South Carolina Legal Resources

Overview of the South Carolina Court System

The 16 circuits of the South Carolina courts exercise general jurisdiction over civil and criminal cases statewide. The Court is divided into two separate branches: The Court of Common Pleas, which oversees civil disputes, and the Court of General Sessions, which oversees criminal disputes. In addition, the Court as a whole exercises limited appellate authority over some of the state's magisterial jurisdictions. The municipal, probate, family, juvenile, master-in-equity and magistrate courts all comprise the lowest tier of South Carolina's court system.

Above the circuit courts lies the South Carolina Court of Appeals, which hears appeals from the circuit courts and family courts. Under South Carolina law, various classes of cases are not subject to review by the Court of Appeals, including death penalty cases, constitutional questions, state election laws and similar matters. These are left to the sole exclusive jurisdiction of the South Carolina Supreme Court, the state's highest judicial authority.

South Carolina Attorneys and Lawyers

When faced with a legal issue, contacting an experienced attorney is always the best bet. At LawInfo you can search for a skilled, Lead Counsel Rated South Carolina attorney by location and by practice area. We have South Carolina attorneys who dedicate their practice to specific areas of the law, so you will not only find an attorney, but an attorney who is knowledgeable to help you with your particular legal issue.

South Carolina Legal Forms

LawInfo offers free South Carolina legal forms and documents to help resolve many of your issues on your own. Whether you need a power of attorney or you want to complete your will, we have you covered. You can click on our most popular forms located in the right column of this page. A user account is required to use the service, but it’s completely free.

LawInfo's Residential Lease Agreement seeks to clarify the respective rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants. Many disputes related to leasing result because of miscommunication during the initial negotiation and unclear contracts. By using a proper residential lease form, landlords and tenants gain a concrete record of the terms and conditions of the rent that may go a long way toward resolving or preventing conflicts.

For property owners looking to ensure the continuity of their assets after they're gone, LawInfo's Last Will and Testament form may be a valuable tool. Generally speaking, property owners may either specify who their inheritors are or appoint a trusted executor to manage their assets in the event of their passing. In cases where estates have neither, states may be forced to function as the executor without consideration for people's preferences. Since this may not be at all beneficial to the intended inheritors, proper estate planning is important.

A Power of Attorney legally authorizes a trustee to act in a legal capacity on someone else's behalf. In cases where property owners are unable to manage their property or finances as carefully as they prefer, a durable power of attorney of finances may be granted to someone to function in their stead. A durable power of attorney for health care lets another person make decisions on one's behalf in the event that a medical emergency occurs that leaves that person unable to make important decisions himself or herself. LawInfo offers POA documents free of charge.

Starting a South Carolina Business

South Carolina Business One Stop offers potential entrepreneurs a wide variety of resources they may utilize as they prepare to open their firm in South Carolina. The website instructs visitors in the registration process, required licenses in state and county jurisdictions, permits that may be needed and much more. Many successful businesses begin with adequate business plans and structural outlines that clearly lay out the organization's nature and intended purpose.

South Carolina Business Statistics

South Carolina is very welcoming toward small businesses because they are a vital component of the state's economy. The sole Fortune 500 company in South Carolina is Domtar (UFS); 97 percent of the state's employers are small businesses. There are 372,104 small businesses in South Carolina, employing approximately 48.4 percent of private-sector labor in the state.

Businesses are encouraged to open their doors in South Carolina because of the state's growing economic prospects. In 2011, the South Carolina real gross state product grew by 3.4 percent, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, and unemployment decreased by 0.9 percent.