How to Reference South Carolina Code of Laws

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Examples for the citation of South Carolina legal authorities, such as the South Carolina Code of Laws, can be found in Rule 268 of the rules of the South Carolina Judicial Authority. After a writer has first cited the authority in the form shown, they can cite it in an abbreviated form.

A writer may consult "A Guide to South Carolina Legal Research and Citation," published by the S.C. Bar C.L.E. Division, for further guidance on proper legal citation.

How to Cite Law Codes

Law codes, also known as state laws or state statutes, are enacted by the state of South Carolina General Assembly. A state statute is generally made up of the title of the code, a section number (section code) or subsection number and a date.

The correct way to cite a state code varies according to the state. A law that appears in a hardbound volume of the South Carolina Code of Laws should be cited as: S.C. Code Ann. § 1-2-345 (1976). A writer should cite a state law in the APA 7th edition in the same manner.

When a statute appears in a replacement hardbound volume, the citation should contain the date on the spine of the volume or the copyright date of the volume as: S.C. Code Ann. § 11-35-1210 (1986).

Statutes printed in the supplement to the Code of Laws of South Carolina should be cited as: S.C. Code Ann. § 6-7-890 (Supp. 1988).

Statutes which have not yet been codified should be cited by the number of the act, the year and the page number where they appear in the South Carolina Acts and Joint Resolutions as: Act No. 100, 1985 S.C. Acts 277.

The South Carolina Constitution should be cited as: S.C. Const. art. IV, § 4.

Citing Code of State Regulations

A state regulation is a rule written by an administrative agency of a state, like the South Carolina Department of Archives and History. The correct way to cite a state regulation from the South Carolina Code of State Regulations is: S.C. Code Ann. Regs. 19-501 (2011).

Regulations in the supplement to the Code of Regulations should be cited as: S.C. Code Ann. Regs. 61-4. 102 (Supp. 2016).

The date in the citation must be the latest copyright date of the volume or supplement. This is also the way a regulation from the Code of State Regulations should be cited in APA style.

Citing South Carolina Court Rules

A court rule, or court decision, should be cited by the rule number and the abbreviation for the court. These include:

  • South Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure: Rule ___, SCRCP.
  • South Carolina Rules of Criminal Procedure: Rule ___, SCRCrimP.
  • South Carolina Rules of Family Court: Rule ___, SCRFC.
  • South Carolina Rules of Probate Court: Rule ___, SCRPC.
  • South Carolina Rules of Magistrates Court: Rule ___, SCRMC.
  • South Carolina Rules of Evidence: Rule ___, SCRE.
  • South Carolina Court-Annexed Alternative Dispute Resolution Rules: Rule ___, SCADR.
  • Rules of Procedure for the Administrative Law Court: SCALC Rule ____.

Rules of the South Carolina Appellate Court should be cited as:

  • South Carolina Appellate Court Rules: Rule ___, SCACR.
  • Rules of Professional Conduct (rules for professional conduct for attorneys licensed in South Carolina): Rule ___, RPC, Rule 407, SCACR.
  • Rules for Lawyer Disciplinary Enforcement: Rule ___, RLDE, Rule 413 SCACR.
  • Code of Judicial Conduct: Rule ­­­___, CJC, Rule 501, SCACR.
  • Rules for Judicial Disciplinary Enforcement: Rule ___, RJDE, Rule 502, SCACR.

Citing Appellate Court Decisions

A published opinion or order of the South Carolina Supreme Court or the South Carolina Court of Appeals should be cited as: State v. Williams, 297 S.C. 404, 377 S.E.2d 309 (1989); Andrews v. Piedmont Air Lines, 297 S.C. 367, 377 S.E.2d 127 (Ct. App. 1989).

If a published opinion does not appear in a reporter – a volume that reproduces reported cases – it should be cited as: Donahue v. Donahue, Op. No. 23083 (S.C. Sup. Ct. filed Sept. 25, 1989); Satcher v. Berry, Op. No. 1383 (S.C. Ct. App. filed July 31, 1989).

Publications in the Advance Sheets

If the opinion has been published in the Advance Sheets, published by the South Carolina Supreme Court, the opinion should be cited as: State v. Victor, Op. No. 23118 (S.C. Sup. Ct. filed Dec. 11, 1989) (Davis Adv. Sh. No. 29 at 5).

If the order has been published on the front of the Advance Sheets, it should be cited as: State v. Foster, S.C. Sup. Ct. Order dated June 9, 1989 (Davis Adv. Sh. No. 14).

Citations Where Not All Information Available

If a published order does not appear in a reporter, it should be cited as: State v. Smith, 89-OR-25 (S.C. Ct. App. dated March 1, 1989).

A writer may also cite the order with reference to the date of the order, if no order number has been assigned: State v. Smith, S.C. Sup. Ct. Order dated March 1, 1989.

Citation of Memorandum Opinions

Memorandum opinions are court opinions that explain the result of a case without a long discussion, and unpublished orders are court opinions not available for citation; these have no precedential value.

This means that they do not mandate how a court should rule in subsequent cases and so should not be cited as authority, except in proceedings in which they are directly involved.

Memorandum opinions may be cited as: Burns v. Burns, Op. No. 89-MO-110 (S.C. Ct. App. filed July 31, 1989).

Unpublished orders may be cited in a similar manner as published orders.

The South Carolina Equity Reports, beginning with 1 Desaussure Equity and ending with 14 Richardson Equity, should be cited as: Taylor v. Taylor, 4 S.C.Eq. (4 Des. Eq.) 165 (1811).

South Carolina Law Reports beginning with 1 Bay and ending with 15 Richardson should be cited as: Roche v. Chaplin, 17 S.C.L. (1 Bail.) 419 (1830).

Citing Legal Treatises

A legal treatise is a book that explains a law or a set of laws. According to the Bluebook, the standard reference guide for legal citation, a legal treatise should be cited as: Spencer L. Simons, Texas Legal Research (2d ed. 2016). The author’s name should be provided in full just as it appears in the original publication.

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