National Freedom of Information Coalition
Protecting Your Right to Open Government

South Carolina FOIA Laws

South Carolina Open Meetings Law

The South Carolina Open Meetings Law legislates the methods by which public meetings are conducted. Title 30, Chapter 4 of the South Carolina Code of Laws defines the law. The law states that a meeting is the convening of quorum of the members of a public body, for the purposes of discussing and deciding on public business. If violated, the court may award attorney fees to the plaintiff and may assess fines of up to $100 or 30 days for a first offense.

Open Meetings Law S.C. Code Ann. §30-4-60 et seq.

Closed: Certain personnel matters, criminal investigations, and some real estate transactions.

South Carolina Freedom of Information Act

The South Carolina Freedom of Information Act is a series of laws designed to guarantee that the public has access to public records of governmental bodies in South Carolina. South Carolina’s definition of records includes all records, no matter their physical characteristics, that were “prepared, owned, used, in the possession of, or retained by a public body.”

Anyone may request public records and a statement of purpose is not required. The South Carolina Freedom of Information Act prohibits the use of police reports, information about disabled individuals and employee information for commercial purposes. There is a 15 day period for a business to respond to records requests.

Freedom of Information Act S.C. Code Ann. §30-4-10 to 30-4-55

Exempt: Pending investigation documents; confidential attorney communications; identification of informants; certain bank and business transactions; and income tax returns.

Visit, South Carolina Sample FOIA Request, to view a sample FOIA request for the state.