Unless announced otherwise, Judge Waites will continue to use videoconferencing or telephonic appearances as the primary means of conducting uncontested hearings or hearings in which the trustee wishes to question the debtor in Chapter 12 and Chapter 13 cases. This would include the roll call of recommendations by the trustee and the conducting of status hearings in Subchapter V chapter 11 cases. Counsel should contact or coordinate with the applicable trustee to ensure you have the correct information for appearances in such matters.
The presumption of an in person hearing mentioned in operating order 20-14 posted on June 7, 2021 will apply to matters in which joint or separate statements of dispute indicate that the matter is contested and there is an expectation of the submission of evidence or testimony. Counsel in such matters should affirmatively contact courtroom deputy Nicole Stalvey to ensure the appearance requirement, to request an alternative means of appearance or hearing date and to ensure the correct location for any in person hearing. In person hearings may be held in the Columbia or Charleston court location regardless of the location originally noticed depending on other matters scheduled before the court that day.
In Chapter 11 cases, counsel should presume an in person hearing but should affirmatively contact the courtroom deputy to determine whether videoconference or telephonic hearings may be alternatively allowed and to determine the location of any in person hearing. In the instance where the attendance of out of state witnesses or counsel is expected, please contact the courtroom deputy before travel arrangements are made.
Hearing times and locations may be changed depending upon the schedule of other matters, the time necessary for the subject hearing and the location of witnesses and counsel.