The Supreme Court of South Carolina
Re: County Grand Juries
In recognition of the difficulties the COVID-19 pandemic had on institutions, individuals, and court personnel, a suspension of physical meetings of the members of the county grand juries was previously ordered.
I FIND it is now appropriate to review the suspension of physical meetings of county grand juries.
Pursuant to Article V, Section 4 of the South Carolina Constitution,
IT IS ORDERDED that Section (d)(2) of the Operation of the Trial Courts During the Coronavirus Emergency Order dated April 22, 2020, regarding county grand juries is hereby amended. County grand juries may convene in person beginning June 1, 2020, as long as grand jurors can be safely distanced and equipped with protective gear, and meeting rooms and courtrooms sanitized. All other provisions of the April 22, 2020 Order remain in place unless modified by subsequent Order.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED the Solicitor or the Attorney General may still present an indictment to the county grand jury using remote communication technology such as video conferencing and teleconferencing when necessary to minimize the risk to the members of the county grand juries, witnesses, lawyers, and court employees. Any necessary oath may be administered using this same remote communication technology.
s/Donald W. Beatty
Donald W. Beatty
Chief Justice of South Carolina
Columbia, South Carolina
May 29, 2020