(A) Upon an application made under Section 17-29-30, the court shall enter an ex parte order authorizing the installation and use of a pen register or a trap and trace device within that political subdivision, or within the State if the applicant is the attorney for the State or a law enforcement officer thereof, if the court finds that the attorney or the law enforcement officer of this State or a political subdivision thereof has certified to the court that the information likely to be obtained by the installation and use is relevant to an ongoing criminal investigation, and that the probable cause required by Section 17-29-30 (B)(2) exists.

(B) An order issued under this section must specify:

Terms Used In South Carolina Code 17-29-40

  • pen register: means a device which records or decodes electronic or other impulses which identify the numbers dialed or otherwise transmitted on the telephone line to which the device is attached, but this term does not include any device used by a provider or customer of a wire or electronic communication service for billing, or recording as an incident to billing, for communications services provided by the provider, or any device used by a provider or customer of a wire communication service for cost accounting or other like purposes in the ordinary course of its business. See South Carolina Code 17-29-10
  • Probable cause: A reasonable ground for belief that the offender violated a specific law.
  • trap and trace device: means a device which captures the incoming electronic or other impulses which identify the originating number of an instrument or device from which a wire or electronic communication was transmitted. See South Carolina Code 17-29-10

(1) the identity, if known of the person to whom is leased or in whose name is listed the telephone line to which the pen register or trap and trace device is to be attached;

(2) the identity, if known, of the person who is the subject of the criminal investigation, and to whom the probable cause requirement of Section 17-29-30(B)(2) applies;

(3) the number and, if known, physical location of the telephone line to which the pen register or trap and trace device is to be attached and, in the case of a trap and trace device, the geographic limits of the trap and trace order; and

(4) a statement of the offense to which the information likely to be obtained by the pen register or trap and trace device relates.

The order must also direct, upon the request of the applicant, the furnishing of information, facilities, and technical assistance necessary to accomplish the installation of the pen register or trap and trace device under Section 17-29-50.

(C)(1) An order issued under this section must authorize the installation and use of a pen register or a trap and trace device for a period not to exceed sixty days.

(2) Extensions of such an order may be granted, but only upon an application for an order under Section 17-29-30 and upon the judicial finding required by subsection (A) of this section. The period of extension may be for a period not to exceed sixty days.

(D) An order authorizing or approving the installation and use of a pen register or a trap and trace device must direct that:

(1) the order be sealed until otherwise ordered by the court; and

(2) the person owning or leasing the line to which the pen register or a trap and trace device is attached, or who has been ordered by the court to provide assistance to the applicant, not disclose the existence of the pen register or trap and trace device or the existence of the investigation to the listed subscriber, or to any other person, unless otherwise ordered by the court.