This article will provide guidance on How To Serve legal papers in South Carolina. This article will provide guidance on How To Serve legal papers in South Carolina. Any other person who is not an attorney or party to the case and at least eighteen (18) years old may serve a summons, including the sheriff and deputy. If a subpoena is served, it must be done so by a person who is at least eighteen years old and who is neither an attorney nor a party to the case.


The summons will be issued by the plaintiff or the plaintiff’s counsel. It is required that each defendant get a copy of the original summons. When a summons is issued, the plaintiff or their attorney must sign it. The summons must also include the plaintiff’s full name and address as well as the name and location of the court where the case is being heard. It is important to point out that if a defendant does not present and defend in accordance with South Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure within the specified time frame, judgment will be issued against him for the relief sought in his complaint.

In this case, the summons is for personal service. All documents must be served at once, including the summons and complaint. The plaintiff is responsible for providing the South Carolina Process Service with the appropriate copies. Personal service is imperative for the defendant’s voluntary attendance in court. If a party or their counsel files a written notice of appearance, it becomes effective upon mailing through with South Carolina Process Service. 

Except for a minor under fourteen years old or an incapacitated person, with South Carolina Process Service may be made on an individual by hand-delivering copies of the summons and complaint to them, by leaving copies at the person’s home or usual residence, or by hand-delivering copies to an agent authorized to receive with South Carolina Process Service by appointment or by law.

Interestingly, the delivery of summons and complaints to imprisoned prisoners or those who are being held in state hospitals and similar institutions must be done in person by the sheriff. In South Carolina, Process services must be performed in the county where they are being held. Rather than having the sheriff serve with South Carolina Process Service on inmates and patients in state hospitals and comparable institutions, the superintendent or director of the prison system or an assistant lawfully designated in writing by the superintendent or director may do so. Because of this, the superintendent or director or their chosen assistants will not be entitled to any expenses. 


A copy of the summons and complaint must be delivered to an officer, managing or general agent, or any other agent authorized by appointment or by law to receive with South Carolina Process Service, and a copy must be mailed to the defendant if the officer or agent is one authorized by statute to receive service 


It is possible to serve an official in the state of South Carolina by hand-delivery of a summons and complaint and by registered or certified mail of the same documents to the office of the Attorney General in Columbia when another official has been designated by statute as being served in that manner.

A copy of the summons and complaint must be submitted to the Attorney General in any action challenging the constitutionality of state legislation where the state, officer, or agency is not a party. A copy of the summons and complaint must be served by a state official or agency. A copy must be sent to the Attorney General’s office in Columbia, South Carolina, via registered or certified mail.

A copy of the summons and complaint may be delivered or served to the chief executive officer or clerk of a municipality or other governmental or political subdivision subject to suit or in the manner prescribed by statute for the service of summons and complaint or any like process upon any such defendant.

Service of a summons and complaint may be made by the plaintiff or by any person authorized to serve with South Carolina Process Service by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, and delivery restricted to the addressee. On the return receipt, the date of delivery is shown as the date of service. If the record does not include a return receipt demonstrating the defendant’s acceptance, South Carolina Process Service cannot be the ground for the entry of a default or judgment by default. A default or a judgment by default may be overturned if the defendant can prove that an unauthorized person signed the return receipt. The South Carolina Process Service must be served in accordance with these guidelines if delivery is rejected or the South Carolina Process Service is returned undelivered.

Subpoenas cannot be served outside the state’s borders, while other procedures may be served anywhere within the state’s borders. 


The person delivering the summons must do so immediately and hand it over to the official or individual who issued it. A copy of the sheriff’s certificate of service is required if the South Carolina Process Service is served by the sheriff or a deputy. They must make an affidavit if they are served by someone else. There must be an affidavit from the printer or publisher in order for it to be considered with South Carolina Process Service. In order for the South Carolina Process Service to be sent, the party or their counsel must sign an affidavit of mailing. The validity of the South Carolina Process Service will not be affected if proof of service is not provided. As long as the person who was served is identified by name and address (if known), or if that information is not available (if it is not known), then a description of that person will suffice. If such information is not available, then a description of the person who was served will suffice. If service occurred by mail, the person serving with South Carolina Process Service must include in their evidence of service the date and location of sending, as well as a copy of the return receipt or returned envelope when they receive it. In the event that the defendant refuses to receive the mailing, the return will also show any additional service. The clerk must quickly submit the return, the receipt or envelope, and any other documentation with the pleadings and form a part of the official record. 

Any person in this state authorized to make an affidavit may do so when the service is performed outside of its borders, as may any notary public who affixes their official seal or any clerk of the court of record who certifies the same by their official seal.  The court can change any with South Carolina Process Service or evidence of service at any point, as long as it does not seem to have a serious impact on the rights of the person against whom the process was issued.

Acceptance of the service is the last step. In order for evidence of service to be admissible, a written acknowledgment of service must be signed by the person served or his attorney and handed to the person performing service. The acknowledgment must include the service location and date.


Subpoenas issued by a court must include [A.]  the name of the court, the action’s title, its name, and its civil action number; [B.]the command to each person to attend and give testimony or produce or allow inspection and copying of designated books, documents, or tangible things, or to allow inspection of premises, at the time of the subpoena’s issuance; and [C.] the command to each person to comply with the subpoena’s terms by allowing inspection of the premises, at the time of the subpoena’s issuance. A command can produce evidence or allow the inspection to be issued with a command to appear at a trial, hearing, or deposition.

It is required that a summons issued by the court in the county where a hearing or trial will be placed be served. When a deposition is scheduled, a subpoena is issued by the court in the county where the deposition will be held to compel attendance. Suppose a subpoena for production or inspection is issued separately from a subpoena requiring a person’s presence. In that case, the court for the county in which the production or inspection is to be made must issue the subpoena. However, a subpoena requiring the presence at a deposition, production, or inspection of a non-party or non-officer, director, or managing agent of a party must be issued by the court in the county where the non-party lives works or frequently transacts business in person. 

If a party requests a subpoena, the clerk will issue one signed but otherwise blank to that party, who will then fill it out and serve the document to the opposing party. Additionally, a court-appointed attorney may issue and sign a subpoena on behalf of a court in which the attorney is licensed to practice.

A person who is not a party and is at least eighteen years of age may serve a subpoena in a court of law. A copy of the subpoena shall be sent to the person mentioned therein. If the person’s presence is required, the cost for one day’s attendance of twenty-five dollars and the mileage authorized by law for official travel of State officials and employees must be paid to the person. There are no fines or transportation costs to be paid for subpoenas issued on behalf of South Carolina.  Every party must be notified at least ten days in advance of any required production of documents and objects or examination of premises before trial unless the court orders otherwise.

The person who served the subpoena must certify the date, method, and names of those who were served to the clerk of the court where the subpoena was issued. If proof of service is required, this must be done. There must be no excessive hardship or cost on the person served by a subpoena if it is issued and served by someone accountable for the issuance and service. It is the responsibility of the court issuing the subpoena to enforce this obligation and impose a suitable consequence on the party or attorney who violates it, including but not limited to loss of wages and a fair attorney’s fee.

Unless required to attend in person for a deposition, hearing, or trial, a person ordered to produce and authorize inspection and copying of certain books, papers, documents, or physical items, does not have to be present in person at the location of production or inspection. It is the responsibility of the party or attorney issuing and serving a subpoena for the production of books, papers, and documents without a deposition to deliver copies of the materials thus provided to another party upon written request. Reproduction expenses must be covered by the entity seeking copies.

The party or attorney named in the subpoena may serve a written objection on the person commanded to produce and permit inspection and copying within fourteen days after service of the subpoena or before the time specified for compliance if such time is less than fourteen days after service. If an objection is filed, the party serving the subpoena will not be able to view and copy the documents or investigate the premises until the court’s order by which the subpoena was issued is followed. The party issuing the subpoena may, with notice to the person ordered to produce, apply for an order to compel the production in the court that issued the subpoena at any time. Anyone who is not a party or official of a party is protected by this order, which mandates examination and copying of the requested documents.

When an expert’s opinion or information is requested by a party but not by an officer, director, managing agent, or director of the party in question, or when a trade secret or other confidential research, development, or commercial information is requested by a subpoena, the expert’s opinion or information must be disclosed.

how to domesticate an OUT-OF-STATE SUBPOENA in south carolina

Issuing an out-of-state subpoena pursuant to the Uniform Interstate Deposition and Discovery Act (UIDDA)-South Carolina, the clerk of the court in the county where discovery is to be performed in this state must be presented with a foreign subpoena before it may be requested that a subpoena be issued under this section. Subpoenas issued under this law do not obligate a person to appear in court in South Carolina.

Second, the clerk of a court in this state must swiftly issue a summons to the person to whom the international subpoena is sent, in line with that court’s process.

A subpoena issued for a foreign defendant must include: [A.]   the terminology appropriate for the subpoena from abroad; and [B.]  part of the subpoena, it must include or be accompanied with the names, addresses, and phone numbers of all counsel of record and of any party that is not represented by counsel.


Documents can be faxed at (800) 296-0115, emailed, mailed, or dropped off at any of our locations. We do require pre-payment and accept all major credit and debit cards. Once payment is processed, your sales receipt is immediately emailed for your records.

Drop-offs must call and make an appointment first to be added to building security to permit access to our office. Documents for service must be in a sealed envelope with payment in the form of a money order or attorney check (WE DO NOT ACCEPT CASH) payable to UNDISPUTED LEGAL INC.; All documents are received by our receptionist.


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1. The sheriff, his deputy, or any other person who is neither an attorney nor a party to the case may serve a summons. Suppose a subpoena is issued in accordance with Rule 45. In that case, it may be served on anyone except an attorney or a party to the case, which is not a member of the sheriff’s or his deputy’s department or any other law enforcement official properly approved by the court.

2. The summons and complaint must be delivered to the minor or incompetent person, and also to (a) the guardian or committee of such person, or if there be none such within the State, upon (b) a parent or other person having the care and control of the such person, or (c) any competent person with whom he resides or (d) in whose care and control he resides or (e) in whose care and control he resides. If the person served is under 18, a copy of the summons and complaint must also be served on the person’s parent or guardian if the parent or guardian resides in California.

3. The service of detained or imprisoned individuals must also comply with S.C. Code 15-9-510.

4. Under conditions and in the manner provided by legislation, rule, or order, service of a summons and complaint or notice or an order on a person who is not a resident of or situated within the State should be done as prescribed.

5. Rule 45 states that a subpoena may be served only within the boundaries of the jurisdiction.

6. as may any person in this state authorized to make an affidavit when the service is performed outside its borders when it is performed by affidavit.

7. There are exceptions to this regulation, which allow subpoenas to be served at any location inside the state. Non-party witnesses may be summoned by subpoena from the court for the county in which they are employed or frequently do business in person and served in that county, provided that the summons is issued by the court for that county.

8. In cases where a subpoena was issued by the court where the nonparty resides, works, or regularly transacts business, the court in the county where the nonparty regularly transacts business in person, the court there shall quash or modify it on timely motion if it: I fail to allow a reasonable time for compliance; or (ii) requires a person who is neither a party nor an officer, directs the nonparty to appear at a deposition or production or inspection. 


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