The Supreme Court of South Carolina
DONALD W. BEATTY
South Carolina Judicial Branch Begins Live Testing of Technology
Enhanced Courtroom (TEC) Project Courtrooms
August 22, 2022 – The South Carolina Judicial Branch has begun live testing of Technology Enhanced Courtroom (TEC) Project courtrooms during Circuit and Family Court proceedings in Greenville County.
The Judicial Branch initiated the TEC Project to establish technology-enhanced courtrooms throughout the state. Of the many benefits TEC Project courtrooms will provide, one of the most significant is that courts will be equipped to hold proceedings during which people inside the courtroom and at remote locations may participate with equal ease and effectiveness.
With plans to establish TEC Project courtrooms statewide, the Judicial Branch is currently working with Barnwell, Beaufort, Clarendon, Greenville, and Richland Counties to develop and establish TEC Project courtrooms in their courthouses. The TEC Project courtroom design will use technology to enhance or improve court operations in various ways, including efficiency, access, safety, and more.
TEC Project design components and capabilities include reliable internet, built-in video conferencing, hybrid court capability, screen sharing, public access to live streaming, digital evidence presentation, closed captioning, multi-room presentation, digital audio and video recording, transcription, foreign language interpretation, sign language interpretation, integration with digital court reporting capable courtrooms, and ongoing support and maintenance.
Chief Justice Donald W. Beatty said the TEC Project is an example of the Judicial Branch’s commitment to its mission, which is to provide a fair and efficient forum for the resolution of civil, family, and criminal matters.
“This proven technology will modernize and improve the courtroom experience, helping attorneys as they advocate on behalf of their clients,” Chief Justice Beatty said. “Having the technology to allow certain individuals to participate from remote locations when necessary will prevent physical distance from delaying court proceedings. With these enhancements, South Carolina courts will use technology in the way that the public has come to expect today.”
The Judicial Branch and the Greenville County Clerk of Court worked collaboratively to evaluate needs and establish TEC Project courtroom design criteria. Having outfitted sixteen courtrooms with enhanced technology during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Greenville County Clerk of Court’s office provided invaluable experience and assistance that helped lay the groundwork for the TEC Project.
“Greenville County has been pleased to work closely with Judicial Branch staff to help identify technology solutions to modernize South Carolina courtrooms, and we look forward to continuing to test and improve the solution in the coming months,” said Greenville County Clerk of Court Paul Wickensimer.
Throughout the process of developing the TEC Project courtroom design, the Judicial Branch has engaged a group of stakeholders, including judges, attorneys, state agency representatives, law professors, clerks of court, and court reporters. These professionals have previewed project information and provided helpful insights and ideas, and the Judicial Branch will continue to seek engagement from this group and others in the legal community as the project moves forward.
Attorneys or legal industry professionals with questions about the TEC Project courtroom should email questions to TEC@sccourts.org.