2012 South Carolina Code of Laws
Title 16 - Crimes and Offenses
Chapter 11 - OFFENSES AGAINST PROPERTY
Section 16-11-780 - Prohibition on entering certain lands to discover, uncover, move, remove, or attempt to remove archaeological resource; definitions; penalty; exception.


SC Code § 16-11-780 (2012) What's This?

(A) As used in this section:

(1) "Archaeological resource" means all artifacts, relics, burial objects, or material remains of past human life or activities that are at least one hundred years old and possess either archaeological or commercial value, including pieces of pottery, basketry, bottles, weapons, weapon projectiles, tools, structures or portions of structures, rock paintings, rock carving, intaglios, graves, or human skeletal materials.

(2) "Archaeological value" means the value of the data associated with the archaeological resource. This value may be appraised in terms of the costs of the retrieval of the scientific information that would have been obtainable prior to the violation. These costs may include, but need not be limited to, the cost of preparing a research design, conducting field work, carrying out laboratory analysis, and preparing reports as would be necessary to realize the information potential.

(3) "Commercial value" means the fair market value of the archaeological resource. When a violation has resulted in damage to the archaeological resource, the fair market value may be determined using the condition of the archaeological resource prior to the violation, to the extent its prior condition can be ascertained.

(4) "Cost of restoration and repair" means the sum of the costs incurred for emergency restoration or repairs to an archaeological resource, plus those costs projected to be necessary to complete restoration and repair, which may include, but need not be limited to, the costs of the following:

(a) reconstruction of the archaeological resource;

(b) stabilization of the archaeological resource;

(c) ground contour reconstruction and surface stabilization;

(d) physical barriers or other protective devices, necessitated by the disturbance of the archaeological resource, to protect it from further disturbance;

(e) examination and analysis of the archaeological resource, including recording remaining archaeological information, where necessitated by disturbance, in order to salvage remaining resources that cannot be otherwise conserved; or

(f) preparation of reports relating to any of the activities described in this section.

(5) "Posted lands" means lands where the State has complied with the notice or warning requirement which must either be posted or given to an offender pursuant to Section 16-11-600.

(B) The court may call upon the Office of the State Archaeologist to provide evidence to assist in determining, calculating, or computing archaeological value, commercial value, or the cost of restoration and repair of an archaeological resource.

(C) It is unlawful for a person to wilfully, knowingly, or maliciously enter upon the lands of another or the posted lands of the State and disturb or excavate a prehistoric or historic site for the purpose of discovering, uncovering, moving, removing, or attempting to remove an archaeological resource. Each unlawful entry and act of disturbance or excavation of a prehistoric or historic site constitutes a separate and distinct offense.

(D) For a first offense, a person who violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined, imprisoned, or both, pursuant to the jurisdiction of magistrates as provided in Section 22-3-550.

(E) For a second offense for violating this section on the same property as the first offense or on another posted property, a person who violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not less than one thousand dollars or more than three thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

(F) For a third or subsequent offense for violating this section on the same property as the first offense or on another posted property, a person who violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than five thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

(G) For the purposes of subsections (E) and (F) of this section, a second, third, or subsequent offense on the same property as the first offense or on another posted property must include no offense that occurs more than ten years after conviction for the first offense.

(H) All equipment and conveyances including, but not limited to, trailers, motor vehicles, and watergoing vessels that were used in connection with felony violations of this section are subject to forfeiture to the State in the same manner as equipment and conveyances are subject to forfeiture pursuant to Section 44-53-520, if the offender either owns the equipment or conveyance or is a resident of the equipment or conveyance owner's household.

(1) All equipment and conveyances subject to confiscation and forfeiture under this section may be confiscated by any law enforcement officer as provided in this section. The confiscating officer shall deliver the confiscated property immediately to the county or municipality where the offense occurred. The county or municipality shall notify the registered owner of the confiscated property by certified mail within seventy-two hours of the confiscation. Upon notice, the registered owner has ten days to request a hearing before the court. The confiscation hearing must be held within ten days from the date of receipt of the request. The confiscated property must be returned to the registered owner if the registered owner shows by a preponderance of the evidence that he did not know the confiscated property was used in the commission of the crime, that he did not give permission for the confiscated property to be used in the commission of the crime, and that the confiscated property had not been used for a previous violation of this section on the posted land where this offense occurred or other posted land.

(2) The county or municipality in possession of the confiscated property shall provide notice by certified mail of the confiscation to all lienholders of record within ten days of the confiscation.

(3) Forfeiture of property is subordinate in priority to all valid liens and encumbrances.

(4) A person whose property is subject to forfeiture under this section is entitled to a jury trial if requested.

(I) The landowner, in the case of private lands, or the State, in the case of state lands, may bring a civil action for a violation of this section to recover the greater of the archaeological resource's archaeological value or commercial value, and the cost of restoration and repair of the site where the archaeological resource was located, plus attorney's fees and court costs.

(J) Nothing contained in this section shall limit or interfere with a landowner's lawful use of his property or with the state's ability to conduct archaeological investigations or excavations on either state lands or private lands with the consent of the landowner.

(K) Nothing contained in this section shall limit or interfere with:

(1) a landowner's lawful use of his property;

(2) the lawful acts of a landowner's employee, agent, or independent contractor acting in the scope of and in the course of his employment, agreement, or contract;

(3) the lawful acts of a utility worker acting in the scope of and in the course of his employment; or

(4) the state's ability to conduct archaeological investigations or excavations on either state lands or private lands with the consent of the landowner.

HISTORY: 2010 Act No. 255, Section 1, eff June 11, 2010.

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