Archive for the ‘Family Court Procedure’ Category

Playing Monopoly when no one agrees on the rules (or why I’m a Civil Procedure maven)

Any contest requires an agreement on the rules, in advance, to proceed properly. Many people have variations on Milton Bradley’s “official” Monopoly rules. When these folks play Monopoly without having agreed on the variations beforehand, disputes develop and the game halts. What was supposed to be a form of play devolves into an argument. Unless […]

There is no relief from judgment for intrinsic fraud (or do your due diligence)

South Carolina Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b) list five different ways one can use a streamlined procedure to obtain relief from a judgment within one year of the order or judgment. Item three includes, “fraud, misrepresentation, or other misconduct of an adverse party.” While the parallel rule of Federal Procedure, upon which the South Carolina […]

Stopping case dismissal under the 365 day rule when the other party won’t mediate

Within the past few years the South Carolina Supreme Court has promulgated one rule in which family court cases are dismissed if no final hearing is requested within 365 days of the date the action is filed and another rule in which cases need to be mediated in most counties (including all three local countries: […]

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 […]