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Title 15 - Civil Remedies and Procedures
Actions which must be tried where subject matter situated.
Actions for the following causes must be tried in the county in which the subject of the action or some part thereof is situated, subject to the power of the court to change the place of trial in certain cases as provided in Section 15-7-100:
(1) For the recovery of real property or of an estate or interest therein or for the determination in any form of such right or interest and for injuries to real property;
(2) For the partition of real property;
(3) For the foreclosure of a mortgage of real property; and
(4) For the recovery of personal property distrained for any cause.
Actions which must be tried where cause of action arose.
Actions for the following causes must be tried in the county where the cause or some part thereof arose, subject to the like power of the court to change the place of trial:
(1) For the recovery of a penalty or forfeiture imposed by statute, except that when it is imposed for an offense committed on a lake, river or other stream of water situated in two or more counties the action may be brought in any county bordering on such lake, river or stream, and opposite to the place where the offense was committed; and
(2) Against a public officer or person specially appointed to execute his duties for an act done by him in virtue of his office or against a person who by his command or in his aid shall do anything touching the duties of such officer.
Actions which must be tried in county where defendant resides.
In all other cases the action shall be tried in the county in which the defendant resides at the time of the commencement of the action. If there be more than one defendant then the action may be tried in any county in which one or more of the defendants to such action resides at the time of the commencement of the action. If none of the parties shall reside in the State the action may be tried in any county which the plaintiff shall designate in his complaint. This section is subject however to the power of the court to change the place of trial in certain cases as provided by law.
Suits against certain fiduciaries.
Any administrator or administratrix appointed by any probate court of this State may be sued in the county where such administration has been granted. Any executor or executrix may likewise be sued in the county where the testator's will has been proved or admitted to probate. Any guardian may likewise be sued in the county in which the letters of guardianship have been issued.
Hearing elsewhere by consent.
Nothing in Sections 15-7-10, 15-7-30 or 15-7-40 contained shall be so construed as to prevent the hearing of any such action as is referred to in those sections by consent of the parties or their attorneys and of the guardian ad litem of any infant party to the action in a county other than that in which the action may have been brought and may be pending or other than that in which the property is situated.
Suits for penalty on freight claims.
Any action to recover a penalty against any common carrier for loss, delay or damage to freight may be brought before any court of competent jurisdiction in any county in this State in which the cause of action for the damage in such case may be brought.
Suits against insurance companies.
All suits brought against any and all fire, life or other insurance companies doing business in this State may be brought in the county where the loss occurs. But nothing herein contained shall be so construed as to prevent the court from changing the place of trial for any of the causes provided for in Section 15-7-100.
Suits by certain mutual insurance companies against members.
All suits instituted by any mutual life insurance company or mutual fire insurance company formed in this State against a member or former member of such company or any receiver of such company against any member or former member of such company shall be brought in the county in which such member resides.
Removal of suits by certain mutual insurance companies against members.
Wherever any such suit or proceeding has been brought, either as an independent suit or an ancillary proceeding to a receivership suit, in any county other than the county where the member or former member resides the court where such proceeding is pending shall, upon motion of such member or former member sued, on affidavit showing that he resides in a different county, remove for trial such suit or proceeding to the county where such member or former member resides.
Changing place of trial.
The court may change the place of trial in the following cases:
(1) When the county designated for that purpose in the complaint is not the proper county;
(2) When there is reason to believe that a fair and impartial trial cannot be had therein; and
(3) When the convenience of witnesses and the ends of justice would be promoted by the change.
When the place of trial is changed all other proceedings shall be had in the county to which the place of trial is changed, unless otherwise provided by the consent of the parties in writing duly filed or order of the court. And the papers shall be filed or transferred accordingly.
Procedure for changing place of trial when fair and impartial trial cannot be had in county.
When the ground for a change of place of trial in a circuit court in a case in which such court has original jurisdiction is that a fair and impartial trial cannot be had in the county in which such action was commenced the application for removal must be made by some party interested to the judge sitting in regular term. Such application must be supported by an affidavit that a fair and impartial trial cannot be had in such county. Four days' notice of such application shall be given to the adverse party, but such adverse party shall have the right to waive such notice. The circuit judge shall have the power, upon application made to him by either party and upon proper cause shown, to shorten or extend the time for the hearing of such application. If a change is ordered it shall be to a county in the same judicial circuit, and the judge shall order the record to be removed to such county.
Application of contract and arbitration agreements relative to venue of actions.
(A) Notwithstanding a provision in a contract requiring a cause of action arising under it to be brought in a location other than as provided in this title and the South Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure for a similar cause of action, the cause of action alternatively may be brought in the manner provided in this title and the South Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure for such causes of action.
(B) A provision in an arbitration agreement that arbitration proceedings must be held outside this State is not enforceable with respect to a cause of action, which, but for the arbitration agreement, is triable in the courts of this State. The enforceability of the remaining provisions of the arbitration agreement and the method of selecting a forum for the conduct of the arbitration proceedings is as provided in this title, the Federal Arbitration Act, and any applicable rules of arbitration.
(C) This act applies to contracts entered into after the effective date of this section.