SC justices: AG has authority in CDV cases

      By MEG KINNARDAssociated Press

      COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina's highest court says the state's top prosecutor has the authority to try criminal domestic violence cases in municipal and magistrate courts throughout the state.

      The Supreme Court said in an opinion issued Wednesday that the attorney general is the state's "chief prosecuting officer" and may try cases in summary courts.

      In August, Attorney General Wilson asked the high court to affirm his authority to try such cases after two criminal domestic-violence cases.

      In one case, a Lexington County judge sided with Wilson.

      A West Columbia municipal judge sided with the second defendant, writing that, while the constitution gives the attorney general authority in all "courts of record," that title does not technically apply to courts at the municipal and magistrate levels.


      Kinnard can be reached at

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