The South Carolina Supreme Court issued an important decision today regarding cases heard under the Protection from Domestic Abuse Act. This statute set forth in S.C. Code § 20-4-10 et seq enables victims of domestic violence to seek an "Order for Protection" to prevent such future abuse.
In Moore v. Moore, after the husbands was arrested for criminal domestic violence (CDV), the wife filed an action pursuant to the above-referenced Act, and she requested an emergency hearing. At that hearing, the wife was offered a continuance to obtain counsel, but the husband’s request for a continuance was denied. At that hearing, the Family Court found that the husband had abused the wife and their son, and it issued an Order of Protection.
The Court found that the husband was provided procedural due process prior to the issuance of the Order of Protection, and it affirmed the decision of the Family Court. The Court then found that an Order of Protection issued pursuant to an emergency hearing (a) is temporary, (b) does not represent a final adjudication of the merits of the action, and (c) should not be used against a party in future litigation.
You can read the full text of Moore v. Moore by clicking HERE.
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