S.c. R. Civ. P. 4
Last amended by Order dated January 31, 2013, effective immediately.
This Rule 4(a) differs from the Federal Rule by continuing the present State practice of the plaintiff or his attorney issuing the summons, rather than having it issued by the Clerk of Court. The second sentence requires only copies of the original summons to be served with the complaint on each defendant. Rule 4(b) is substantially identical to the Federal Rule, being modified only to conform to State practice as set out in Rule 4(a). The first sentence of Rule 4(c) continues present State practice. The second sentence makes more definite the requirement of Code §15-9-1030 that an official person must serve all other process such as rules and orders, except subpoenas. Rule 4(d) conforms to present State and Federal Practice, and states specifically, as does Code §15-9-70, that voluntary appearance is equivalent to personal service. It also preserves Circuit Rule 17 as to notice of appearance. Note to 1986 Amendment: Rule 4(c), as originally adopted, could be construed to broaden the definition of "process" and unduly restrict those who could serve process and other orders. These amendments conform to prior practice which permitted other law enforcement officials, and those appointed by the court to serve process. Orders which are not necessary to establish jurisdiction of person or property, including temporary restraining orders, are not required to be served by the sheriff unless ordered by the court. The age requirement is changed to conform to similar language in Rule 45(c). Rules 4(d)(1) through 4(d)(8) conform to the present State practice and the Federal practice, which refers matters of service of process generally to local State practice. Rule 4(d)(1) preserves the requirements of Code §15-9-520. Rule 4(d)(2) preserves and conforms to present practice under Code §§15-9-480 and 15-9-490. Service on persons confined in State penal or mental facilities will continue to conform also to Code §§15-9-500 and 15-9-510. Note to 1986 Amendment: In Rule 4(d)(2), the reference to Sec. 15-9-500 is deleted because that provision has been repealed. Note to 1995 Amendment: Rule 4(d)(2) is amended to add a provision for the service of the summons and complaint on persons confined in a prison or state hospital. The language is drawn from S.C. Code Ann. §15-9-500 (1976) (repealed) which governed this situation prior to the adoption of the Rules of Civil Procedure in 1985. This rule 4(d)(3) conforms to both the Federal Rule and preserves and supplements Code §§ 15-9-210 through 15-9-330. Rules 4(d)(7) and 4(d)(8) preserve other forms of statutory service on particular classes of defendants, such as non-resident motorists. These Rules 4(d)(4) through 4(d)(6) conform to the Federal Rules and clarify State practice concerning service on the State, its officers or agencies, and on political subdivisions. Rule 4(d)(7) conforms to the Federal Rule, and preserves State statutory requirements as to service on particular individuals or corporations, partnerships and unincorporated associations. Rule 4(d)(8) is the new Federal Rule permitting service of summons and complaint by registered or certified mail. (3) This catch-all provision is the same as the Federal Rule, and is necessary to cover unusual cases, principally when a court orders service on a person or party. The phrase "in lieu of summons" is deleted from Rule 4(e) as originally adopted to avoid the implication that an action can be commenced other than by service of summons and complaint. This Rule 4(f) modifies the Federal Rule to cover service outside the State. This Rule 4(g) is a restated version of Code §15-9-80 and present Circuit Rule 5. The final sentence conforms to the new Federal Rule on service by mail, as well as Rule 4(d)(8). Note to 1994 Amendment: This amendment to Rule 4(g) deletes "of and" following the word "envelope" to make the sentence read correctly. Rule 4(h) replaces Code §15-9-90, in the same language, and follows the Federal Rule. Rule 4(i) is same as Federal Rule and Code §15-9-100. This Rule 4(j) is the same as the Federal Rule and follows State practice. Note to 2013 Amendment: Rule 4(d)(9) authorizes service of process to be made by a qualifying commercial delivery service and is similar to service by registered or certified mail. Note to 2013 Amendment: This amendment to Rule 4(g) details the proof required when a party serves process utilizing a commercial delivery service.