The Supreme Court of South Carolina
Re: Amendments to Rule 610, South Carolina Appellate Court Rules
Appellate Case No. 2017-001186
In accordance with Article V, Section 4 of the South Carolina Constitution, Rule 610, SCACR, is amended as set forth in the attachment to this Order.
These amendments are effective immediately.
s/Donald W. Beatty C.J.
s/John W. Kittredge J.
s/Kaye G. Hearn J.
s/John Cannon Few J.
s/George C. James, Jr. J.
Columbia, South Carolina
December 20, 2017
BULK DISTRIBUTION OF AND COMPILED
INFORMATION FROM JUDICIAL RECORDS
(a) For the purpose of this rule:
(1) Bulk distribution is defined as a distribution of all, or a significant subset, of the information in judicial records, as is and without modification or compilation.
(2) Compiled information is defined as information that is derived from the selection, aggregation or reformulation of the information from more than one individual judicial record.
(3) Judicial records shall include all records maintained by any court, commission, board, committee, office or other entity within the South Carolina Judicial Department, regardless of whether that entity is funded in whole or part by state or local funds.
(b) The South Carolina Judicial Department shall not provide bulk distribution of or compiled information from judicial records where those records are sought for any commercial purpose.
(c) Unless authorized by the Office of Court Administration, a bulk distribution of judicial records will not be made.
(d) Unless authorized by the Office of Court Administration, compiled information from judicial records will not be provided. This restriction shall not apply to:
(1) Compiled information that may be contained in statistical or other reports that have been previously released to the general public.
(2) Compiled information that can be obtained by a person using the search functions available to the public on websites maintained by the South Carolina Judicial Department or any court of this state.
(e) The Office of Court Administration may authorize bulk distribution of or compiled information from judicial records if it determines, in its discretion, that the resources are available to compile the information; the substantial public interest will be served through significant scholarly, governmental, journalistic, research, evaluation, or statistical purposes; and the identity of specific individuals is ancillary to the request. The Office of Court Administration shall determine whether to provide the information as follows:
(1) All requests shall be made to the Office of Court Administration. The requestor must:
(i) identify the specific bulk records or compiled information sought, and identify the court or courts from which the records are sought;
(ii) set forth the substantial public interest the requestor has for the scholarly, governmental, journalistic, research, evaluation, or statistical purposes as it relates to the requested information;
(iii) describe how fulfilling the request is an appropriate use of public resources;
(iv) indicate whether the requestor is willing to pay a fee for the search, retrieval, or redaction of records should redaction be required;
(v) explain how the bulk records or compiled information will be stored and secured and agree the bulk records or the compiled information will not be sold and will not be used for any commercial purpose or for the purpose of solicitation.
(2) A request may be denied on the basis that:
(i) the requestor may obtain the information using the search functions available to the public on websites maintained by the South Carolina Judicial Department or any court of this state;
(ii) fulfilling the request may interfere with normal Judicial Department operations;
(iii) the requested information contains confidential data or financial information that may not be provided.
(3) If providing the data will require the expenditure of more than one hour of personnel time, including that of any vendor or contractor, the Office of Court Administration may charge the requestor the actual cost of that personnel time. If the estimate costs exceed $100, the requestor may be required to pay that fee in advance.
(4) Information may be provided without charge or at a reduced charge if it is determined that a waiver or reduction of fees primarily benefits the general public.