South Carolina Governmental Law Attorneys
Clawson and Staubes, LLC handles cases involving local and state governments. These can be actions for or against cities, towns, counties, police departments or other government entities such, public service districts. These lawsuits are often governed by the South Carolina Tort Claims Act.
South Carolina Tort Claims Act
Government entities in South Carolina enjoy certain protections under the South Carolina Tort Claims Act found at S.C. Code §15-78-10, et seq. Our legislators have recognized that, while total immunity from liability on the part of the government is not desirable, neither should the government be subject to unlimited nor unqualified liability for its actions. As such, the State of South Carolina, as well as state agencies and political subdivisions, such as counties, municipalities and school districts are liable for their torts in the same manner and to the same extent as a private individual under like circumstances, subject to certain exemptions from liability and certain limitations upon damages.
There is a lengthy list of no fewer than 40 acts and omissions for which a governmental entity is not liable set forth in S.C. Code §15-78-60. These exceptions to the general waiver of governmental immunity include:
- Legislative, judicial, or quasi-judicial action or inaction;
- Administrative action or inaction of a legislative, judicial, or quasi-judicial nature;
- Execution, enforcement, or implementation of the orders of any court or execution of any process;
- Adoption, enforcement, or compliance with any law;
- Exercise of discretion or judgment by the governmental entity or employee;
- A nuisance;
- Licensing powers or functions including, but not limited to, the issuance, denial, suspension, renewal, or revocation of any permit or license;
- Absence, condition, or malfunction of any sign, signal, warning device, illumination device, guardrail, or median barrier;
- Maintenance, security, or supervision of any public property, intended or permitted to be used as a park, playground, or open area for recreational purposes;
- Employee conduct outside the scope of his official duties or which constitutes actual fraud, actual malice, intent to harm, or a crime involving moral turpitude; and
- Institution or prosecution of any judicial or administrative proceeding.
This list is by no means exhaustive. There are a number of additional exceptions to the waiver of immunity and additional exceptions and limitations to those set forth above. This highlights the need for competent counsel in evaluating and litigating these cases.
Additionally, S.C. Code §15-78-120 sets forth the limitations on liability enjoyed by governmental entities. Generally speaking, no single claimant can recover more than three hundred thousand dollars ($300,000) and the maximum amount recoverable regardless of the number of claimants is six hundred thousand dollars ($600,000).
Our Governmental Law Practice
Governmental entities have to follow special rules including those relating to how citizens are treated, how meetings are conducted and the procedure for enacting laws. Sometimes we will defend a city or police in connection with a matter that a citizen thinks is unlawful. For example, we have defended governmental entities in actions involving allegations of police misconduct, improper procedures in enacting laws, enacting unconstitutional laws and zoning disputes.
At other times, we may help individuals who wish to have their rights protected. For example, the government may be attempting to take property to build a road or building and the property owner requires assistance in securing fair compensation from the government. Or you may believe the police or sheriff’s office has violated your rights with respect to a criminal matter and you may wish to discuss your case with an attorney experienced in governmental law. If you need counsel related to a governmental law issue, whether as a plaintiff or a defendant, you should speak with one of our attorneys about the legal options available to you.
Consult with Governmental Law Attorney
If you are in need of a South Carolina governmental law attorney, our legal team at Clawson and Staubes is available to assist you. Contact us at (843)577-2026 to learn more about our services.
* We do not take any cases against the municipalities of Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Isle of Palms, Goose Creek, Summerville, Hampton or Ridgeland because we sometimes represent those municipalities.
Consult with an South Carolina Governmental Attorney
If you are in need of a South Carolina or North Carolina governmental law attorney, our legal team at Clawson and Staubes is available to assist you. Contact us at (843) 577-2026 to learn more about our services.