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LRAW Research Fall 2024

The Current 1976 S.C. Code Annotated

Spine of 2021 S.C. Code Ann. Title 41
The last complete revision of the entire South Carolina Code Annotated was in 1976.
Since 1976, the South Carolina Code Annotated has been updated by replacing individual volumes as needed.  Thus, the current South Carolina Code is the 1976 Code as amended although individual volumes may be more current.

The current revision date for each individually-revised volume of the South Carolina Code Annotated is printed on the top of its spine. A volume may contain the statutes for one or more titles of the Code. 

The volume containing the statutes within Title 41 of the South Carolina Code Annotated was revised in 2021Until the next new hardbound volume is published for Title 41, with a new revision date on its spine, new statutes and amendments to current statutes within Title 41 will be published in an annual cumulative supplement, either as a pocketpart inserted in the back of the volume or as a softbound pamphlet shelved next to it. 

The current Payment of Wages statute § 41-10-50 has not been revised since the main hardbound was last published.

The SC Statutory History Line

A statute may be amended many times after its original enactment, and it is often necessary to compare the text of a current statute to its earlier versions. For example, lawyers might review changes made by the South Carolina General Assembly to argue legislative intent or to determine the law in effect at the time of a particular transaction, incident, or crime.

To track the history of a South Carolina law, you use the history line below the text of the statute. The history line will tell you if and where that statute appeared in any earlier versions of the South Carolina Code as well as identify the acts that created or subsequently amended the statute, sometimes also specifying the date(s) that those acts went into effect. 

The SC Statutory History Line: Previous Versions of the S.C. Code

For a South Carolina law originally enacted before the current (1976) South Carolina Code Annotated, its history line begins with references to where that statute was published in earlier versions of the Code, in reverse chronological order.  If the statute was enacted after the creation of the current Code, there will be no such references.

  • The earliest versions of the South Carolina codes were the General Statutes (G.S.) and the Revised Statutes (R.S.).  After the General and Revised Statutes, a new code was published every ten years, including in 1902,1912, 1922, 1932, 1942, 1952, and 1962.  The next version of the South Carolina Code was the current 1976 version (revised by replacement volumes and cumulative supplements). 
  • The section number of a statute published in the current 1976 South Carolina Code Annotated contains three numbers corresponding to its location in the South Carolina Code Annotated by titlechapter and section in that order, e.g. TITLE-CHAPTER-SECTION or 41-10-50 or 16-3-50. Statutes published in the 1962 and 1952 versions of the South Carolina Code Annotated were arranged by title and section numbers only. Prior to the 1952 Code, South Carolina statutes were organized by section numbers within the Civil (Civ. C) and Criminal (Cr. C.) Codes.

Examining the history line for the current South Carolina manslaughter statute § 16-3-50 below, you find that a version of that statute was published in the 1962 and 1952 codes as §16-55 and in the 1942, 1932, 1922, 1912, 1902 codes and the General Statutes (G.S.) and Revised Statutes (R.S.) with various section numbers.
Manslaughter statute section 16-3-50 with history line below.

The Statutory History Line: Original Enactment of a Statute

The history line also includes a reference to the act which originally enacted the statute. The original enactment reference is the only thing that all history lines must include since no statute can exist without having been enacted.

For those statutes enacted before the revision into the 1976 Code, the original enactment information will be the first thing following the references to the previous code versions of the same statute.  For example, in the history line for the manslaughter statute below, 1869 (14) 175 refers to the Act that originally enacted the statute long before it became the current section 16-13-50.  To find that Act, you would look at page 175 of the 1869 volume of SC Acts and Joint Resolutions.

Manslaughter statute section 16-3-50 with history line below.

For statutes whose original enactment occurred after the revision into the 1976 Code, since no previous code information exists, the first item in the history line is the original enactment.  For example, the history line for the Payment of Wages statute § 41-10-50 below tells you (in purple) that it was originally enacted in 1986 by Act No. 380 § 1.

Payment of wages statute section 41-10-50 with history line below.


The Statutory History Line: Amendments to a Statute

After the reference to the original enactment, if the statute has ever been amended, the history line will provide references to those Act(s) in chronological order.  References to amendments will always follow the reference to the original enactment.

For example, after the 1869 Act that enacted the manslaughter statute below, its statutory history line provides references to the 1931, 1934, and 1993 SC Acts that amended its original 1869 language.

Manslaughter statute section 16-3-50 with history line below.

The Payment of Wages Due statute below shows the statute was amended in 1990 by Act 463 (in pink).

Payment of wages statute section 41-10-50 with history line below.

Effective Date of Statutes

A history line may also include an effective date that an Act or statute goes into force. A South Carolina statute becomes effective twenty days after it is approved (signed) by the Governor, unless a different effective date is specified in the Act that enacted or amended it. The typical effective date specified  is upon approval by the Governor. 

In the Payment of Wages statute § 41-10-50 below, both the 1986 Act that enacted the statute and the 1990 Act that amended it specify an effective date by inserting a comma and "eff" after the Act number and section. The original Payment of Wages statute became effective on April 21, 1986 and the statute as amended became effective on May 7, 1990.
Payment of wages statute section 41-10-50 with history line below.

Effect of Amendments

For newer statutes and amendments, the South Carolina Code Annotated includes explanations for the effect of any amendments below the history line. For example, the Effect of Amendment notation after the South Carolina Payment of Wages statute below tells you that the 1990 amendment to section 41-10-50 substituted the word “When” for “Whenever” and deleted at the end "after written notice is given."

Payment of wages statute section 41-10-50 with Effect of Amendment noted below its history line.

S.C. Statutory History Line Deconstructed

The history line at the end of each statute in the South Carolina Code includes, in the following order:

1. Where the statute was published in any previous versions of the South Carolina Code, in reverse chronological order;

2. The Act that originally enacted the statute before it was codified and published in the South Carolina Code; and

3. The Act(s) that have amended the statute since its original enactment, in chronological order.  

Below is the history line for South Carolina manslaughter statute section 16-3-50 including where it was published in previous versions of the South Carolina Code, the Act that enacted it, and the Acts that have amended it since its original 1869 enactment:

§ 16-3-50. Manslaughter.

A person convicted of manslaughter, or the unlawful killing of another without malice, express or implied, must be imprisoned not more than thirty years or less than two years.

HISTORY: 1962 Code § 16-55; 1952 Code § 16-55; 1942 Code § 1107; 1932 Code § 1107; Cr. C. '22 § 10; Cr. C. '12 § 148; Cr. C. '02 § 120; G. S. 2465; R. S. 120; 1869 (14) 175; 1931 (38) 332; 1934 (38) 1463; 1993 Act No. 184, § 159.

1931 (38) 332
1934 (38) 1463
1993 Act No. 184, § 159

Previous Codes:
1962 Code § 16-55
1952 Code § 16-55
1942 Code § 1107
1932 Code § 1107
Cr. C. ’22 § 10 (1922 Criminal Code)
Cr. C. ’12 § 148 (1912 Criminal Code)
Cr. C. ’02 § 120 (1902 Criminal Code)
G.S. 2465 (General Statutes)
R.S. 120 (Revised Statutes)

Original Enactment:
1869 (14) 175

year  (volume)  page