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The jury system is governed by state law as found in Chapter 7, Title 14, of the South Carolina Code of Laws*, 1976.
The jury system in South Carolina involves both grand juries and petit juries. The Clerk of Court is responsible for summoning prospective jurors, preparing and managing venires, and compensating jurors for the General Sessions, Common Pleas and Probate Courts.
The County Auditor, the County Treasurer, and the Clerk of Court of Common Pleas serve as jury commissioners. The jury commission prepares the jury list from lists of qualified voters and persons holding a valid S.C. Driver's license or a State issued identification card.
The Clerk's Office gives prospective jurors information about what to expect during their time of service. The Uniform Juror Information Pamphlet*, is used to help accomplish this. Jurors also are given a copy or informed of the substance of the Supreme Court order dated August 25, 2000*, pertaining to pagers, cell phones, and other personal communication devices in the courtroom. This order also requires that a copy of the same must be posted on courtroom doors.
All jurors must be "qualified" before they become members of the jury pool. The judge makes the decisions as to who does and does not qualify based on state law. To assist with this, each summons contains a Juror Information Form and Juror Response Form that the prospective juror must complete and return to the Clerk of Court within two days after receipt. If a prospective juror believes he or she should be disqualified, exempted, or excused from jury duty this should be reflected on the Juror Response Form. The Clerk of Court collects these forms for use by the court in the "qualifying" process.
Between summons issuance and the reporting date, the Clerk's Office monitors responses to the summonses so that the Clerk and the Judge know whom to expect on the first day of the term.