South Carolina Court Records
What are South Carolina Bankruptcy Records?
South Carolina bankruptcy records are court-generated documents containing information regarding the filing of individuals and organizations seeking assistance to settle unpaid debts. Bankruptcy records typically contain financial details and personal information of persons involved in a bankruptcy case. Such information includes financial statements, assets, and the names of the debtor and the creditors.
Within the state’s jurisdiction, the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of South Carolina is responsible for handling bankruptcy filings. The court has offices in three locations, and they serve all the counties in the state.
The information generated during bankruptcy court proceedings is primarily managed by the courthouse where the proceedings occurred. The clerk’s office handles the maintenance and dissemination of bankruptcy records, and interested parties may obtain desired records from them. Also, there are third-party websites like CourtRecords.Us that collates bankruptcy records on their database, and interested individuals can visit their site to access public bankruptcy information.
What do South Carolina Bankruptcy Records Contain?
South Carolina bankruptcy records contain the following information:
- Docket report
- Case summary
- Names of all the parties involved
- Any document used during the case proceedings
- Gross income of the party filing for bankruptcy
- A list containing the debtor’s assets
- List of creditors owed
- The debtors’ source of income
- Judgments and court-issued orders
- Status of the case
Are Bankruptcy Records Public Information?
Yes, bankruptcy records are public information and available to persons who wish to copy or inspect them. The South Carolina Freedom of Information Act ensures that interested persons can access information maintained by public bodies, including bankruptcy proceedings. Typically, persons interested in obtaining bankruptcy information can request them from custodians of the records. Custodians of bankruptcy records may also provide electronic means that the general public can access such information. However, some information that may breach individuals’ privacy and other exempted information are unavailable to the public. For example, the social security number on bankruptcy records are redacted in the documents.
Records that are considered public may be accessible from some third-party websites. These websites often make searching simpler, as they are not limited by geographic location, and search engines on these sites may help when starting a search for specific or multiple records. To begin using such a search engine on a third-party or government website, interested parties usually must provide:
- The name of the person involved in the record, unless said person is a juvenile
- The location or assumed location of the record or person involved. This includes information such as the city, county, or state that person resides in or was accused in.
Third-party sites are independent from government sources, and are not sponsored by these government agencies. Because of this, record availability on third-party sites may vary.
How to Get South Carolina Bankruptcy Records
Interested parties can get South Carolina bankruptcy records via options provided by the custodian of the records. Usually, the records available electronically or at the custodian’s office.
The Case Management/Electronic Case Files (CM/ECF) is electronic case management and case filing system for the federal courts. The CM/ECF gives querying parties access to files generated on the system. The CM/ECF platform requires users to have an account and login to search for desired bankruptcy records.
The Voice Case Information System (VCIS) gives free access to some information on bankruptcy cases. Interested individuals can call the phone number (866) 222–8029 and enter a search criterion by selecting the keys as instructed by the automated voice system. Information that is available to callers includes case name(s), case number, bankruptcy chapter, filing date, attorney for the debtor, name of the trustee, name of the judge, current case status, next hearing date, location, discharge date, and case closing date. The VCIS is free for users and available at all times.
The Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) service provides access to electronic South Carolina bankruptcy records. To obtain such records, interested persons must create an account and login into the PACER site. Registered users can search for bankruptcy cases by the specific court where the case proceedings occurred or the national index that provides a nationwide search for cases filed in federal courts. The fee to access case information is $0.10 per page, while the cost to access a document is $3 (30 pages). However, users that incur $30 or less during a calendar quarter will have the fees waived for that period. Persons who need assistance in using the PACER system can contact their service center at (800) 676–6856 between the working hours of 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the week. Inquiries can also be conveyed via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To obtain archived bankruptcy case information, querying parties can submit an electronic request to the National Archives & Records Administration. Requests made via email are replied to within forty-eight hours. Additional information is available on the NARA site.
Persons who wish to obtain physical copies of archived bankruptcy records from the clerk’s office can fill the Archive Retrieval Form and mail it to the address:
U.S. Bankruptcy Court
ATTN: Archive Retrieval Request
1100 Laurel Street
Columbia SC 29201–2423
Requests or in-person visits to the clerk’s office must be between the working hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. every day except weekends and state-recognized holidays. Requests can be addressed to any of the clerks’ offices:
King and Queen Building
145 King Street,
Charleston, SC 29401
J. Bratton Davis U.S. Bankruptcy Courthouse
1100 Laurel Street
Columbia, SC 29201–2423
Donald S. Russell Federal Building & U.S. Courthouse
201 Magnolia Street
Spartanburg, SC 29306
How do I Find Out if My Bankruptcy Case is Closed in South Carolina?
Persons who filed a bankruptcy case can find out it is closed by looking up the case status. Querying parties can view the status of their case by using platforms that give access to case information such as the PACER service, Voice Case Information System, or by contacting the clerk’s office and requesting such information. Debtors can also receive electronic notice about the status of their case by subscribing to the Debtor Electronic Bankruptcy Noticing (DeBN) program. To sign up for the DeBN program, interested persons can complete the DeBN Form and mail it to the clerk’s office. Notices are received via the debtor’s email address.
Can a Bankruptcy be Expunged in South Carolina?
The expungement of a bankruptcy case will make the information generated during the court proceedings unavailable to the public for inspection or copying. However, no explicit legal provisions state how persons can expunge bankruptcy records in South Carolina. Typically, the process is initiated by filing a motion to expunge certain information. The filing is handled by a judge that grants or rejects the motion, based on the state laws. Certain information, like social security numbers, is automatically removed from public access.