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CHAPTER 16-12C

CLERK MAGISTRATES

16-12C-1      Appointment of clerk, deputy clerk as clerk magistrate--Valid in any circuit.
16-12C-2      Educational qualifications of clerk magistrate.
16-12C-2.1      Certification of clerk magistrate-Notice of termination.
16-12C-3      Attendance at institute prerequisite to taking office--Exception.
16-12C-4      Establishment and schedule of clerk magistrate's institutes--Court may require attendance.
16-12C-5      Authority to solemnize marriages--Fees.
16-12C-6      Authority to administer oaths, etc.
16-12C-7      Jurisdiction to issue summonses, warrants.
16-12C-8      Right to counsel in magistrate court.
16-12C-9      Jurisdiction--Committal--Conditions.
16-12C-10      Jurisdiction--Bonds and personal recognizance.
16-12C-11      Jurisdiction--Petty offenses--Acceptance of pleas--Sentencing--Overweight vehicle penalties.
16-12C-12      Jurisdiction--Forfeiture of appearance bonds.
16-12C-13      Jurisdiction--Noncontested proceedings with limited damage amount.
16-12C-14      Record of proceedings before clerk magistrate--Stenographic record--Costs--Appeal.
16-12C-15      Right of appeal to circuit court.


     16-12C-1.   Appointment of clerk, deputy clerk as clerk magistrate--Valid in any circuit. Any duly appointed clerk or any deputy clerk who meets the qualifications of a clerk magistrate may be appointed as a clerk magistrate. Any clerk or deputy clerk who has been appointed a clerk magistrate may act as such in any circuit of this state if placed on temporary duty assignment in another circuit.

Source: SL 2003, ch 117, § 28.


     16-12C-2.   Educational qualifications of clerk magistrate. No person is eligible for appointment to the office of clerk magistrate unless such person is a graduate of a high school or has attained the equivalent of a high school education as indicated by the possession of a certificate of equivalency issued by the State Department of Education or the former Department of Public Instruction or the former Division of Elementary and Secondary Education based upon the record made on the general education development test.

Source: SL 2003, ch 117, § 29.


     16-12C-2.1.   Certification of clerk magistrate-Notice of termination. The presiding judge of each circuit shall immediately following the appointment of a clerk magistrate certify to the state court administrator the name and address of each appointee and principal place or places that the appointee is to function. The state court administrator shall be promptly notified of the termination from office of a clerk magistrate.

Source: § 16-12A-7.1; SL 2004, ch 319 (Supreme Court Rule 03-18), eff. Jan. 1, 2004.


     16-12C-3.   Attendance at institute prerequisite to taking office--Exception. No clerk magistrate may take office for the first time as a magistrate until such person has attended an institute on the duties and functioning of the magistrate's office to be held under the supervision of the Supreme Court, unless such attendance is waived by the Supreme Court.

Source: SL 2003, ch 117, § 30.


     16-12C-4.   Establishment and schedule of clerk magistrate's institutes--Court may require attendance. The Supreme Court shall establish the institute and shall provide that the institute be held at least once every two years. It may establish an institute at such other times and for such other purposes as it deems necessary and may require the attendance of any clerk magistrate.

Source: SL 2003, ch 117, § 31.


     16-12C-5.   Authority to solemnize marriages--Fees. A clerk magistrate appointed pursuant to this chapter may solemnize marriages. The clerk of courts shall collect a fee of twenty dollars for a clerk magistrate's performance of a marriage. The clerk of courts shall remit fees collected under this section to the state treasurer for deposit in the state general fund.

Source: SL 2003, ch 117, § 32.


     16-12C-6.   Authority to administer oaths, etc.. A clerk magistrate appointed pursuant to this chapter has authority to administer oaths, take acknowledgments, and depositions.

Source: SL 2003, ch 117, § 33.


     16-12C-7.   Jurisdiction to issue summonses, warrants. A magistrate court with a clerk magistrate presiding has concurrent jurisdiction with the circuit courts to issue summonses, warrants of arrest, and warrants for searches and seizures, but not to issue warrants or summonses on indictment.

Source: SL 2003, ch 117, § 34; SL 2006, ch 113, § 1.


     16-12C-8.   Right to counsel in magistrate court. No party may be deprived of the assistance of an attorney, at the party's expense, in small claims or magistrate court.

Source: SL 2003, ch 117, § 35.


     16-12C-9.   Jurisdiction--Committal--Conditions. A magistrate court with a clerk magistrate presiding has concurrent jurisdiction with the circuit courts to act as a committing magistrate if voluntary and knowledgeable waiver of preliminary hearing has been given before the court. The magistrate court may conduct preliminary hearings as a committing magistrate unless demand is made by the defendant prior to such hearing to have the hearing conducted before a magistrate judge or a circuit judge to be assigned by the presiding judge.

Source: SL 2003, ch 117, § 36.


     16-12C-10.   Jurisdiction--Bonds and personal recognizance. A magistrate court with a clerk magistrate presiding has concurrent jurisdiction with the circuit courts to fix bond or take personal recognizance of persons charged with an offense in accordance with the schedule adopted pursuant to subdivision 16-2-21(8).

Source: SL 2003, ch 117, § 37.


     16-12C-11.   Jurisdiction--Petty offenses--Acceptance of pleas--Sentencing--Overweight vehicle penalties. A magistrate court with a clerk magistrate presiding has concurrent jurisdiction with the circuit courts:
             (1)      To accept defaults for petty offenses;
             (2)      To try contested cases involving a petty offense;
             (3)      To take pleas of guilty, not guilty, nolo contendere for any criminal offense; or
             (4)      To take pleas of guilty, not guilty, nolo contendere for violation of any ordinance, bylaw, or other police regulation of a political subdivision;
if the punishment is a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars or imprisonment for a period not exceeding thirty days, or both such fine and imprisonment, and to impose sentence upon a plea of guilty or nolo contendere, which sentence shall be in accordance with § 23-1A-22 or schedules adopted pursuant to subdivision 16-2-21(8). However, if the offense or violation is not covered by the schedules, the magistrate court may impose a sentence of a fine as authorized by statute, ordinance, bylaw, or police regulation or five hundred dollars, whichever is less. A magistrate court with a clerk magistrate presiding has concurrent jurisdiction with the circuit courts for any penalty imposed pursuant to § 32-22-55, notwithstanding the amount of the penalty, if the penalty is paid in full at the time of the acceptance of the plea. Acceptance of not guilty or nolo contendere pleas shall be in accordance with §§ 23A-7-2 and 23A-7-8, as applicable.

Source: SL 2003, ch 117, § 38; SL 2005, ch 120, § 174; SL 2011, ch 109, § 1.


     16-12C-12.   Jurisdiction--Forfeiture of appearance bonds. A magistrate court with a clerk magistrate presiding has concurrent jurisdiction with the circuit courts to take forfeitures of appearance bonds for violation of any ordinance, bylaw, or other police regulation of a political subdivision in accordance with schedules adopted pursuant to subdivision 16-2-21(8).

Source: SL 2003, ch 117, § 39.


     16-12C-13.   Jurisdiction--Noncontested proceedings with limited damage amount. A magistrate court with a clerk magistrate presiding has concurrent jurisdiction with the circuit courts, in noncontested civil actions or noncontested small claims proceedings where the amount of money or damage does not exceed twelve thousand dollars, to take the necessary evidence and to enter a judgment.

Source: SL 2003, ch 117, § 40; SL 2008, ch 105, § 2.


     16-12C-14.   Record of proceedings before clerk magistrate--Stenographic record--Costs--Appeal. Except in small claims proceedings, a verbatim record of all proceedings and evidence at trials before a clerk magistrate shall be maintained either by electrical devices or by stenographic means, as the magistrate may direct. However, if any party to the action requests stenographic reporting of the proceedings, the reporting shall be done stenographically. The requesting party in a civil matter shall pay the costs of reporting the proceedings. If no record is kept, the appeal, if appeal is authorized by law, shall be de novo in circuit court.

Source: SL 2003, ch 117, § 41.


     16-12C-15.   Right of appeal to circuit court. Unless appeal is denied by law, there is a right of appeal to the circuit court from any final order or judgment of the magistrate court with a clerk magistrate presiding, and such appeal shall be taken in the manner prescribed by law or rule for appeals to the circuit court.

Source: SL 2003, ch 117, § 42.


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