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B.
The South Carolina Magistrate and Municipal Judge

1. Appointment

a. Magistrate

Article V, 26, S.C. Const. provides that the Governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint a number of magistrates within each county.

S.C. Code Ann. 22-1-10 provides that magistrates hold their office for ". . . the term of four years and until their successors are appointed and qualified."

b. Municipal Judge

S.C. Code Ann. 14-25-15(A) of the Code provides that "Each municipal judge must be appointed by the council to serve for a term set by the council of not less than two years but not more than four years and until his successor is appointed and qualified." This applies to all municipal judges appointed on or after May 24, 2004.

2. Qualifications

a. Magistrate

A magistrate must be a qualified elector in the county in which he is to serve, and not over the age of 72. (S.C. Const., Article XVII, Section 1). A magistrate must be a citizen of the United States, a state resident for at least five years, and at least 21 years old. In addition, a newly appointed magistrate must have received a four-year baccalaureate degree. S.C. Code Ann. 22-1-10(B) S.C. Code Ann. 22-1-10 (C) requires that all newly appointed magistrates complete a training program and pass a certification examination within one year after taking office. A newly appointed magistrate who is not an attorney licensed in this State may not preside over a trial until a certificate is filed with the Clerk of the Supreme Court stating that the magistrate has observed ten trials. While a newly appointed non-lawyer magistrate may not preside over a trial until the observation requirement has been completed, that magistrate may issue warrants and conduct bond hearings prior to completing the observation requirement. S.C. Code Ann. 22-1-16 (B) provides "The required trial experiences must include the following:

(1) four criminal cases in a magistrates court, two of which must be in a magistrates court where he will not preside;
(2) four civil cases in a magistrates court, two of which must be in a magistrates court where he will not preside;
(3) one criminal jury trial in circuit court; and
(4) one civil jury trial in circuit court."

All magistrates must pass a recertification examination within eight years after passing the initial examination, and at least once every eight years thereafter. Pursuant to Rule 509, SCACR, the Board of Magistrate and Municipal Judges Certification is empowered to make rules and regulations for conducting the required training program curriculum and examinations.

b. Municipal Judge

Municipal judges are required to complete a training program and pass a certification examination. Each municipal judge is appointed by the municipal governing body to serve for a term set by the council of not less than two years but not more than four years and until his successor is appointed and qualified. Section 14-25-15 (A). Compensation is fixed by the council. All municipal judges must complete a training program or pass certification examinations, or both, within one year of taking office, and a recertification examination every eight years thereafter. The examination is offered at least three times each year. Members of the South Carolina Bar are exempt from the examination; however, they are required to attend the orientation program.

A magistrate or municipal judge need not be an attorney or have any prior legal expertise. A municipal judge need not be a resident of the municipality in which he is to serve. (S.C. Code Ann. 14-25-25).

3. Vacancies

a. Magistrates

Vacancies are filled by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate. (S.C. Code Ann. 22-1-10). If the Senate is not in session, the Governor may make a recess appointment. (S.C. Code Ann. 1-3-210). The office is filled for the remaining portion of the unexpired term. Should the Senate fail to consent to a recess appointment at the next legislative session, the office would once again become vacant. (1964-65 Opinions of the Attorney General, No. 1931, p. 230.)

An eligibility examination to test basic skills will be administered to anyone seeking an initial appointment as a magistrate. The results of the eligibility examinations must be used by a senatorial delegation to assist in its selection of nominees to recommend to the Governor. No person is eligible to be appointed as a magistrate unless he receives a passing score on the eligibility examination. The results of the eligibility examinations are valid for six months before and six months after the time the appointment is to be made. S.C. Code Ann. 22-2-5(A). The eligibility examination is administered by the South Carolina Technical Education System.

b. Municipal Judge

Vacancies are filled by appointment of a successor by the council of the municipality, for the unexpired term. During temporary absence, sickness, or disability of the municipal judge, court may be held by the municipal judge of another municipality, or by a practicing attorney, or by some other person with training or experience in municipal court procedure. The mayor designates the person to hold court in the temporary absence of the municipal judge, and that person must take the prescribed oath of office before entering upon the judge's duties. (S.C. Code Ann. 14-25-25).

4. Disqualification and Discipline

a. Magistrate

A magistrate or municipal judge is a public officer. Article XVII, 1A and Article VI, 3, S.C. Const. prohibits a judge from holding two offices of honor or profit at the same time. For example, a magistrate may not also serve as a city treasurer, nor may a municipal judge also serve as a city attorney since both positions involve the exercise of the Senate's sovereign power. (Op. Att'y Gen. No. 1858, dated 1964-65; Op. Att'y Gen. dated July 6, 1981). However, by Order of the Chief Justice dated June 17, 2005, a municipal judge, or a magistrate serving as a municipal judge, may simultaneously serve as a municipal judge in more than one municipality.

A magistrate or municipal judge, as a judicial officer, is subject to Rules 501 and 502, SCACR. (See Supplement to Volume 22A of the South Carolina Code). Pursuant to these rules, a summary court judge is subject to the disciplinary power of the S.C. Supreme Court for misconduct (including both judicial and non-judicial action, whether the conduct complained of occurred before or after the judge assumed judicial office), if the judge:

1) has been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude; or,
2) violates the Code of Judicial Conduct (Rule 501); or,
3) persistently fails to perform his judicial duties or is persistently incompetent or neglectful in the performance of his judicial duties; or,
4) is habitually intemperate; or,
5) fails to timely issue his orders, decrees, or opinions or otherwise perform his official duties without just cause or excuse.

The suspension of a judge is not a determination of guilt or innocence, nor does it follow a determination of guilt or innocence with regard to a specific charge, allegation, or complaint. Such procedure merely prohibits a judge from performing any judicial functions until further investigation has been completed.

In addition to the disciplinary powers of the Supreme Court to reprimand, suspend, find in contempt or remove a judge guilty of misconduct, the Supreme Court has the authority to remove a judge from office for mental or physical disability. (Rules 502 and 505, SCACR).

A magistrate may be suspended or removed from office by order of the Supreme Court pursuant to its rules for incapacity, misconduct, or neglect of duty. "A magistrate's failure to retire in accordance with S.C. Code Ann. 22-1-25 or a magistrate's failure to comply with the training and examination requirements of S.C. Code Ann. 22-1-10(C) may subject the magistrate to suspension or removal by order of the Supreme Court. (S.C. Code Ann. 22-1-30).

b. Municipal Judge

Same as Magistrate.

5. Retirement

a. Magistrate

The mandatory retirement date of a magistrate is the last day of the fiscal year in which he or she reaches seventy-two (72) years of age. (S.C. Code Ann. 22-1-25). Should a magistrate fail to retire as required by S.C. Code Ann. 22-1-25, the magistrate may be removed by order of the Supreme Court.

b. Municipal Judge

None at this time unless set out in a municipal ordinance.

6. The Code of Judicial Conduct

a. Magistrate

Rule 501, SCACR, the Code of Judicial Conduct, is found in Volume 22A of the Code of Laws. A summary court judge is explicitly subject to the requirements of this rule, and should thoroughly familiarize himself or herself with it.

To illustrate the scope of the rule, its five canons are summarized below.

Canon 1 - A judge shall uphold the integrity and independence of the judiciary.
Canon 2 - A judge shall avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in all his activities.
Canon 3 - A judge shall perform the duties of his office impartially and diligently.
Canon 4 - A judge shall conduct his extra-judicial activities as to minimize the risk of conflict with his judicial obligations.
Canon 5 - A judge or judicial candidate shall refrain from inappropriate political activity.

b. Municipal Judge

Same as magistrate.

7. Fees and Costs

a. Magistrate

The fees and costs in a magistrate's court generally are set by law in numerous sections of the S.C. Code, including S.C. Code Ann. 8-21-1000, et seq. Only those fees, costs, and assessments contained in the Code may be charged. The authority to alter these fee schedules is held solely by the S.C. General Assembly. The "home rule" legislation does not provide any county council with the authority to alter the fees charged by a magistrate. (Op. Att'y Gen. No. 4484, dated 1975-76).

Furthermore, the S.C. Supreme Court held in State of S.C. ex rel. MeLeod v. Crowe, 272 S.C.41, 249 S.E.2d 772 (1978), held that statutes enacted for several counties establishing different fee schedules for the magistrate courts are unconstitutional in that they conflict with the uniformity requirements of Article V of the S.C. Constitution. Therefore, individual counties may not create fees, costs, or assessments unless prescribed by State law. Each year, the Office of South Carolina Court Administration issues a memorandum listing all fees, costs, and assessments prescribed by State law. All fees and assessments prescribed by law apply to county ordinances, whether written on an arrest warrant, uniform traffic ticket, or county ordinance summons. All courts should be in compliance with the memorandum, which is available on the Judicial Department website.

It is unlawful for any salaried magistrate to receive any compensation for his services in criminal cases other than the judge's salary. (S.C. Code Ann. 22-7-40). A violation of this statute is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $50 nor more than $200 or by imprisonment of not less than 30 days nor more than 6 months, or both.

Additionally, the Court, in McLeod, supra, held that magistrates may no longer retain as their compensation any fee charged by them for the performance of any judicial act, regardless of whether the action involved is criminal or civil in nature. Also, S.C. Code Ann. 8-21-1000 provides that all fees and costs collected under Chapter 21, Article 9, of Title 8 must be paid into the general fund of the county. Therefore, all fees collected by magistrates for the performance of their judicial acts must be regularly transmitted to their respective counties.

b. Municipal Judge

The general principles of fees and costs discussed in reference to magistrates are applicable to municipal judges. Municipalities may not charge fees, costs, or assessments unless prescribed by State law and contained in the fees and assessments memorandum issued annually by South Carolina Court Administration. All fees and assessments prescribed by law apply to municipal ordinances, whether written on an arrest warrant, uniform traffic ticket, or municipal ordinance summons. Compensation for municipal judges is fixed by the city council and receipt of other revenues would be improper. (See S.C. Code Ann. 14-25-15).

8. Bonds

a. Magistrate

S.C. Code Ann. 22-1-150, provides,

No person shall be commissioned, nor shall he continue to hold office or be qualified to discharge the duties and exercise the powers of magistrate, until he enters into and files, in the office of the clerk of court of the county in which he is to serve, bond to the State in a sum specified by the governing body of such county. The bond shall not be less than twenty-five percent of the collections for the previous year reported to the county treasurer as required by S.C. Code Ann. 22-1-90; provided, however, that if collections for the previous year did not exceed a total of two thousand dollars, the county governing body in its discretion shall be authorized to waive any bond requirements for such magistrate. The bond shall be conditioned for the faithful performance and discharge of the duties of his office, with surety to be approved by the governing body of the county. The terms, form and execution shall be approved by the Attorney General. Any magistrate not in compliance with this section shall be subject to immediate removal from office until he shows good cause to the Supreme Court for not obtaining such bond. Premiums for the bonds shall be paid by the respective counties.

Magistrates have been directed to report their compliance with this statute to S.C. Court Administration. (See GENERAL, reports).

Furthermore, S.C. Code Ann. 22-1-160, provides,

No person shall be employed by a magistrate when the duties of his employment consist of financial responsibilities, including receiving and having custody of moneys collected in behalf of the magistrate, until he shall have entered into and filed, in the office of the clerk of court of the county in which the person is employed, bond to the State in a sum of like amount as and if required of the magistrate by S.C. Code Ann. 22-1-150. The bond shall be conditioned for the faithful performance and discharge of the duties of the employee, with surety to be approved by the governing body of the county. The terms, form and execution shall be approved by the Attorney General. Failure to comply with this section shall subject the employee to removal from employment. Premiums for such bonds shall be paid by the respective counties.

b. Municipal Judge

While it is not clear whether the language of S.C. Code Ann. 14-25-45 requires a municipal judge to obtain a performance bond, it is suggested that municipal judges secure an adequate performance bond.

9. Court Facilities and Accessibility

Section 22-8-30 of the S.C. Code provides that each "county shall provide sufficient facilities...for the necessary and proper operation of the magistrates' courts in that county." Likewise, Section 14-25-5 requires that any "municipality establishing a municipal court...shall provide facilities for the use of judicial officers in conducting trials and hearings..." These two Code Sections mandate that the counties and the municipalities provide sufficient facilities and personnel for the operation of the courts. The counties and the municipalities must also make sure that their courts are accessible to all individuals, including those with a disability to be in compliance with the ADA.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) went into effect January 26, 1992. Title II of the ADA applies to all activities of state and local governments, including the operation of the court system. Title II provides that no qualified individual with a disability shall, by reason of such disability, be excluded from participation in or be denied the benefits of the services, programs, or activities, of a public entity, or be subjected to discrimination by any such entity. 42 U.S.C. 12132. The regulations covering state and local government are found at 28 C.F.R. Part 35. A settlement agreement between the Department of Justice and Allendale County, http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada/allensc.htm, shows how many activities can be affected by the ADA. The United States Supreme Court recently considered the issue of courthouse accessibility in Tennessee v. Lane, 541 U.S. 509, 124 S.Ct. 1978 (2004).

A public entity shall operate each service, program, or activity so that the service, program, or activity, when viewed in its entirety, is readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, except that law does not (1) necessarily require a public entity to make each of its existing facilities accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities; (2) require a public entity to take any action that would threaten or destroy the historical significance of a historical property; or (3) require a public entity to take any action that it can demonstrate would result in a fundamental alteration in the nature of a service, program, or activity or in undue financial and administrative burdens. 28 C.F.R 35.150(a).

Any court facility that has been built or renovated since the effective date of the ADA must comply with the ADA. When the court was built or renovated before that date, the court still must make reasonable accommodations to enable individuals with disabilities to use its facilities. For example, if the courtroom were on the second floor of a building with no elevator and a witness used a wheelchair, court could be held in an accessible room that day.

The ADA applies to all types of disabilities. People who are deaf or hard of hearing, blind or visually impaired, have development disabilities or mental illness all may need an accommodation to take part in the court system. The South Carolina Supreme Court has provisions for the payment of sign language interpreters, See http://www.sccourts.org/whatsnew/deafinterpreters.htm, Order Re: Appointment Of Qualified Court Interpreters For Deaf Persons And Payment For Their Services (May 20, 2004)(Does not state who will be responsible for the payment of interpreter services when funds appropriated specifically for this purpose by the General Assembly are exhausted). Courts should have access to a TTY or other methods of communication to enable individuals who are deaf to call the court.

Court personnel should be trained to be sensitive to the possibility that individuals may have cognitive limitations that affect their ability to understand instructions. They should be willing to take the time to explain information or assist in filling out forms if necessary to enable an individual to use the court.

10. Official Office Bank Account

a. Magistrate

S.C. Code Ann. 4-11-140 provides criminal penalties for the intermingling of official funds with private funds by a county official. The stated intent of this section is to require the maintenance of a public bank account for the deposit of official funds without allowing any private funds to be deposited in such account.

Further, on March 13, 2007, the S.C. Supreme Court ordered that:

". . . judges of the magistrate courts have bank accounts for the deposit of all public monies received by them in their official capacity. Magistrates shall make no disbursements whatsoever in cash from official funds. All disbursements by magistrates shall be made by check from the magistrate's official bank account with no exceptions."

The Order further requires that each magistrate file with S.C. Court Administration a statement showing compliance with this Order including the name of the bank where the magistrate's public funds are deposited, the title under which the account is listed, and the number of the account.

With regards to the title of the account, it is recommended that the account bear the title of the court and not simply the name of the presiding magistrate.

Finally, on March 13, 2007, the Chief Justice signed an order outlining specific financial and recordkeeping standards which must be followed by all magistrate court offices. A copy of this Order can be found in the Orders section of this book.

b. Municipal

S.C. Code Ann. 14-25-85 requires all fines and penalties collected to be turned over to the city treasurer. It is recommended that accounts of the municipal court be established and supervised by the city treasurer. At no time should there be an intermingling of private funds with funds turned over to the city treasurer. Municipal judges who receive money deposited with the court in lieu of bond or recognizance in any criminal proceeding shall pay over the money so received within sixty (60) days of date of receipt to the city treasurer unless the money deposited with the municipal judge shall be forfeited at trial prior to the expiration of 60-day period. (Order of the Chief Justice dated November 1, 1978). An Order outlining specific financial and recordkeeping standards, which should serve as a guide post for all municipal court offices, was issued on March 13, 2007, by the Chief Justice, a copy of which can be found in the Orders section of this book.

11. Record Keeping Procedures

a. Generally

(1) Magistrate

By Order of the Chief Justice dated May 24, 1983, the office of S.C. Court Administration was directed to promulgate a record-keeping procedure for magistrates. Pursuant to this Order, Court Administration developed a system which meets both docketing and bookkeeping requirements. The magistrate is required to keep three (3) disposed dockets (civil, criminal and traffic), in compliance with S.C. Code Ann. 22-1-80, which provides, in part, that the magistrate:

". . . shall insert all his proceedings in each case by its title, showing the commencement, progress and termination thereof, as well as all fees charged or received by him. He shall also enter upon his book of criminal cases all warrants issued by him and what disposition he has made of them, what moneys have been collected from fines, costs and otherwise thereunder and what disposition he has made of them."

In addition, the magistrate must keep three (3) pending dockets (civil, criminal and traffic). These records provide information to Court Administration useful for docket management. The information can also be forwarded to other agencies, in compliance with statutory reporting requirements imposed upon the magistrates.

Finally, on March 13, 2007, the Chief Justice signed an order outlining specific financial and recordkeeping standards which must be followed by all magistrate court offices. A copy of this Order can be found in the Orders section of this book.

(2) Municipal Judge

While the Order of the Chief Justice did not specifically include municipal courts, and the provisions relating to civil cases is, of course, not applicable, the accounting provisions contained therein are sound and would comply with S.C. Code Ann. 22-1-80, which may be applicable to municipal courts by implication (See S.C. Code Ann. 14-25-45). Regardless of the docket design chosen, all judges should use a system which reflects the defendant's name, charge(s), charging paper number, disposition of case, sentence (a breakdown of court costs is helpful), and bond information.

b. Numbered Arrest Warrants

Magistrate & Municipal Judge

Both the white "Original" and yellow "Duplicate" copies should be delivered to the officer for execution. The pink "Audit Copy" copy should be retained by the Magistrate's office. In those courts that generate arrest warrants by computer, the generation of an audit copy is optional. The officer should be instructed that the yellow "Duplicate" copy shall be delivered to the defendant at the time of execution and shall remain with the defendant. The white "Original" copy shall be returned by the officer at the bond hearing to the summary court judge.

If the offense is beyond the trial jurisdiction of the magistrate or municipal judge, the white "Original" copy of the warrant shall be transmitted to the Clerk of Court along with all other pertinent documents (e.g. bonds, checklists, check if cash bond) within fifteen (15) days following the arrest of the accused. All such documents should be listed on and accompanied by a Certificate of Transmittal which is provided by S. C. Court Administration. If a request for a preliminary examination is made, the summary court judge should request that the Clerk of Court provide a certified copy of the arrest warrant and other papers previously transmitted and connected with the case for use at the preliminary hearing.

If the offense charged is within the trial jurisdiction of the summary court, the white "Original" copy shall be filed and retained by the summary court judge indefinitely.

The Office of Attorney General has approved the use of a computer generated arrest and search warrants. Counties and municipalities which have the capability of using this technology must obtain a block of numbers from the office of Court Administration. These numbers are used in sequence on the warrants. When the block is depleted, a new block must be obtained from Court Administration.

c. Numbered Receipts

(1) Magistrate

The use of numbered receipts, furnished by S.C. Court Administration, is mandatory for magistrates in both civil and criminal (including traffic) cases. It will be necessary to add onto the receipt form, the title of the case and for what purpose the money was collected (e.g.: bond, fine, filing fee, etc.). If the receipt is for a bond, the name field should contain the name of the person to whom the bond should be returned if the individual is found not guilty. The original white copy should be delivered to the person tendering the money and the duplicate yellow copy should remain in the receipt book. The receipt book shall be retained by the summary court judge for seven (7) years. The receipt number shall be noted along with the amount of any money collected in the applicable docket book. The receipt number shall also be entered on the stub of the numbered arrest warrant next to the amount of the fine collected. Also, the arrest warrant number should be entered on the corresponding receipt.

Certain courts have been authorized to generate receipts by computer. All information that is required in the receipt book should be printed on the computer receipt. Prior approval of SCCA must be attained and the courts must register receipt numbers with SCCA.

Upon final disposition, when a uniform traffic ticket is used as the charging paper in a traffic case, the receipt number for any fine, bond, or forfeiture collected shall be entered on the back of the "Trial Officer's Copy" (green copy) of the uniform traffic ticket after it has been detached from the other three (3) copies presented to the judge. The "Trial Officer's Copy" shall then be filed by month and retained by the judge. See the retention schedule in Memorandum section of this book.

The same procedure as outlined above for uniform traffic tickets shall also be followed when an Official Summons of the Department of Natural Resources or the Department of Revenue is used as a charging paper in the respective cases.

The corresponding uniform traffic ticket number, arrest warrant number, wildlife ticket number, Department of Revenue "ABC" ticket number, and book number and page number of the docket should be entered on the receipt in the space provided and indicated. A notation should be made to indicate which type of case the number represents. In those instances where a patrolman or other law enforcement officer brings a group of uniform traffic tickets to the judge at one time, it is permissible to use one receipt for the total amount given to the judge on those tickets. In order to use the one receipt, it is mandatory that each ticket number and the amount of money for that particular ticket number be listed in the space provided on the back of the receipt.

It is permissible for a constable or clerk to issue a receipt upon collection of money when the judge is not available. It is suggested that the judge's name be entered on the receipt and the constable or clerk indicate the judge's title and sign beneath the judge's name. Of course, the ultimate responsibility for the court's account lies with the judge.

(2) Municipal Judge

Municipal judges are not issued receipts by South Carolina Court Administration. They should use receipts that are supplied by the municipality and they should be completed immediately upon receiving payments for a bond or fines.

d. Search Warrants

Magistrate & Municipal Judge

S.C. Code Ann. 17-13-141 provides,

Every judiciary official authorized to issue search warrants in this State shall keep a record along with a copy of the returned search warrant and supporting affidavit and documents for a period of three years from the date of issuance of each warrant. The records shall be on a form prescribed by the Attorney General and reflect as to each warrant:

(1) Date and exact time of issuance.
(2) Name of person to whom warrant issued.
(3) Name of person whose property is to be searched or, if unknown, description of person and address of property to be searched.
(4) Reason for issuing warrant.
(5) Description of article sought in the search.
(6) Date and time of return.

Certain courts have been authorized to generate search warrants by computer. These search warrants will be printed on either two (this is preferred) or four individual sheets of paper. South Carolina Court Administration and the Attorney General have approved the use of a computer generated search warrant with one modification that is the court must print in the lower right-hand corner of each page the date and time the search warrant is printed. The original search warrant was a one part form to reduce the possibility of tampering, therefore this modification will also help reduce the possibility of tampering. Prior approval of SCCA must be attained before they can use a computer generated search warrant.

12. Reports

a. Reports of Monies

(1) Magistrate

A magistrate must submit to the county treasurer on the first Wednesday of each month, or within ten (10) days thereafter, a full written report of all money collected. A copy of each page of the docket books prepared during the preceding month, pursuant to procedures promulgated by Court Administration, and forwarded to the County Treasurer, will be sufficient to comply with this statutory requirement, as found in S.C. Code Ann. 22-1-90. Failure to file this report constitutes a criminal offense.

(2) Municipal Judges

S. C. Code Ann. 14-25-85 requires that monies be turned over to the city treasurer forthwith. It is recommended that copies of the docket used by the court be transmitted with the monies to provide for proper accounting of monies deposited with the city treasurer.

b. Filing of Warrants and Related Papers with Clerk of Court

Magistrate & Municipal Judge

Pursuant to Rule 78 SCRCP and Rule 3 SCRCrimP, the Court Administrator has established the following procedures to be used in criminal cases beyond the trial jurisdiction of the magistrate or municipal judge. {This applies also to c. (Notice to Clerk of Court and Solicitor of Request for Preliminary Examination) and d. (Return of Papers to Clerk of Court After Preliminary Examination), infra.}.

Within fifteen (15) days of the arrest of the accused, the magistrate or municipal judge shall forward the original arrest warrant, the bond document (i.e. Bond Form # 1 or # 2) and any other papers, including a check for cash bonds, pertaining to the case to the clerk of court. In addition, the magistrate or municipal judge should attach to these papers a completed "Certificate of Transmittal" (Form SCCA-215).

Note that the magistrate or municipal judge is responsible for securing the return of the original warrant after the arrest of the accused and transmitting the papers within 15 days of the arrest. Therefore, it is recommended that the magistrate or municipal judge check periodically (at least once each week) with the Sheriff's Office or other law enforcement agency to which a warrant has been delivered for service to ascertain if such warrant has been served and the defendant arrested.

c. Notice to Clerk of Court and Solicitor of Request for Preliminary Examination

Magistrate & Municipal Judge

In those cases in which the accused timely requests a preliminary examination (see CRIMINAL, Preliminary Examination), the magistrate or municipal judge should request from the clerk of court a certified copy of the arrest warrant and notify the Solicitor of the defendant's request. This should be accomplished by completing the "Notice to Clerk of Court and Solicitor of Judicial Circuit" (Form SCCA-509) and mailing a copy of this form to both the clerk of court and the solicitor.

d. Return of Papers to Clerk of Court After Preliminary Examination

Magistrate & Municipal Judge

After the preliminary examination has been held, the magistrate or municipal judge should forward all papers related to the case immediately to the clerk of court. These papers (endorsed legibly with the title of the case, nature of the offense, kind of proceeding, and judge's name) shall include a report of the case with the names and addresses of all material witnesses and a synopsis of all testimony. The magistrate or municipal judge should complete and attach to these papers a "Certificate of Transmittal" (Form SCCA-215) and forward to the clerk of court.

e. Papers to Clerk of Court in Criminal Appeals

(1) Magistrate

In cases of criminal appeals from a magistrate's court, if the appellant serves notice of appeal upon the magistrate within the specific time period (see CRIMINAL, Appeals), the magistrate must, within ten (10) days of receiving the notice of appeal, file the notice of appeal in the office of the clerk of court, together with the record, a certified transcript, or a statement of all proceedings in the case and the testimony in writing taken at trial and signed by the witnesses. (S.C. Code Ann. 18-3-40).

(2) Municipal Judge

In cases of criminal appeals from the municipal court, if the appellant serves notice of appeal upon the municipal judge or the clerk of municipal court within the specified time period (see CRIMINAL, Appeals), the municipal judge must make a return, consisting of the written report of the charges preferred, the testimony (the reporter's transcript, if taken by a reporter), the proceedings, and the sentence or judgment, to the Court of Common Pleas. (See S.C. Code Ann. 14-25-105).

f. Papers to Clerk of Court in Civil Appeals

Magistrates Only

In cases of civil appeals from a magistrate's court, if the appellant properly serves notice of appeal upon the magistrate within the specified time period, the magistrate must, within thirty (30) days from the service of the notice of appeal, make a return to the office of the clerk of court of the original record consisting of the testimony, proceedings, and judgment in the case. (S.C. Code Ann. 18-7-60 and Rule 75 SCRCP) (see CIVIL, Appeals).

g. Report to the Department of Revenue

Magistrate & Municipal Judge

The magistrate or municipal court judge must report all convictions, entry of pleas of nolo contendere and guilty, and for forfeiture of bail posted, for violations of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act to the S. C. Department of Revenue within ten days. Failure to file such reports subjects the magistrate or municipal judge to a fine of $25 for each infraction. (S.C. Code Ann. 61-6-4240)

h. Report to the Department of Public Safety

Magistrate & Municipal Judge

The magistrate or municipal judge must report all convictions, entry of pleas of nolo contendere and guilty, and forfeiture of bail posted, for violations of S.C. Code Ann. 56-5-2930 or 56-5-2933, or any other law which prohibits the operation of motor vehicles while under the influence of alcohol or drugs to the Department of Public Safety. Failure to make such report subjects the magistrate or municipal judge to a fine of $25 for each infraction. (S.C. Code Ann. 56-5-2970)

i. Report to Election Commission

Magistrate & Municipal Judge

By June 1 of each year, magistrates must file a complete list of all convictions of those crimes listed in S.C. Code Ann. 7-3-60. When there are no such convictions to be reported, a report should be filed so stating. Failure to submit this report subjects the magistrate to a fine of $50 payable to the county treasurer. Municipal judges may be subject to this statute by application of S.C. Code Ann. 14-25-45.

j. Report to State Law Enforcement Division (SLED)

Magistrate & Municipal Judge

S.C. Code Ann. 16-13-111 requires that:

"A first offense shoplifting prosecution or second offense resulting in a conviction shall be reported by the magistrate or municipal court judge hearing the case to the Communications and Records Division of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division which shall keep a record of such conviction so that any law enforcement agency can inquire into whether or not a defendant has a prior record."

Only convictions and guilty pleas should be reported to SLED. SLED has requested that this report include the defendant's name, sex, race, date of birth, social security number, date of arrest, arresting agency, date of conviction, final disposition (including sentence), original charge, and the magistrate's or municipal court judge's name and county or municipality. (See S.C. Code Ann. 34-11-95, fraudulent check violations; S.C. Code Ann. 16-11-610 and S.C. Code Ann. 50-1-90, certain trespassing offenses).

k. Report to Commission on Continuing Legal Education

Magistrate & Municipal Judge

Rule 510(e), SCACR, “Continuing Legal Education for Magistrates and Municipal Judges,” requires that magistrates and municipal judges submit to the Commission not later than July 15 of each year a sworn annual report of continuing legal education compliance for the previous reporting year. The reporting year begins on July 1 and ends on June 30. The compliance reporting form must be accompanied by filing fees as prescribed by the Commission (currently $40.00). Failure to comply with the continuing legal education requirement may result in sanctioning from the Supreme Court in the form of a suspension, contempt, or any other action it deems appropriate.

l. Reports to Court Administration

(1) Bonds for Magistrates and Magistrates' Employees

(a) Magistrate

S.C. Code Ann. § 22-1-150 and S.C. Code Ann. § 22-1-160 require that magistrates and certain magistrates' employees enter into bonds for the faithful performance and discharge of their duties. (See GENERAL, Magistrates and Magistrates' Employees to be Bonded).

Magistrates have been directed by Court Administration to report their compliance. This report to Court Administration should include the following: (a) name of judge and amount bonded; (b) name of each staff member and amount bonded; (c) name of bonding company; (d) date the magistrate and magistrate's employees filed the bonds in the office of the clerk of court; and (e) total amount of collections for the previous year reported to the county treasurer. These code sections require that the magistrate and the staff be bonded for 25% of the previous year's receipts. Magistrates should check their bond each year, make any necessary changes, and report any changes in the bond to S.C. Court Administration.

(b) Municipal Judge

There is no bond requirement municipal judges or their staff, unless required by municipal ordinance.

(2) Bank Account(s)

(a) Magistrate

By Order of the Chief Justice of the S.C. Supreme Court, magistrates must maintain an official magistrate's bank account for the deposit of public monies. (See GENERAL, Official Magistrate's Office Bank Account Required). The Order also requires that magistrates file a statement with Court Administration showing compliance and including the name of the bank where the magistrate's public funds are deposited, the title under which the account is listed, and the number of the account. This is best accomplished by forwarding a voided deposit slip to S.C. Court Administration.

(b) Municipal Judge

There is no requirement under S.C. Codes of Law that Municipal Judges have an official bank account. There may be a Municipal Ordinance that requires an official bank account. The Office of S.C. Court Administration would recommend that the Court establish such account.

(3) Criminal Cases Not Disposed of Within Sixty (60) Days

(a) Magistrate

A June 26, 1980 Order of the S.C. Supreme Court requires that all magistrate court judges dispose of all criminal (including traffic and DUI) cases within sixty (60) days of the date on which the initial pleading was filed in their courts.
An Order further provides that,

"IT IS ORDERED that each magistrate and each municipal judge submit a summary monthly report to the Office of Court Administration, on forms and prepared in a manner prescribed by the Office of Court Administration, which must be actually received in the Office of Court Administration not later than the fifteenth (15) day of the month following the month being reported."

The forms provided by S.C. Court Administration require a listing of all criminal cases not disposed of within sixty (60) days of filing.

(b) Municipal Judge

A June 26, 1980 Order of the S.C. Supreme Court requires that all municipal court judges dispose of all criminal (including traffic and DUI) cases within sixty (60) days of the date on which the initial pleading was filed in their courts.
An Order further provides that,

"IT IS ORDERED that each magistrate and each municipal judge submit a summary monthly report to the Office of Court Administration, on forms and prepared in a manner prescribed by the Office of Court Administration, which must be actually received in the Office of Court Administration not later than the fifteenth (15) day of the month following the month being reported."

The forms provided by S.C. Court Administration require a listing of all criminal cases not disposed of within sixty (60) days of filing.

(4) Other Reports

(a) Magistrate

(1) Dockets are no longer required on a monthly basis.
(2) Magistrate Court Workload Report For Period July 1, ____ Through June 30, ____ (Due July 15, Each Year).
(3) Judicial Survey (Due August 31, Each Year).
(4) Rule 501 SCACR Disclosure Form (Due April 15, Each Year).

(b) Municipal Judge

(1) Municipal Court Workload Report For Period July 1, ____ Through June 30, ____ (Due July 15, Each Year).
(2) Judicial Survey (Due August 31, Each Year).
(3) Rule 501 SCACR Disclosure Form (Due April 15, Each Year).