Record Retention and Retrieval/Request For Copies

The District of South Carolina began electronic case filing(CM/ECF) in February, 2005. Therefore, case files are no longer maintained at the Clerk's Office. If you are an attorney and registered as a Filing User in our District, the case dockets and documents maintained electronically are available over the internet at or by using  PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records).

Public access computer terminals are located in the lobby of each divisional Clerk's Office at Charleston, Columbia, Florence and Greenville. Case information may be researched by case number, party name or filing date range. Docket information is available for civil cases filed after 1990 and criminal cases filed after 1992. The fee for printing from these terminals is $ .10 per page.

The fee for copy work performed by the Clerk's Office is $ .50 per page which must be paid in advance of the service. Certified copies are $12.00 each. Because prepayment is required, copy requests must be in person or in writing. Phone requests are not accepted. A link to the form for requesting copies is provided below. The number of pages to be copied will be determined and you will be telephoned with the total fee and an estimate of time to complete the task. Completed copy work can be either picked up at our office or can be mailed to you at your request. If you intend to pick up the completed copy work you should contact the divisional office most convenient to you.

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) provides access to court records that are stored at the Federal Records Center (FRC). For your convenience, you can order copies of closed civil or criminal case files using NARA's online ordering service, or via mail/fax/email by downloading and completing the appropriate form found at the link below. Certification is available for an additional charge for documents delivered by mail. Orders can be sent by overnight delivery for an additional charge.

For requests of 100 pages or less, your order can be scanned and emailed to you by the court using the Federal Records Center's SmartScan service program. The cost for the service is $20.90 (composed of a $11 Judiciary fee and a $9.90 FRC charge for the pulling and refiling of the paper record), plus a $0.65 per PDF page charge. Documents retrieved via the electronic service cannot be certified by the court since we do not have physical possession of the original record. Contact the appropriate divisional office to make a request for the SmartScan service. Requests may take up to seven business days to complete.

If you wish to order the paper file for viewing and/or copies, the fee for the clerk to retrieve the first box of records from NARA is $70.00, and $43.00 for each additional box requested, payable in advance. All requests require the Accession Number and Location Number of the case file at NARA. Many of these numbers are listed by the case year and number in the FORMS section under Record Retrieval.  If the case is not on this listing, the Accession Number and Location Number must be obtained from the Clerk's Office.  Questions regarding access to cases at the Federal Records Center can be addressed to the Clerk's Office. If a file is retrieved from the FRC, it may be viewed at the Clerk's Office. If reproduction of documents is desired, the copy fee for work performed by the Clerk's Office will apply.

All fees must be paid in the exact amount as the Clerk's Office does not make change. Cash, personal check, money orders and credit card payments are accepted.