You don’t have to suffer through multiple standby docketings

Posted Thursday, June 1st, 2023 by Gregory Forman
Filed under Family Court Procedure, Of Interest to Family Law Attorneys, South Carolina Specific

I’m not a big fan of being on standby dockets.  Not only is there the necessity of having to prepare for a trial that may not go forward, there is the dread of not knowing whether that trial will go forward until it literally goes forward because the case(s) ahead of it settles at the last-moment.  Further, standby cases require one to block out days of one’s calendar with only the potential of using those days for trial.  Thus, one is not able to docket other matters, including other hearings, on dates in which one is standby.  If the standby case is continued, one is then faced with numerous days on one’s immediate calendar in which nothing is scheduled. Further one cannot plan the flow of one’s work when multiple days cannot be committed to trial but also cannot be committed to other tasks.

A June 28, 2019 South Carolina Supreme Court order regarding docketing of family court cases requires that if the standby cases do not go forward, they “are to be continued and rescheduled as an ‘A’ [day certain] case.[1]  Recently I have seen docketing try to reschedule continued standby cases as yet another standby case or set multiple standby options.  One can, but does not have to, accept that. The Supreme Court order is clear: once a standby case is continued, one is entitled to have it reset as a day certain.  That may delay going to trial but, for attorneys like myself who hate being on a standby docket, it is preferable to interminable standby docketing.

[1] That same order requires the family court “To hold all temporary hearings within four weeks of the request for such hearing being filed. To ensure that this timeline is met, the chief judge for administrative purposes, with the assistance of the docketing clerk, shall monitor the scheduling of these matters.”  That’s another provision of this order that is often being violated.

2 thoughts on You don’t have to suffer through multiple standby docketings

  1. Tony O’Neill says:

    Having read your post, one concurs totally. One would also add that standby cases wreak havoc on one’s clients and one’s witnesses schedules.

  2. Jason B says:

    What does one do as a Pro Se Plaintiff when dealing with Horry County when Temporary Hearing was filed correctly, and the clerk schedules it for 78 Calander days later. Clerk of court states that it is too busy to follow what the laws says.

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