The Supreme Court of South Carolina
Re: Hurricane Dorian
On August 31, 2019, the Governor of South Carolina issued an executive order declaring a state of emergency existed throughout the State of South Carolina in anticipation of the arrival of Hurricane Dorian. On September 1, 2019, the Governor issued an executive order mandating the evacuation of all persons located in certain designated evacuation zones in Beaufort, Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton, Dorchester, Horry, Georgetown, and Jasper Counties beginning at noon on September 2, 2019. Additionally, beginning on September 2, 2019, the Governor directed the closure of all schools and state government offices in the above-listed counties.
On Thursday, September 5, 2019, Hurricane Dorian passed along the entirety of the South Carolina coastline. On that day, county and/or state government offices were closed in twenty-three counties. As a result of Hurricane Dorian, over 270,000 homes and businesses lost electrical power, and an estimated 360,000 to 441,000 persons evacuated the coastal areas of South Carolina. The last of the mandatory evacuations were not lifted by the Governor until the morning of Friday, September 6, 2019.
In light of the foregoing, this Court finds that Hurricane Dorian adversely affected the ability of many lawyers and litigants to comply with deadlines in court proceedings. Accordingly, this Court finds it appropriate to declare the days of Tuesday, September 3, 2019, thru Friday, September 6, 2019, to be statewide "holidays" for the purposes of computing time under Rule 263 of the South Carolina Appellate Court Rules; Rule 6 of the South Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure; Rule 35 of the South Carolina Rules of Criminal Procedure; and Rule 3 of the South Carolina Rules of Magistrates Court.
s/ Donald W. Beatty C.J
Columbia, South Carolina
September 9, 2019