By Rick Brundrett | The Nerve
COLUMBIA — Potentially thousands of South Carolina child-support enforcement cases are on hold, because the federal government contends the state isn’t doing enough to protect the rights of indigent parents facing jail time for not paying child support.
In a July 19 administrative order, South Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Jean Toal indefinitely suspended a family court rule allowing county clerks of court, in certain cases, to issue orders directing parents to appear in court to explain why they are behind in their payments.
If parents fail to appear in court, family court judges can issue bench warrants for their arrest.
Toal in her order said that based on a directive from the federal Administration for Children and Families, the state Department of Social Services won’t request orders or bench warrants in federal “Title IV-D” cases “until further notice.”