The Supreme Court of South Carolina
Request for Written Comments
On November 1, 2017, the Supreme Court issued a request for written comments concerning proposed amendments to Rule 13(a) of the South Carolina Rules of Criminal Procedure. The written comments submitted to the Court are available for review on the Judicial Department Website.
After reviewing the written comments submitted by various parties, the Court is considering making further modifications to the proposed amendments prior to possible submission to the General Assembly in accordance with Article V, Section 4A of the South Carolina Constitution. The proposed changes are set forth in the attachment. Additions to the current rule are underlined.
Persons or entities desiring to submit written comments should submit their comments to the following email address, email@example.com, on or before January 5, 2018. Comments should be submitted as an attachment to the email as either a Microsoft Word document or an Adobe PDF document.
Columbia, South Carolina
(a)(1) Issuance of Subpoenas. Upon the request of any party, the clerk of court shall issue subpoenas or subpoenas duces tecum for any person or persons to attend as witnesses in any cause or matter in the General Sessions Court. An attorney, as an officer of the court, may also issue and sign a subpoena or subpoenas duces tecum for any person or persons to attend as witnesses in any cause or matter in the General Sessions Court. The subpoena shall state the name of the court, the title of the action, and shall command each person to whom it is directed to attend and give testimony, or otherwise produce documentary evidence at time and place therein specified. The subpoena shall also set forth the name of the party requesting the appearance of such witness and the name of counsel for the party, if any. The clerk of court or attorney issuing the subpoena shall utilize a court-approved subpoena form.
(2) Issuance of Subpoena for Personal or Confidential Information About a Victim. A subpoena requiring the production of personal or confidential information about a victim may be served on a third party only by court order. Before entering the order and unless there are exceptional circumstances, the court must require giving notice to the victim so that the victim can move to quash or modify the subpoena or otherwise object.
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Note to 2018 Amendment:
The 2018 amendment provides that an attorney is also authorized to issue and sign a subpoena on behalf of a court in which that attorney is licensed to practice. The rule allowing an attorney to issue and sign a subpoena does not apply to any request for a subpoena for a witness located in another state, which is governed by the Uniform Act to Secure the Attendance of Witnesses from Without a State in Criminal Proceedings. See S.C. Code. Ann. §§ 19-9-10 et seq. (2014). New paragraph (a)(2) adopts a version of the federal rule intended to provide a protective mechanism when the defense subpoenas a third party to provide personal or confidential information about a victim. The amendment requires judicial approval before service of a subpoena seeking personal or confidential information about a victim from a third party.