Posts Tagged ‘Family Court Procedure’

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 […]

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 […]

South Carolina takes small step toward insuring due process in child support collection

On February 28, 2014 the South Carolina Supreme Court promulgated the use of the following new form, SCCA 430S, which can be downloaded here, for use in child support collection proceedings. This form is designed to provide a sworn one-page summary of the obligor’s current income, assets and monthly debts, and information regarding other biological […]

Should there be automatic de novo review of temporary custody and support orders?

I’ve previously complained that South Carolina’s handling of family court temporary hearings violate due process.  This is because allowing such hearings to proceed on affidavits alone–and affidavits that do not have to be exchanged until the temporary hearing–do not allow parties to prepare to defend the allegations or confront the witnesses against them. The November […]

How to help a family court litigant who failed to show up for trial

A couple times each year I will get contacted by a family law litigant who failed to show up for trial and wants to appeal the resulting one-sided order.  However since an appeal can only address the record made at the final hearing–a hearing in which only one side presented testimony and evidence–there is rarely […]

Failing to answer a family court complaint can be malpractice

Recently I was an expert witness [for the first time in my career] in a legal malpractice case.  I was asked to provide an opinion about the standard of care for a family court attorney who had failed to file an answer and counterclaim.  This led to his client being precluded from seeking relief she […]