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Directed verdicts in South Carolina Family Court

The past few years a number of attorneys have complained to me about being granted or denied a motion for a directed verdict in family court.  I even prosecuted a rule to show cause in which the court directed a partial verdict against my client.  Since I don’t recall motions for a directed verdict in the first fifteen years of my family court practice, I thought I would research the family court’s authority to direct a verdict.

It ends up the family court cannot direct verdicts.  Rule 50 of the South Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure is the rule authorizing directed verdicts.  Rule 2(a) of the South Carolina Family Court Rules specifically exempts Rule 50 from the Rules of Civil Procedure that are applicable in family court.

There are no directed verdicts in South Carolina Family Court. To quote Roger Daltrey (or is it Pete Townshend), “I won’t get fooled again.”

 

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