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Supreme Court Seal
South Carolina
Judicial Branch

(a) Pleadings. There shall be a complaint and an answer; and a reply to a counterclaim denominated as such; an answer to a cross-claim, if the answer contains a cross-claim; a third-party complaint, if a person who was not an original party is summoned under Rule 14, and there shall be a third-party answer, if a third-party complaint is served. No other pleadings shall be allowed, except that the court may order a reply to an answer or a third-party answer; and there may be a reply to affirmative defenses as provided in Rule 8(c).


This Rule 7(a) is identical to the Federal Rule, and the provisions of Code ยงยง 15-13-10, 15-13-210, 15-13-310 and 15-13-610. There is no change to State practice, except the references to third-party pleadings.

(b) Motions and Other Papers.

(1) An application to the court for an order shall be by motion which, unless made during a hearing or trial in open court with a court reporter present, shall be made in writing, shall state with particularity the grounds therefor, and shall set forth the relief or order sought. The requirement of writing is fulfilled if the motion is stated in a written notice of the hearing of the motion.

(2) The rules applicable to captions, signing, and other matters of form of pleadings apply to all motions and other papers provided for by these rules.


This Rule 7(b) is identical to the Federal Rule and preserves the pertinent parts of Circuit Rules 56 and 65. The Rule also requires that motions must also be reduced to writing if made in open court with no court reporter or recorder present. "Petitions" for special relief are simply stated as motions. For example, under Rule 65, a motion for a temporary restraining order accompanies the summons and complaint rather than characterizing it as a separate petition.

(c) Demurrers, Pleas, etc. Abolished. Demurrers, pleas, and exceptions for insufficiency of a pleading shall not be used.


This Rule 7(c) is the same as the Federal Rule. Since common law pleas, and exceptions for insufficiency of a pleading have been abolished since 1870, this last step abolishes the outmoded demurrer. The defenses now raised by demurrer are raised by motion under Rule 12.