the email address for Technical Failures for the county Clerk of Court listed on the E-Filing Web Portal; or
. . .
(e) Traditional Service Methods Permitted. Where a Technical Failure or technical difficulty prevents an Authorized E-Filer from submitting a document for E-Filing and E-Service, and that document is required to be served on one or more Authorized E-Filers in accordance with the SCRCP, order of the court, or South Carolina law on the day of the Technical Failure or technical difficulty, the Authorized E-Filer may serve the document on any other Authorized E-Filer by any Traditional method of service under Rule 5, SCRCP, or any order of the Supreme Court issued under Rule 613, SCACR. The Authorized E-Filer must E-File the document, together with proof of Traditional Service on all parties, within one business day after the Technical Failure is remedied or, in the case of a technical difficulty, the next business day, and pay any required fees.