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243

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									                                  South Carolina General Assembly
                                      118th Session, 2009-2010

S. 243

STATUS INFORMATION

General Bill
Sponsors: Senator L. Martin
Document Path: l:\council\bills\ggs\22184ab09.docx

Introduced in the Senate on January 13, 2009
Currently residing in the Senate

Summary: Tenant ejectment


HISTORY OF LEGISLATIVE ACTIONS

    Date     Body     Action Description with journal page number
 1/13/2009   Senate   Introduced and read first time SJ-194
 1/13/2009   Senate   Referred to Committee on Judiciary SJ-194
 1/23/2009   Senate   Referred to Subcommittee: Malloy (ch), Ford, Massey, S.Martin, Mulvaney
 4/21/2010   Senate   Committee report: Favorable Judiciary SJ-13
 4/22/2010            Scrivener's error corrected


VERSIONS OF THIS BILL

1/13/2009
4/21/2010
4/22/2010
 1   Indicates Matter Stricken
 2   Indicates New Matter
 3
 4   COMMITTEE REPORT
 5   April 21, 2010
 6
 7                                                           S. 243
 8
 9                    Introduced by Senator L. Martin
10
11   S. Printed 4/21/10--S.                     [SEC 4/22/10 1:57 PM]
12   Read the first time January 13, 2009.
13
14
15                 THE COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY
16      To whom was referred a Bill (S. 243) to amend the Code of
17   Laws of South Carolina, 1976, by adding Section 27-37-45 so as to
18   provide certain definitions, and to provide grounds and procedures,
19   etc., respectfully
20                                REPORT:
21      That they have duly and carefully considered the same and
22   recommend that the same do pass:
23
24   SHANE R. MARTIN for Committee.
25
26
27         STATEMENT OF ESTIMATED FISCAL IMPACT
28        ESTIMATED FISCAL IMPACT ON GENERAL FUND
29                           EXPENDITURES:
30         $0 (No additional expenditures or savings are expected)
31      ESTIMATED FISCAL IMPACT ON FEDERAL & OTHER
32                       FUND EXPENDITURES:
33            A Cost to Federal and/or Other Funds (See Below)
34   EXPLANATION OF IMPACT:
35   Judicial Department
36     The Judicial Department indicates this bill will have no impact
37   on the General Fund of the State, or on federal and/or other funds.
38   State Board for Technical and Comprehensive Education
39     The State Tech Board indicates enactment would have no
40   impact on general fund expenditures. In order to provide the
41   continuing education instruction required by the bill the technical
42   colleges would asses a fee for enrolled participants. The per

     [243-1]
 1   student fee, total other finds revenue, and other funds expenditures
 2   will depend on demand for this continuing education offering.
 3   LOCAL GOVERNMENT IMPACT:
 4      Counties in the FIST network were surveyed to determine the
 5   impact of this bill and two responded. One county indicated cost
 6   of approximately $10,000 annually and the other county indicated
 7   no cost with the adoption of this bill.
 8
 9                                     Approved By:
10                                     Harry Bell
11                                     Office of State Budget
12




     [243-2]
 1
 2
 3
 4
 5
 6
 7
 8
 9                               A BILL
10
11   TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA,
12   1976, BY ADDING SECTION 27-37-45 SO AS TO PROVIDE
13   CERTAIN DEFINITIONS, AND TO PROVIDE GROUNDS
14   AND PROCEDURES FOR AN EXPEDITED TENANT
15   EJECTMENT; TO AMEND SECTION 8-21-1010, RELATING
16   TO THE SCHEDULE OF FEES AND COSTS COLLECTED BY
17   MAGISTRATES, SO AS TO PROVIDE A FILING FEE FOR AN
18   ACTION FOR EXPEDITED TENANT EJECTMENT; TO
19   AMEND SECTION 22-1-17, RELATING TO CONTINUING
20   EDUCATION FOR MAGISTRATES, SO AS TO PROVIDE
21   SOUTH CAROLINA COURT ADMINISTRATION MAY
22   ESTABLISH A CONTINUING EDUCATION PROGRAM
23   CONCERNING LANDLORD AND TENANT RIGHTS THAT
24   MAGISTRATES, LANDLORDS, TENANTS, AND LAW
25   ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS MAY ATTEND.
26
27   Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South
28   Carolina:
29
30   SECTION 1. Chapter 37, Title 27 of the 1976 Code is amended
31   by adding:
32
33      “Section 27-37-45. (A) For purposes of this section:
34        (1) ‘Malicious damage to property’ means a violation of
35   Section 27-40-510(6) that causes damage to the landlord’s rental
36   property or that poses an imminent or serious threat to the health
37   and safety of the landlord, or his agents, the tenant and members of
38   his household or guests, or other tenants. ‘Malicious damage to
39   property’ does not include repairs or improvements to the leased
40   premises undertaken by the tenant and based upon an agreement
41   with the landlord or his agent.


     [243]                            1
 1         (2)(a) ‘Significant threat to human life’ means a clear or
 2   imminent threat to the health and safety of the landlord or his
 3   agents, the tenant and members of his household or guests, or other
 4   tenants that is caused by a tenant, a member of his household, or
 5   his guest by the following actual or threatened criminal activity:
 6              (i) homicide or physical assault to inflict serious bodily
 7   harm; or
 8              (ii) illegal use of a firearm or other weapon.
 9           (b) ‘Significant threat to human life’ does not include
10   actual or threatened criminal domestic violence toward a tenant, a
11   member of his household, or his guest. A landlord or his agent
12   must not apply for an ejectment as provided in this section based
13   substantially on the status of the tenant, a member of the tenant’s
14   household, or a guest as a victim of domestic violence, sexual
15   assault, or stalking. Evidence provided to the landlord or his agent
16   or to the magistrate of domestic violence, sexual assault, or
17   stalking may include any of the following:
18              (i) law enforcement, court, or federal agency records or
19   files;
20              (ii) documentation from a domestic violence or sexual
21   assault program; or
22              (iii) documentation from a religious, medical, or other
23   professional.
24           (c) The landlord or his agent seeking relief under this
25   section must bear the burden of proof by a preponderance of the
26   evidence that the actions of a tenant, a member of the tenant’s
27   household, or a guest meet the definition of ‘significant threat to
28   human life’.
29      (B) For residential rental agreements, the tenant may be ejected
30   by the procedures in this section upon application of the landlord
31   or his agent when the tenant, a member of his household, or a guest
32   causes:
33         (1) malicious damage to property; or
34         (2) significant threat to human life.
35      (C)(1) In an application for an ejectment action brought under
36   this section, the landlord or his agent initiating the action must file
37   an affidavit stating specific facts and instances in support of the
38   action. The fee for initiating this action is as provided in Section
39   8-21-1010(15) and must be collected by the magistrate or his clerk.
40         (2) Within twenty-four hours after the filing of an
41   application to proceed with an action for ejectment pursuant to this
42   section, the magistrate must review the application and affidavit in
43   an ex parte hearing without giving the defendant notice. If the

     [243]                              2
 1   landlord or his agent shows by a preponderance of the evidence
 2   sufficient supporting facts in the application and affidavit to meet
 3   the requirements of this section, the magistrate shall authorize the
 4   action to proceed with service as provided in subsection (D).
 5         (3) If the magistrate determines that the landlord or his agent
 6   initiating the action did so intentionally and in bad faith and
 7   without sufficient basis under the requirements of this section, the
 8   magistrate may impose a civil penalty of up to five hundred dollars
 9   for abuse of the expedited process. This civil penalty must not be
10   recorded as a criminal matter, nor is it subject to assessments.
11      (D)(1) The copy of the rule to show cause may be served in the
12   same manner as is provided by law for the service of the summons
13   in actions pending in the court of common pleas or magistrates
14   courts of this State or as provided by item (2). A law enforcement
15   officer or constable is responsible only for the attempts at service
16   as provided in this item and item (2)(a).
17         (2) When service as provided in item (1) has been attempted
18   unsuccessfully two times in the manner described in subitem (a), a
19   copy of the rule may be served by affixing both it and
20   documentation of the two service attempts to the most conspicuous
21   part of the premises and mailing a copy of the rule in the manner
22   described in subitem (b).
23            (a) Each of the two attempts to serve the defendant must
24   be separated by a minimum of twenty-four hours and must occur at
25   times of day separated by a minimum of eight hours. The service
26   attempts shall take place after the magistrate authorizes the action
27   to proceed with service as provided in subsection (C)(2). The
28   person attempting to serve the rule must document the date and
29   time of the attempts by affidavit or by certificate in the case of a
30   law enforcement officer. On the first unsuccessful attempt to serve
31   the rule, a copy of the rule must be affixed to the most conspicuous
32   part of the premises and the ten-day period for the tenant to appear
33   and show cause provided in subsection (E) begins the following
34   day. On the second unsuccessful attempt to serve the rule, the
35   documentation of the two attempts to serve the rule must be
36   attached to the copy of the rule when it is affixed to the most
37   conspicuous part of the premises.
38            (b) For mailing by ordinary mail to be considered to
39   complete service under this item, it must be accomplished by
40   placing a copy of the rule in an envelope in the presence of the
41   clerk of the magistrates court. The clerk is responsible for
42   verifying that the envelope is addressed to the defendant at the
43   address shown in the rule as the rental premises of the defendant or

     [243]                             3
 1   another address for receipt of mail furnished in writing by the
 2   tenant to the landlord, that the envelope contains the necessary
 3   documents, and that the clerk has placed the sealed and stamped
 4   envelope in the United States mail on the same day that the ex
 5   parte hearing described in subsection (C) occurs. The clerk’s
 6   verification must be made a part of the record in the case, and
 7   service by ordinary mail is not considered complete without the
 8   clerk’s verification.      A fee as provided for in Section
 9   8-21-1010(14) must be collected by the magistrate or his clerk for
10   the verification and mailing in this item.
11           (3) Mailing of the rule constitutes service when the
12   requirements of subitems (a) and (b) of item (2) have been met. If
13   these requirements have been met, the specified time period for the
14   tenant to show cause why he should not be ejected as provided in
15   subsection (C) begins to run on the day after service of the rule to
16   show cause as provided in item (1) or item (2)(b).
17      (E) If the tenant fails to appear and show cause within the ten
18   calendar days following the first attempt at service as provided in
19   subsection (D), then the magistrate shall issue a warrant of
20   ejectment and the tenant shall be ejected by his regular or special
21   constable or by the sheriff of the county.
22      (F) Nothing in this section shall be construed to proscribe or
23   limit any other rights a landlord or tenant may have under other
24   statutes or by law.”
25
26   SECTION 2. Section 8-21-1010 of the 1976 Code, as last
27   amended by Act 226 of 2000, is further amended to read:
28
29      “Section 8-21-1010. (A) Except as otherwise expressly
30   provided, the following fees and costs must be collected by the
31   magistrates and deposited in the general fund of the county:
32        (1) for taking civil recognizance, with or without sureties,
33   five dollars;
34        (2) for granting an order for civil special bail, with or
35   without sureties, five dollars;
36        (3) for receiving and filing bond in claim and delivery,
37   attachment, five dollars; if justification of sureties required, an
38   additional five dollars;
39        (4) for administering and certifying oaths or documents in
40   writing, two dollars;
41        (5) for issuing any prerogative writ, five dollars;



     [243]                            4
 1         (6) in all civil actions, for issuing a summons and a copy for
 2   defendant, and for giving judgment with or without a hearing,
 3   forty-five dollars;
 4         (7) for issuing execution and renewal thereof, ten dollars;
 5         (8) for making up, certifying, and forwarding a transcript of
 6   record and judgment in a case for purpose of appeal, ten dollars;
 7         (9) for proceedings by a landlord or lessor against a tenant or
 8   lessee, including notices to quit, eviction orders, or recovery of
 9   rents, twenty dollars;
10         (10) for proceedings on a coroner’s inquest, as prescribed by
11   law, ten dollars, if inquest is demanded by a party other than the
12   State or county or authorized officer of either;
13         (11) for proceeding on estrays, including judgment for
14   possession, sale, or damages, ten dollars;
15         (12) for qualifying appraisers to set off homestead or
16   qualifying sureties on a bond posted in a case, including bail
17   bonds, five dollars;
18         (13) for each tax execution collected, five dollars; and
19         (14) for filing or issuing any other paper not provided for in
20   this section, five dollars; and
21         (15) for filing an application for an expedited ejectment as
22   provided in Section 27-37-45(C)(1), fifty dollars.
23      (B) Fees or costs may not be assessed against a party for
24   summoning jurors or expense of jury service in a criminal case in
25   which a trial by jury is had.”
26
27   SECTION 3. Section 22-1-17 of the 1976 Code is amended to
28   read:
29
30      “Section 22-1-17. (A)(1) The       South      Carolina     Court
31   Administration is authorized to establish and determine the number
32   of contact hours to be completed in a continuing education
33   program of two years available to a magistrate who has
34   successfully completed the certification examination. The program
35   must provide extensive instruction in civil and criminal procedures
36   and must encourage magistrates to develop contacts and resources
37   of information in conjunction with their instructors and fellow
38   magistrates.
39        (2) In addition, the South Carolina Court Administration is
40   authorized to establish a continuing education program concerning
41   the legal rights, remedies, and actions available to landlords and
42   tenants that magistrates, landlords, tenants, and law enforcement
43   officials may attend.

     [243]                             5
 1      (B) The program These programs shall be administered through
 2   the state’s technical college system and may be used to facilitate
 3   continuing legal education opportunities for all magistrates. The
 4   technical college system may assess a reasonable fee for each
 5   participant in the program in order to pay for the program’s
 6   expenses.
 7      (C) The funding for this program these programs shall be
 8   provided from fees and costs collected by magistrates or
 9   magistrates’ courts and deposited in the general fund of the county
10   and from fees assessed by the technical college system in order to
11   pay for the program’s expenses.
12      (D) Subsections (A) and (B) are effective July 1, 2001;
13   however, the planning and development of this program shall
14   begin on or after July 1, 2000, and the effective date for
15   subsections (C) and (D) is July 1, 2000.”
16
17   SECTION 4. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
18                            ----XX----
19




     [243]                            6

								
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