Winthrop University: S.C. Supreme Court to Hold October Public Session at Winthrop Coliseum
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S.C. Supreme Court to Hold October Public Session at Winthrop Coliseum

October 06, 2022

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The court’s visit to college campuses is part of an initiative to increase the visibility and accessibility of the state’s judicial branch. 
  • Organizers expect hundreds of Winthrop and local high school students, those in the legal profession and members of the community to attend the hearings.

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA – The South Carolina Supreme Court will hear oral arguments at the Winthrop University Coliseum in late October in an effort to provide local citizens with a glimpse of how the state’s highest court works.

On Oct. 25, the Supreme Court will hold proceedings starting at 10 a.m. and at 11 a.m. for two cases involving violent crimes. In each case, a criminal defendant’s trial-court conviction has been affirmed by the Court of Appeals. The Supreme Court will consider arguments about whether procedural errors before or during trials occurred and, if so, whether those errors should affect the outcome of each case. 

On Oct. 26, the Supreme Court will at 10 a.m. consider opposing arguments to answer a certified question from the U.S. District Court about whether state law allows auto insurers to apply certain limits to property damage coverage. At 11 a.m., the Supreme Court will consider whether the circuit court erred in its finding against another auto insurer regarding property damage coverage.

Read more about the cases.

This isn’t the first time the court has held proceedings outside its normal meeting space at the Supreme Court of South Carolina Building in Columbia, South Carolina. In 2019, the five justices traveled to the University of South Carolina Upstate in the hometown of Chief Justice Donald W. Beatty, who is a native of Spartanburg. The group also visited Coastal Carolina University in 2019 to showcase its work in Horry County, the hometown of Justice Kaye G. Hearn. They also held a term of court at Patriot Hall in Sumter, which is the home of Justice George C. James Jr.

“The Supreme Court looks forward to hearing oral arguments in Rock Hill, as we always do when holding court in other locations around the state,” said Chief Justice Beatty. “The court serves everyone in South Carolina, and it is appropriate that we make the judicial process accessible to as many citizens as possible, especially students.”

The court’s visit to college campuses is part of an initiative to increase the visibility and accessibility of the state’s judicial branch. 

Organizers expect hundreds of Winthrop and local high school students, those in the legal profession and members of the community to attend the hearings.

Winthrop President Edward Serna will welcome visitors to the Coliseum. “The sessions will provide an important opportunity for the Winthrop and Rock Hill community to watch how the court reviews legal disputes and handles questions of the law,” he said.

The event is free and open to the public. 

Courtroom doors will remain closed while court is in session. The court will take a short recess between case hearings, at which time attendees will be able to enter or exit the Coliseum.

All who wish to enter the courtroom will be subject to a thorough security screening. Metal detectors will be used. Items prohibited in the courtroom include weapons (guns, knives, etc.), cameras, electronics and bags. Cellphones must be turned off. Visitors are encouraged to allow ample time for parking and security.

SCETV will stream the event live at https://www.scetv.org/live/supreme-court-south-carolina.

For more information, contact Ginny Jones, public information director of the S.C. Judicial Branch, at 803/734-1584 or mvjones@sccourts.org or Judy Longshaw, news and media services manager at Winthrop, 803/323-2404 or longshawj@winthrop.edu.

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Last Updated: 10/6/22