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Introduction to the South Carolina Freedom of Information Act

Introduction to the South Carolina Freedom of Information Act

The South Carolina Freedom of Information Act is an important law that provides for mandatory release of government documents and records. The law was created by an act of the South Carolina Legislature and is codified in S.C. Code § 30-4-10, et seq.

Specifically this law provides that a public body must release public records to "any individual, corporation, partnership, firm, organization or association." The law also provides that meetings of public bodies shall be advertised and open to the public.

The law applies to all levels of South Carolina government. This includes activities of cities, counties, school boards, special purpose districts, police departments, and state agencies.

There are two possible remedies to the Freedom of Information Act. First there is a civil penalty that may include a Court order compelling the government to comply and provide attorney's fees. This is available for all violations of the law. The other violation applies when a government official willfully and intentionally violates the law. In that occurrence the law provides for a criminal penalty to include up to 30 days imprisonment in the County jail.

At the Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr., LLC, we are avid supporters of the public's right to access government records and attend government meetings as provided for by the law. We represent clients in requesting access to records as well as enforcing their rights when necessary. To discuss how we may be able to help you with access to records under the Freedom of Information Act contact us at 1-888-304-2418.


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