In a recent foreclosure action out of Spartanburg County the trial court issued an order denying the Defendant’s motion. A member of the judge’s chambers attached the filed order in an email and sent it to all case parties on December 15, 2014. The same day the court mailed a copy of the order to all parties. The order was received on by the Defendant on December 18, 2014. On January 15, 2015 the Defendant served a notice of appeal from the December 15 order. The Plaintiff then moved to dismiss the appeal because it was not filed within the required 30 days. The notice was served 28 days after the Defendants Attorney received the order sent by regular mail however it was served 31 days after the day the email was sent.
In denying the Defendant’s petition for rehearing the Court of Appeals held the time for filing the notice began when the order was emailed to the Defendant’s attorney. The Court relied on a similar case, Canal Insurance Co. v. Caldwell, 338 S.C. 1, 5-6, 524 S.E.2d 416, 418 (Ct. App. 1999), which found a fax constituted a written notice under Rule 203(b)(1).
The Court also noted that South Carolina attorneys have been required since 11/18/11 to provide a valid email address to court administration, indicating that attorneys will not be excused for failure to read emails.