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Legal Information: South Carolina

Statutes: South Carolina

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Updated: 
December 8, 2020

20-4-30. Jurisdiction.

A) The family court has jurisdiction over all proceedings under this chapter except that, during nonbusiness hours or at other times when the court is not in session, the petition may be filed with a magistrate. The magistrate may issue an order of protection granting only the relief provided by Section 20-4-60(a)(1).

(B) Except as provided in subsection (C), actions for an order of protection must be filed in the county in which:

(1) the alleged act of abuse occurred;

(2) the petitioner resides or is sheltered, unless the petitioner is a nonresident of the State;

(3) the respondent resides, unless the respondent is a nonresident of the State; or

(4) the parties last resided together.

(C)(1) If the action is filed in the county in which the petitioner resides or is sheltered and the respondent is a nonresident of that county, the petitioner must request that the action be immediately transferred to another county in which venue is proper and must include a supplemental petition that designates the transfer county and that changes all specific references to the county of filing to the transfer county. The clerk of court must transfer and forward the supplemental petition to the transfer county.

(2) If the petitioner is a nonresident of the State, the action must be filed in the county specified in item (1), (3), or (4) of subsection (B).

(3) If the respondent is a nonresident of the State, the petitioner may request that the action be immediately transferred to another county in which venue is proper and must include a supplemental petition that designates the transfer county and that changes all specific references to the county of filing to the transfer county. The clerk of court must transfer and forward the supplemental petition to the transfer county.

(D) Hearings on the petition may be held in any county in the same judicial circuit as the county in which the action is filed or to which the action is transferred.