South carolina criminal domestic violence courts


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How Is Domestic Violence Defined In South Carolina?

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Basic Process of a DV Hearing

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What is the Definition of Criminal Domestic Violence in South Carolina?

Ward, Esq. In , a Richland County woman applied for an Order of Protection after she was assaulted by her girlfriend. A household member is defined as either a a spouse; b a former spouse; c persons who have a child in common; or d a male and female who are cohabitating or formerly have cohabitated. Although same-sex marriage has been recognized in South Carolina since the ruling in Bostic v. Rainey , the Richland County woman and her girlfriend were not married.

DVHAN | Domestic Violence Lawyer in Lexington, SC

They had, however, cohabitated. Essentially, she argued the section discriminated against unmarried, same-sex couples. In July of , the South Carolina Supreme Court held that this statute 3 d violated the equal protection clause and struck this part of the definition in its entirety. The first part of the statute remained in effect.


  • 10 Truths and Myths about Criminal Domestic Violence in South Carolina!
  • Domestic Violence (DV) in SC.
  • South Carolina Domestic Violence Laws.
  • Instead of increasing protection as defined under the Domestic Abuse Act, striking this provision made the statute less inclusive. As a result, Orders of Protection were only available to people who were married, had been married or had a child in common.

    An Extension of South Carolina’s Domestic Violence Protection

    Therefore, unmarried cohabitating couples without children in common were afforded no coverage under the statute. This would have left a huge gap in protection as it has become increasingly common for couples to live together instead of or before marriage. To prevent this vulnerability, the South Carolina Supreme Court stayed the decision, preventing the ruling from taking effect until further review. Upon rehearing in November, the Supreme Court reconsidered and found the provision unconstitutional as applied.

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