Category Archives: South Carolina

South Carolina

Case Records Get More Mobile

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Just a few years ago, some courts started making court records and calendars available via mobile apps; we talked about it here. Those services required an iOS, Android, or BlackBerry app to be downloaded to your mobile device.

Since we last covered this topic, more court systems have offered mobile app access to their case records, calendars, and other information. Examples abound:

In Illinois, the Cook County Clerk of Circuit Court offers downloadable iOS and Android apps that include case record searches, traffic ticket searches, court location information and mapping, a fee schedule, and contact information.

In Ohio, the … Read More

Chancery Court

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Unless you live in Delaware, Mississippi, or Tennesse, you may not be familiar with the term Chancery Court. But Chancery Courts were part of the English judicial system for hundreds of years, were brought to the American colonies, and were part of most U.S. states’ early judicial systems.

The name itself originated outside of the judicial system; in Europe, starting with the Roman Empire, the Chancellor was in charge of government records. When today’s English legal system first began to develop after the Norman Conquest, the Chancery was the public records office, under the direction of the Lord Chancellor. Because … Read More

Non-Lawyer Judges: Municipal Courts

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Last month we discussed judges (Justices of the Peace and Magistrates) who are not required to have law degrees, and whose courts have jurisdiction over areas larger than a city or town. Judges of city, town, village, and other municipal courts in many states are also not required to have law degrees or be practicing lawyers. These judges only have geographical jurisdiction over their own municipality, and in many states their subject-matter jurisdiction is limited to violations of the municipality’s ordinances.

We reviewed New York’s Town Courts and Village Courts in a 2010 post; with over 1200 such courts, … Read More

Non-Lawyer Judges: Justices and Magistrates

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“Justice of the Peace” is an imposing title. Almost like Justice of the Supreme Court? Not quite; A Justice of the Peace presides over a court of limited territorial and subject-matter jurisdiction, and is addressed as “Judge” more often than “Justice”. Justices of the Peace were originally English quasi-judicial officers who volunteered to preserve the “king’s peace” in their local county or borough. Important qualifications for the position were land ownership and connections with the monarchy (and later, with the Lord Chancellor and Parliament).

American colonists brought the Justice of the Peace system with them, and it persisted throughout the … Read More

Development in Floodplains?

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In an article entitled “Halt to Development in Flood Plains Sought” in The Seattle Times, dated March 28, 2012, by Phuong Le, The Associated Press, the National Wildlife Federation asked a Seattle federal judge to issue an injunction to stop the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) from issuing flood-insurance for certain flood-prone areas in Washington’s Puget Sound area. An injunction would temporarily block new development in various habitat areas around the Puget Sound area.

The Federation alleges that FEMA’s flood-insurance program encourages construction in floodplains where endangered species are being harmed. However, according to FEMA, the Federation hasn’t shown that … Read More

Government Spending Records; Which States Provide Easy Access?

Reviewing the financial transactions of your state government requires just a few clicks on your computer in some states. As tax payers, we spend a lot of money each year, and some of us may want to know what that money is going towards. While the FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) has helped open the gateway to making certain information public and accessible, actually finding these spending records could be a difficult task. Thus in some states, the governments have decided to implement databases which make the search process easier for the public.

Recently Kansas launched a state spending database … Read More