SC Supreme Court

What Exactly are Judicial Standards in South Carolina?

What are the Judicial Standards in SC?

Let’s just put it this way: Pretty Bad.

Why? Consider this: there are two States in the nation where judges are selected by the state legislature rather than by general election: South Carolina and Virginia.

Do you think there might be an opportunity for favoritism or political back scratching in a system like this? In later blog posts I’ll share my experience and evidence of my interactions with multiple judges in the South Carolina Family Court.

But for now—let’s take a look at South Carolina’s lower court judges.

Magistrate Judges

Magistrate judges are lower court judges who handle the majority of criminal and civil cases in South Carolina. They basically clear the docket for higher court judges, ruling on everything from traffic tickets to DUIs to evictions.

Could it be that magistrate judges are appointed by state legislatures could lead to any trading of favors? What do you think in light of the way politicians generally do business?

[Related Post]: South Carolina Judge Denies Father Christmas, Saying he’s “Iranian-Muslim”

What are the Qualifications of a Magistrate Judge in SC?

They must:

  1. Reside in the county where they are magistrate.
  2. Have a four-year degree (Only since 2005. Previously, they didn’t need a college education.)
  3. Pass a 2-part, basic competency exam, one part being an online 12-minute test with elementary school level multiple choice questions like: “Which is the earliest date?” and “What’s the smallest number?”

You might be shocked to learn that nearly 75% of South Carolina magistrate judges don’t have law degrees. There is a lot more to say about SC magistrate judges, but for now I will leave you with this thought:

“These SC judges can have less training than barbers but still decide thousands of cases each year.” 

Post and Courier / November 2019

Please scroll down to the comments below and share your point of view on this surprising situation. And again, thanks so much for your enthusiastic support! I don’t know how I could have made through all this without the love and support of my family and friends. This is the first step in our creating community around Helping Every Loving Parent (HELP) to spend time with their children. Every story is important.

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Written by Amir Golestan


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