9. Technical Difficulties
(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.
(b) Electronic Filing System Technical Failure. The Electronic Filing System is deemed subject to a Technical Failure on a given day if the System is unable to accept filings continuously or intermittently over the course of any period of time greater than one hour after 12:00 p.m. that day. Technical Failures will be communicated to Authorized E-Filers by announcing them on the E-Filing web page and through email alerts.
(c) Other Technical Difficulties. Other technical difficulties include malfunctions of an Authorized E-Filer's equipment, software, hardware, or internet connection that prevent the E-Filer from successfully E-Filing a document.
(d) Problems with Filings. Where a Technical Failure of the Electronic Filing System or a technical difficulty prevents an Authorized E-Filer from submitting a document for Electronic Filing, and the filing of the document is required by the SCRCP, order of the court, or South Carolina law on the day of the Technical Failure or technical difficulty, the E-Filer may utilize one of the following procedures:
(1) Traditional Filing. The Authorized E-Filer may traditionally file the document by physically delivering the document, together with any required filing fee, to the county Clerk of Court's office during normal hours of operation. The filing must include a certification signed by the Authorized E-Filer stating a Technical Failure has been declared or, in the case of a technical difficulty, that the Authorized E-Filer has unsuccessfully attempted to E-File the document electronically at least twice. Where a document is filed under this paragraph, and the document is required to be served under Rule 5, SCRCP, the Authorized E-Filer must serve the filed document and certification on all other parties to the case by a Traditional Service method.
(2) Alternative Methods of Submission. In cases where the Authorized E-Filer is unable to physically deliver the document to the clerk of court pursuant to paragraph (d)(1), the Authorized E-Filer may preserve the time for filing by utilizing an alternative method of submission set forth below. A document submitted by alternative method must be accompanied by a certification signed by the Authorized E-Filer stating a Technical Failure has been declared or, in the case of a technical difficulty, that the Authorized E-Filer has unsuccessfully attempted to E-File the document electronically at least twice. Where the document is required to be served under Rule 5, SCRCP, the Authorized E-Filer must serve the certification and the entire document on all other parties to the case by email, hand delivery, facsimile, or first class mail. The document may be submitted to the Clerk of Court by:
(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
(B) Facsimile transmission of the first and signature pages of the document to the county Clerk of Court.
THE ALTERNATIVE METHOD OF SUBMISSION IS NOT IN ITSELF A PROPER FILING. The submission shall be effective only to preserve the time for filing, and the subsequent E-Filing will be deemed timely filed if E-Filing is accomplished within one (1) business day after the Technical Failure is remedied, or, in the case of an alleged technical difficulty, the next business day. The E-Filer must also pay any required filing fees at that time.
Where an Authorized E-Filer utilizes an alternative method of submission, the E-Filer shall not include a confidential reference list with the submitted documents. If the Authorized E-Filer wishes to file a confidential reference list in accordance with Rule 41.2, SCRCP, the E-Filer should E-File the reference list together with the subsequent E-Filing.
(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.
(f) Repeated Technical Difficulties. Where an Authorized E-Filer is unable to complete an E-Filing after repeated attempts, the E-Filer may file the document with the Clerk of Court utilizing a Traditional Filing Method. The E-Filer must include a Certificate of Technical Difficulties with the Traditional filing explaining the problem and certifying that:
(1) the E-Filer attempted to E-File the document three or more times on at least two separate calendar days;
(2) the E-Filer contacted the IT Helpdesk for assistance; and
(3) after requesting assistance from the IT Helpdesk, at least one more attempt to E-File the document was made, and the attempt was unsuccessful.
The Authorized E-Filer must serve the filed document and certification on all other parties to the case by a Traditional Service method.
(g) Relief. An Authorized E-Filer who suffers prejudice as a result of a Technical Failure may seek appropriate relief from the court.
(h) Scheduled Maintenance and Technical Interruptions. Scheduled maintenance times will be announced via the E-Filing webpage at www.sccourts.org/efiling. Where the E-Filing System is unavailable and the unavailability is announced in advance as part of regularly scheduled maintenance, no Technical Failure has occurred. Authorized E-Filers may utilize technical difficulty provisions if the filing is required to be filed that day.
Amended by Order dated May 27, 2022.