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1976 South Carolina Code of Laws
Unannotated
Updated through the end of the 2011 Session

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Title 2 - General Assembly

CHAPTER 69.

SUBPOENAS AND SUBPOENAS DUCES TECUM

SECTION 2-69-10. Authority of standing committees to issue subpoenas and subpoenas duces tecum.

Every standing committee of the Senate and of the House of Representatives, in the discharge of its duties, including, but not limited to, the conducting of studies or investigations, is by majority vote of the committee authorized to issue subpoenas and subpoenas duces tecum to any agency, department, board, or commission of this State or of any political subdivision of this State or to any representative of any agency, department, board, or commission of this State or of any political subdivision of this State to compel the attendance of witnesses and production of documents, books, papers, correspondence, memoranda, and other relevant records to its work, investigation, or study. Every standing committee of the Senate and of the House of Representatives is also authorized to issue subpoenas and subpoenas duces tecum on behalf of any of its subcommittees. The committee shall have the right to issue such subpoenas and/or receive the subpoenaed evidence in executive session.

HISTORY: 1986 Act No. 352, Section 1.

SECTION 2-69-20. Requests by joint study committees that subpoenas and subpoenas duces tecum be issued.

Every joint study committee created by act or resolution of the General Assembly, in the discharge of its duties, including, but not limited to, the conducting of studies or investigations, is, by majority vote of the committee, authorized to request a standing committee of the Senate or House of Representatives to issue subpoenas and subpoenas duces tecum on behalf of the joint study committee to any agency, department, board, or commission of this State or of any political subdivision of this State or to any representative of any agency, department, board, or commission of this State or of any political subdivision of this State to compel the attendance of witnesses and production of documents, books, papers, correspondence, memoranda, and other relevant records to its work, investigation, or study. The committee shall have the right to receive the subpoenaed evidence in executive session. The committee must seek instructions from the President Pro Tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives as to which standing committee shall issue the subpoena. The standing committee which issues a subpoena on behalf of a joint study committee must comply with the procedures prescribed Section 2-69-40.

HISTORY: 1986 Act No. 352, Section 2.

SECTION 2-69-30. Authority of committee to administer oaths and affirmations, take depositions, and receive testimony and evidence.

The committee, in the discharge of its duties, may administer oaths and affirmations, take depositions, and receive testimony and evidence as necessary in connection with its work, study, or investigation.

HISTORY: 1986 Act No. 352, Section 3.

SECTION 2-69-40. Conditions upon issuance of subpoenas; signatures of President Pro Tempore of Senate and Speaker of House of Representatives.

Subpoenas and subpoenas duces tecum may only be issued upon a majority vote of the members of the committee, must be issued in the name of the committee, and must be signed by the committee chairman or the presiding officer who may administer oaths to witnesses. Subpoenas and subpoenas duces tecum which are issued for a joint study committee of the General Assembly must be co-signed by both the President Pro Tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Subpoenas and subpoenas duces tecum which are issued by a standing committee of the Senate must be co-signed by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate. Subpoenas and subpoenas duces tecum which are issued by the House of Representatives must be co-signed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives. If the President Pro Tempore of the Senate refuses to co-sign the subpoena or subpoena duces tecum, the requirement that the subpoena or subpoena duces tecum must be co- signed by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate may be suspended as to that particular subpoena or subpoena duces tecum by a majority vote of the members of the Senate present and voting. If the Speaker of the House of Representatives refuses to co-sign the subpoena or subpoena duces tecum, the requirement that the subpoena or subpoena duces tecum must be co-signed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives may be suspended as to that particular subpoena or subpoena duces tecum by a majority vote of the members of the House of Representatives present and voting. In determining whether or not to co-sign the subpoena or subpoena duces tecum, the President Pro Tempore of the Senate or the Speaker of the House of Representatives must conclude that:

(1) The information sought by the subpoena is within the scope of the committee's jurisdiction;

(2) The information is relevant to a legitimate legislative purpose;

(3) The nature of the information sought is as clearly described as possible in the subpoena or the authorizing resolution;

(4) The subpoena does not intrude impermissibly upon civil liberties;

(5) The revelation of the information subpoenaed would not unduly intrude into the decision-making processes of other branches of government; and

(6) A subpoena issued to a local government does not violate the provisions of Articles VII and VIII of the Constitution of South Carolina, 1895, and Title 4 of the Code of Laws of South Carolina, 1976.

HISTORY: 1986 Act No. 352, Section 4.

SECTION 2-69-50. Requests for protective order; receipt of evidence in executive session.

Any person served with a subpoena or subpoena duces tecum may request that the committee issue a protective order, which revokes, limits, or otherwise modifies the subpoena or subpoena duces tecum in order to protect the legal rights of any person or entity. The committee may for good cause shown elect to receive certain testimony and evidence in executive session.

HISTORY: 1986 Act No. 352, Section 5.

SECTION 2-69-60. Issuance by court of common pleas of order requiring obedience to subpoena; punishment of disobedience as contempt.

In case of contumacy by any person or refusal to obey a subpoena, or to testify as directed by the committee, the court of common pleas, upon application of the General Assembly in the case of a joint study committee, or upon application of the Senate in the case of a standing committee of the Senate, or upon application of the House of Representatives in the case of a standing committee of the House of Representatives, may issue to the person an order requiring him or it to appear before the committee to produce evidence or give testimony touching upon the matter under inquiry, study, or investigation. The court may take appropriate action to ensure compliance with its order and any failure to obey an order may be punished as a contempt thereof.

HISTORY: 1986 Act No. 352, Section 6.

SECTION 2-69-70. Good faith reliance by party subject to subpoena duces tecum as defense to action.

A good faith reliance by the party subject to the subpoena duces tecum, issued pursuant to this chapter is a defense to any action, civil or criminal, arising from the production of records, documents, or other tangible materials in response to the subpoena.

HISTORY: 1986 Act No. 352, Section 7.






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