Berkeley SC Records Crisis “Worst I’ve Seen”

ALLEGATIONS OF MISSING, MISPLACED COURT FILES ROCK SC LOWCOUNTRY Lawyers who have defended cases in Berkeley County, S.C. are reportedly salivating over reports of missing and mishandled court records –  a situation that could result in convicted felons being set free. Meanwhile citizens who have availed themselves of the county’s…


Lawyers who have defended cases in Berkeley County, S.C. are reportedly salivating over reports of missing and mishandled court records –  a situation that could result in convicted felons being set free. Meanwhile citizens who have availed themselves of the county’s judicial system (or who have been forced to turn over personal information to the local courts) are worried their data may be compromised.

Details at this point are murky, but FITS has confirmed that the S.C. Attorney General’s office uncovered evidence of “substantial records neglect” in Berkeley County.

According to our sources, this neglect was uncovered as part of an investigation into a missing $30,000 in the local court system.

“We are looking at potentially a decade’s worth of missing court records,” our source said, adding that “court records also appear to have been stored in rental units and in some cases at the county sheriff’s office.”

Uh-oh …

“It’s the worst I’ve seen as far as these cases go,” our source said.

State law (code section 14-17-510) requires county clerks of court in South Carolina to “preserve with care all papers, books and furniture pertaining to or connected with his office.”

“The clerk shall not in any case permit either the books or records to be removed from his office,” the statute continues, adding that “every clerk shall be held responsible for the books, papers and furniture in his office.”

Obviously the loss or mishandling of court records could be a boon to defense attorneys – potentially resulting in overturned convictions and inmates being released from prison. Then there’s the possible loss of personal information tied to family court cases – including Social Security numbers, bank account information, confidential medical records, etc.

FITS is conducting further interviews in Berkeley County related to this issue … expect follow-up reports soon.

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Smirks May 21, 2014 at 10:09 am


junior justice May 21, 2014 at 11:26 am

X10 ===

nitrat May 21, 2014 at 12:44 pm

So does this Clerk of Court not have a name?
Oh, when I go to, I see it’s the Hon. Mary P. Brown?
When was she last elected?

TontoBubbaGoldstein May 21, 2014 at 5:32 pm

why in the world are we still electing county clerks of court and treasurers, probate judges, etc.? Wouldn’t we be better off with educated professional people in these jobs?

Why, why, WHY do you HATE democracy???

Seriously, though, the reason is you would wind up with more *efficient* crooks that couldn’t even be voted out of office.

Question May 21, 2014 at 6:30 pm

Are you a crook?

Seriously,you and a great many people here seem to assume that EVERYBODY is.Accordingly,how about you?

TontoBubbaGoldstein May 21, 2014 at 6:39 pm



Question Answered May 21, 2014 at 7:26 pm

Your answer makes sense.

Its just everybody else that are crooks .

TontoBubbaGoldstein May 21, 2014 at 8:15 pm

Its just everybody else that are crooks .

TBG never said that.

TBG, however, believes that an unhealthy amount of crooks strive for positions of authority and *public service*.

Call TBG cynical…but he doesn’t believe that all public service wannabes spend sometimes upwards of ten times their potential annual salary, and sometimes even their own money, out of a sense of altruism.

Maybe some of the lawyers do it out of a sense of shame or guilt?


Name one lawyer who has ever expressed shame or guilt, other than at their own pre-sentencing hearing?

Closest TBG ever saw was Robert Shapiro, after the OJ verdict.

Question Answered May 21, 2014 at 9:55 pm

Oh I understand you and your kind perfectly.

All politicians,government officials ,lawyers etc etc are Crooks!

However you and your friends?

Ah the salt of the Earth!

Ah yeah,

And if you believe what you say?Why hang out here?A site dedicated to talking about a bunch of crooks?Get a hobby!Ever thought of taking up knitting ?Probably not many crooks in that,then again perhaps the yarn makers………..?????

EJB May 22, 2014 at 7:06 am

Not all politicians are bad but, like TBG said, the bad people that want to manipulate the system for their own gain will gravitate towards that field of endeavor, much like a pedophile tries to get a job in a day care center or a scout master or somewhere where there are children. It doesn’t take many crooked politicians to paint all politicians bad. That would be another good reason for the “good” politicians to push for strong ethics legislation and harsh penalties for the ones that do go bad but they do not, instead they actually, but their inaction, provide cover for he bad politicians. So, are the “good” politicians really any better than the “bad” ones?

Philip Branton May 21, 2014 at 12:49 pm

Boomerang 101……..classic “Pelican Brief” tactic counter…..

berkeley county politics May 21, 2014 at 1:37 pm

This story is made up, defamatory and nothing more than an attempt by the current clerk’s opponent to get some type of name recognition and take the voters’ attention off of her TOTAL lack of qualifications. There is no investigation of missing funds of any kind from the Clerk of Courts office nor is there any investigation of missing records. All court records are stored in an environmentally controlled secure area maintained by the County. None are stored in rental units or the sheriff’s office. It is sad when someone is so unqualified for a position that they have to make up stories based upon unnamed sources and unsupported allegations to try and get elected. Based upon the level of factual support for this story (none) makes you wonder how much it costs to get FITS to run such deliberate falsehoods.

nitrat May 21, 2014 at 2:37 pm

I named the current clerk below because I believe that anything that purports to present ‘news’ should provide the basic who, what, when, where, why type info when they post…as opposed to a gossip column.
But, even as I was writing it, I seemed to remember some kind of ‘mess’ going on in Berkeley county surrounding this same position a few years ago. Am I right about the office involved or do I have it confused with another or am I confusing Berkeley County with another Low Country county?

jimlewisowb May 21, 2014 at 3:25 pm

Why the anonymous post

If what you say is true, why not post as Mary P. Brown, Clerk of Court

Jury still out – looking for files

berkeley county politics May 21, 2014 at 3:55 pm

Why would fits not call the attorney general and ask if she or her office are or have been under investigation? Because the answer is NO and that would not help her opponent.

ReElect Nikki May 21, 2014 at 4:17 pm

Facts dont matter here.Many of these idiots convince themselves there are all sorts of “investigations” going on,that this or that person is going to jail,etc etc.

Its all in fun.Nobody REALLY believes all this stuff.

Peter O. May 21, 2014 at 7:25 pm

If the office WERE under investigation, the Attorney General would not be able to comment.

TontoBubbaGoldstein May 21, 2014 at 5:23 pm

Pro Tip:

Whether true or not, using a sentence like:

“All court records are stored in an environmentally controlled secure area maintained by the County.”

…makes it sound like you’re full of sh!t.

In The Know May 21, 2014 at 6:36 pm

My My My, what a forked tongue you have. I would sit down and stfu if I were you.

GrandTango May 21, 2014 at 2:39 pm

Wonder how millions the liberal trial lawyers can make freeing child molesters, rapists and killers…????

‘Pootlian, Ervin, Rutherford and Sheheen may have another 10K to give FITS after this ship comes in…

You know they’ll be over to the prison promising Obama-level amnesty to any SOB who can come up with the attorney’s fee…

EJB May 21, 2014 at 3:52 pm

if the records can’t be recovered they (inmates) may have a possible case for unlawful imprisonment and be able to collect damages of which the attorneys would get a percentage. After the first case all others would be settled out of court and the lawyers would be swimming in green.

NoName May 21, 2014 at 3:57 pm

SCDC has copies of all the records, too. Copies get sent to them before someone gets shipped to prison.

Linda Riney May 21, 2014 at 4:28 pm

Donald Bailey, AKA berkeley county politics, you are correct that this article is not proven fact. You are, also, correct for criticizing accusations that have no real sources for support. BUT, are you not guilty of what you are criticizing when you automatically accuse the clerk’s opponent, without evidence, of planting the story? Not only that, you imply that Fitsnews was paid to do this. The pot calling the kettle black?

Can U Hear Me Now? May 21, 2014 at 7:24 pm

Interesting that the SC Court Administration has documents on file pertaining to missing court records.

gwtwfan May 21, 2014 at 10:59 pm

Murky details, possible allegations and purported rumours [yawn]! Why are you wasting your time and ours when you don’t have any facts? I’ve also noticed that when you talk about “missing money” you only refer to “the court system” but wait….oh right the details are murky….you cannot prove it was the Clerk of Court office, so technically this doe not even belong in a poor article where you are just bashing the Clerk of Court offices!

You want my attention and the attention of the real citizens of Berkeley County , show me cold hard facts and I will give you the time of the day! Hhmmmm, this is starting to sound like a scene in one of my favorite movies! Maybe because this appears to be nothing more than someone’s attempt at 15 minutes of fame! Guess your 15 minutes is up…..

Shaun Stiltner May 24, 2014 at 11:04 am

My dealings with the Berkeley County Clerk of Court were limited at best during my employment with Berkeley County. However, a few years after I left employment with Berkeley County, my wife and I had an issue with her court ordered child support to her ex-husband. Her ex-husband had released custody of my step-daughter (She had turned 16 and asked to live with her mother) and signed all of the required paperwork to terminate his monthly child support. My wife was court ordered to pay child support through the Clerk of Courts Office. The document my wife’s ex-husband signed was not legal in the eyes of The Family Court until it was signed by a Family Court Judge. After waiting four months (Yes, four months) the judge had still not signed the release. During this time period The Clerk of Court continued charging my wife processing fees each month as she continued to pay her child support. When we contacted the Clerk of Court to find out why it had not been signed we were told, “The Judge will get to it when he gets to it”. The Clerk of Court made ZERO effort to address the issue or help in any way. Only after I called every news station, news paper, County Council Person, The Governor and State Congress Members was the document signed the following week. So, I can not attest to the Berkeley County Clerk of Courts filing procedures. But I can certainly speak of their lack of professionalism.

alvin691 May 25, 2014 at 7:21 pm

If I recall, this story is supporting the candidate that is running against the incumbent Brown. She is claiming mismanagement and wants to transfer all records to electronic format to share with the solicitors office. Isn’t this correct Linda and Don? I have seen no legitimate news story about any missing $30k investigation. Links anyone?


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