GET ELECTED: Clerk of Court

silhouette of a ballot being put into a box

**This post is part of our ongoing series “Get Elected: Available roles for Libertarian Candidates”**

In the state of South Carolina, there is a Clerk of Court in each of the 46 counties. Individuals are elected to a 4-year term and 2020 is their election year. The Clerk of Court office oversees criminal and civil matters in the Circuit and Family courts. Jury Selection is part of the Clerk’s office as well.

The Family Court has exclusive jurisdiction over all things domestic or of the family. This includes but is not limited to:

  • proceedings related to divorces, visitation rights, and any arrested minor
  • collecting and disbursing payments directed to Family Court
  • issuing Rule to Show Cause when orders have not been followed from previous cases. (These are usually issued when payments are not made in a timely manner.)

The Clerk also files all Orders of Protection and then disburses them to the proper law enforcement agencies.

The Circuit Court is the other duty of the Clerk’s office.

This court is split into two parts: Court of Common Pleas and Court of General Sessions. All civil matters are done in the Common Pleas and criminal matter are under General Sessions. Some of the duties of the Clerk’s office:

  • receipt of warrants and bail
  • staffing the courtrooms,
  • jury management aka Jury Duty.

As many people dread jury duty; this is the one place where everyone can show their Libertarian colors with Jury Nullification. If you serve on a jury and the law that is in question is unconstitutional or a victimless crime or if you just think the law is stupid, you can vote not guilty and nullify that law in that court case.

Resource for this blog.

For more information on how to execute the Clerk of Court role, see this guide.

Here’s the law mandating Clerk of Court be elected to office.

It’s important to note that a candidate for a judiciary office (like Clerk of Court) is not permitted to hold a leadership role in a political organization (like the SC LP). Should you choose to serve your county as Clerk of Court, you may do so in the spirit of Libertarian politics, but not in direct name or credit. All the same it is an elected office and may provide traction for the party.

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