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State of South Carolina

Methods of Judicial Selection: South Carolina

Limited Jurisdiction Courts

Probate Court
Jurisdiction: wills, trusts, and estates; issues marriage licenses; guardianship and concurrent jurisdiction with circuit court for power of attorney cases
Selection of Judges: popular/partisan election
Retention of Judges: popular/partisan election
Qualifications: U.S. citizen; qualified elector of county; > 21 yrs old; 4 yr bachelor's or 4 yrs experience as employee in probate judge's office
Family Court
Jurisdiction: exclusive jurisdiction in domestic cases
Selection of Judges: legislative election
Retention of Judges: legislative election
Qualifications: U.S. citizen; state resident 5 yrs; circuit resident; 32-72 yrs old; licensed attorney 8 yrs
Magistrate
Jurisdiction: civil to $7500, criminal to 30 days and/or $500 fine, bail, preliminary hearings, issue search and arrest warrants
Selection of Judges: gubernatorial appointment with advice and consent of senate
Retention of Judges: gubernatorial appointment with advice and consent of senate
Qualifications: U.S. citizen; state resident 5 yrs; 21-72 yrs old; 2 yr associate's degree
Municipal Court
Jurisdiction: criminal to 30 days and/or $500 fine; municipal ordinances
Selection of Judges: appointed by municipality
Retention of Judges: appointed by municipality
Qualifications: NA
Masters in Equity Court
Jurisdiction: grants equitable relief, probate deeds, judicial sale of land
Selection of Judges: gubernatorial appointment with advice and consent of general assembly
Retention of Judges: gubernatorial appointment with advice and consent of general assembly
Qualifications: U.S. citizen; state resident 5 yrs; 32-72 yrs old; licensed attorney 8 yrs