1976 South Carolina Code of Laws
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Updated through the end of the 2004 Session

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This statutory database is current through the 2004 Regular Session of the South Carolina General Assembly. Changes to the statutes enacted by the 2005 General Assembly, which will convene in January 2005, will be incorporated as soon as possible. Some changes enacted by the 2005 General Assembly may take immediate effect. The State of South Carolina and the South Carolina Legislative Council make no warranty as to the accuracy of the data, and users rely on the data entirely at their own risk.

Title 22 - Magistrates and Constables

CHAPTER 8.

MAGISTRATES' COMPENSATION

SECTION 22-8-10. Definitions.

As used in this chapter:

(1) "Chief magistrate" means the magistrate in each county who is designated by the Chief Justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court as the chief magistrate for administrative purposes for the county which he serves.

(2) "Full-time magistrate" means a magistrate who regularly works forty hours a week performing official duties required of a magistrate as a judicial officer.

(3) "Part-time magistrate" means a magistrate who regularly works less than forty hours a week performing official duties required of a magistrate as a judicial officer.

SECTION 22-8-20. Judicial functions.

Magistrates are judicial officers, and the hours they spend in the performance of their official duties are hours spent in the exercise of their judicial function. The exercise of the judicial function involves the examination of facts leading to findings, the application of law to those findings, and the ascertainment of the appropriate remedy. Time spent in the performance of judicial functions also includes time spent performing ministerial duties necessary for the exercise of the magistrates' judicial powers, as well as necessary travel and training time. In the case of chief magistrates, the judicial function includes time necessary to perform the administrative and other duties required of a chief magistrate for administrative purposes. The classification or reclassification of magistrates as full time or part time must be made in consideration of these factors.

SECTION 22-8-30. Facilities and personnel; compensation of constables.

(A) Each county shall provide sufficient facilities and personnel for the necessary and proper operation of the magistrates' courts in that county.

(B) Other personnel determined to be necessary by the county for magistrates in a county must be provided by the governing body of the county and must be county employees and be paid by the county.

(C) The compensation of constables may vary, and salaries and perquisites must be determined by the governing board of the county and funded by the county.

SECTION 22-8-40. Full-time and part-time magistrates; salaries.

(A) A county is not required to have a full-time magistrate and may have only part-time magistrates.

(B) Each magistrate in this State must be paid as follows by the county which he serves:

(1) The following salary schedule shall be used to determine a magistrate' s annual compensation prior to the completion of his fourth year in office:

(a) upon being appointed a magistrate, a magistrate shall be paid seventy- five percent of the base salary for his county's population category as provided in item (2);

(b) upon completing the requirements of Sections 22-1-10(C) and 22-1-16, a magistrate shall be paid eighty percent of the base salary for his county's population category as provided in item (2);

(c) upon the magistrate's completion of his second year in office, a magistrate shall be paid eighty-five percent of the lowest salary rate for his county's population category as provided in item (2);

(d) upon the magistrate's completion of his third year in office, a magistrate shall be paid ninety percent of the lowest salary rate for his county's population category as provided in item (2);

(e) upon the magistrate's completion of his fourth year in office, a magistrate shall be paid one hundred percent of the lowest salary rate for his county's population category as provided in item (2).

(2) There is established a base salary for each population category as follows:

(a) for those counties with a population of one hundred fifty thousand and above, according to the latest official United States Decennial Census, the base salary is fifty-five percent of a circuit judge's salary for the state's previous fiscal year;

(b) for those counties with a population of at least fifty thousand but not more than one hundred forty-nine thousand, nine hundred ninety-nine, according to the latest official United States Decennial Census, the base salary is forty-five percent of a circuit judge's salary for the state's previous fiscal year;

(c) for those counties with a population of less than fifty thousand, according to the latest official United States Decennial Census, the base salary is thirty-five percent of a circuit court judge's salary for the state's previous fiscal year.

(3) The provisions of this subsection are effective July 1, 2000.

(C) The number of magistrates shall be determined using the following factors:

(1) There is established a ratio of one magistrate for every twenty-eight thousand persons in each county of the State based on the latest official United States Decennial Census.

(2) There is established a ratio of one magistrate for every one hundred fifty square miles of area in each county of the State as a factor to be used in determining the base salary as provided in this section.

(3) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (D), the maximum number of magistrates in each county is the greater of that number determined by taking one magistrate for every twenty-eight thousand persons in each county or that number determined by taking the average of the ratio of one magistrate for every twenty-eight thousand persons in each county as provided by item (1) of this subsection and the ratio of one magistrate for every one hundred fifty square miles of area in each county as provided in item (2) of this subsection. However, no county is required to have fewer than the equivalent of one full-time magistrate and one part-time magistrate . If a fraction of a magistrate results, the county must round off the fraction, establishing an additional part-time magistrate. No additional magistrates may be added until a county has less than the ratio.

(D) In addition to the maximum number of magistrates prescribed in subsection (C), additional magistrates may be appointed as determined using the following formula:

(1) for counties which collect accommodations tax revenues of five hundred thousand to nine hundred ninety-nine thousand, nine hundred ninety-nine dollars, one additional magistrate may be appointed;

(2) for counties which collect accommodations tax revenues of one million to two million, nine hundred ninety-nine thousand, nine hundred ninety-nine dollars, two additional magistrates may be appointed;

(3) for counties which collect accommodations tax revenues of three million to four million, nine hundred ninety-nine thousand, nine hundred ninety-nine dollars, three additional magistrates may be appointed; and

(4) for counties which collect accommodations tax revenues of five million dollars and above, four additional magistrates may be appointed.

(E) Part-time magistrates are to be computed at a ratio of four part-time magistrates equals one full-time magistrate.

(F) Part-time magistrates are entitled to a proportionate percentage of the salary provided for full-time magistrates. This percentage is computed by dividing by forty the number of hours a week the part-time magistrate spends in the performance of his duties. The number of hours a week that a part-time magistrate spends in the exercise of the judicial function, and scheduled to be spent on call, must be the average number of hours worked and is fixed by the county governing body upon the recommendation of the chief magistrate. However, a part-time magistrate must not work more than forty hours a week, unless directed to do so on a limited and intermittent basis by the chief magistrate.

(G) A full-time chief magistrate must be paid a yearly supplement of three thousand dollars and reimbursed for travel expenses as provided by law while in the actual performance of his duties. A part-time chief magistrate must be paid a yearly supplement of fifteen hundred dollars and reimbursed for travel expenses as provided by law while in the actual performance of his duties.

(H) Magistrates in a county are entitled to the same perquisites as those employees of the county of similar position and salary.

(I) A ministerial magistrate is entitled to the same compensation as a part-time magistrate.

(J) A magistrate who is receiving a salary greater than provided for his position under the provisions of this chapter must not be reduced in salary during his tenure in office, and must be paid the same percentage annual increase in salary as other magistrates. Tenure in office continues at the expiration of a term if the incumbent magistrate is reappointed.

(K) No county may pay a magistrate a salary lower than the base salary established for that county by the provisions of subsection (B) of this section.

(L) Nothing in this section may be interpreted as prohibiting a county from paying a magistrate more than the salary established for that county or from paying a magistrate a merit raise in addition to the salary established for that county.

(M) The South Carolina Court Administration shall monitor compliance with this section. Nothing contained in this section may be construed as prohibiting a county from paying salaries in excess of the minimum salaries provided for in this section.

(N) For purposes of the salary phase-in provided in subsection (B)(1) of this section, a magistrate with prior service as a magistrate who after a break in service is again appointed magistrate, is allowed credit for the prior service.

SECTION 22-8-45. Reimbursement of counties for excess magistrate salary expenses.

(A) As used in this section:

(1) "civil and administrative fee revenue" means the amounts collected by a county pursuant to Sections 8-21-1010(6) and (9), 34-11-70(b) and (c), and 34-11-90;

(2) "magistrate salary expenses" means the amount of payroll, fringe benefits, and employer retirement contributions paid by a county to compensate magistrates as required by Sections 9-11-27 and 22-8-40(B).

(B) For fiscal years 2000-2001, 2001-2002, 2002-2003, 2003-2004, and 2004-2005, a county may apply for reimbursement of excess magistrate salary expenses through the State Treasurer's office if the county:

(1) incurs magistrate salary expenses in excess of those it incurred in fiscal year 1999-2000; and

(2) does not collect civil and administrative fee revenue to pay for the excess magistrate salary expenses as determined by the difference between:

(a) civil and administrative fee revenue collected by the county in fiscal year 2000-2001, 2001-2002, 2002-2003, 2003-2004, or 2004-2005; and

(b) civil and administrative fee revenue collected by the county in fiscal year 1999-2000.

(C) Any county applying for reimbursement must provide a statement of the amount of excess magistrate salary expenses being requested and a certification of the accuracy of the information in the application. Certification must conform with the procedures and practices of the State Treasurer's office. Upon approval of an application, the State Treasurer shall refund to the county the approved amount from current court revenues payable to the state general fund.

(D) A county is eligible for reimbursement pursuant to this section only for magistrate salary expenses incurred for magistrate positions in existence on the effective date of this section.

(E) This section is repealed December 31, 2005.

SECTION 22-8-50. County governing body to hear cases of magistrates aggrieved by this chapter.

(A) A magistrate aggrieved by a ruling or action taken by a county or the governing body of the county concerning classification, reclassification, or compensation of magistrates based upon this chapter, or with respect to the operation of the magistrates' court system within the county, may petition the county governing body, in writing, for redress.

(B) The county governing body of each county shall hear and determine contested cases arising within the county in connection with classification, reclassification, and compensation of magistrates, or with respect to the operation of the magistrates' court system within its county, in accordance with the provisions of Article 3, Chapter 23 of Title 1, and subject to judicial review as provided in Section 1-23-380.





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