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New South Carolina solicitor looks to forfeiture for nuisance abatement

On December 21, 2012, in states, by Scott Alexander Meiner

Jimmy Richardson, South Carolina’s new 15th Circuit solicitor, intent to employ civil forfeiture laws against nuisance properties:

Richardson says those businesses and ones like them were a magnet for illegal activity, and the communities surrounding Myrtle Beach often attract them.

“[Due to] the transient nature around Myrtle Beach, there’s a lot of businesses that cater to a more loud crowd, maybe those that are more bent on doing illegal activities around the beach,” Richardson says.

Richardson says there are limitations to the law making it difficult to target the owners or employees themselves of businesses pegged as nuisances.

“It’s very hard to go in with a criminal prosecution and lock up those that are responsible at the businesses because they are shielded in some sort of corporation,” Richardson says.

It’s why Richardson says his office plans to use nuisance and forfeiture laws on the books now to target not just businesses, but homes that are the base for illegal activity.

“If you’re using a house a car, a house, or business to sell drugs out of – we can certainly bring forth a civil action almost akin to the nuisance action to take over that establishment,” Richardson says.

Richardson says his office is counting on anyone who thinks they live near a nuisance property to call police when a crime does occur at the location. He says the police reports from those calls give the Solicitor’s office the evidence needed to shut the business down. Sean Maginnis, Solicitor’s office to crack down on nuisance businesses, WMBF News, Accessed 18 Dec. 2012.


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