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Finding South Carolina Property Law
South Carolina Code of Laws
The above link connects to the entire SC Code of Laws. Search current state laws on the website for the SC General Assembly. You may access previous versions of the SC Code on its Archives page.
Below find links to some portions of the SC Code of Laws that are often of particular interest in this area of law. Note: Relevant parts of the SC Code of Laws may not be included in the links below.
Title 15 - Civil Remedies & Procedures
- Chapter 61: Partition
Partition refers to the legal procedure to force the sale of property owned by more than one owner and to divide the proceeds between the owners as their interests appear. This chapter also includes the Clementa C. Pinckney Uniform Partition of Heirs' Property Act.
Title 27 - Property & Conveyances
Title 28 - Eminent Domain (Takings/Condemnation)
Title 29 - Mortgages & Other Liens
Title 29 includes many chapters addressing mortgages, foreclosure, workmen's liens, and materialmen's liens.
Finding Federal Statutes & Regulations
Finding Municipal Ordinances
Local ordinances often regulate zoning, licensing, violations, and other requirements. These two databases contain the ordinances for many municipalities in South Carolina:
If you can't find the ordinances in the above sources, try looking for the website for your town, city, or county.
If you still can't find the ordinances, some municipalities will give copies to their local public libraries.
Finding Property Law Cases
With caselaw research, it helps to figure out if your issue is primarily governed by state or federal law. Most property issues will be state law matters. Federal laws tend to deal with things like takings and due process issues.
|Both State & Federal Cases
- Google Scholar
Select "Case Law", then click on "Select courts." You can search South Carolina, other states' cases, and federal cases, individually or together. This search engine is easy to search and includes cases decided much earlier than the 1990s.
- Ravel American Caselaw Database
Harvard's law library let Ravel digitize U.S. state caselaw but, as part of the deal, Ravel has to make the scanned copies free to the public. This database covers all 50 states. Its search engine is not the best, however.
PACER is the federal system for court documents. NOTE: You will need to create a login and PACER is not free.
- Court Listener
Court Listener is a free law project that harvests federal court opinions and makes them available for free. It might not have everything though.
County & City Resources
Often county and city web pages have useful information in various departments. Try looking for:
- Recorder of Deeds (County Only)
- Building/Code/Planning Departments
- Health Departments
Links to the county and city web pages can be found in the section of this page titled, "Finding Municipal Ordinances,"
Forms & Self-Help Information
South Carolina Forms index
Browse or search Civil (Common Pleas), Magistrate, and Appellate court forms from the SC Judicial Department website.
USC Law Library
LawHelp.org/SC - Housing
Website with information on multiple legal issues, including many relating to real property
Center for Heirs' Property Preservation
The Center assist people having issues with heirs' property. In the Lowcountry, heirs’ property (HP) is mostly rural land owned by African Americans who either purchased or were deeded land following Emancipation. At some point in the land’s ownership, it was passed down without a written Will – or was not legally probated within the 10 years required by SC law to make it valid – so the land became heirs’ property.
Foreclosure and Tax Sales
SC Court Rules & Trial Preparation
SC Bar Lawyer Referral Service
2018 International Building Code
Technically not law itself, the IBC is often incorporated into official building codes. Older versions can also be found on this site.
Local Library Resources
Your local public library may also offer resources such as Gale's Legal Forms (or some other form database) or a case research database like Westlaw. Your local community college or university library might have a legal research database like Nexis Uni. Try checking with your local libraries to see what resources they might have.