|Submitted||Dec. 2, 2019|
|Due||Dec. 23, 2019|
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Dear Ginny Jones:
Pursuant to the South Carolina Public Records Law, I hereby request the following records:
-The log of requests submitted to the SC Court Administration between January 1, 2018 and the present pursuant to Rule 610, SCACR, including disposition.
The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.
In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.
Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter.
I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 15 business days, as the statute requires.
Lucas Smolcic Larson
To Whom It May Concern:
I wanted to follow up on the following South Carolina Public Records Law request, copied below, and originally submitted on Dec. 2, 2019. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response.
Thanks for your help, and let me know if further clarification is needed.
I'm following up on this FOIA request. Please provide a determination on the availability of these documents.
Thanks and let me know if any further clarification is neeeded.
I am writing in response to your request for the South Carolina Judicial Branch's log of Rule 610 inquiries.
Article 1, Section 9 of the South Carolina Constitution provides that the South Carolina courts shall be public. The Supreme Court of South Carolina has interpreted this provision to mean that case-related records and trials are public. However, the Supreme Court has never held that the Judicial Branch's internal records may be released to the public. In fact, the longstanding policy has been that internal records will not be made available to the public.
In light of the foregoing, I will not be able to provide the information that you have requested.
Public Information Director
South Carolina Judicial Branch
1220 Senate Street, Suite 200
Columbia, SC 29201
Thanks for your response on this.
I appreciate your explanation of the court administration's policy against releasing records. Please let me explain why I think releasing the records I have requested is in the public's interest. According to the language of SCACR Rule 610(e), the Court Administration may authorize the release of judicial records if it determines "the substantial public interest will be served" through research or evaluation of these records. With my request, I'm simply trying to evaluate how frequently the public is utilizing this rule, presumably set up to allow the public to access information about its judiciary. In the spirit of transparency and the language of Rule 610, I'd kindly like to request an exception to your policy in releasing these basic records about the public's interaction with the Judicial Department. I believe the public is served knowing how frequently and with what effect a rule governing public access to records is being utilized.
Thanks again for your consideration,
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