Temporary Hearings: Procedure Update
Written by: Megan Dell
On November 21, 2012, new requirements for temporary hearings were announced in an Administrative Order from the Chief Justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court. A copy of the Order can be found here.
Rule 21, SCRFC, addresses how temporary relief is to be handled:
(a) Motion for Temporary Relief. A written motion for temporary relief, and notice of the hearing thereof, shall be served not later than five days before the time specified for the hearing, unless a different period is fixed by order of the court. In an emergency situation, such order may be made on ex parte application.
(b) Evidence at Hearing. Evidence received by the court at temporary hearings shall be confined to pleadings, affidavits, and financial declarations unless good cause is shown to the court why additional evidence or testimony may be necessary.
(c) Service of Affidavits. Notwithstanding the provisions of Rule 6(d), SCRCP, affidavits filed at a temporary hearing need not be served on the opposing party prior to the temporary hearing.
The new changes include a requirement that such hearings be scheduled within 4 weeks of a request. They also include limitations on the amount of time for each hearing, as well as the number of pages of affidavits that can be submitted by each party.
Further, while each party has been required to file a completed Financial Declaration in accordance with Rule 20, SCRFC, for some time, additional forms (Background Information Form and Proposed Parenting Plan, if custody or visitation is at issue) are also now required.
All of these required forms are in addition to the affidavits that are to be submitted containing the substance of the allegations between the parties.
It is important that you hire a lawyer who is familiar with the many requirements for temporary hearings in South Carolina Family Court, as failure to comply may have adverse consequences on your case. Schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys.