Id a chief judge and eight associate judges comprise

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Id. A Chief Judge and eight associate judges comprise this court and are elected in a staggered pattern every six years. Id. All of the judges may sit for cases together or as three panels as three judges. Id. Mimicking the federal court system, the State Circuit Courts sit below the South Carolina Supreme Court and Court of Appeals. Id. This court has limited appellate function but serves as the State’s court of general jurisdiction. Id. The Court of Common Pleas and the Court of General Sessions serve inside the circuit courts as civil and criminal courts. Id. South Carolina is divided into sixteen different judicial circuits and each circuit has at least one resident judge 5 Peak
and the other judges serve on a rotating basis. Id. Like the State’s Court of Appeals, these judges are elected in a staggered pattern every six year. Id. The Masters-in-Equity are allotted by the governor of the state with consent of the General Assembly for a six year term. Id. Masters have power over equity matters through referral from a State Circuit Court. Id. The number of Masters may vary, but there is currently 21 Masters-in-Equity in South Carolina. Id. Family Courts were established in 1976 and have the exclusive jurisdiction over all matters involving family and domestic relationships. Id. Cases seen in this court include marriage, legal separation, divorce, custody, termination of parental rights, adoption, alimony, division of marital property, and other similar domestic matters. Id. Likewise, this court holds exclusive jurisdiction over minors. Id. The Magistrate Courts and Municipal Courts of South Carolina work concurrently with Family Courts when minors are involved in a case. Id. There are about 311 magistrates in the state of South Carolina. Id. They are appointed by the Governor for four year terms. Id. These judges have criminal trial jurisdiction over all offenders that face a fine less than $500 or imprisonment of less than 30 days. Id. Municipal Courts are not required within a jurisdiction and may be combined with the Magistrates Court. Id. The term of a municipal judge is set by a council, but may never exceed four years. Id. Every county in the state has a probate court with a judge that serves a four-year term. Id. Jurisdiction for these courts include marriage licenses, guardianships of minors, involuntary commitments to mental institutions, and estates of deceased persons. Id. 6 Peak
Concluding Remarks In conclusion, it can be determined that the legal system of the United States is reliant on the concept of common legal traditions. However, in many ways the formation and application of laws in the country were shaped by civil legal traditions. Similarly, the federal government has shaped the way state court systems operate. It is apparent that federal courts cannot try all cases so it is vital for state courts to carry out complementing jurisprudence for cases below reaching the federal level. 7 Peak

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