The Supreme Court of South Carolina
Florence Homeless Court Program
I FIND that the South Carolina Access to Justice Commission has petitioned the Supreme Court of South Carolina to create a homeless court in the City of Florence Municipal Court (hereinafter “Florence Homeless Court Program”) to handle minor offenses pertaining to qualified homeless participants. There is a significant need to treat and rehabilitate those qualified homeless participants. Therefore, the Florence Homeless Court Program will address this need and assist in the disposition of minor offenses and help direct treatment and rehabilitative services for homeless participants.
This request and recommendation originated from the Chair of the South Carolina Access to Justice Commission and is herein granted with my approval.
Establishment of the Florence Homeless Court Program
Pursuant to the provisions of Article V, Section 4 of the South Carolina Constitution,
IT IS ORDERED that a program be established in the City of Florence, South Carolina Municipal Court creating a “Homeless Court” for minor criminal offenses properly filed and subject to jurisdiction and venue in the City of Florence Municipal Court, or properly transferred to the City pursuant to §15-7-100 of the South Carolina Code of Laws. In addition to her other duties as a Municipal Court Judge, The Honorable Debra O. Jackson shall be assigned to preside over the Florence Homeless Court. The Chief Judge may name successor judges as appropriate.
Upon successful completion by the participant, the Florence Homeless Court Program will notify the Municipal Court. If a homeless participant fails to complete the program, or voluntarily withdraws, the charges shall be referred back to the Municipal Court for disposition.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED Participants in the Florence Homeless Court shall be qualified for participation by criteria set forth by the Office of the Twelfth Circuit Solicitor in coordination and agreement with the Municipal Court Judge and the Office of the Twelfth Circuit Public Defender. The Office of the Twelfth Circuit Solicitor will determine which minor offenses are eligible for the Florence Homeless Court Program. The Municipal Court Judge shall be responsible for administering the program and coordinating with the Office of the Twelfth Circuit Solicitor, Office of the Twelfth Circuit Public Defender, law enforcement agencies, and all relevant homeless service and treatment providers to address proper rehabilitative treatment for substance abuse, physical and mental health problems, among other treatment services available.
This Order is effective immediately and shall remain in effect unless rescinded or modified by future order of the Chief Justice.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
s/Donald W. Beatty
Donald W. Beatty
Chief Justice of South Carolina
Columbia, South Carolina
September 16, 2019