This statutory database is current through the 2004 Regular Session of the South Carolina General Assembly. Changes to the statutes enacted by the 2005 General Assembly, which will convene in January 2005, will be incorporated as soon as possible. Some changes enacted by the 2005 General Assembly may take immediate effect. The State of South Carolina and the South Carolina Legislative Council make no warranty as to the accuracy of the data, and users rely on the data entirely at their own risk.
Title 12 - Taxation
SUITS TO CLEAR TAX TITLES
Persons who may institute action to clear tax title.
Any county of this State, the forfeited land commission or other similar authority of any such county, any person or the executors, administrators, successors, assigns or grantees thereof, which has purchased at or acquired through a tax sale and obtained title to any real or personal property, may bring an action in the court of common pleas of such county for the purpose of barring all other claims thereto.
Such action shall be commenced, conducted and concluded by decree as are similar actions in such court and there may be made defendants to the action the former owner of such property, his heirs, executors, administrators, successors or assigns and any other person or legal entity who has or claims any right, title, claim, interest or lien in or to such property, to the end that such rights, titles, interests, claims or liens may be adjudicated in such action and forever barred by the judgment and decree of the court if such are found to be junior or subsequent to the title of the county or any person purchasing at or acquiring title to property through a tax sale.
Laws applicable to proceedings.
The proceeding authorized in this chapter shall be subject to the rules and laws governing the procedure and conduct of similar proceedings, including the laws governing service of process and the publication thereof against absent or unknown defendants.
Judgment for defendant may be conditioned on payment of taxes.
In any decree or judgment of the court in an action brought by the county, the forfeited land commission or other similar authority wherein it may be found that a person has a superior title to that of the county, the forfeited land commission or other similar authority, the judgment in favor of such person shall be upon condition that the taxes and penalties thereupon on account of which the property was sold and all taxes which have accrued since such sale and the penalties thereupon be paid in full within sixty days after the date of such judgment and the court shall order the sale of the property in the manner of other judicial sales in default of such payment. From the proceeds of such sale such taxes, costs and penalties shall be first paid.
Costs when property was purchased for less than one thousand dollars.
Whenever an action shall be brought under the provisions of this chapter relating to property for which the plaintiff paid less than the sum of one thousand dollars, all costs due shall be only one half of those ordinarily allowed.
This chapter shall be liberally construed to the end that it shall afford a complete remedy to any plaintiff claiming property by forfeiture unto him for nonpayment of taxes or by acquisition at or through a tax sale, so that he can under this chapter obtain a final and complete adjudication of the nature and extent of the title thereto and, in any event, procure a valid sale of the property from the proceeds of which the unpaid taxes shall be paid.