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Circuit Riders: Legal Research Training for Non-Lawyers

Finding South Carolina Statutes in Print

There are four methods for locating South Carolina statutes in print— by citation, by popular name, using the table of contents, and by subject.

By Citation

You may find relevant South Carolina statutes cited in cases, journal articles, and books, or referenced in the annotations to another statute.

If you know the citation to a particular South Carolina statute, you can locate it in the print South Carolina Code Annotated by going to the volume that contains the title of that statute and turning to the specific chapter and section cited.

For example, to locate 41-10-50 of the South Carolina Code Annotated, find the volume that contains Title 41 and turn to Chapter 10, Section 50.


By Popular Name

Many laws, such as South Carolina’s Clean Indoor Air Act, are referred to by their popular names. The J-Z Index volume, located at the end of the print South Carolina Code Annotated, contains a Popular Names Index that provides an alphabetical list of South Carolina statutes by popular name and their locations in the South Carolina Code Annotated.

For example, the Clean Indoor Air Act of 1990 is listed in the Popular Names Index to the South Carolina Code Annotated as beginning at Title 44, Chapter 95, Section 10 (§ 44-95-10).


Table of Contents

Once you find a statute that is relevant to your legal issue, it is always a good idea to browse the Table of Contents at the beginning of that title or chapter. Surrounding code sections may contain applicable definitions, procedures that must be followed, or even exceptions to the statute you have found. 
For example, South Carolina's payment of wages laws include a Definitions statute (§ 42-10-10) that may be helpful when researching payment of wages.


By Subject

If you do not have a citation to a particular South Carolina statute, you will need to research relevant statutes by subject. There are two index volumes designated A-I and J-Z, located at the end of the official print South Carolina Code Annotated.

Each index contains an alphabetical list of topics with references to South Carolina statutes relevant to that topic. If the first topic you look up in the index does not work, the index may refer you to a different topic that is more helpful.



For example, if you look in the J-Z index under "wages" to find the law in South Carolina that requires employers to pay wages to discharged employees, the index directs you to the topic "Compensation and salaries, generally," where you will find the relevant statute under the subtopic "Discharged employees."

There is also an index in the back of each volume of the South Carolina Code Annotated for the title(s) contained in that particular volume.