Archive for the ‘Family Court Procedure’ Category

South Carolina Supreme Court promulgates new rule for appointing mediators in family court

An August 27, 2014 South Carolina Supreme Court order requires dismissal of family court actions if they are not resolved or set for trial within 365 days of filing. A March 14, 2013 Supreme Court order made most local counties subject to mandatory mediation before family court cases will be set for a contested trial. Together, […]

Orders of paternity

One area where law and culture are not congruent is the issue of paternity for children born out of wedlock. In many cases the parents of such children “know” who the father is and act accordingly (know is in quotes because sometimes the putative father’s understanding of his paternity is not accurate). For children born […]

Supreme Court sets procedures for family court attorney fee awards

The December 3, 2014 South Carolina Supreme Court opinion in Buist v. Buist, 410 S.C. 569, 766 S.E.2d 381 (2014), sets forth procedures to be used in setting attorney fee awards in family court cases. This opinion recognizes the difficulties of preserving fee award issues when the litigants don’t know the court’s decision on attorney’s fees […]

Supreme Court changes Family Court 365 day benchmark administrative order

On August 27, 2014 the South Carolina Supreme Court issued an administrative order superseding the May 9, 2006 order that set the 365 day benchmark to dispose of family court cases. The new order is more detailed and provides guidance to family law attorneys and litigants. Under the new order, written requests for a final […]

Certificates of service in South Carolina state courts

Many attorneys issue certificates of service (also known as proofs of service) with the motions, orders, pleadings and discovery they issue in filed cases. I sometimes get asked if such certificates are necessary. Except for the summons and complaint they are not. However I have a suspicion why many attorneys still issue them. That suspicion […]

Common Rule 11 violations in discovery requests and objections

I’m not sure my fellow members of the bar are aware they are doing it, but I see a whole lot of Rule 11 violations in discovery requests and objections. Rule 11 of the South Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure reads in part: The signature of an attorney or party constitutes a certificate by him […]

Should one verify what doesn’t have to be verified?

An old mentee of mine asked me if he should verify pleadings given that Rule 11(a) of the South Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure no longer require verifications.  That rule reads, “Except when otherwise specifically provided by rule or statute, pleadings need not be verified or accompanied by affidavit.”  A larger question is whether one […]

Establishing paternity when the husband ain’t the daddy

A few times a year I am contacted by a mother who wants to put her child’s biological father on the child’s birth certificate but she was married to someone else at the time of the child’s birth.  What she expects to be an easy procedure isn’t.  Family court clerks will tell her she needs […]