The announced revisions to the local rules will become effective September 1, 2013. With the local rule changes, revisions have been made to the Chambers' Guidelines of all judges. Several operating orders and administrative orders have been abolished as a result of being incorporated in the local rules and the Guidelines for the Filing of Documents has been revised. Revisions to the Court's calendars have been made to reflect the availability of new self-scheduled matters pursuant to SC LBR 9013-4. Additional matters may be approved for self-scheduling in the coming weeks. The Court has also implemented a new interface to allow for parties in interest to file a claim or related documents without a CM/ECF password. Creditors are encouraged to use the new interface rather than submit paper claims.
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Laura Austin has been selected to serve as Clerk of Court effective September 9, 2013. Ms. Austin is currently the Director of Operations for the Bankruptcy Court in Delaware and she previously served as a staff attorney for District Courts in the Middle District of Florida and the Northern District of West Virginia. Jeff Davis will resume his duties as Chief Deputy Clerk of Court with the thanks of the judges for his service as Acting Clerk of Court. The judges know that you will join us in welcoming Ms. Austin as she assumes her new duties.
After considering comments made by the Bar and the Local Rules Committee, revisions to the local rules have been made and will be effective September 1, 2013. The amendments incorporate many provisions presently found in various Operating Orders and Chambers Guidelines and signal necessary cost savings measures for the Clerk's Office and the Judiciary. Notes regarding the changes are appended to the amended rules. Amendments of note include:
1. Rules 4004-1, 6004-1, 6007-1, and 9013-4 were substantially revised to consolidate the procedures for self-scheduled matters.
2. Rule 9013-4 was amended to add matters to the passive list and create a new category of self-scheduled matters that may be self-scheduled by movants.
3. Rule 2091-1 was amended to add paragraph (b) to reflect that an attorney can withdraw from receiving notices in a case after the attorney's interest in the case has ended. A new CM/ECF event entitled "Attorney Withdrawal from Notice" will be available September 1 to effectuate the withdrawal.
4. Rule 3001-1 was added to recognize the Court's new electronic claim interface known as "ePOC." ePOC will be available by September 1 and may be used to submit claims and related documents without a CM/ECF login and password.
5. Rule 4003-2 was amended to provide a procedure for chapter 13 debtors to obtain a specific order avoiding a lien once the chapter 13 plan payments have been completed and a discharge issued.
6. Rule 5075-1 was added to delegate notice of certain notices and orders to specified parties.
7. Rule 9013-1 was amended. New paragraph (d) was added to include portions of the Chambers Guidelines and a new CM/ECF event "Request for Scheduling Order" was created to allow litigants to request the entry of a scheduling order. Paragraph (e) was added to allow the Clerk's Office to strike matters not properly scheduled, docketed, or noticed without the issuance of a deficiency notice or further order.
8. Rule 9033-1 was added to provide a procedure for transmittal of proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law to the United States District Court.
9. Rule 9036-1 was added to incorporate provisions of the Chambers Guidelines and add provisions directing debtors and creditors to register for electronic notice with the Bankruptcy Noticing Center.
The judges will release revised Chambers Guidelines before September 1. Jeff Davis will review the local rule changes with the Bar on August 8 at 10:30 a.m. in Charleston, on August 15 at 2:00 p.m. in Columbia and that evening at the Bankla monthly meeting, and on August 22 at 2:00 p.m. in Spartanburg. The judges wish to thank the Bar and the Local Rules Committee for their comments and work on the revisions.