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: Carolina del Sur

Restraining Orders

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Actualizada: 
8 de diciembre de 2020

Who can file for a permanent restraining order?

You can file for a permanent restraining order under any of the following circumstances:

  • You are the victim of one of the qualifying criminal offenses that took place in South Carolina;
  • You are an adult who lives in South Carolina, and you are filing on behalf of a minor child who is the victim of one of the qualifying criminal offenses that took place in South Carolina;1 or
  • You are the spouse, parent, child, or lawful representative of a victim of one of the qualifying criminal offenses that took place in South Carolina and the victim is:
    • dead;
    • a minor;
    • incompetent; or
    • physically or psychologically incapacitated.2
  • You are a witness to one of the qualifying criminal offenses that took place in South Carolina and you assisted in the prosecution of the crime.1 Even if you don’t actually testify at trial, you can still qualify if were subpoenaed, expected to be subpoenaed, or likely to be called as a witness to testify for the prosecution.3

1 S.C. Code §§ 16-3-1900(1); 16-3-1910(C)
2 S.C. Code § 16-3-1900(6)(b)
3 S.C. Code § 16-3-1900(7)

When and where do I file for a permanent restraining order? How long do they last?

You can file for a permanent restraining order in front of the criminal court judge in General Sessions Court at the time a conviction is entered or in front of a civil court judge in the Court of Common Pleas any time after the respondent is convicted. The court would then set a date for a hearing where you would appear to request the order. The respondent has 30 days to respond to your petition.1

If you want to get an immediate, temporary ex parte order while you wait for the hearing, you would have to file a separate petition for an emergency restraining order at the Magistrate’s Court. The Magistrate’s Court would then hold a hearing within 24 hours and decide whether to issue the temporary ex parte order.2

The judge will decide how long a permanent restraining order lasts.3 There is no specific timeframe laid out in the law. You can file a request to have the order extended, though, before it expires.4

​1 S.C. Code § 16-3-1910(B), (G)
2 S.C. Code § 16-3-1920(A), (H)(1)
3 S.C. Code § 16-3-1910(M)(1)
4 S.C. Code § 16-3-1910(M)(2)

How will a judge decide whether or not to give me the order? Do I have to be physically injured?

You only have to prove that the respondent was convicted of one of the qualifying criminal offenses. You do not have to prove that you suffered a physical injury.1

1 S.C. Code § 16-3-1910(J)

Is there a fee to file for a permanent restraining order?

There is no fee to file for a permanent restraining order.1

1 S.C. Code § 16-3-1910(F)